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This Johnny is drinking up.
This Johnny is drinking up.

"Drink up, Johnny!"

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Occasionally, I find myself saying "drink up, Johnny," and I really don’t know what this means or where the expression comes from. It turns out the usually enlightening Wikipedia doesn’t know, either, so I turn to you, the fine readers of OnMilwaukee.com, for information.

"Drink up, Johnny" might be a variation of "smoke up, Johnny," which is a line from the "The Breakfast Club." However, I intuitively feel the expression is older than this popular film from the ‘80s.

Any idea where the expression originated? 

Firefly Sweet Vodka is a special treat for your liquor cabinet.
Firefly Sweet Vodka is a special treat for your liquor cabinet.

A drink a day: Sweet ginger

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

My love for ginger-flavored alcoholic beverages started with cheap bottles of ginger brandy that a friend lovingly nicknamed "ginge brand." A few summers ago, I drank the stuff almost exclusively, usually just on the rocks, but occasionally mixed with ginger ale.

I fell out of my ginge brand phase, but recently tried a sweet ginger (also sometimes called a sweet and ginger) and was instantly smitten. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is an infusion of American tea and vodka, and I recommend mixing it with Reed's Extra Ginger Brew.

Sweet ginger / sweet and ginger

1 part Firefly Sweet Tea vodka
1 part ginger ale
Lemon twist

Pour over ice and drink up.
 

Mmmm ... it's almost a beer milkshake.
Mmmm ... it's almost a beer milkshake.

Where's the freshest Guinness?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

During the winter months, my beverage of choice is Guinness. Last night I had a pretty fresh pint at Paddy's Pub, 2339 N. Murray Ave., and I am always impressed with the Guinness at Brocach, 1850 N. Water St.

I'm wondering which other locales guarantee a fresh tap of this delicious Irish stout?

In case you don't already know this, Guinness has less alcohol and fewer calories than most other regular beers, and despite its dark color and frothiness, it's extremely refreshing. Really, it's drinkable anytime of year, but in my opinion, it's particularly dee-lish in the wintertime.

So, back to the original question. Where can I get a great glass of Guinness? (Besides Ireland, of course.)

Dunebuggy Optimus Prime Edler: Aug. ?, 2007-Feb. 3, 2009
Dunebuggy Optimus Prime Edler: Aug. ?, 2007-Feb. 3, 2009

Our first fish fatality

"Crap, we have a floater," I thought in my head last night when I went to shake food flakes into our motionless fish's bowl. This isn't, however, what I said to my son who was "daddy" to the deceased Betta fish named Dunebuggy.

"Honey, I think your fish passed on," I said, instantly realizing this was a stupid response because 6-year-olds aren't familiar with most euphemisms.

And sure enough …

"What does that mean?" Kai asked.

"Honey," I said. "Dunebuggy died."

Clearly, I wasn't prepared for the death talk, and because I was nervous, way too many words spilled out of my mouth. This is a common problem of mine: I flap my tongue in the face of tragedy, and Dunebuggy's demise was no different. I started to blabber just about every death cliché in the book, including that it was the fish's "time," that everything and everyone has a season and yes, I even said that the fish was going to a better place.

Then, I asked my kid that if he wanted to say a few words about Dunebuggy before we sent him off with a flush.

"Is Dunebuggy going where the poop goes?" he asked, and then, without waiting for an answer to the first question.  "Can I get a new one?"