Expertvillage and ehow have done some stunningly bad work in reference to drinks in the past. I recently came upon a new series with a bartender named Micah. While he clearly in over his head in most of the segments (holding up a bottle of Jack Daniels while talking about Bourbon for instance) this one drives me absolutely nuts. Mostly because he is right.
The following was forwarded to me from Mr. Ellestad... then found again in my spambox.
It's kind of like the first time I had the Hirsch 16. I am sad knowing it will end, excited to have experienced it and hopeful something like it will happen again.
Date: Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 6:53 PM Subject: The Scoop from LeNell
First of all, I want to apologize to any of you on my store email listwho had to read my latest news first on some blog or internet gossipsite. Without getting on a LeNell rant here, all I will say isbloggers should show some good Southern manners and use “May I?”before videotaping someone. To then post that video on their web sitewithout asking me just seems like there should be some sort of“etiquette” established. Everyone’s out for the news that gets theclicks. I’m just sayin’ shame, shame on you, Joshua Hoffman, for yoursecret video moves. I hope you show more respect next time.
Just so you know, I was composing an announcement to this email listwhen this blog silliness started. I was hurt that I didn’t even get achance to send my email to you first, but here goes now, a bitpremature, but at least from me instead of a blogger.
After searching for a new store home for quite some time, I’m officially giving up the hunt. Without boring you with details ofsituations considered, just know that I feel like I have doneeverything I could to secure a home that made good business sense.When I opened my shop, I never dreamed of it as a “flash in the pan”kind of business. I had hopes that it would become a legacy, alifetime work. I was hoping for the kind of biz that my kids wouldgrow up in and run someday should they want to. I say that to let youknow I was always shooting for hope that in a certain number of years,I would own my own space.
Several times I’ve considered just signing a lease to be in businessout of desperation. However, my goal has always been to find a homethat offered an opportunity for long term growth of the store, though.I didn’t need it to be a franchise in every state or a store that hadshopping carts with wheels. I am “mom and pop” kinda material thatneeds hope that the “family farm” ain’t walking away with the firststorm. Done a whole lot of soul searching about what I want out of allof this.
Basically I’m tired of the real estate rat race of NY, and it’s time to move on. Sometimes it takes more strength to move on than to hangon. I ain’t got nothin’ to prove to anybody any more, includingmyself. And that feels so good.
I did my duty to shut down the store not owing anybody anything. I did not close down the store with a million dollars in my bankaccount, but, my love tanks are full as I have met some of the mostcaring, gosh dang great people. And this ain’t the end of it.
I’m not giving up the booze business, of course. I’m writing articles, having a blast with the folks at AOL Slashfoodhttp://www.slashfood.com/bloggers/lenell-smothers, as well ascontinuing the research on the history of eggs in drinks for my book.I’m still teaching classes, hosting private events, guest bartending,and leading tastings. If I exist, I will be in this business invarious forms. I love it.
I love this City. We all know if you can make it in NYC, you can makeit anywhere. Coming home to that skyline brings a smile to manyfaces. I recently figured out that happiness can exist beyond thatskyline, though.
Yes, the rumor is true. For years friends have said to me, “Dang,LeNell. I don’t think any man will ever be able to handle you. You’refrightening.” Well, someone stepped up to the plate, and he proved hecan hang. His name is Demian. We’ve weighed options here, there, andeverywhere. Right as my last NY negotiation fell through, we found ahome for sale in Baja California Sur (that’s part of Mexico, by theway). We would like to explore possibilities of opening up a“getaway” place for folks but it’s too early to give too many detailsjust right now. I was waiting to send this email out later this weekas our first offer goes in today but the blog world has “called meout” to speak to you a bit prematurely. Dammit.
I’m still in NY working through the piles of details involved withshutting down a biz (for real) this time and an international move.Ben and I are working on setting up a new website where you can hearall the latest in greater detail. In the meantime, if you aren’talready on my “cocktail of the month” list, subscribe below for thefirst full length write-up that Demian and I worked on together thatwill go out shortly.
Over and over I've been touched by your loving emails, your sweetvoice mail messages, the hand written notes, the hugs, and all othervery real human connections we've made that makes it all worth while.Thank you for it all!
I'm excited to turn the page and start the next chapter. I hope youare somewhere in the story, too.
From the bottom of my sinful heart,LeNell
"To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to createoneself endlessly." - Henri Bergson
I found this piece in the Village Voice today announcing that LeNell Smothers is moving her show to Mexico! Crazy news, if it is true. It does sound like something LeNell would say (if you are not familiar with her, get thee to google) but I really don't see it.
Also, LeNell did not distill her own rye as stated at the end of the article. She bought barrels at KBD and they bottled it under her label.
I feel like I have been bashing Diageo a lot lately and I want to assure my small, but no doubt, concerned readership that I do not, in fact, have it out for them. However, I was very disappointed to see the Scotsman report that the industry giant has decided to close the historic Kilmarnock plant. While I have not been a huge Johnnie Walker fan (I have tasted vintage bottles against the modern offerings...shameful), I am a huge fan of the Scotch Whisky industry and many people smarter than myself say moves like this are the beginning of the end.
It sames very odd to me that at a time when the are more Whisky drinkers than ever before and new markets are opening, the two biggest players, Diageo and Pernod Ricard, are consolidating.
It felt like the last day of summer camp yesterday, well all wanted to the the party going, but were also quite ready to get back to our lives...and some more reasonable ambient temperatures. Tales of the Cocktail 2009 was every thing it should be, i.e. a complete mess. The schedules were ambitious at best, the drinks were exactly what most of us spend our days preaching against and brands reared their ugly sides repeatedly. However, going through all this with a couple of hundred of you closest friends is just plain priceless. Like last year, I will just list the highlights.
-Morgenthaler, Thrasher, Alperin (mohawked!), Wondrich, Kalkofen, Gonzalez, Clarke, Gomez and myself on stage.
-Luke, August and Chochon
-Raw tasting room (tremendous!)
-The mighty women of LUPEC (I say gawDAM, I love those girls)
-Beefeater & Hendrick's: Back-to-back great times
-Bee Sweet Cupcakes
-The boys from LA
-The folks from Seatle
-The fools from Portland
-The guys from Chicago
-My friends from New York
-All the people from San Francisco I have to to New Orleans in order to hang out with
-The perpetual meet-and-greet in the Monteleone lobby
It seems they might. I have been very confused with some of the choices the company has made concerning the products it markets to us (do we really need multiple flavors of Rumplemintz?) However this recent decision blows me away.
Apparently, all over the planet, there has been an ongoing competition called 'We Are World Class" sponsored by Diageo's reserve portfolio (most of which I absolutely adore btw). They have a killer website, celebrity judges and a global scope to help them find what they call 'The World's Best Bartender.' Now we all know there is no such thing, but the prospect of competing in such an environment is thrilling.
There is just one problem for me.
They did not open it up to the US (at least that to my knowledge and I have been paying attention.)
So here goes my rant. The cocktail was invented here in the US. There is no way Diageo would have been able to stage a competition on the scale they did without the US market. Hell, 2 of the judges are American (or close enough in the case of Mr. Regan.) Lastly, I know it is horribly self-centered of me to ask it, but is it really a 'global search' if you do not look in the US?
I will repeat the line that is being posted on hundreds of blogs and facespace status bars this week: It's time for Tales again. I have a few Tales widows ask me to look ofter their leved ones while in New Orleans. I just want to let them and everyone know that makes absolutely no sense. I don't remember Saturday from last year...we are talking like 20 hours...gone. Pics like the one above prove I was there, but that is about as far as it goes.