Sunday, June 6, 2010

Who Says Love Can't Be Bought?

A good bartender should hear everything behind his bar both good and bad. Thank goodness for alcohol's ability to help forget even the most sordid comment or story in the ever so crucial night cap before bed.

There were two gentlemen sipping on delicious, wet gin martinis at the bar. As I'm walking by I hear the first guy say, "Imported, low mileage and everything looks great under the hood."
His friend responds, "Was it expensive with the international fees and taxes?"
The first guy goes, "Yeah but it was worth the body built for speed."
Intrigued, I leaned in to comment on the make and model of his new car.
Expressing a confused look, the first guy exclaims, "Car? I'm talking about my Eastern European fiancé!"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Look Out For The Red Dragon

While walking through the kitchen the other day I noticed the chef cutting up some red peppers while prepping for the busy night ahead. Using that as inspiration to modify a classic margarita recipe I ended making a red bell pepper syrup. The base of this classic recipe uses tequila, orange liqueur and citrus. First, Herradura Silver tequila was selected to carry it all. Second, Cointreau was lovingly splashed in. Third, fresh grapefruit and lemon juices were pressed in. Then, red pepper made its debut. Next, agave nectar added a hint. After that, some fresh mint, which is a great cooling herb, made its presence. Finally, smoked chardonnay salt was applied to the rim. This added a great initial texture and richness to the light, crisp, deliciousness named the Red Dragon.

Red Dragon

2 oz. Herradura Silver Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz. Red Pepper Syrup*
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
6 Fresh Mint Leaves

Garnish: Smoked Chardonnay Salt Rim

Prep: Press the mint leaves in the bottom of a mixing tin. Add remaining ingredients to mixing tin with ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass.

*Red Pepper Syrup: Take a red bell pepper and slice it up, remove the seeds and place in blender. Add 2 oz. of Agave Nectar. Add 2 oz. of filtered water. Blend well and press through a chinois.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Manhattan Cocktail Classic 2010

What is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) about? Well, according to their website it is, "New York City’s first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail. Part festival, part fĂȘte, part conference, part cocktail party, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for five days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure.
Whimsical as it may sound, the event did have some amazing events and seminars to be enjoyed. To start it all off in style though, the Gala kickoff at the NYC public library was quite the spectacle. It covered four stories of the impressive building, and everyone invited raved.

While each bar in this 2500+ guest list event was sponsored by different liquor companies, I was working a Willy Wonks themed candy filled bar showcasing Remy Cointreau brands. Offering a whopping six different tasty libations for the attendees of this crazy party.

The set up was taxing, but with a crack squad composing of Michael Flannery, Ricky Gomez, Danny Ronen and myself and the constant supply of candy around us that went into the build out of the Willy Wonka themed bar we kept our energy levels high. For the event we had to batch out six cocktails for the masses, and they featured the following: Highland Park 12yr, Famous Grouse, Mt. Gay Eclipse, Cointreau, Remy V.S.O.P. and Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka.

Did I mention the Oompa Loompas?

After surviving the gala, one could find themselves in various seminars held at the Astor Center covering a wide range of subjects. My personal favorite, The Agave Session: The Magical Elixirs of Mexico included Ron Cooper, Steve Olson and good amount of tequila and mezcal to try.

There was also the MCC bar that was set up special for the event at the Astor Center, which showcased several great sponsoring brands including: Hendricks, Appleton and Ketel One. The delicious recipes they provided paired with talented bartenders culminated into an impressive tasting and well put together cocktail for those who needed a little "pick me up" before or after each educational experience.

Finally, there were several off-site events throughout the city. From showcasing new bars to judging talent behind others late nights and early morning were had by many. A fun filled one that I went to was the Don Q rum competition and event at Theatre Bar. The judging panel included Francine Cohen, James Menite and Tony Abou-Ganim.

All in all, the event has matured from its initial pre-event last October. Cheers to everyone involved, and I look forward to being there next year.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer Cocktails Meant To Tantalize And Keep You "Cool."

Summer time is coming up and here are a few lovely tipples to tip the degrees of heat in your favor. With a plethora of fresh components, some herbs, spices, bitters and good old muddled mayhem these cool cocktails will definitely refresh you on even the warmest of days. Enjoy!

Lets begin with the...

Green Lotus
1 1/2 oz. Vodka 
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice 
1 oz. Agave Nectar
6 Green Seedless Grapes 
Top with Soda Water 
Garnish: Single Green Grape on a Pick 
Prep: Muddle the grapes in a mixing tin. Add vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup into mixing tin with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass over ice. Top with soda water.

Keep it refreshing with a delicious...

Summer Spritzer
1 1/2 oz. St. Germain
5 oz. Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 Fresh Orange
2 dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters
Soda Water

Garnish: Orange Wheel

Preparation: Squeeze the juice of half an orange into a large red wine glass. Pour the St. Germain and wine into the glass and add a couple dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters. Fill with ice and top with soda water. Stir before serving.

Add a little spice with a...

Watermelon Spice
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3-4 Chunks of Fresh Watermelon

Garnish: White Pepper Rim

Preparation: Muddle watermelon in a mixing tin. Add remaining ingredients with ice into the mixing tin. Shake and strain into a white pepper rimmed martini glass.

Finally, lets with a kiss...

Dragon's Kiss
2 oz. Grand Marnier 
¼ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 
¼ oz. Fresh Lime Juice 
¼ oz. Fresh Orange Juice 
Dash of Fee Bros. Grapefruit Bitters 
Sprig of Fresh Mint 
Garnish: Mint Sprig 
Prep: Press 4-5 mint leaves into a mixing tin. Combine remaining ingredients into a mixing tin with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Delicious Sunday Sipper with a Clipper.

Throw on those boat shoes and enjoy the crisp maritime air with a Plymouth Clipper.

Plymouth Clipper

2 oz. Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. St. Germain
3 dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters
2 1/2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 oz. Soda Water

Garnish: Thinly Sliced Grapefruit Wheel

Preparation: Build all ingredients except soda water into a mixing tin with ice. Stir and strain into a highball glass over ice and top with soda.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tasted Magazine Cocktail Feature

The Sophisticant

2 oz. Hennessy Black
1 oz. Grand Marnier Cuvee Du Centenaire
1 ½ oz. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Flamed Orange Peel

Preparation: Combine Hennessy Black, Grand Marnier Cuvee Du Centenaire and a dash of Angostura Bitters into a mixing tin with ice. Stir for for 20 seconds. Strain into a champagne coupe and top with Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. Ignite oils of orange peel over the cocktail and serve.

Definition of sophisticated...having a refined knowledge of the ways of the world cultivated especially through wide experience. This classy cocktail screams all this and includes a matching pocket square.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010