The Pumpkin Spice Doesn’t Have To Stop At Starbucks, Your Friday Drink Has Arrived

We here at Uproxx love our readers, which is exactly why we bring you this column. We want you to be comfortable and well-informed. Relaxed and educated. Hell, liquored up and entertained.

This week is a good time to embrace fall with the Pumpkin Spiced Cable Car, brought to you by Firefly in Studio City, California. It’s a nice sipping drink as the leaves start to change. We also hand-picked a few choice pieces, some science, some pop-culture, some just for fun, but all worth looking back on while you wind down.

This week, we discussed:

We spent time pondering and investigating:

We looked back on:

And we looked forward to:

So kick back, relax and enjoy this week’s Uproxx collection along with this pumpkin spiced concoction brought to you by the Firefly bar manager David Castagnetti.

Pumpkin Spiced Cable Car

Firefly, Studio City (California)

1.5 oz. spiced rum
.25 oz. lemon juice
.25 oz. orange juice
.75 oz. house made pumpkin syrup
Cinnamon/sugar for rim
Sage Leaf
Candied Ginger

Shake ingredients with ice, then strain into a cup.
Rim glass with cinnamon sugar.
Garnish with candied ginger and sage leaf.


Ferris was right, life does move fast and if you don’t slow down you really might miss something. Here are a few pieces from this week we wouldn’t want you to miss, along with a cocktail to sip on as you savor your Friday afternoon reads.

It was a big week for interviews, starting with this oral history that the whole team felt giddy over:

The Kids From ‘Kids’ Discuss The Controversial Film That Changed Their Lives Forever.

That was the only oral history this week (those pieces are monsters to produce) but there were a number of other interviews filled with funny anecdotes and surprising moments of pathos:

UPROXX MUSIC: ‘I Overdosed Three Times In A Month’: Now FIDLAR’s Zac Carper Is Back From The Dead

UPROXX LIFE: ‘Home Fries Or Hash Browns?’ Talking With Top Chef Season 10 Runner-Up Brooke Williamson

UPROXX LIFE: Mythbusters’ Jamie Hyneman Tells Uproxx About The Stunt The Show Won’t Let Him Do

UPROXX MOVIES: Director Richard Donner On The Legacy Of ‘The Goonies,’ 30 Years Later

If you’re ready for a deep dive, this exploration of Gene Roddenberry’s removal from Wrath of Khan, is definitely worth your time.

GAMMA SQUAD: How ‘Star Trek’ Creator Gene Roddenberry Got ‘Kicked Upstairs’ And Off ‘Wrath Of Khan’

We leave you this week with a reflection from Martin Rickman about college football, what it means (and where it fits in his life), and how you can expect to see it covered in UPROXX SPORTS this season.

Crossing The Bridge: Reflections On A New College Football Season


Tommy Gun Manhattan from Freds at Barneys New York in Chicago (Ill.)

Mixologist: Clarence Mills

3 oz Bulleit Rye
½ oz Punt e Mes Vermouth
½ oz Carpano Vermouth
Dash Angustora Orange Bitters

Served in with a house-spiked cherry (to do this at home, check this recipe)


Today’s drinks are all made with cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice. This “Brazilian Rum” — a name coined because some Caribbean brands are now making their own raw cane versions — isn’t quite as deep-bodied as your typical rum from molasses. It’s still smooth, but feels a little more… alive. Actually, cachaça resembles tequila in that way: You really taste the fact that it’s plant-based.

Our Friday cocktails were designed by Matthew Houlihan for the brand Cachaça 51 to perfectly resemble the stock alcohol emojis that we all have in our phones. So that when you send a drink emoji to your friends to signal the end of the work week, you’ll also be giving them a pretty realistic idea of what you’ll be serving up.

Pearl Diver (tiki cocktail emoji)

2 oz Cachaça 51
1/2 oz orange juice
1 oz passion fruit juice
1/2 oz grenadine
Lime for garnish

Pour grenadine to the bottom of a hurricane glass and fill with crushed ice. Combine Cachaça 51, orange juice, and passion fruit juice into a shaker and shake lightly. Pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Bitter Coat (slushie emoji)

2 oz Cachaça 51
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz Aperol

Combine Cachaça 51, lemon, and simple syrup in a shaker and shake lightly. Pour into glass and add crushed ice. Float Aperol on top.

Yellow Lilly (martini emoji)

2 1/4 oz Cachaça 51
3/4 Yellow Chartreuse
Olive for garnish

Combine ingredients into a glass and stir with ice until cocktail is chilled well. Strain into a coup. Garnish with an olive.


Now that you’re well on the way to getting sauced with emoji drinks, here are a few Uproxx articles from this week that you won’t want to miss:

The Inside Story Of How The First VMAs Almost Killed MTV, But Ended Up Saving It Instead. This longform piece details Madonna’s antics and Michael Jackson’s snub at the first ever VMAs. The Smoking Section’s article detailing the best hip-hop performances in VMA history makes a nice follow up.

If you’re sports minded, this piece on the demise of the Bethel Bobcats provides a deep investigation into the dissolution of a high school basketball team. Uproxx Sports also introduced us to Josh Rosen — UCLA’s new starting QB — with an exclusive interview.

If you’re looking for a movie this weekend, Vince Mancini seemed to surprise himself with how much he liked both We Are Your Friends and No Escape. He didn’t love them… but this weekend couldn’t be considered a complete movie desert by any stretch.

Lastly, this conversation and investigation into the 13-season run of Aqua Teen Hunger Force will give you a deeper appreciation for everything the show accomplished.

Until next week friends, have fun getting buzzed with emojis.



The week is winding down and we’re sure that by this point you have Friday happy hour to Sunday brunch properly mapped out — with Fear The Walking Dead as your weekend closer. You earned all of it (probably, you seem nice).

It was a week of ups and downs, highs and lows. Any glance at the headlines kept emotions ebbing and flowing. One minute we were feeling sympathetic for Manny and the next we were giddy over the news of a forthcoming Flight of the Conchords movie and tour. When stories about human awfulness sent us low, we had amazing stories like KoKo’s to cheer us up.

Straight Outta Compton continues to dominate the summer (at the box office and the water cooler). Last week, we sat down with DJ Yella to hear about what it took to make it in Compton. Today, Dr. Dre addressed some of the controversy that the movie has swirled up for him. Ice Cube, on the other hand, has come out of this mostly unscathed — chatting for cameras with his son, and responding to mostly-glowing YouTube comments.

A final piece for your consideration, we spoke with some of the best surfers alive to create an oral history of the greatest heat in competitive surfing history. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and finish up your Friday pre-gaming by learning about that fabled day when Kelly Slater and John John Florence went toe to toe at one of the most dangerous surf breaks on the planet.

What to drink as you do all this reading? This week, Mike Chung of Power House Bar LA sent us the “Buenos Notte.” It’s easy to make and perfectly balanced, a great way to start the weekend.

The BUENOS NOTTE by Mike Chung, bartender at the Power House

2 oz. Casamigos Blanco tequila
.5 oz. Campari
.75 oz. grapefruit juice
.5 oz. yuzu lime syrup
.5 oz. agave.

Mix over ice and garnish with citrus zest.


The Gleneagles Hotel_Daisy Chain

It’s Friday. Let’s rejoice with a libation. Ring in the weekend! You want something slightly sweet, yet strong enough to remind you that you are an adult.

It’s time to kick your slipper-adorned feet up as music thumps in the background. While you’re thinking about music, did you read this deep dive into the music behind the beloved TV show Pete & Pete? Did you check Kendrick Lamar talking to the N.W.A crew? The Uproxx team is predicting a huge opening for Straight Outta Compton, and think that these other biopics deserve to get made.

Now we’re talking about movies, so it’s worth asking if you caught this fun Frozen/Tarzan theory, or read Bobcat Goldthwait and Vince Mancini riffing on Bobcat’s new documentary and “The Gathering of the Juggalos.”

You might want to mix a double when you see that the universe, as we know it, is dying. On the bright side, Bill Nye is getting a documentary. So, maybe humanity will smarten up before all the ice caps melt. Or we can just get everyone a hoverboard for crossing our soon-to-be water-world.

Have fun — but stay responsible-ish (#makegoodchoices). If you just need to veg out, don’t bother catching up on True Detective. Check out the genius twists of Mr. Robot instead.


THE DAISY CHAIN by Cameron Johnston, head bartender at Gleneagles Hotel (Scotland)


1.5 oz Haig Club Whiskey
1 squeeze lemon
1/2 oz honey water (honey mixed 1:1 with water)
2/3 oz camomile tea (cold-infused)
1 egg white
2 dashes Bob’s Ginger Bitters
Garnish: aromatic camomile sugar


Pour the Haig Club, lemon juice, honey water, camomile tea, egg white and Bob’s Ginger Bitters into a cocktail shaker.

Shake and then fine-strain into a rounded coupette glass.

Garnish with aromatic camomile sugar.



We’re all in the same boat right now. We may have a beautiful weekend on tap, but it’s hard to look forward just yet with Jon Stewart gone from The Daily Show. Better to watch a few more of the man’s many highlights and give ourselves a day to cope with the fact that next week will glow a little less brightly.

Today’s drink is like Stewart himself. He offered us a modern twist on a classic newsman, so let’s tip back another modern twist on a classic.

Godspeed, Jon. We’re all here toasting you from afar.

FIG & WALNUT JULEP from FIG & OLIVE, Washington, D.C.


2 oz. Bourbon
.75 oz Elderflower Liqueur
.5 oz Lime Juice
.25 oz Tawny Port
.25 oz Simple Syrup
2 Black Figs (muddled)
3 mint leaves
2 Slices of Fig 1/4 inch thick

Grated Walnut
1 Mint Sprig



Cut mint sprig to about four to five inches long (long enough so it will be able to peek over the edge of the rocks glass). You will have to strip the mint off each sprig until you have just three to four smaller leaves at the top of the mint for garnish. The rest of the leaves (three) will be used in the cocktail.

For the simple syrup, you will need to heat one cup of water and bring to boil. Add ½ cup sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and let cool.


Using a mixing glass (Boston) or a two-piece shaker, combine black mission figs, tawny port, simple syrup, and fresh lime juice and muddle into a nice paste. Add three fresh mint leaves, bourbon, and elderflower liqueur. Add ice and shake vigorously for about eight to 10 seconds so the ingredients can infuse. Strain contents over ice in an Old Fashioned Glass or Rocks Glass. Cut a fig to garnish cocktail. Grate some walnut over drink and add a mint sprig.

Or swing by and visit the crew at Fig and Olive. There’s strength in solidarity. We’ll get through this loss together.


Today’s drink comes from The Blind Pig Restaurant + Bar in Orange County, Calif. It features strawberry shrub, a sweetened drinking vinegar that’s 1) relatively easy to make and 2) extremely popular with the craft cocktail set. With temperatures high, forget a drink that makes your teeth feel sticky — cocktails made with shrub manage to taste fruity without being overly sweet.

Fixx the Shrub by Jeff Baitx


1.5 oz Cimarron Tequila
1 oz house-made strawberry shrub
.25 oz lemon
.25 oz honey


Whip and shake all ingredients, and pour over crushed ice.
Spray with Scotch mist, and garnish with a slice of strawberry and thyme sprig.


“What’s tequila?”

So asks Little Neddy Nederlander, played by Martin Short, in Three Amigos! Seconds later, he and his friends each hook down a shot and go into a fit of convulsions. For years, that “tequila is harsh and its drinkers are hardcore” thought process was the general attitude toward the spirit in the United States. It was for getting wasted and mixing in margaritas. In recent years, boosted by the craft cocktail revolution, people have gradually come around to understand that good tequila is every bit as nuanced as good scotch, rum, or gin.

Today, the U.S. celebrates National Tequila Day — making this as fine a time as any to learn about the drink and gain an understanding of its different variants.


*With help from The Matador Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Portland, Ore.*

  • Tequila is region specific. Just like champagne needs to be made in Champagne, France, and Parmesan cheese needs to be made in Parma, Italy, tequila needs to be distilled in or around Tequila, Mexico. Note, it needs to be distilled there — it can be bottled anywhere, and there are other labeling tricks and workarounds that make this whole subject somewhat complicated.
  • Tequila is made from the piña (inner core or “head”) of the agave plant, most typically blue agave. An agave plant takes years to mature and can’t be harvested too early — proper fermentation requires the right mix of carbohydrates and sugars.
  • The fact that tequila is distilled from agave marks it as a mezcal. But not all mezcal is tequila.
  • Tequila is clear after distillation. If you’re drinking tequila that’s gold, it means it was either A) artificially colored or B) colored by its time in a barrel.

After getting a little background, The Matador team showed us what to look for in our tequilas. 

  • Gold Tequilas. In general, avoid this stuff. If the label marks it as 100 percent agave, then you can assume it gets the gold color from being a mixture of blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas. That’s great. But if you’re seeing super cheap “gold tequila,” the hue comes from caramel coloring and sugar. These gold tequilas are made from as little as 51 percent agave.
  • Blanco, Silver, or Platinum tequilas. This is “pure” in that it’s not taking on flavor from the barrel it’s aged in. Silver tequilas are common for margaritas because they don’t have any of that smoky/woody taste. Still, a silver tequila doesn’t have to be harsh. Blue agave is sweet and a good blanco will retain that — often tasting almost vanilla-ish.
  • Reposado Tequilas. Reposados are rested in barrels somewhere between two months to one year. The barrel aging allows the spirit to smoothen, gives the alcohol that gold color, and adds flavors drawn out of the barrel. Barrels and casks often have a second life — tequila might be stored in a barrel that once held bourbon (actually, this is quite common because of the sweet deal that the Kentucky Cooper’s Union has). The flavor of a reposado is balanced between the barrel flavor (which could manifest in a variety of ways) and the agave flavor that is so present in silver tequila.
  • Añejo Tequilas. There are a few big keys to añejos: 1) They’re silky smooth, 2) they take on a lot of nuance from the barrel, and 3) they’re aromatic. Aged from one to three years, añejos can seem distinctly smokey or oak-y or caramel like, depending on the barrel they were aged in. The smoothness here is a big draw. It’s nice to sip your tequila methodically and not cringe afterwards.
  • Extra Añejo Tequilas. These are aged at least three years and feature all of the smoothness and barrel-infused taste mentioned above. You’ll also find these to be the most expensive — not just because of the aging (although that’s part of it), but because distilleries only let their best stuff sit for this long. This is a relatively new designation and has become increasingly popular in the United States, as the average tequila drinker grows more and more savvy.

Recipe for the “Armadillo Sour” from ARC in Costa Mesa, Calif.


1 oz. Blanco tequila
1 oz. Amaretto
1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 egg white, whipped
2 dashes Mayan bitters

Garnish with an orange twist and a bar spoon full of creme de cacao.


Friday is here again — which means that as the afternoon winds down, “drinking” will begin its steady march up the ranks on the mental to-do lists of millions of people worldwide.

This weekend’s cocktail comes from Andiron Steak & Sea in Las Vegas — where it’s served in a fancy copper goblet for two. You can serve yours in separate glasses…unless you have a fishbowl handy.

Pineapple Bump from Andiron (Las Vegas, Nev.)


2 oz. Absolut Elyx vodka
2 oz. Normandin Mercier Pineau des Charantes (it’s an aperitif made with white grape juice)
3 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. Pok Pok Som (apple drinking vinegar)
2 oz. fresh lemon sour
2 oz. Fever Tree club soda
Lemon wheels


In a cocktail shaker, combine first five ingredients. Add ice, cover, and shake. Add club soda and strain over fresh ice into two Collins glasses—or copper pineapples, if you’re so lucky. Garnish with a lemon wheel. Serves two.


My dad was driving to work last week when my mom called him on his cellphone. She had been watching the local news and now she was in an absolute panic.

“Ralph,” she said, “be careful! Some maniac is driving the wrong way on I-5!”

“Mary,” my dad said back, his voice trembling, “it’s not just one maniac, there’s hundreds of ’em!”