Wrote up some of my favorite drinky things I came across in 2014 for OUT, each and every one of which would make for a fine holiday present. Especially the Bruichladdich Dark Art 4. And the Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters. And the Sonoma Rye Whiskey. Or the Hibiki 17 (which I lean towards a bit more than the fancier 21). The Kavalan Fino is superb but at around $400 a bottle you'd have to have been much less of a naughty boy than I'd been this year to hope for that.
Shot some photos of the rambunctious G.L.A.S.S. & Absolut Drag Bingo party (no actual Bingo occured as far as I could tell) at Portland Cocktail Week for OUT. Here are some extra photos of the shenanigans. Above, Jared Schuber and G.L.A.S.S. founder Cooper Cheatham rocking some pumps and eyeliner. Below, the drink Jared created for the event. All the drinks were remarkably tasty, in fact, and I say this having had more than my share of punched-up too sweet drinks that week--these were all batched perfectly. And they went down so very easily, which certainly helped ramp up the vibe in the joint. The Mandarin Negroni, with Absolut Mandarin, Campari and Italian Vermouth was also improbably delicious.
Schubert getting glammed up.
DUSTED AND BUSTED
1 oz Absolut Apeach
1 oz Cocchi Americano Rose
1 oz Giffard's Creme de Pamplemousse Rose
1 oz Lemon juice
1 dash Pernod
Shake ingredients well, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with cocktail cherry, express grapefruit swath over top, and discard.
Jared with mystery woman.
Kourtni Capree Duv rocked the house. I used a shot taken a second after this one for the OUT slideshow because you could see her face--but I like the extravagance of the raining money in this.
Lulu Luscious grabbing that cash.
Jamie Gordon of Pernod Ricard.
Lulu Luscious flanked by Alteca's Daniel Warrilow and Pernod Ricard's Chris Patino.
Almost feel like a hypocrite contributing to the listicle mania I find so tedious in F & B media--20 Best This, 50 Best That--but I hope that this list I did for Wine Enthusiast of 20 essential bitters doesn't posit that these are the best and that all the rest lack. In fact this was a real case of murdering you bitters darlings--there were as many that I had to leave out in the edit (particularly after it dropped from 25 to 20) as I put in.
A couple years ago during Tales of the Cocktail Naren Young ran an Absolut Bloody Mary bar in the Hotel Monteleone every morning, putting out ravishingly fresh, nourishing assemblages of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, peppers, vinegars., and beyond...a laundry list of ingredients, and an ambitious undertaking that started for he and his team around 6 every morning. The green version (pictured above in New Orleans) had such a bracing, tonic effect that I had one every morning...without vodka. The low acid tomatillos, green vegetables, peppers, citrus, salts and white balsamic washed away a multitude of sins every morning.
A couple of years later we wound up working with our pal Mike Dawson at Wine Enthusiast on an article on farm fresh bloody marys of Naren's design, and for me at least that story began with those restoring green marys every morning in the swelter of hungover New Orleans.
A little piece I wrote on scotch whisky summer cocktails for T Style here; one thing I wasn't able to mention was that I'd shot the photo of the American Smash (above) during a dinner party at the Charles Mackintosh designed House for an Art Lover in Ballahouston Park in Glasgow. The house is lovely for many reasons, not the least that it wasn't built in Machintosh's lifetime. He'd entered the design into a competition arranged by the German magazine TK in 1901 and the design went unused until 1989.
I'd known about the House, but I didn't know about the delightful Art Park Glasgow that stretches out across the grounds below--one of the better playgrounds I've seen.
More photos of 100% non cocktail related but cool Scottish playground equipment
My piece on lower-proof cocktails for T Style is finally done and up! This one took some doing, partly because of the multiple players involved, partly because I shot the photos but also because I really believe in the category. As an enthusiastic drinker I definitely dig the need to slow one's roll on occasion. And the heavy-duty creativity of the bartenders working on drinks in this category means a lot of interesting drinks to explore. Huge thanks to Dinah Sanders, author of "The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to keep you level" who talked to me extensively about the category, and to Dave Wondrich who first reccomnded I look her up. Pictured up top is the Hubba Hubba from Rob Krueger at Extra Fancy--I'm quite fond of the photo but it didn't make it into T.
1 1/2 ounces Cocchi Americano 1/2 ounce Pernod Absinthe 3/4 ounce fresh lemon 1/2 ounce simple syrup Splash soda water 1 half of an orange slice 1 1/2 ounces Lambrusco
To a Collins glass filled with ice, add the Cocchi Americano, Pernod Absinthe, lemon & simple syrup. Briefly shake or tumble to mix. Add the soda water and orange, and stir slightly to combine. Top with Lambrusco.
It was a real pleasure to write up Nostrana Restaurant's Negroni Social for T. The combination of all female chefs contributing Negroni variations, the Maurice Sendak theme and the beautiful book with all the recipes and sweet illustrations by Geoff Brandenburg: all aces. Sales of the book benefit Portland charity Inside Out, the book can be purchased here.
Wrote about dive bars and the dear departed Holiday Cocktail Lounge for Wine Enthusiast. Great job of editing by Mike Dawson, but I would like to mention that I originally referred to my "drinking career", not just my "career"--I think the drinking part is more persuasive and certainly longer lasting than any sort of proffessional career I might have.
Last night Cutty Sark Prohibition launched in Williamsburg in a massive confluance of hipster tropes: whiskey, Roberta's, Crif Dogs, and free drinks, all presented in a massive event space a block from McCarren Park bursting with thirsty millenials. Blood Orange played. The olden-timey set decorations were carefully lit with pools of amber light, particularly flattering for the facial-haired set. Cocktails from Jason Littrell (above) and Rob Krueger of Extra Fancy; enjoying the whiskey-with-a-kick with plenty of soda was good enough for me--that way you can really taste the potent blend. The fellows' recipes for the event below: