Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Raising Capital for New Location in Galena, IL

Did you know that we are selling investment gift certificates for our new location???
Send any denomination over $5 via paypal to

I am looking to raise as much money as possible to offset any necessary loans to rebuild my bar. It doesn't matter if you're never even coming to Galena, this can just be a small gesture of support to build the new place.

REALLY large purchases strongly encouraged. Please forward to all your rich friends, so we can get my bar open and my employees working again sooner than later!
Anything over $100 should be sent by postal mail.

One, small catch: certs will only be valid for two years, include tax but not gratuity, and never redeemable for cash.

A couple of things to know when using
  • Please select 'gift' so I can include sales tax later when and if you redeem it.
  • Most times, your mailing address is indicated - be sure it is.
  • Somewhere there's an option to cover the paypal transaction fees. This is up to you, but you're more than welcome to cover it. :)
Sponsorship Opportunity for $1000
You or your business name stamped on the back of a bar stool.
Limited to 15 but may have up to 22 stools by open date.
Perks include:
  • Get the seat every time you come to the bar!
  • Everyone will know how much you LOVE your Kitty!
  • Two tickets to our thank you party (includes dinner)!
  • $100 Gift certificate from The Grape Escape with two year expiration!
Sponsorships from people I think have ugly intentions will be returned.

Payment may be sent by mail payable to:

The Grape Escape
219 S. Prospect St.
Galena, IL 61036
Questions? I prefer email -
Or you can call me at my day job at -
(815) 776-9465

Thank you so much for your twelve years of patronage! Please find us up the road at 242 N. Main St., Galena, IL near April 1, 2011.

Miss Kitty

The Grape Escape will Re Open at 242 N. Main St., Galena, IL

Many bits of misinformation have been circulating on Main St.
To set the record straight, I was NOT given 30 days notice that my lease would NOT be renewed at our current location. During my holiday season, it was best to find a new place instead of making a fight with my landlord about it. Please find us on April 1st, 2011 at our new location: 242 N. Main St.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Put a Store Up for Merch on Zazzle

I only have two items in here so far, but there has been such a big demand to have some made that I had to start somewhere. I hope you enjoy them. Feedback encouraged!

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Monday, March 15, 2010

Girls Outnumber the Men 5 to 1

A group of girls came in and asked if this was a lesbian bar. I said I hadn't taken a survey upon entry and didn't know. They said they were wondering because the bar was full of women. Odd. A bar?

Closer inspection, or should I say, having this brought to my attention, I did a count = twenty girls and two guys.

One set was a couple, so the odds of the lone, single guy to hook up are pretty good.

The girls that asked about the bar's orientation opted not to stay. As they walked out the door, I yelled, "Good thing the lesbians left!"

One heard and came back in all defensive, "I'm not a lesbian."

I said, "It's okay." and "You can be open with your sexuality here."
The girl, "No, really, I'm not gay."
Me, "No, REALLY, it's OKAY."

And then the couple at the bar started making out...

So I said, "See, it's okay to try a boy just like college."

...and I'm sure the hilarity of this story makes no sense to straight people afraid of gay people.

For the record, I don't take a poll at the door. And if you're a dude, it's likely your odds are good even if most of 'em are lesbians.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Martini Recipes to Get Stinked By, Part I

Miss Kitty Sintini's Martini Recipes

There are many places online to get new and creative martini recipes. I am attempting to bring out the whys and hows of recipes I have created through the biographical story of Miss Kitty Sintini.

This is Part One...
- featured in an upcoming Galena, IL cookbook to raise money for our community garden. Links to purchase the cookbook will be presented upon its release.

Miss Kitty's martini recipes are measured in parts. As you get the hang of the volume you want to make, you will know if you are going to use a jigger or a measuring cup! At The Grape Escape in Galena, IL, you can find Miss Kitty making up some of the most unique drinks around where will notice the technique is to use a free flow pour out of liquor bottles and an intimate awareness of single serving, martini shakers to determine portion and volume control.

People often ask where we buy our shakers. I suggest doing your own search online for an "8 oz martini shaker." I do not recommend buying plastic shakers for any reason. They are only cute because the come in different colors. Additionally, I do not personally endorse the brands listed here. I simply suggest them as they are exactly the brands that we prefer at The Grape Escape. This is always determined by a combination of taste and price not necessarily the best.

Another martini tip I would like to share before we get started is regarding the most common question I am asked, "how long do you shake?" While there are some premature shakers, this is not a difficult procedure to learn.

First off, all of these recipes are designed to taste their best when shaken. However, stirred or shaken martinis are truly a personal preference. If you want to argue the rules of these options, this page explains the finer details best.

At The Grape Escape, we use metal shakers and shake them until we feel a mild chill in our wrists. Shaking with more fervor or longer will get very cold and make your hand stick to the shaker. Don't worry; this condition is not permanent and should not require medical attention. Fortunately, you will have a fantastically, cold drink to have after your pry yourself off of the shaker. Additionally, an over shaken martini will be more watered down from the ice melting. This may not be the intended outcome.

Cinnamon LiqueurUV Vanilla Vodka – Cream

The first signature martini from the collection, this beverage was first contrived as a burlesque stage name. What would be a good name for a strip teasing, bartender that specializes in martinis?* Why, Sintini of course! ...and so was created, the cinnamon martini.

   * Add 3 parts UV Vanilla Vodka, 1 part Hot Damn cinnamon liqueur and
     1 part Organic Half and Half
   * Shake with ice.
   * Drizzle your martini glass with raspberry or strawberry sauce. Don't over do it or you will alter the flavor of the martini. Just go for flash and style.
   * Strain into martini glass.
   * Garnish using your own creativity! Perhaps you want to make your own red sugar crystals to rim the glass. The possibilities are endless. We use Sugar in the Raw for all of our sugar rimmed martinis.

DrambuieUV Vanilla VodkaSean's Irish Cream

This martini was created to provide a more manly martini. And believe it or not ladies, men really do order this far more often than women, so I guess I got it right. The ingredients were inspired from having shots at an Irish bar in Chicago that were half Jameson and half Irish Cream.

   * Add 1 part of each ingredient.
   * Shake with ice.
   * Strain into martini glass.
   * Do not dress up the glass in any way as that may be miss-perceived as girly, and be sure to remind the manly man that you just made it for that he will surely like it because of the Jameson.
   * TIP: All folks enjoying this one are sure to enjoy the Tequila
     Killer as well.

Absolut Vodka – Pickle Juice – Tapatillo Hot SauceStoller Bloody Mary Mix

I was looking for a martini that would be zero sweet to add to our menu. There are so many ways you can make an interesting martini without all that sugar, and this was my first try. Originally, there was no Bloody Mary Mix in this martini. Crazy, I know. But after a year or two of being on the menu and getting requests to add a little Bloody Mary Mix, we decided to add the ingredient permanently to the recipe. This drink has it's roots in the "Martini Hot" that was explained to me by Dr. Wells. Just add some pickle brine, and it's hot and trashy!

   * Add 3 parts Vodka. Use a preferred brand for this; not the cheap stuff. If the recipient of my tasty treat does not specify, I pour Absolut. Continue with 1/2 part pickle 'juice' - technically this is the brine. The left over liquid from a jar of pickles. Then add 1/2 part Stoller Bloody Mary Mix and Tapatillo hot sauce to taste.
   * Shake with ice.
   * Rim your martini glass with celery salt.
   * Strain into martini glass.
   * Garnish with pickle, lemon, and lime. Blue cheese olives may be added, but only if they beg for 'em.
   * TIP: All folks enjoying this one are sure to enjoy anything else on the menu because they are so hot and trashy. Results vary.

Patron Silver or Corzo Reposado– Splash of Lime and Sour

How could I stop at the Oh'Mary? As I was starting to get the hang of this recipe concoction talent budding before my eyes, I knew it was time to make some Tequila love in a martini glass.

   * Add 3 parts Patron Silver or Corzo Reposado Tequila. Just like the vodka martini, this is no time to go cheap because it is the primary ingredient in here. Top off with one last part of half lime juice and half sour mix.
   * Shake with ice.
   * Rim your martini glass with Kosher Salt.
   * Strain into martini glass.
   * Garnish with a lemon and a lime.
   * TIP: It is time to walk around the room and make sure you still have your senses about you.

Stoli Raspberry VodkaSplash of Grapefruit Juice

I have spent many many times in Memphis, TN. My first trip there was on the Greyhound Bus that went from Chicago to New Orleans. The year was 1988, and passengers could still smoke cigarettes on the bus. My ticket was $49 from Champaign, IL to Memphis, TN. I felt reconnected with the birth place of R&B and rock n'roll, and at a time when grunge was replacing punk, the Memphis punk scene was thriving at its peak with the likes of CornFed, The Oblivions, and Pezz.
I present you with my favorite alcohol: raspberry vodka, and the bus that got me to Memphis.

   * This martini is made more like a traditional, dirty martini.
   * All parts Stoli Raspberry vodka with just a splash of grapefruit juice.
   * A 'splash' behind the bar is generally a one second push of a pop gun dispenser; probably half an ounce.
   * Garnish with a lime.
   * TIP: Muddle a lime or two into the martini shaker before you add ice. Remember, if you make this one too strong, you probably didn't just have the Tequila Killer.

* Miss Kitty Sintini is a fictitious character. The author is only a burlesque performer in theory.

Subsribe to this blog for notification of Part Two!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just kicked someone out of the bar... again.

Just kicked someone out of the bar... again.

Not your usual story.

This guy just came in. Nice enough. Nothing to it. Maybe a bit drinky drink, but nothing specific.

But he had hat on.

It's Tuesday.

Many people know that I don't care that much. It's not a rule, it's just a preference:
No baseball caps.

Told him to leave. Said he wanted another beer. Told him to take his hat off as a request vs. a rule. And without doing so, I wasn't going to make him happy: a drink.

Over and over again.

Finally called the cops. Then he was shitty with them too.
I felt bad.
I don't want trouble for anyone.
But don't fuck with me.
This is my house.
Just leave my house, and all is good (except George, sorry).

Don't leave my house? Then I call the cops.

Have fun...

But don't fuck withg MissKitty

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First blog submission on Blogger, so just checking it out for now.

Right now I am attending my weekly Art and Liquor Appreciation Meeting at my bar, The Grape Escape, in Galena, IL. Call your shit and make it stiff martinis for $5. Sweet.

Discussing my friend's new story in an anthology, MISSING, "A Mysterious Gathering of Authors."
Shameless plug: you can get the book at and apparently some or most of the proceeds go to the search for missing children. My girl is Barbra Annino and she's got a few books under wraps waiting for potential release and in the meantime, she contributed to the MISSING anthology.

There's also some chat over the Jo Daviess County Visitors Bureau vs. The Galena Chamber vs. The Galena Downtown Business Association vs. the newest Galena Marketing Initiative, but all that is for another blog.