Thursday, May 29, 2008

In The Mix with The Family Groove

For those among you who have recently become parents, who are thinking of becoming parents or are long-time parents... you may like some delicious summer cocktail suggestions to fit your parenting style.

This month, my article on that very topic appears on The Family Groove. Happy sipping!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Drink and Drive SAFELY this summer!

If you are throwing a party or attending someone else's, why not bring along some alcohol-removed champagne and wine to add a festive sparkle without any risk of DWI?

During my coast-to-coast promotion of non-alcoholic cocktails with Fre by Sutter Home, I appeared on morning shows in Seattle and Rochester singing the praises of non-alcoholic cocktails. In Rochester, Holly and Evan (the dynamic
duo on 13 WHAM TV) tied the story to drunk driving around holidays, and I did two segments showing their viewers how to make "safer" drinks for the summer. Watch the segments on their website to see how to make the cocktails and hear more about being a "Thoughtful Entertainer," (the new-and-improved "Hostess With the Mostess!")

And, if you're tempted to whip up intoxicatingly fun non-alcoholic libations for your summer celebrations, here are those recipes:

The Liquid Muse Signature Cocktails
Designed for Fre by Sutter Home, Summer 2008

(all rights reserved by The Liquid Muse, LLC)

Tokyo Dreams (Martini Glass)

1 chopped lychee
1/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 ounces mandarin orange juice
3 ounces Fre Alcohol-Removed Premium White
Garnish: 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1 whole lychee on a cocktail skewer

Rim a martini glass with powdered sugar. Muddle lychee, lime juice, sugar and ginger in the bottom of a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, add wine. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Place the cocktail skewer across the rim of the glass.

Tropical Tease (White Wine Glass)

1 heaping tablespoon diced fresh mango
3 torn mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 ounce lime juice
3 ounces Fre Alcohol-Removed White Zinfandel
Garnish: 1 lime wheel

Muddle mango, mint, sugar and lime juice in the bottom of a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, add wine. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Place the lime wheel on the rim of the glass.

Sparkling Sangria Cooler (Collins Glass)

1 tablespoon Marinated Summer Fruit
4 ounces Fre Alcohol-Removed Brut
Garnish: Sprig of fresh mint and colorful straw

Prepare Marinated Summer Fruit at least 2 hours before a party (serves 10): Dice 8 strawberries, 2 large (peeled) peaches and 3(peeled) kiwis into a large bowl. Sprinkle fruit with 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar, and pour in1 cup of peach juice, Refrigerate.

When ready to serve, spoon 1 tablespoon of Marinated Summer Fruit mixture into each glass, along with at least 1 tablespoon of the liquid from the bowl. Fill glass with ice and top with Fre Brut. Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh mint and a colorful straw.

Yankee Doodle Candy Cocktail (Champagne Flute)

1 package pop rocks
1 ounce mango juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
2 ounces Fre Alcohol-Removed Spumante or Brut

Rub the rim of a champagne flute with a lime, then dip the rim onto a small plate sprinkled with pop rocks, set aside. Pour juices into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, then gently strain into the champagne flute. Slowly add the Fre sparkling wine, then the grenadine. Let the fireworks begin!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tart Trend - The Meyer Lemon

I've been singing the praises of Asian ingredients in The Liquid Muse Mixology summer cocktails... and wouldn't ya know... I'm not alone. The Meyer Lemon (native of China) is making a sweet splash on cocktail menus around the country, in time for sipping along with the Olympics!

Blue Velvet (Los Angeles, CA) - serves the Meyer Lemon Martini with Saffron, which is made with saffron, and lemon skin that is blanched with simple syrup 3 times. It is then pureed and mixed with citron vodka and freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bacar (San Francisco, CA) – Mixologist Carlos Yturria uses Meyer Lemons for his specialty cocktails by soaking them in simple syrup and deep-frying them to create interesting garnishes. The cocktail list highlights locally produced spirits, such as 209 Gin from San Francisco and Hangar One vodka from Alameda, CA

Restaurant Kelly Liken
(Vail, CO) – features a Meyer Lemon Margarita made with freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice, Sauza “Hornitos” Tequila, Cointreau, shaken and served tall with a Pink Sea Salt rim

Napa Valley Grille (Westwood, CA) - Chef Joseph Gillard serves the Chef Jospeh Hard Lemonade, which is made with Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, Ginger, Lemon Grass, Meyer Lemons and Vodka

Tristan (Charleston, SC) – serves a White Lady at the bar with Meyer Lemon Juice, Gin and Cointreau served up with a twist of the lemo

CYRUS (Healdsburg, CA) – features The Waverly Place Echo made with Hangar One Mandarin Orange Blossom Vodka, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Chinese Five Spice Honey, Bruce's Satsuma Mandarins, Meyer Lemons and Seltzer and the Gin Kim Chi made with Sarticious Gin, Shiso, Galangal, Kim Chi of Ginger and Daikon, Bruce's Meyer Lemon Juice and Ginger Beer

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

San Francisco Cocktail Week 2008

The second annual San Francisco Cocktail Week just wrapped up – and if you missed it, you will be sorry! I journeyed up the coast, last year, to cover the very first SF Cocktail Week 2007 and was impressed with what the boys from the Bay Area are doing to rally the tippling troops, so I had to show my solidarity again. (Gosh, darn, twist my arm.)

Starlight and Cable Cars

The first event kicked off last Tuesday (May 13) at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, where Tony Abou-Ganim was honored. With decades of mixology under his belt, and boundless passion behind the stick, Tony’s nod was well deserved. The crowd toasted him with the now legendary Cable Car cocktails, which Tony created years ago while working at the Starlight Room, atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. The famous drink is proudly still served by today’s barmen.

Another well-respected mixologist, Jacques Bezuidenhout also worked at the Starlight Room and I was excited to share a Cable Car with him, as well, while interviewing him on-camera for an upcoming video for The Liquid Muse Cocktail Show!

Save the Sazerac!

Elixir Saloon stirred up support for Tales of the Cocktail - what a preview of what's to come in New Orleans! H. Joseph Ehrmann owns the historic saloon (which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year!) and is one of the three founders of San Francisco Cocktail Week.

He, along with Jeff Hollinger (GM of Absinthe and author of Art of the Bar) and Duggan McDonnel (of Cantina fame), decided to organize the citywide event with an eye toward unifying San Francisco’s finest bartenders. H told me that San Francisco was the first to organize a whole week around World Cocktail Day.

Proceeds from Friday’s ‘Save the Sazerac’ event at Elixir raised awareness and money for our brethren in New Orleans, and support for Tales of the Cocktail. The Grand Dame of the Crescent City herself, Ann R. Tunnerman, flew in for the party and energized the crowd for the upcoming biggest cocktailian love-fest of the year, Tales of the Cocktail, which runs July 16-20. (Be there or be a sad little puppy!)

H also prepared his version of the Sazerac, the Shirazerac, and the crowd around the bar was no fewer than 5 deep at any given moment. Jeff Hollinger jumped behind the bar to help out, and even with the boys mixing 10 drinks at a time, everyone had to elbow our way in to secure a drink, and still wait at least half an hour between rounds!

Shirazerac (by H of Elixir)

1 barspoon of Shir
az syrup*
2oz of Sazerac Rye

1/2 barspoon Pastis Herbsaint
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1 Star Anise
1 quarter size round of lemon rind

Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice and set aside to chill. Cut the lemon rind to a circle about the size
of a quarter, without pith. Stick a toothpick through the star anise and into the lemon rind until only a small bit of the toothpick shows from the top, breaking off the extra beneath the lemon. Set garnish aside. In a separate glass, put shiraz syrup at the bottom of the glass and cover with the rye whiskey and the bitters. Stir to dissolve the syrup. Stir briefly. Empty the chilled glass and add the Absinthe substitute to it, swirling around to coat it and leaving a small pool of what is left at the bottom. Strain the cocktail into that glass and add the Star Anise as a floating garnish.

New (Cool) Kid in Town: Beretta

I also made a point of getting down to the very new, hip and PACKED Beretta for drinks and pizza fired to crisp perfection. The risotto kicks serious bootie, too, and the cocktails…

Well, with SF Chapter President of the USBG Jon Santer shaking and stirring, would you expect less than outstanding drinks? He created an apple and cherry drink especially for cocktail week. It was de-li-cious!

A mass exodus from Bourbon & Branch has lured several of the city’s finest bartenders to enjoy flocks of thirsty San Franciscans at their new home at Beretta. All’s fair in love and mixology, I suppose.

A Tribute to a Founding Father in Cocktail History

Saturday started off with an amazing surprise. Diego Loret de Mola (most known to us as the Barsol Pisco king) organized a very special trek out to Cypress Lawn Cemetery. We were on a mission to honor Duncan Nicol, who ran the Bank Exchange bar in the early 20th Century and created the Pisco Punch.

John Burton and David Wondrich aided Diego in digging up history on the Nicol, who lays to rest in a magnificent setting. Diego also presented John Burton with a special plaque as recognition for his deep knowledge of cocktail lore and contributions to our field.

Next, Diego took our busload to Fresca, a Peruvian-style ceviche bar for tastes of his native food and more cocktails! In addition to delicious raw fish delights, we tried Coca Pisco cocktails, garnished with coca leaves. (Don’t you just love uppers and downers in one easy sip?) The day was a treat and I definitely felt privileged to be part of the excursion.

Booze and Books

San Francisco magazine’s Scott Hocker moderated a panel of several knowledgeable cocktail history experts including David Wondrich, John Burton, Jim Jarvis and Jordan Mackay just off the lobby of Hotel Rex. Keeping in the Pisco ‘spirit,’ Duggan McDonnel treated the audience to glasses of Pisco Punch. (Now that’s the kind of lecture I can get behind!) The after-party continued at Cantina, where Mr. Mojito stepped behind the bar to shake up more fun.

Final Call at Absinthe

Once again, SF Cocktail Week had its closing party at Absinthe, hosted by Jeff Hollinger. I left town the day before so I don’t have pix from there but if it was anything like last year, I’m sure it was a who’s who of mixology enthusiasts from up and down the West Coast.

So, it was a successful sophomore year for SF Cocktail Week, and With World Cocktail Week wrapped up, all eyes are on New Orleans for an even bigger cocktail extravaganza. See you at Tales in July!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Sustainable Sips" Hits the Kansas City Star

While teaching my classes in Boston, in April, I was interviewed by Vidya Rao who wrote this piece about organic sinful pleasures, which recently ran in the Kansas City Star.

Drink up, folks - and feel good about it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Who’s Got Spirit?

The Doheny Leads Los Angeles Through Three Cheers for World Cocktail Week

Down in LA, we don’t get a lot of cocktailian recognition. And, frankly, a lot of that is our own damn fault! While New Orleans has Tales of the Cocktail and San Francisco created the first “cocktail week” in the country, we’ve sat on our butts while Britney, Lindsay and Paris get all the drinking-related publicity.

Well, that’s all changing…

Cheer One: The Doheny was the only establishment to celebrate not once but THRICE. Cocktail week kicked off on May 8 in LA at Cedd Moses’ exclusive hideaway with a specially-created cocktail menu for the first (invite-only) event for cocktail aficionados. Two of my favorite barmen in the world, Vincenzo Marianella and Eric Alperin, were shaking, stirring and sweating (oh-so-discretely) behind the bar for suited and dolled-up patrons of the members-only club on opening day of World Cocktail Week.

The menu featured drinks from: Sagatiba cachaca, Plymouth gin, Marker’s Mark whiskey and Barsol Pisco. The cocktails were divided between classic and Vincenzo’s new creations. Brand Ambassadors Simon Ford (Plymouth) and Jamie Terrell (Sagatiba) flew in for the special event and to buy us all gin and cachaca drinks – woo hoo!

Cheer Two! On Saturday, May 10, Cedd donned a dazzling pin-striped suit and celebrated his birthday at Doheny and invited another round of pals down to sample his swanky spot and sip the special sauce. (In addition to giving Cedd a big birthday hug, I was also happy to get another of Vincenzo’s original cocktails called the Rio, which was still on my mind from Thursday…)

Cheer Three!!! On Monday, May12, Damian Windsor (Tequila Ambassador for Partida, pictured center, right) threw a bash for the real stars of this week-long celebration: LA bartenders! Damian is Head Barman at Seven Grand, which is also owned by Moses, and just a few blocks away from The Doheny.

Beautiful drink slingers from all over the metropolis headed downtown to raise a glass with Damian during a toast coordinated between bars in New York, San Francisco and London. Although, as Windsor puts it, “by the time the toast rolled around the person on the other end of the phone on the east coast was smashed.” (Would one really expect any different?)

Bravo to The Doheny for leading the way for the LA-contingency of World Cocktail Week enthusiasts, proving the commercial right: membership does indeed have its privileges.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bukowski's Tavern

Boston's Homage to a Tinsel Town's Rebel Poet

While in Boston, every day, for a week, I walked past a tiny, red, hole in the wall bar nestled between a parking lot and perched on the edge of a bridge over a freeway. Yes, the strange locale caught my attention but the real clincher was the bar’s name. How could I not be drawn in by a rebel writer with a penchant for the sauce, and fellow Angeleno, at that!

I wondered why the watering hole was called Bukowski. Did the controversial mid-20th century poet / novelist / ne’er-do-well own it at one time? Did he drink there? We don’t have a Bukowski bar in L.A.… so why was there one in Bean Town?

Finally, one evening, walking back over the bridge from Newbury Street where I taught The Liquid Muse Sustainable Sips Cocktail Classes to the Hilton, where I was staying, I could no longer resist my curiosity. I’d just pop my head in the crowded wisp of a bar, snap a photo and be on my way… unless incredibly tempted.

Well, as it turned out, there happened to one lone available seat at the bar. I suppose one could call it destiny. Or one could just call it an empty chair. Either way, I decided to try a cocktail.

Until I learned they did not serve cocktails. Only beer and wine. And, if there’s one thing I know about dive bars without a full liquor license, the wine is usually something to avoid. So, I asked the bartender for a beer brewed in good, old Massachusetts.

The native Bostonian on the stool next to mine suggested a Harpoon, which I tried, cuz I never doubt a local. Founded in 1986, it claims to be New England's largest brewery. The beer I had hit the spot - a bit of a bite, plenty of froth and went down smooth.

I also learned that Charles Bukowski has nothing to do with the bar at all. The name is an homage to the writer simply because the bar’s owner is a fan. The bar’s walls are painted by a local artist, and unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph them because the bar’s manager was concerned about them not being copyrighted. This struck me as a bit ironic considering they ripped off someone else’s name for their establishment … but whatever.

With my curiosity (and thirst) quenched, I headed back to my solitary hotel room with visions of vagabond literati running through my mind. If you make it to Boston, take a minute out of sight-seeing and high-end cocktailing to wax poetic with the locals over a long, cold brew. As Bukowski himself would agree, you never know you’ll find on the side of a freeway ramp.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

World Cocktail Week Continues in Los Angeles

Living The Sporting Life

The third meeting of The Sporting Life (ie: Los Angeles-based barmen and other cocktail enthusiasts) took place this last Sunday. It was pushed back from the usual ‘first Sunday of the month’ slot because three or our LA-bartenders were doing the B.A.R. training in New York.

(Congrats to Marcos Tello of Comme Ca, Eric Alperin of The Doheny and Christine D'Abrosca of Seven Grand for completing the challenging course and bringing a little more know-how back to the West Coast.) Our May meeting turned out to be great timing, as it coincided with World Cocktail Week!

We met in the “overflow” bar in the back of Bar Marmont, and its 6-month old newly opened back room. I think I’d define the incredibly cool back room as “homey-hip,” given that it is a former studio apartment, and once inhabited by one of the Monkeys. The pad, which sits right along Sunset Boulevard was featured in the second edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, according to Chateau Marmont General Manager Alain Jeu.

The Sporting Life's founder, Marcos Tello led the festivities by way of welcome and introductions, then turned the floor over to this month’s hosts, Tara Everhart and Joe Brooke who both tend bar in the swanky Hollywood glitterati magnet. Joe also explained his lip-smacking creation, “Brass Flower Cocktail,” which he said is adapted from the Brass Button cocktail.

Joe’s tasty concoction mixed grapefruit juice, gin, St. Germain, grapefruit bitters and topped with champagne. As a regular user of each of those ingredients, I loved his drink - and indulged myself with not one but two before the meeting was over.

This month’s liquor sponsor was St. Germain, and Chad Wiltgen who is the Vice President of the Western U.S at Cooper Spirits. I was an early fan of the liqueur as reflected in this blog post from last Spring, and keep a bottle of the elderflower cordial chilling in my refrigerator at all times, to this day.

Chad addressed the controversial “bike story” propagated by Cooper Spirits when St. Germain first hit the scene. The romantic tale of medieval-looking French bumpkins on bicycles huffing through the hills collecting elderflowers in their caps seemed a big gulp for some to swallow. Robert Cooper took it upon himself to address non-believers and make some clarifications.

Wiltgen explained that, in fact, 8-10 hobbyists do indeed collect elderflowers the traditional way, which Chad likened to those who hunt truffles for pleasure. Otherwise, the small white flowers are harvested by truck during the 3-week period per year when they bloom. They are then macerated and blended with a spirit made from a blend of Gamay, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir groups, and distilled in Dijon.

Though he wouldn’t go into detail, Wiltgen also announced that an exciting new product will be in our glasses within a year. It will be the second antique-style liqueur (I’m guessing) for the company in three years, but as Chad explains, “We’re not looking for volume, we’re looking for quality.” And, when it comes to a killer cocktail, we cocktail enthusiasts know that those are words to live by.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Martin Miller’s Gin Rocks the Golden Trailer

What do you get when you hand-pick botanicals in England, blend them with spring water from Iceland and drop the resulting elixir into a red carpet event in downtown Los Angeles?

A smoothly aromatic Gimlet served at an award show at the newly restored Orpheum Theatre, might be one answer.

Coinciding with the first day of World Cocktail Week, the Golden Trailer Awards celebrated digital, design, audio, video, effects and editing experts who put produce the best movie trailers. (Yes, in L.A., every aspect of the film industry is revered, star-studded, drenched with alcohol and dressed up in a sparkling gown.)

This was the 9th year the Golden Trailer was handed out, and this year’s show was hosted by comedian / actor Sinbad. The winners included the trailers for: The Dark Knight, Enchanted, No Country for Old Men and I am Legend.

Of course, I love movies (the film industry is what first brought me to L.A. back in 1993). However, I have to admit that the real reason I donned a dress and grabbed the hubby for this award show was to check out Martin Miller’s Gin, which served tart-n-tasty Gimlets to honor the nominees.

The last time I had a Gimlet in Los Angeles was at Bar Lubitsch, and they made them with vodka. Needless to say, I was relieved to see that some not all of La-La-Land has succumbed to vodka’s sneaky little takeover . This, of course, may have had something to do with Mixologist Jon Santer on hand for the Golden Trailer party, who tends bar at Beretta is Martin Miller’s Brand Specialist, and knows a thing or two about a quality drink. (Oh yeah, did I mention that he is also the President of this little, old chapter of the US Bartender Guild up in San Francisco…)

Chris Slade (drummer of AC DC) is pictured here holding a Martin Miller’s Gimlet in hand at this year’s trailer awards, proving that even classic rock appreciates a classic cocktail.

The Orpheum Theatre first raised its curtain in 1926 when Vaudevillian stunners such as Sally Rand (see film below) took the stage. Later, Golden Era giants like Judy Garland and modern day divas, namely Aretha Franklin, have graced the intricately ornate theatre.

Like most of our landmarks in downtown L.A., the Orpheum fell into a state of despair but was revived once the 213-area code started to be trendy (and profitable) again. In recent years, it even hosted the epitome of exploitation of the illusion that ‘anyone can be a star’ as backdrop to a taping of American Idol.

The new media people filing down the red carpet and into the recently renovated historic theatre with a recently resurged classic cocktail in their bellies is a great metaphor for LA, itself – where everything old becomes new again, only just a little more glamorous than it was before.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

World Cocktail Week Begins Today

If ever there was a time to raise a glass in honor of raising a glass, its now!

As decribed by The Museum of the American Cocktail, "World Cocktail Week was established to celebrate the rich history of the cocktail and recognize the craftsmanship and skill of the bartenders who have been mixing them for over 200 years." Bartenders, Mixologists, and otherwise described Cocktail-Enthusiasts around the world kick off celebrations over the next couple of weeks to pay homage to their profession and passion.

San Francisco
San Francisco Cocktail Week is back for its second year. I went up north with my photographer pal, Claire Barrett, last year, and covered the parties at Rye, Jardiniere, and the wrap up party at Absinthe (the site of this year's grand finale, too).

Also in San Fran, this year, Tony Abou Ganim is going to be honored for his contributions to local Mixology, namely his infamous Cable Car cocktail which he created at Harry Denton's Starlight Lounge.

Washington DC
Meanwhile, in our Nation's Capital, the city's top bartenders are gathering at Proof on May 12. Tickets cost $135 with some proceeds going to support The Museum of the American Cocktail. The swanky soiree includes passed hors d'oeuvres and five specialty cocktails created by each of the mixologists involved.

Los Angeles
We're no shlumps down here in So-Cal, either, although being part of our celebration may cost more than the price of a drink. This evening, uber-hip members-only drinking club The Doheny in downtown LA is featuring Brand Ambassador/Mixologist, Jamie Terrell, who will showcase Sagatiba cachaca and several Brazilian cocktails.
Additionally, The Doheny's Head Barman Vincenzo Marianella will present his own cachaca creation, the Rio. Plymouth Gin Brand Ambassador/Mixologist, Simon Ford, will also be on hand highlighting classic cocktails such as the Corpse Reviver #2, Hanky-Panky, Positano, and Vincenzo’s Spring Collins. (I know where I'm drinking tonight...)

Where Else?

Please let me know if your bar / city / country is doing something unusual and fun for cocktail week. I'd love to post it here!

Continue the Party in New Orleans!

And if all this hullabaloo feels like a warm up for Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, July 16-20... it is. The Museum of the American Cocktail is also re-opening its doors in the Big Easy around the same time. There is just so much dang cocktailian fun down there, you won't be able to contain yourself! Buy your tickets for that before they are gone, like the last sip of the last drink at last call. Boo-hoo.

Happy Cocktail Week, Everyon

Monday, May 05, 2008

My Big Fat Mouth on Mediabistro

Doling Out Blogging Advice, One Article At A Time...

If you've been reading The Liquid Muse Blog for any length of time, you know that I have little filter between my brain and my mouth. I spout my opinions (why else have a blog?) and hope that something of interest to others may be imparted in the process. Given that the backbone of my career as The Liquid Muse began with my blog, some consider my 2-cents worth a listen.

Therefore, I'm quite proud that is running my second blog-related article today. I'm a major mediabistro fan, and consider it a valuable resource for all writers and PR folks - amateur and professional.

Last year, I wrote this article for them called: "Blog Your Way to Freelance Work," which lends a few pointers to freelancers looking to use their blog as a tool for freelance journalism. Today's piece is called "PR Perfected: Pitching Bloggers." It provides helpful advice for those wishing to hock their wares or services to bloggers... and some simple guidelines to help that be as effective as possible.

Happy reading and I look forward to hearing your pitches and / or your feedback!

*The cool 'Blog' image above is borrowed from, on the page where my article is running.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Free Hugs in Hong Kong
A “Call To Arms!”

Just in case you’re feeling a little down today, consider yourself hugged.

I met these adorable chaps on a morning walk around Hong Kong, today. They decided to ‘throw their arms around the world’ in order to reduce their stress while preparing for exams. Hailing from Lebanon, the U.K. and Hungary, these fine fellows prove that global peace spreads around the planet, one pair of arms at a time.