Remembering Alex Fritch

We’re all still dealing with the loss of our friend Alex. If you’d like to help the family, a Go Fund Me has been set up: Celebrate the life of Alex Fritch.

Those who met Alex were impressed by his easygoing and friendly manner. But Alex could be quick with a funny comment too. Both of these aspects are on display with the three videos below.

Down the Hatch Game

Recorded in July 2020, the two rounds here are an homage to the classic 1970s game show Match Game but with a focus on tiki, rum, and the bars in the Oakland, CA area. If you’re not a local, you won’t get a few of the “Oakhana” references, but if you know anything about tiki bars or tropical cocktails there will be a lot of familiar subjects.

Alex was one of the “celebrity panelists”, along with his wife Terra. Alex was put into the “Richard Dawson” chair on the second row, and filled the role of the droll but funny man so well.

5 Bottle Rum Challenge

Recorded in January 2021, Alex was the first person I contacted to participate in a fun round-robin discussion of our favorite rums in five and only five categories. Alex joined us online from his home tiki bar, Fred and Ginger’s Exotic Cocktail Bar and Lounge, and you can truly experience his knowledge and passion for rum.

Our friend is gone

I’m completely devastated by the senseless loss of Alex Fritch, a victim of yesterday’s VTA shooting in San Jose.

I first met Alex and his wife Terra in 2019 and we became fast friends. Each of us have specific talents or interests, but Alex? He was the life of the party. Always there with a friendly quip, a kind word, or to make a funny face when you’re taking a selfie. The consummate host. The guy you wanted to sit at the bar with.

One of my fondest memories was going over to Alex’s home bar and doing some Orange Curacao taste tests and a photo shoot for the blog. I had finally found a friend to nerd out with on this rum and cocktail stuff. Now he’s gone.

Deepest sympathies to Terra and their kids.

There are tall ships,
And there are small ships,
And there are ships that sail the sea,
But the best ships, are friendships,
So here’s to you and me!

Orange Blossom

I’ve been digging Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour from Spike Marble of the Hula Girls on YouTube for the past year, so I was more than happy to join Spike’s Patreon. The Breezeway pin was a nice bonus. Check it out each Friday.

Spike’s guest last week was Ed Hamilton of Hamilton Rum and Ministry of Rum fame. The episode was quite entertaining as the imposing Ed Hamilton made three different cocktails with Spike while talking about rum and the Hamilton Rum lineup. Having met Ed a couple times in person I’m sympathetic with Spike’s plight in that situation, even though Ed is quite friendly. After a rum demo in Oakland a couple years ago I came home and immediately ordered over $100 worth of Hamilton spirits, so the man really knows his rum.

The third cocktail that Ed made was the Orange Blossom. This was a little different, so I decided to make it according to the specs that are quite a bit less exact that are typical for tropical cocktail or craft cocktail recipes.

Orange Blossom by Ed Hamilton
1 part Hamilton Pimento Dram
3 parts Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum
Fill glass with fresh Orange Juice
Top with Ice

Did I mention how much I think Ed Hamilton knows rum? I will emphasize the point again. But, I have to say, this cocktail was actually less than the sum of its parts and I bet you’ve never had anything quite like this. They can’t all be winners. But hey, your milage might vary.

Presidio Afternoon at Walt Disney Museum and Sessions

Julie and I took our sons our for the afternoon at the Presidio in San Francisco. We started with a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum, which is featuring a wonderful special exhibit on Disney during World War II. Photos aren’t allowed inside but there are some truly fascinating exhibits that chronicle not just the studio’s animation output but also putting some fo the things into cultural and political context. Highly recommended. We also did a quick run through the main museum which we have visited several times before and is always a delight. I am especially fond of the last room chronicling Walt’s media diversification in the 1950s starting with television and then with Disneyland.

Dinner was at Sessions, which we enjoyed earlier in the month during the May 4th special event with Smuggler’s Cove. The food here is gourmet, though pricey. This time we tried the beignets and they are so great. Wait service was disappointingly slow (like it was last time), though.

There are only a few cocktails on the menu. The Rum and Pineapple-based Sarlacc Shrubb was okay, though more tart than I prefer. Much better was the Golden Gate Mile, featuring Bourbon, Grapefruit, Honey, and Ginger. Julie liked the Presidio cocktail with Gin, Lemon, Hibiscus, and Prosecco. If you’re a wine fan, there are dozens of Skywalker Vineyards selections, which seemed popular with the patrons.

We finished the day by visiting the Yoda statue nearby.

Wine Tai

Aloha Friday! I decided to play around with some wine leftover from one of Mrs. Mai Tai’s fab family dinners this week. It’s a “Mai Tai” made with wine as the only alcoholic component. And as much as I figured I’d hate it (I’m not a wine fan) I actually liked it.

I chose Lemon Juice to pair with the wine, since I thought it would be a little brighter. And I chose Orange Bitters to sub for the Orange Curacao.

Wine Tai
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Demerara Syrup
2 oz White Wine
2 dashes Orange Bitters