Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
How'd that come off?
It is no secret that I am not a vodka fan. I bad mouth it quite a bit, rarely reach for it and do my damnedest to talk it's drinkers into trying something else with more character. It is not that I actually dislike the spirit when it is well made. I do not have a vendetta against the tradition itself...vodka did not ruin my life or kill my family. But it did lie to me.
It started (in my opinion) in the 80's with those Absolut print ads. They were undeniably cool and got us thinking of liquor as fresh, hip and current. Unfortunately they got the category pumped up with the notion that the outside of the bottle is more important than what's inside. Sidney Frank took it further in the late 90's with the creation of Grey Goose and the lies grew from the little white variety (bottles are worth more because of the 'art' involved) to some serious bullshit (French vodka?)
Now Absolut wants to own the word the co-opted for their name.
Screw you Absolut. Good luck getting on any back bar I put together ever again.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Check it out.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Here is a iphone shot of the Rye producers I would be harassing if I was in town on Friday.
I found this video on Washingtonian.com in a piece morning the passing of an underground cocktail event called Hummingbird to Mars (here is where the name came from..not bad). While I personally have found that sous vide is unnecessary for infusing alcohol unless you are super pressed for time, I respect those that are into reaching out for new techniques. This may not be the most informative video out there, but I enjoyed it am taking a few ideas from it.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The best thing about it for me was the glassware. Just where the hell has Orrefors been my whole life anyway? The pic above is from a line I could never hope to afford where each stem is encircled by an engraved silver ring.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received a $214.00.
Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.
A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.
Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.
That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!
Makes you proud to be an American!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The pic is of me and the boys digging peat on Isaly.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Here is a sample of the menu:
Vow of Silence (top seller!) Martin Miller's Gin / Grapefruit / Lemon / Yellow Chartreuse / Averna Amaro / Gomme Syrup
Venial Sin Partida Blanco / St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur / Luxardo Maraschino / Yellow Chartreuse / Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal / thai chili tincture
Empyrean Sazerac 6-yr Rye / ramazzotti / luxardo / del maguey minero mezcal / lemon / flaming orange
Insufferable Bastard Sazerac 6-yr Rye / Aviation Gin / Cynar Amaro / Lime / Ginger Beer
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Here are the points I agree with most as they translate to drinks:
- San Francisco is less trendy. "They seem to be more interested in the rituals of dining rather than just going out to say they've gone to the latest place," he says.
Diners and chefs are more respectful of and knowledgeable about the ingredients here.
I think a better way to phrase this is that in San Francisco is cooler to know about what you are consuming than to consume it in a cool place.
- People eat earlier in San Francisco; it's difficult to get people to accept a reservation after 9 p.m.
Definitely the same with drinks. Very few bars are full at last call during the week...damn 9-to-5ers.
- "There's a very tight food community here where everyone plays their part," he says. That level of camaraderie doesn't exist in other places, he says.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
1 oz. Calvados
1 oz. Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz. Galliano L'Autentico
1/4 oz. Maraschino
Stir gently over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon zest.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love Jesus.
It's that kind of mornin', really was that kind of night.
Tryin' to tell myself that my condition is improvin'
and if I don't die by Thursday I'll be roarin' Friday night.
I knew going into Tales that I was not going to be up to posting while there and I am sort of gratified (justified?) to see that most blogs cocktailian are noticeably thin on their Tales coverage. There was just too much going on. Rather than attempt to give a detailed recap, I am just going to freeform it. If you fit in here somewhere, thanks. If you were there with me and you don't see a reference to yourself, don't feel bad, I was just too drunk to focus.
10 Po'Boys (that's right, 10!!)
The Oregon Cocktail Suite
Carousel Bar Networking
In the Pool Networking (only a little bit gay)
Late-night Suite Networking
Morganthaler ('nuff said)
MotAC (just lovely)
Sunrise...all 5 of them
Meyer the Hatter
Lance Winters sitting next to Ted Breaux Sitting next to me
Gary muthergrabin Regan!
LUPEC Boston (I love you gals)
Last call at the Old Absinthe House (don't we get a T-shirt or something for making that long)
Where the hell is Dominic Venegas?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
As for the whiskey, Jackie and I both were simply dumbfounded by how tropical the nose was. Pineapples all over the place. On the palate, it is much more mature and restrained than the previous releases. A definite must buy if you can find it.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Well here is a non-boose-related site that turns up some interesting names.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I just read a page of advice for aspiring Sommeliers that I found very energizing. It came to my screen in a kind of a cool way too.
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Chicago's Ms. Jane Lopez of Lush and The Violette Hour (just started there) at my bar. She was the best kind of guest, curious and completely open to new drinks. As I am planning a trip out her way this Fall, we traded emails which led to trading blogs. Today she posted a note given to her by my friend Christie Dufault, Somm. at Quince here in San Francisco.
I giggled to myself as I read it. Jane and her friend (sorry, I cannot remember your name, but thanks for all the Tea!) had just come from Quince when I met them so I kind of felt like I was a part of meeting in a tenuous way. As you can see, the advice is straight forward and general so I kind of whipped through the first time and went on with my morning emailing. I couldn't get it out my head though so I went back to it.
With just a little translation, these simple 5 points are the absolute best advice for aspiring bartenders I could ever hope to give.
Below is a copy of the note wherein I have swapped the words Bartender for Sommelier and Cocktails or Spirits for Wine (except at the very end where I feel it did not quite fit).
Jane ended her post by saying. 'Thanks, Christie.' I will do the same.
Not Necessarily Invited (but well-meaning) Advice for Aspiring Bartenders
1. Be certain you love SERVICE.
Being a sommelier is above all about service- and not just serving cocktails. A bartender must be able to perform every job in the front of the house and jump into all aspects of service when the team needs it. Remember, being a bartender means working in the restaurant/hospitality industry. It does not mean working solely in the cocktail industry.
2. Study Study Study. Taste Taste Taste.
Be sure that you have the desire to train your palate and to learn to be a fastidious taster.
Tasting spirits analytically is not always fun at 9 o’clock in the morning. Tasting wine professionally is obviously not the same as drinking wine. In addition, be prepared to taste and to study spirits laws & regions of spirits that you may not even like.
3. Be an Assistant Bartender.
You could be on the fast track to a great bartending career if you assist an accomplished bar director. Be a sponge- learn everything you can about wines, service, purchasing, public relations and more. Work your butt off for your boss. Always make her look good.
4a. Get serious about food.
Eat. A lot. Know food. Cook-when you have time. Love food as much, no- more, than you love wine. Converse with chefs & cooks. Go to the farmers market. Smell everything. Taste everything you can. Try as many different foods as possible: be open-minded. Think about which Cocktails or Spirits would pair well with the foods you are tasting/cooking/receiving. This will teach you MORE about Cocktails than you could ever imagine. I promise.
4b. Dine out a whole lot.
Spend your rent money at restaurants you really cannot afford. (Okay- don’t do that regularly, but once a year is acceptable.) Rather, dine out a lot, even at restaurants you can afford. Observe service. Study the menu. Study the wine list.
Ask questions. Recognize what you appreciate in service and food & wine pairing.
5. Be a cocktail ambassador to everyone.
Never be a cocktail snob- but you knew that. Rather, be a cocktail ambassador. Encourage people to try new spirits, to make discoveries. Always remember that wine in moderation is healthful, so embody that. A glass of wine at lunch? Naturally. The world might just be a more peaceful place if people drank more wine and drank more wine together.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
With more than 10,000 bars and clubs in Greece, when the sun goes down, the nightlife begins… and with a contribution share of 40% and almost 10 million litres of on premise consumption, Whisky is the leading category among the "hard spirits" categories (e.g. Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila and Liqueur), placing Greece in the Top 10 markets of Scotch Whisky globally. This percentage is greater during Christmas, where the seasonality of the category reaches its peak with 45%.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
The space included the store on the first floor and the bar on the second. After discussing this project for nearly a year now, I get a visit from Greg recently telling me that he has just realized constructions costs will be more than he wants to pay. He won't entertain thoughts of my partnering in building out the space. Just flat out pulled out at the last moment...which happens to be a few days before the end of my current lease. I'm in shock. I really thought this deal was practically done when Greg had me pay an attorney to draft a lease. Rarely is LeNell speechless. I am.
The other space we thought was workable in Red Hook, turns out to be a dud, as well. The owner has been telling everyone that we are moving into the space. Months ago I asked him for lease points and told him that I could not agree to anything less than a 10 year lease. Today out of nowhere, he tells me that he only wants to sign a five year lease. I won't do it. It's just not good business sense at this point. I refuse to keep working to pay someone else's mortgage while I barely pay myself and have no hope for me and my hardworking staff to get ahead.
So folks, I just don't know the future. I had really hoped to announce that we had a lease signed for this lot across the street and was so eager to break the news to you. I'm really just in shock. Storefronts in Red Hook sit vacant, vacant lots side idle, landlords daydream, and proven businesses like mine get put through hell. A boss of mine told me years ago, "If you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere." Well, I think I've proved myself long enough. Maybe it's time to head back South. Own a real home, eat real bar b que, and have a life. LeNell is broken.
When you come in and I'm dazed, bitchy beyond normal, on the phone like a lunatic, please don't take it personally. Everything I've worked so hard for is hanging in the gallows."