Live from D.C., it's Thursday Drink Night!

As promised, here is the video we filmed last week at Thursday Drink Night Live, at the Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C. I had a hard time embedding from Viddler, which is unfortunate since YouTube's default shot is of me looking sad. I assure you I was quite the happy lass on this particular evening—in fact, I had a blast!

For those of you still unfamiliar with Thursday Drink Night, I hope this will give you a better idea of what the weekly gathering is all about. Should you feel inspired, please proceed to the Mixoloseum blog to read about past and upcoming TDN events, or just get your butt over to the chat room, introduce yourself, and offer up a drink.

If you’re interested in getting more Absinthe Mata Hari recipes from TDN, check out Twitter. Enjoy!


Game Time

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and, as always, I am looking for cocktail & appetizer ideas for a party. While I could care less who wins this year (if the Pats aren’t in it, I’m not interested), I still love to gather ‘round the tube with friends and enjoy a few tasty tipples and yummy treats.

Most people opt for beer when watching sporting events, but for a party you want to make sure there’s something for everyone—even the picky non-beer drinkers (ahem…like me). Here are a few cocktails that should please just about everyone watching the game and go great with nachos, pigs in a blanket, and chili (but then again, what doesn’t?). Enjoy!

Bloody Carioca (pictured):

2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
5 oz. tomato juice
½ oz. lemon juice
Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Pinch each of: celery salt, cracked pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and onion powder.

Shake all the ingredients on ice and pour into a highball rimmed with paprika. Stir well and garnish with a slice of cucumber.


1/2 oz. OVAL Vodka
1/2 oz. Rum
1 lemon
1/2 oz. Gin
1 shot Champagne
1 splash Sprite
1 splash grenadine syrup

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Serve on the rocks in a Collins glass.

Red Dragon by Katelin Reeves:

¾ oz Absinthe Mata Hari
¾ oz. black cherry vodka
¼ oz. grenadine
splash Sprite

Fill a shaker with ice and add the first three ingredients. Shake well; strain into shot glass. Top with Sprite.


Thursday Drink Night Wrap

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had the good fortune of visiting our nation’s capital last week—not to partake in the Inaugural festivities (I was two days too late) but to partake in some Absinthe—namely Mata Hari. That’s because this past week’s Thursday Drink Night event was sponsored by Absinthe Mata Hari, and I joined a few bloggers participating live from the Tabard Inn in D.C.

Much to the disgust of Steve, I had never actually been to Washington before. Well, I shouldn’t exactly say that—once, on a family road trip to North Carolina, my father stopped in D.C. at two in the morning and woke us all up to show us the monuments. This was not a particularly good memory, as it involved being awoken at two a.m. and was soon followed by being pulled over by D.C. police for looking sketchy at two a.m. Nevertheless, I guess it would be better to say I’ve never stayed in D.C.

Thankfully, my first stay in D.C. was a great one, as I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Tabard Inn—what a cool place. I have a hard time explaining it to people, but it’s just so funky. It’s a really old building with antique furniture and wood-burning fireplaces, beside which you’d expect to find an old man smoking a pipe (were smoking not prohibited). The whole layout of the Inn is like a crazy labyrinth, with brightly painted walls, dark corners, and loud artwork. I guess that’s not coming out right because it doesn’t really sound that appealing, but trust me, it’s awesome!

That is, except for one thing—the clown. Yikes. If you have an issue with clowns, avoid room number 55 or this is what you’ll see staring back at you all night. Notice the orb in the upper left-hand portion of the photo. Creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. Needless to say I did not sleep very well at the Tabard, but it was worth it just to taste the hanger steak with gorgonzola mash and their Pisco Presidential Punch—yum!

For Thursday Drink Night itself, I joined SeanMike and Marshall down at the bar, where the fabulous Chantal was working her mixology magic. I owe a huge thanks to Chantal, who let us totally hog her bar the whole night, made more than a couple crazy cocktails, and even helped me snake an extension cord around the barware and over the posi machine when my laptop died. Kudos!

Later, Rick and Nathan joined us, while Owen, our videographer, documented the whole thing with a flip camera (which I am now totally obsessed with, by the way). I should have the final video this week and will definitely post it as soon as possible so you can see us all in action!

Now let’s get down to it because this post is getting long…the drinks. There were so many it’s hard to keep them all straight, but I know I enjoyed how raspberry and Mata Hari played well together in Gabriel’s Zelle’s Betrayal (pictured) and I think my favorite of the night was Rick’s Dead Spy (recipes for both below). For the full list and a transcript of the evening’s activities, keep an eye on the Mixoloseum blog for an official wrap-up. Cheers!

Zelle’s Betrayal by Gabriel Szaszko of Cocktailnerd:

1 ½ oz. Rye
½ oz. Absinthe Mata Hari
½ oz. Orange Juice
¼ oz. Sweet Vermouth
¼ oz. Raspberry Syrup
¼ oz. Simple Syrup
3-4 Mint Leaves

Dead Spy by Rick Stutz of Kaiser Penguin:

1 oz. Lemon Hart 151
1 oz. Appleton Extra
¼ oz. Absinthe Mata Hari
¾ oz. Lime Juice
¼ oz. Cinnamon Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters


Thirsty Thursday!!!

Join us for Thursday Drink Night (TDN) this week, sponsored by Absinthe Mata Hari. TDN is a weekly event that takes place in The Mixoloseum chat room. Each Thursday, spirits writers & enthusiasts gather to focus on a single product or category. This Thursday’s focus is, of course, Absinthe Mata Hari, and the participants will be suggesting uses for the product in new cocktails, trying the drinks live, and perfecting their recipes.

If you haven’t taken part in a TDN yet, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. The event is open to the public. Just grab yourself a bottle of Mata Hari and meet us here (create a username/password and you’re in!) with some ideas for Absinthe cocktails in mind.

The fun starts at 7 pm EST. Come early if you can because Gerry Fischer, Mata Hari’s master distiller from Vienna, Austria will be joining us to discuss the product and answer any questions.

I’ll be joining in from the Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C., with SeanMike Whipkey and Marshall Fawley of Scofflaw’s Den, Rick Stutz of Kaiser Penguin, and perhaps a few others. We’ll be filming our participation at the Tabard and I’ll be sure to post the video here afterward.

See you Thursday! Cheers!


Defining Social Media Marketing

More and more clients are coming to us for Social Media Marketing Services, and I've found there's a lot of misunderstanding on just what Social Media is, and how to categorize and define the components.

Simply stated, Social Media are online places where conversations take place among people with similar interests. And those conversations can in the form of words, images, video and audio. Social Media Marketing (Other names for it include Word of Mouth Marketing, 1 to 1 Marketing, Consumer or User Generated Content, etc.) is really just a subset of marketing...marketing that takes place in digital form over the Internet within social media.

We recognize five flavors of SMM and I've highlighted the key points that differentiate them:

1. Blogs: Blogs are essentially a diary with the point of view of one person and reflect their interest, bias and "voice"...Less of a conversation, more of a monolog. Examples include CocktailNerd and Fermentation.

2. Sites, Forums, Wikis: These are sort of like a sister to Blogs...they are conversations that are moderated and usually without a bias or point of view. On the spirits side, recipes drive the category, on the wine side it's ratings, reviews and food and wine pairings. Examples include Cocktails.About.com and Wine Library TV Forum.

3. Social Networks: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Wine 2.0 are examples. The conversation on social networks is not moderated and it takes place between and among like minded individuals who link to each other as "friends" and through "groups".

4. Search: Finding information online based on other people's searches. In our world search is conducted on general sites such as Google or vertical sites such as Wine-searcher.com.

5. E-Commerce: ...buying and selling stuff online. OK, it's not really SMM, but it is a critical digital marketing strategy and commerce is conversation. It applies to consumer sites such as BevMax as well as trade sites like BevAccess

It's that simple.


Down to Business with Leblon

Check out this cool interview with Steve Luttman, the man behind Leblon Cachaça. In it, Steve talks about what inspired him to become an entrepreneur in the spirits industry, and what makes Cachaça (and more specifically Leblon) the next big thing. It's interesting insight into the business behind the brand, and the passion for Brazilian culture and craft cocktails that fuels Leblon. Enjoy!


Resolution Cocktail Ideas

Today is January 9th, which means there are probably still some (or lots) of you out there who’ve not yet broken your New Year’s resolution to watch what you eat and drink. I’m all for trying to live a more healthy lifestyle, but do you really want to spend the next few cold winter months cooped up in the house eating Nutrisystem and drinking overpriced mineral water? I didn’t think so.

Did you know some of your classic go-to cocktails are already low in calories, or can be made so with just a few little substitutions? Cut down on your portion size, use artificial sweeteners in the place of sugar, make simple cocktails with just a few ingredients, and make small changes where you can. Here are a few easy recipes to help you stick to your resolution without going through a total dry spell:

Skinny Caipi Cola: (96 cal)* Change up your Rum & Cola or Cuba Libre with this substitution and you’ve got a more flavorful, low-cal cocktail

1 ½ oz. Leblon Cachaça
6 oz. Diet Cola

Stir ingredients to combine in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

OVAL Strawberry Sweetie: (80 cal)

1 oz. OVAL Vodka
4 strawberries, sliced
8 oz. Light Lemonade
1 packet Splenda

Muddle sliced strawberries, OVAL Vodka & Splenda in the bottom of a Collins glass. Fill glass with ice and add Light Lemonade. Tumble & serve with a lemon slice garnish.

Skinny Caipirinha:

2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
1 packet of Splenda
½ lime, cut into four wedges

In a shaker, muddle the lime pieces with Splenda. Add ice. Pour the Leblon Cachaça over the ice. Shake vigorously and serve in a skinny highball glass. Garnish with a lime slice.