Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The New York Times had an article on the 12th exposing the recent explosion of cocktail culture.... Wow, they really have their hand on the pulse with this one. I mean really, cocktails? Who has read anything about cocktails recently?

Aside from the redundancy of the piece, I was struck by the picture included. It is of a bartender at the new Apotheke in Manhattan setting up Absinthe drips over flaming sugar cubes. I am quite surprised that a program of that stature would follow this relatively recent Czech tradition. I know it looks cool and all (it must really be crazy in the opium den aesthetic of Apotheke) but I was under the impression that this was total sacrilege. I am no big fan of the Wormwood Society (I ran afoul and scored a heap of vitriol for being photographed with a bottle of an unfavored Absinthe in the foreground) but I will defer to them as far as procedure goes and they could not be more clear that burning is wrong. I think I even saw a 'Friends don't let friends burn the sugar' T-shirt.

I would love to know what is going on there.


Jamie Boudreau is cool.

I have only met him a couple of times and never really got down to chat, but he is cool. He is a great writer, a brilliant photographer and I assume a great bartender as his knowledge and taste are both becoming legendary.

The latest update on his blog (put it on your leaves me a bit twisted.

I have both the urge to lay down some snide comments and to congratulate him as well as thank him for saving a program in an historic bar.

I will do both.

Tini Bigs!?! That's just great. I hear Todd Smith is teaming up with Jimmy Meehan and pulling some shifts at respective local Cheesecake Factories.

Seriously, what a great opportunity to evangelize and make a beautiful bar respectable again. Good luck.

How'd that come off?

I declare that I now own the word 'cool'.

This is Absolutely retarded.

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 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


Liquious is fast becoming my favorite bar-related feed. I know absolutely nothing about it other than it seems to be a juried user-driven clearing house of articles. All of the feeds I subscribe to have popped up and I have discovered quite a few new ones through them.

Check it out.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Whiskyfest is coming to San Francisco for it's second year this week. I am actually missing the event itself, but have been having some some fun with the auxiliary events that it has spawned.

Here is a iphone shot of the Rye producers I would be harassing if I was in town on Friday.

High-Tech in DC

I found this video on 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

Cherries and Glass

Cherry Heering is one of my favorite bottles to pull out when I want to give a cocktail a little twist. I can't think of any drink that doesn't work with the addition of a quarter ounce or two of the stuff (seriously, try anything.) I was recently turned on to the very unique contest they are running for both fashion and drinks designers. I am trying to resist the urge to enter something, but could not help but bounce around the site as it is put together so nicely.

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.

Just beautiful.

Monday, October 06, 2008


My main rum guy, tiki expert and somtime personal taxi driver (that's twice now buddy) is a gentleman name Martin Cate, proprietor of Forbidden Island on Alameda. His cocktails are righteous, his mastery of our lore and history is unrivaled and whats more, he is just a plain nice guy.

Eric Felton wisely featured Martin in his WJS article on Tiki recently, you should read it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Octomore Bottle

The Whiskey Exchange is a tremendous source of news and knowledge for those interested brown liquor. Today they published the first look we are getting at the Octomore bottle (see my early posting for more info.)

How cool does this thing look?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Holy Crap, Morgenthaler is One Smart Cat

Jefferey Morganthaler is in Berlin for something called a Bar Convent. He has been posting about his experiences leading up to his presentation and it all looks pretty fantastic.

However, the recount of his presentation is truly informative. It makes me want to quit this blog and pick up another shift.