OUR MISSION - WE'RE PUBLISHED! Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 marked the Premier of our new book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide. The hardcover, 160 page book can be found at bars and bookstores throughout the Adirondack Park or order online at www.happyhourinthehighpeaks.com. You'll find a list of our book signings on the Events page and where to buy the book on our Retailers page. The book contains reviews of 46 of our favorite bars in the Adirondack Park, and 46 drink recipes with an Adirondack twist. As a companion to the book, we have also published a 46er Passport so that you can follow the Happy Hour Trail to become a Happy Hour 46er and make new friends along the way. Summit Tour t-shirts will be for sale at our book signings or available online. Whether you are a native, resident, or visitor, you'll find 46 more reasons to visit the ADIRONDACK PARK!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hour Halloween Fun Size Drink Recipes

Once the kids are safe in bed after an evening of Trick or Treating, it's time to treat yourself.

Almond Joy
1 oz cream of coconut
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 oz Frangelico
1 oz half & half

Shake over ice or mix in blender.

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't! For when you don't...

1 oz cream of coconut
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz half & half

Shake over ice or mix in blender.

3 Musketeers
1 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz caramel cream
1/2 oz Marshmallow vodka
2 oz half & half

Blend with ice for a fluffy texture.

The candy corn drink recipe was the most difficult. After several tries, here's a "shooter" type recipe that's definitely not for children.

Candy Corn Shooter

1 part Mandarin Napoleon (or Cointreau or anything orange flavored)
1 part banana liqueur
1 part whipped cream vodka

I've had enough "candy", but just one more recipe.

Heath Bar (No Crunch)

1 oz Godiva Chocolate liqueur
1 oz Caramel Cream liqueur
1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps

I'm way too full to cover the Butterfinger. We made the Reese's Cup a few weeks ago, but I didn't write down the recipe. Promise, they will be in our book.

Bottoms Up!

High Peaks Pammie

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween from Ashe's Pub & Grill

It was less than two weeks after bartender Valene began her new job at Ashe’s Pub and Grill that she started to wonder what she'd gotten herself into. It was the end of her shift and she got right to the business of closing the bar. The doors were locked, the bar lights off, and everything stocked for opening in the morning. She took the day’s receipts through the dining room, past the pool table, into the office. As she began counting, there came a loud pounding at the back entrance to the bar, accompanied by a man’s voice shouting, “Open the bar!”

Annoyed that some drunk had the audacity to expect that the bar would be opened for him, Valene got her husband on the phone for reassurance and went to the door. No one was there. Poking her head out the front door, she looked up and down the street, but no one was in sight. Dismissing the incident and turning to go back to her work, keeping her husband on the line in case the man came back, she could hear heavy footsteps and the sound of creaky floorboards coming from the area around the pool table. Banging sounds came from different areas of the bar; chairs in the dining room squeaked as though occupants were fidgeting in their seats. By now the young woman was truly frightened. Her husband, too, could hear the racket over the phone. Unable to come there himself, he sent Valene’s cousin to the bar to stay with her as she finished for the night while the noises continued around them. Not easily bullied by mere spirits, Valene has gotten used to the experiences and is still tending bar there. She makes it known to would-be spooks that she's in charge!

Other employees have had similar experiences. Becky, another of the bartenders, says that securely placed pots and pans often crash to the floor. Footsteps are heard coming from deserted floors above. Cash disappears...then returns. A second-floor apartment is home to the apparition of a tall, older gentleman who wears a top hat and has an arm in a sling. A woman who lived in a second-floor apartment claims the man climbed into bed with her. When a visiting vendor arrived to set up a demonstration, she was in immediate need of a restroom. Since there was a line at the one-seater in the bar, the employee who lived in the upstairs apartment took the woman upstairs to use her bathroom. Curious, the vendor asked about the man she had seen standing in the upstairs window when she arrived. She described him as very tall, wearing a top hat and a sling.

Standing just beyond Warrensburg’s historic district in a neighborhood of mostly modest residences, Ashe’s Hotel looks much as it did when it was built over 150 years ago. Originally named the Agricultural Hotel due to its proximity to the old Warren County Fairgrounds, the name was changed to Ashe’s Hotel when Maurice Ashe acquired it from his father, Henry, in the 1930’s. The fairgrounds was also the site of Ashland Park Speedway from 1954 to 1961. Somehow, the bar at Ashe's has managed to stay in continuous operation since the early 1860’s.

The current owner, John Abbale, has owned Ashe's for the past 25 years and has gradually made many improvements. Colorful linen table cloths liven the dining room and whitewashed walls brighten the interior. The recently installed wide pine slab bar seats about 15 people, and several tables are available in the same room in close proximity to the bar. A semi-partitioned room off the bar offers table seating for another 26 patrons. Off that room is the pool table and area for musical entertainment and dancing. The central location for music setup makes it accessible to all three rooms. If you're looking for entertainment beyond music and bar banter, a pool table, electronic darts and bowling, or pinball can be played here as well.

Though food service at Ashe's has been known to come and go over the years, Ashe's currently serves lunch and features dinner specials on Tuesday (clams) and Thursday (wings). Standard pub fare is served until 9 p.m. Located on Hudson Street in Warrensburg and surrounded by residential neighbors, the pub has outdoor seating, but, in an obvious effort to keep peace with the neighbors, discourages its use by not allowing drinks outside. Complicated drink specialties are not their priority, but the basics are there and the beer selection is varied and reasonable. Kim particularly enjoyed the Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat in a cinnamon-and-sugar-rimmed glass, though it's just as good without the embellishment.

The bar is open year-round, 7 days a week, but sometimes closes for Christmas. Their busiest days of the year are during Warrensburg's World's Largest Garage Sale weekend in early October, and Americade and Warrensburg Bike Week in June when the bar serves as social center for participants. Live music on Friday and karaoke on Saturday keep everyone entertained on the weekends. With reasonable drink prices, Happy Hour specials Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7p.m., friendly bar staff in a neighborhood location, Ashe's is a local pub and yet a regular spot for many out-of-towners. In a country-charm sort of way, the local patrons look forward to some diversity of conversation from strangers. Our inquiries about Ashe's ghosts sparked interest and conversations, as well as dissent among the non-believers. If you're looking to scare up some spirits this Hallows' Eve, stop in on Saturday, October 29 for Ashe's costume party and karaoke.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Glenmore Bar and Grill, Big Moose

As we traveled the six miles down Big Moose Road to the Glenmore Bar and Grill, we noticed it was populated with summer camps right down to Big Moose Lake. Perplexed by the distinct absence of people on this beautiful summer day in July, we pulled in to the mostly deserted parking lot. Given that it was early afternoon, possibly everyone was out pursuing summer pleasures on the lake or in town at Eagle Bay.

A two-story shingled structure flanked by ancient pines at the water's edge, dormers peek out from above. With a spacious deck overlooking the lake, the Glenmore exudes history. We passed through the entrance doors to the main floor which houses the restaurant and bar, immediately encountering historic memorabilia and postings at the main entrance. Gleaming pine booths lined a sunny dining area, partially separated from the dining room and bar. Ivy wandered, taking over the room, repeated in stenciled embellishment over the windows. Sunlight streamed through picture windows, competing with rustic hues and textures for control of the lighting. At once dark and light, the hardwood floor, low pine plank ceiling, rough-sawn slab walls painted in tones of sage and brown, and simple pine booths were softly illuminated by daylight. A couple of well-worn plaid sofas faced the stone fireplace, the focal point of the center of the restaurant. A game room and pool table are available for use, but the Glenmore seems to be a venue for long stories and general banter.

The bar, with its panoramic view of the lake, seats 15 to 20 people. A handful of guests intently watched a soccer game as we introduced ourselves, and our purpose, to the bartender. Beer selection is primarily domestic, mostly from the Anheuser Busch and Matt’s brewing families. Canned beers (14 of them) include Utica Club and Genesee. Very retro. As Pam sat at the bar trying to decide what to order from the standard selection of liquors, she noticed that every one of the bar pours on the liquor bottles was not only the same color (green), but were all pointing in the same “wrong” direction. We have been to a lot of bars and have never seen either phenomenon. Not willing to let it go on observation, she mentioned to the bartender that he might have difficulties if he hired a left-handed bartender. Promising that would never happen, he smiled graciously and changed the subject, but seemed pleased that his efforts were noticed. We did take the time to inquire if the Glenmore had any specialty drinks unique to the establishment. Robert shared the ingredient list of the Flaming Glenmore, consisting of coffee, Yukon Jack, Amaretto and whipped cream.

It took some time for him to loosen up, but owner/bartender Robert Muller eventually warmed to our inquisition. He told us of a writers’ group that, for the past 36 years, meets at the Glenmore. Robert is of the opinion that some may no longer write, but continue to enjoy each other's company, spending a weekend there every year under the auspices of the Tamarack Writers Group. (For the record, he did not use the word "auspices".)

Kim inquired about hauntings, particularly in the death of Grace Brown in 1906. Grace and her companion, Chester Gillette, had checked in to the Glenmore the night before her demise, which she met at the hands of Gillette while rowing out on the lake. Several locations around Big Moose Lake claim to be haunted by her presence, and the television series Unsolved Mysteries aired an episode based on ghostly encounters in Big Moose in 1996. Robert also mentioned the apparition of a “creepy, tall, old dude” who occasionally makes his presence known.

The Glenmore Hotel Bar & Grill has been in business for 100 years and owned by the current owners, the Muller family, since the 1970s. When a fire of suspicious origin destroyed the original hotel in 1950, the Glenmore Hotel relocated across the street to its present location, originally home to the Big Moose Supply Company. A bar, restaurant and hotel located yards from Big Moose Lake, you can feel the history as you gaze upon the lake from the bar.

In summer months, the Glenmore is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and noon to 1 a.m. on weekends. Closed Monday through Thursday in the fall and spring, they are open Friday through Sunday. Surprisingly, to us at least, Robert, who likes winter best, claims that winter is the best season to visit. Winter hours at the Glenmore begin with opening for the Snodeo, occurring this year December 9-11, and end with St. Patrick’s Day. The no-nonsense menu includes pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches and bar munchies in the $7 to $10 range.

The hotel has 11 rooms accommodating up to 24 people. Rooms are simple, unique and comfortable with few amenities. Two full and one half bath are shared by all the guests. They have no WiFi, no cell service either, but a phone booth outside actually appeared to still be in service. History, a remote setting, simple charm, and circumspect hospitality await guests and visitors to the Glenmore Bar and Grill.

Cheers & Bottoms Up!
Kim & Pam

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Slickers Adirondack Tavern - Old Forge

The brightly painted yellow exterior of Slickers Adirondack Tavern caught our attention as we made our way back into Old Forge. Since it was within walking distance to most of the accommodations in Old Forge, plenty of parking was available. Wearing a bright yellow coat, Slickers is perched on the edge of the Fulton Chain of Lakes, the beach and lake on view from the bar.

Slickers was the sixth of eight bars we covered on our Old Forge tour back in July, but somehow we never got around to writing the review. Since we didn’t go anywhere new over the weekend we resurrected Slickers from the “unfinished” bin.

The bar seats about 10 people, and all seats were taken with several patrons standing. The upbeat crowd steadily building on this Saturday night in July, we ordered drinks from the typical beer and booze options and found a seat along on the wall where we could rest our drinks, take notes, and keep out of the way of the wait staff passing through to the busy restaurant seating area. Additional bar seating was available in an adjacent room, but we needed to be in the mix.

Weathered in a charming, New England way, the building is summer cottage-like, of unknown age, and has to have been around long before 1984. With low ceilings, a dark pine floor, lots of wood, and decorated in a fishing theme, the most impressive feature is the Hoosier-style antique bar shelving featuring brass-trimmed roll-top coolers and glass door cabinets, crammed into the minuscule space behind the bar.

We weren't able to get close enough to the bar for our usual question and answer session with the bartender, but a local named Bob gave us his positive opinion of Slickers and introduced us to another patron whose wife is the owner of Tony Harpers Too. The people at the bar seemed to be a blend of locals and tourists of varying ages, but everyone was getting to know each other. Bob, who says, “Every bar in the Adirondacks is wonderful!” appeared to be on a quest to meet everyone - at every bar in Old Forge. (We ran into Bob at several of the venues we visited that night.)

Established in 1984, Slickers offers entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer months. We got the impression that the restaurant would quiet down in time to allow more space for the evening bar crowd who were beginning to arrive for the entertainment. A small deck area is available just outside, but seating did seem to be limited. Offering an array of pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, and homemade soups and desserts, Slickers is a favorite of natives and visitors alike.

No matter how you travel - by boat, snowmobile, kayak, or on foot - Slickers is a must-see while in Old Forge, whether you're just having drinks, visiting with friends, having a meal, listening to music, meeting new people or all of the above.

Cheers and Bottoms Up!
Kim and Pam

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hide & Seek: Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie!

Who wants a drink, holler "I"!? I hollered, Kim found me and put me to work. Finding a base for apple liqueur, peach schnapps and pumpkin puree was a challenge, but we have to use up the "leftovers"! Ginger ale seemed to do the trick. Remember, when using soda as a base, no blender and no shaking. We blended a little canned pumpkin with water to thin it out.

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie
2 oz peach schnapps
1 oz apple liqueur
3 tb pumpkin puree
4 oz ginger ale

Add ice and stir thoroughly. Garnish with apple slice.

Bottoms Up and Cheers!

Kim and Pam Ladd

Fall Foliage Recipe Day - Adirondack Pumpkin Martini

Happy Hour in the High Peaks' variation on Trapper's Pumpkin Martini, you'll be a hit at Thanksgiving if you serve these, even if you burn the bird or forget to remove the gizzard. Ever since Pam picked up a can of pumpkin, she's been whining, "I want a Pumpkin Martini". Just to keep her quiet, I arrived bearing cinnamon, nutmeg and heavy cream. Break out your Magic Bullet or blender and prepare to make several servings.

Adirondack Pumpkin Martini
3 oz whipped cream vodka
1 oz Sapling Maple Liqueur or maple syrup (real please)
1/2 c whipped cream (homemade or commercial)
2 tb canned pumpkin or homemade puree
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg

Lightly whip heavy cream and sugar in a blender and set aside some for topping. Add ingredients above, ice cubes to taste, and mix in blender. Top drink with tsp of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Don't drink these before dinner - they're very filling. This is dessert. Rachael Ray, eat your heart out!

Pammie still wants to create, so it's back to work for us. Next up: Hide & Seek

Cheers & Bottoms Up!
Kim & Pam

Friday, October 7, 2011

CB's Spirits and Restaurant, Warrensburg

If it's friendly staff, loquacious patrons and reasonable prices you're looking for, CB's Spirits on River Street may be just the place when you're in Warrensburg. The two-story frame building of unknown age sits unpretentiously on the edge of the Schroon River. It's not all about the ambiance here, but basic comforts prevail and the clientele are welcoming. We weren't strangers to a few of the customers and were acquainted with Sue, bartender and sister of owner Chuck Bederian. Though the atmosphere in the tavern is no frills, no fuss, we were impressed by the upscale attire and professionalism of the bartender. Maybe you'll catch Sue sporting our Happy Hour in the High Peaks hat on "casual" days.

Warrensburg’s World’s Largest Garage Sale had just about reached its cold, rainy conclusion and we were ready for a drink. We joined the ten or twelve people already seated at the bar. No draft beer, but Kim ordered a Michelob Ultra from the modest selection of mostly domestic bottled beers while Pam tried to figure out what to have. Pear vodka was suggested and Sue and Pam brainstormed, settling finally on the pear vodka, cranberry juice, and 7-Up.

CB’s is a true local bar, though it didn’t take long before we felt like locals ourselves. Oh yeah, we are locals ourselves! Kim was soon immersed in conversation with Gordon, a regular who claims he’s here every day. His wife Cathy joined in as they tried to trace the history of CB’s. Known previously as the Wayside Inn (at least as far back as 1965), we learned very little but were encouraged to contact “Antique Bill”, a gentleman in town who apparently knows everything about every bar that’s ever been in the area. Armed with his phone number, references, and cautionary advice from Gordon and Cathy, we look forward to meeting him. Pam met and interviewed a man who is new in town, there temporarily on a construction job for a few months, who claims that the bartender is "the most fun ever" and that he has felt welcome at CB's since day one. Partial to their hamburgers with bakery fresh rolls, he gets his lunch there daily and visits often after work. The tavern serves a simple menu of pizza, burgers and sandwiches at very reasonable prices. The special listed on the blackboard that day was the Chickentender Sandwich with lettuce, tomato and chips for $5. Not a bad deal.

As is her custom, Pam stepped out to survey the grounds. A bulletin board outside posted several upcoming local music and biker-related events. The handwritten list of October birthdays for CB’s regulars and staff was a nice personal touch. A picnic table offers seating outside by the Schroon River, with a nice view of the new Milton Avenue Bridge and the serenity of flowing water.

The bar seats up to 16 with two booths and a pub table in the main room. A smaller adjacent room has three regular size booths and two over-sized booths for additional seating when needed. Quick Draw is available at CB's and a lottery ticket vending machine entices a little game of chance. Darts, a pool table, and Big Buck hunting games are also on hand for games of skill. Open 365 days a year with no black out dates, the hours are generally Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until midnight or later, and opening on Sunday at noon. Happy Hour is offered Monday through Friday and during Sunday football games with several drink specials. CB’s occasionally features live music, but not on any fixed schedule. The sale of raffle tickets to benefit local cheerleaders is evidence of the establishment’s community involvement.

There’s something difficult about trying to review a bar in one’s own hometown. Preferences, prejudices and habits stand in the way of an unbiased viewpoint. Within minutes of our arrival we were able to shed our preconceptions and enjoy the good-natured surroundings in this somewhat cluttered but tidy bar. Like the temperatures registered on the collection of vintage thermometers displayed throughout the room, the readings varied from -6 to 110 degrees, with most at a comfortable 70 degrees. If you're in the mood to meet some locals, it shouldn't be hard to strike up a conversation that might last throughout your visit.

Cheers & Bottoms Up!
Kim & Pam

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recipe Night! The Garage Sale Martini

Warrensburg's World's Largest Garage Sale is an event of epic proportions; at least to those of us who live, or have to travel through, this little town. Of course, there is no rest for us. We had a bar review to cover (you can read about CB's Spirits Wednesday on The Adirondack Almanack) but also needed to wind down with a Recipe Night. The Garage Sale Martini - a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and at least four ingredients.

The Garage Sale Martini (serves 2)

2 oz. pear vodka
1 oz. apple liqueur
2 oz. triple sec
3 oz. cranberry juice

Shake & pour over ice.

Things will be all tidy in Warrensburg by tomorrow morning. Here's to another World's Largest Garage Sale weekend!

Cheers and Bottoms Up!
Kim Ladd and Pam Ladd

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Need an Autumn Drink Recipe - Cinnamon Apple Jack

Walking around at Warrensburg Largest Garage Sale, we decided it was time to get out of the rain. Stopped into a pub for a drink and all they had were summer drinks on their Specialty Drink Menu. I was craving an autumnal drink flavor so I reached for my iPhone and realized I didn't have a drink app. Happy Hour in the High Peaks will have their own Adirondack drink specialty app! So, I went home and started concocting, and here is what I came up with... Sorry, no photos available today (raining too hard in the Adirondacks).

Cinnamon Apple Jack
1 part Goldschlager
1 part Apple Liqueur
1 part Jack Daniels
top off with ginger ale

Freezing our butts off on Pammie's On Deck Pub, but the heater helps almost as much as today's special.

Bottoms Up!

High Peaks Pammie

Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon, Minerva

A comprehensive review of Adirondack taverns would not be complete without a review of Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon on Route 28N in Minerva. Just 35 minutes from Warrensburg, the scenic and winding trek on Routes 28 and 28N is the perfect ride by any means of transportation. On this clear September day, the trees just beginning to try on their fall wardrobe, we soon left the harried monotony of the week behind.

Utilitarian in form and structure, the log exterior and metal roof present a no-nonsense impression of practicality. The neatly kept grounds offer little in the way of ornamentation, though Sporty’s sense of humor and nostalgia are alluded to upon entering the huge gravel parking lot. A signpost stands near the road pointing the direction and distance to destinations dear to the hearts of bikers. Among them: Sturgis, Daytona, Bear Trap and McDermott’s.

Located on the former site of the Mountain View Hotel, Sporty's has been owned and operated by Dave "Sporty" Beale for the past eight years. Sporty's is notorious for its year-round fundraisers. The calendar of events leaves no month unturned, with several featuring multiple events. Events include lots of free holiday related foods, auctions, helicopter rides and annual car and bike shows. Sporty seems especially proud of his success raising Toys for Kids. Last year they delivered presents to 500 kids and hope to fulfill wishes for 700 kids this year.

Obviously proud of the accomplishments and popularity of his saloon, Sporty is a gracious, gregarious and friendly host, though one senses that he runs this place in a no-nonsense style in strict adherence to his rules. Not your everyday biker bar, Sporty’s self-described “tavern, museum and community center”, supports Little League and the fire department as well and proudly hosts the ladies of the local “Red Hat Society” luncheon every year. He even treats them to a ride!

Sporty’s interior is as extravagant as the exterior is spartan. Sporty's "museum" displays scores of old license plates, bike parts, ancient tools, a gas pump, models, memorabilia, advertising novelties and hundreds of framed photographs. Vintage motorcycles are cordoned off along one wall (including an “Easy Rider” replica), with a tribute to Peter Fonda and the iconic film on the wall behind the bar. The tavern is large enough to accommodate the display of old bikes, a pool table and bar and table seating.

Our tour of the grounds in the back began with the accommodations. Several neat and simple cabins are available for $66.00 a night. Covered camping is free ($5.00 for a shower). The grassy expanse features covered outdoor seating, several dozen picnic tables, a pavilion, and a fireplace. With plenty to do besides drinking, outdoor activities include tetherball, horseshoes, volleyball, basketball and hiking trails. The steep hill a bit further back is used for bike and snowmobile climbs at various events. Attracting not only bikers, but skiers, hunters and snowmobilers, Sporty’s is like summer camp for adults, all year long. Just leave your coolers at home - all beverages must be purchased on the premises.

Sporty's is open 365 days a year, from noon to 2 a.m. Though they don't offer an official Happy Hour, their drink prices reflect happy hour prices all day long, with occasional specials. Guessing we won’t find Godiva martinis, beverage options are straightforward. No draft beer, but a fair selection of domestic, craft and imported beers, tiny bottles of Sutter wines, Twisted Tea, Smirnoff Ice, and soft drinks are available, as are a few flavored liquors. Known for his bloody marys and white Russians, Pam couldn't resist trying Sporty's bloody mary. Served in a large plastic cup and garnished with "hot pickle" slices instead of celery, Pam sounded very pleased with her drink, savoring the flavors and making yummy sounds as she sipped. When Sporty’s isn’t serving food for special events, burgers, wings, pizza and chicken patty sandwiches are served daily.

Whether visiting Sporty's for a special event, out for a ride in your car, on your motorcycle or snowmobile, you'll always feel welcome when you enter this remote tavern. Clean restrooms, tidy accommodations and good company on both sides of the bar can be found here year-round. Todd, another enthusiastic newcomer to Sporty’s, had come up just to watch the Buffalo Bills game, as the bars in North Creek didn’t have it on. We’re sure he’ll be back. Leave your cell phones and iPads in the car, but bring along some quarters if you think you might need to make a call. No WiFi, no cell service; but a nostalgic, fully functioning phone booth is available for use out front.

Add Sporty’s to our fave five.