Drink o' the Month

FRI 12/12

We searched for something suitably holiday-themed for this month's Drink o' the Month, but we couldn't find the perfect eggnog. While many places offer the traditional holiday beverage, it seemed no place in South Florida could get it quite right -- indeed, many joints offered a beverage that tasted more like sour milk than anything else. In a way, that made sense. We have no blustery winter snowstorms, no chestnuts roasting on an open fire, no Jack Frost, nor any of the usual holiday garbage. Why, then, should we have the usual holiday libation? So we went with something unapologetically tropical instead, not to mention unfailingly boozy. The Painkiller got its legendary start at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, where customers were forced to swim over to the bar, located on a tiny island (hence the place's tongue-in-cheek name). Soon, the British Royal Navy allowed the commercial marketing of its official rum, Pusser's. As these Pusser's rum bars spread, they carried with them the delicious drink recipe, and just as the Royal Navy had improved upon the formula for rum over centuries, so too did Pusser's better this rum cocktail. So now, Pusser's (429 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) has perfected it. With four parts pineapple juice to one part crème de cacao and one part orange juice, garnished with ground nutmeg, an orange slice, and a cherry, you simply add rum to suit. We drink nothing but the level-four Painkiller -- the highest alcohol content available at the bar -- and we recommend the same to you. Call 954-527-2544. -- Dan Sweeney

Against the Odds

WED 12/17

The Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton) shows the penultimate movie in this year's "Film and Video Series" this week as Against the Odds: Artists of the Harlem Renaissance comes to the screen. The flick recounts Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s, a period in which African-American artists made historic achievements in literature, music, art, and other creative endeavors. If you can't catch the 3 p.m. show on Wednesday, it will screen again at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 20. The final film in the series, 20th Century American Art: Highlights from the Whitney, screens Saturday, December 27. All films in the series are free with museum admission. Call 561-392-2500. -- Dan Sweeney

Scheitler's List

Poet comes to Lake Worth for a Fyrside Chat

THU 12/11

The Fyrplace Gallery (131 N. "M" St., Lake Worth) presents the second in its new "Author Spotlyght Series" (their cutesy spelling, not ours) when Chicago-born poet Charles Scheitler reads from his selected works from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday. Author Spotlyght is just one small part of the gallery's series of readings and lectures, titled (not again!) "Readings by Candlelyght." Though other authors are slated for future appearances, Scheitler has the mic Thursday, and anyone who makes a point of going to local poetry readings may already be familiar with him. As an important figure in the Poets of the Palm Beaches, Scheitler makes sure his colleagues have at least a couple of places to perform readings and receive critiques every month. As for his own stuff, well, you'll have to hear for yourself -- we're not into poetry. Or reading. Call 561-585-2772. -- Dan Sweeney

Cool Off

A new exhibit breezes into Delray

MON 12/15

We take air conditioning for granted here in the Sunshine State -- we really do. But what about the time -- gasp -- before A/C? "Cool Breezes: Handheld Fans in 20th Century American Folk Art, Fashion, and Advertising" takes us back to the days of not-so-long ago when a fan was as much a necessity as it was an accessory. Handheld fans ranged from cumbersome folding types to smaller decorative models, keeping the air moving for the movers and shakers. They served the obvious practical purpose but also became a staple in funeral homes, grocery stores, and Southern churches. The fans were coyly used by women as a lure in flirting and kept those crazy, ever-swooning Victorians from fainting. Don't sweat it when you check out "Cool Breezes" through January 19 at the Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History, 322 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-243-2662. -- Audra Schroeder


THU 12/11

From the title of this piece alone, it should be fairly obvious that Emeril Lagasse is somewhere nearby. Following his disastrous turn at the sitcom game, Emeril has accepted his place in the kitchen, which has given rise to a new cookbook bearing the chef's name. The personality may be grating, but you can't argue with the Cajun chef's product. It does kick it up a notch. And so will the man himself, when he puts in an appearance at Publix (601 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 4 p.m. to sign and discuss his work, From Emeril's Kitchen. Admission is free. Call 954-728-8330. -- Dan Sweeney

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