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The List of Seven

Apparently, the number seven means different things to different people. When our friend Deana over at LostPastRemembered was tagged to participate in the “Seven Links Challenge”, for her the number conjured up “7 days in a week, 7 notes on a scale, 7 directions, 7 attributes of physicality”. The examples that sprang to my mind were more along the lines of “The Magnificent Seven”, “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”, and “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” – not to mention a motley crew of samurai and Kevin Spacey working his way through the Biblical sin playbook. Different strokes, I guess.

What doesn’t change from one blog to another, of course, it the challenge itself, which simply asks each participant to choose their seven “most” posts: the most beautiful, most overlooked, most helpful, most controversial, most successful, most popular, and the one of which they are most proud. The exercise is designed to give bloggers the ability to run a best-of clip show and to unearth content that they feel deserves another moment in the sun. And, so, without further ado, here is our 12BB List of Seven:

Most Beautiful: The Rosemond

Lesley and I went back and forth on a few candidates here, but ultimately, the Rosemond won. For us, beauty isn’t just based upon the picture – although that is certainly a factor – but on how the drink appears in person and, of course, how it tastes. The Rosemond earns high marks in all of these categories – not only is it gorgeous to regard, it captures all the elegance of drinking a rose without ever becoming cloying or overly perfume-y.

Most Overlooked: Brandy Milk Punch

All blogs need time to pick up steam, and this was a drink we posted before things really took off. In fact, we’ve had more page views today than we did in the entire month that the Brandy Milk Punch originally appeared on our site. It’s a classic, easy-to-make New Orleans brunch staple that goes down way too easily.

Most Helpful: The Bombardino-Calimero

This is obviously a difficult category because “helpful” really depends upon how useful readers find the post. We chose the Bombardino because a) it’s a relatively ill-defined drink on the internet, and we think that our post encapsulated a good deal of the fragments of information that are out there; and b) we constantly get hits on it. I’m always surprised to see a handful of views of this drink every day, so it must be helping someone somewhere.

Most Controversial: Irish Whiskey

In our “12 Rounds” feature, whenever we ask the question “Which bottle would you replace?” nine out of ten respondents toss the Irish Whiskey. Which is a shame, because in an age where most blended whisk(e)y contains a large percentage of neutral spirit (vodka), single malt and pure pot still are the bold exceptions. While we certainly love our single malt Scotches, any given bottle can often be too singular in profile to be used in a wide variety of drinks. Pure pot still Irish whiskeys, on the other hand, are beautifully bold mixers. We may be alone in this belief, but as Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirits segment in North America and new pot still products are coming to market, we’ll be sticking by this bottle – our most popular – for some time to come.

Redbreast Irish Whiskey

Most Successful: Punch Biscuits

How do you measure success? Well, in the case of punch biscuits, we set out a very clear set of criteria – the “biscuit gauntlet”. Moreover, this post presented a plausible solution to a historical mystery, and when punchmeister David Wondrich himself retweets you, you know that you’ve done something right. After countless batches and weeks of research, however, success was really defined by waking up in the morning and finding that a little round of pastry was still in one piece, floating at the top of a bowl of water. It’s a victory that we’re not sure many will wish to share, but until the next obsessive drink-focused baker proves us wrong, it’s a victory nonetheless.

Most Popular: Buttered Beere

Without question, we owe a lot to all of the Harry Potter fans out there, as Buttered Beere ranks as our top post of all time. Of course, we can’t mention this drink without thanking Jess at Dr. Gateau for her original post. We simply did a bit more digging into the recipe (along with the punch biscuits, this one also owes a big thanks to Ken Albala) and then promoted the hell out of it to Harry Potter fans. And they liked it – en masse. We should probably start working on the “Hunger Games” drinks already.

Most Proud Of: Rye Rogers

In many ways, the Rye Rogers sums up 12BB. It’s a classic drink that we’ve put our own spin on and produced something fun and uniquely delicious. More than that – and the reason why I’m particularly proud of the drink – is that my research into the life of Roy Rogers and the history of the Sons of the Pioneers is what turned my toddler into a singing cowboy. On any given day, he’ll bounce around the house, guitar slung over his shoulder, buckaroo hat atop his head, crooning the first few lines of “Back in the Saddle Again” (Gene Autry, I know, but it’s close enough), and it’s a good feeling to know that something as simple and silly as Papa’s cocktail blog has influenced the boy’s life for the better.

And there they are – the seven “mosts” of 12 Bottle Bar. In a few years, it’ll be fun to revisit this concept, but I hope that, in the meantime, one of the friends on our blogroll picks up the challenge and gives up their top seven. Of course, if we overlooked one of your favorites – or if you just disagree with our choices – please let us know.