A Corpse Reviver for Halloween

Corpse Reviver No. 2
This adaptation comes from the new book A Taste for Absinthe, where Marcos Tello of Los Angeles' Edison adapted the second of Harry Craddock's Corpse Reviver recipes as listed in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. As Craddock said himself: "Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again"

  • 3/4 oz. Martin Millers Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 4 drops Absinthe

Pour the gin, Cointreau, Lillet, and lemon juice into a mixing glass,then add ice. Shake well and strain the drink into a chilled coupe. Add the absinthe and serve.

I had another interesting version of this drink while in Portland last week, just upon settling into the Hotel DeLuxe Wednesday afternoon with SeanMike Whipkey. Reps from Portland-based House Spirits Distillery were behind the stick at the hotel’s Driftwood bar for Happy Hour and served up a delicious variant of this recipe that featured their Aviation Gin and, rather than absinthe, called for a dash of ouzo instead. Very aromatic indeed! It was a great drink to shift into the mindset that was Drink.Write and Portland Cocktail Week after spending the entire morning in airplane mode.

Again, I have so much more to share following up on my PDX adventure so stay tuned! In the interim, have a safe and fun Halloween and post pictures of your creative costumes :)


(Photo courtesy of Absinthe Mata Hari)


Where did October go?

Goodness gracious, how is it already the end of October? I'm supposed to be thinking about Halloween and clever costumes but it has been nothing but an idea sitting on the back burner.

October was quite busy with BAT hosting the 4th Annual US Drinks Conference in New York City, and then I was traveling to Portland for Drink.Write 2010 and Portland Cocktail Week. While I have plenty to share about my time actually spent in Portland, this morning I wanted to share with you the adventure I had in my travels back to Connecticut.

My PDX > BDL flight apparently needed to result in a layover in Dallas/Fort Worth (because it makes total sense to fly south to head back up north!), and that first leg of my journey was quite a wild ride. It was as if I was at Disneyland on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, with all the sharp twists and turns, but add in a slew giant dips that raise your stomach...this was no longer a kiddie adventure! We manage to land in Dallas and upon reaching the gates, we all discover all flights leaving DFW are delayed or, worse, canceled, and that there has been a tornado warning in the great Dallas area all morning. WTF!? I just flew through a tornado!? While the bumpy ride was enough to make the novice flier sick, I was pale in the face thinking about the bottles of Mandarine Napoleon I had laying (or, at this point, I'm thinking shaking) under the plane. Did they survive? No one would let me have access to my luggage after being grounded for 24 hours, so I had no idea.

My luggage was waiting for me upon my arrival to BDL. I opened the box and - gasp - all the liquor survived!

Now, I know what a wild ride that flight was from inside the cabin so I can only imagine what it was like underneath the plane... So surely, I'm now convinced that the strength and spirit of Napoleon Bonaparte himself protected the alcohol in my travels. What a miracle!

OK - so now I'm talking about the spirit of a dead Emperor? Huh? Yes, this blog post is finally coming full circle as we talk about Halloween! Why don't you go and visit my monthly column at Bar None Drinks and read about toasting to the spirit of Napoleon? I promise it won't disappoint. :)

And check back in here at D4TH soon - there will be much much more about my adventures in Portland where I got to spend time with great bloggers, bartenders, and industry folk and had a plethora of fantastic spirits, cocktails, and yes, even a glass of Gruener Veltliner.



Adventures Ahead in Portland, Oregon!

By the time you are reading this, I hope to be long on my way headed to Portland, Oregon. I have quite a few days of cocktail camaraderie ahead of me, hosted through the great efforts of the folks at the CSOWG (Drink.Write 2010) and the Oregon Bartenders Guild (Portland Cocktail Week 2010).

For me, the festivities start Wednesday night when Mandarine Napoleon welcomes CSOWG members and its guests (both local to Portland and visiting from around the country) with an evening of hors d'ouvres and, of course!, Mandarine Napoleon cocktails. I'll be sure to share the drink recipes and photos following the event. I've got Tommy Klus of BlueHour slinging drinks for us, so I know we'll be in good hands.

As for the rest of my trip to PDX? There's a great lineup of seminars on Thursday and Friday covering a great span of topics, ranging from offering strategies to make your own ingredients to covering blogging ethics and increasing reader engagement online.

For those of you not able to join the action in person, make yourself available on Thursday evening. The CSOWG will be hosting its weekly Thursday Drink Night LIVE in Portland. Never participate in TDN before? I've sung its praises before so log on, create a user name, and join in the cocktail party online.

I won't guarantee that my blogging will be on par with all the event coverage (I got behind during the US Drinks Conference as well, but more to come of that very soon!) so instead you should choose to follow the action on the two Twitter accounts.

More west coast action soon! Cheers!


Lani Kai - Bar Opening in NYC's West Side

Last Monday marked the industry party to celebrate the opening of the new bar, Lani Kai, located on Broome Street in NYC.

Because last week marked the US Drinks Conference, there were plenty of fun people hanging around, including Stephanie and the guys (and girl!) of MicroLiquor.com. I convinced the bunch to go come and off we went.

We weren't sure what to expect - I had only heard about the opening the night before at the Tanqueray 10 party from fellow industry Tonia Guffey, she will be bartending there one night a week from here forward.

Upon entering we quickly learned the bar was aiming at a, perhaps, tiki theme - but not so over the top you wanted to throw off your lei and run out the door screaming - in fact, there weren't even leis. Instead, there were exotic drinks - your choice of a gin based cocktail or scotch based cocktail. To my surprise - I got a scotch cocktail. The cocktail's presentation portrayed a work of art (see picture) I almost felt bad drinking it! (but not so bad I wasn't going to!)

The passion fruit juices blended with the scotch created an illustrious smokey fruit flavor. We cozied in to a booth and took in the scene. Definitely going for the tiki theme, but that will be refreshing once the cold really settles into the city and an actual tropical vacation is too far away.

Upon checking out the downstairs, we were offered a gin punch, served in a giant bowl with four straws... yes please! Delicious fruit juice/gin blend and, again, beautiful presentation... most exciting cocktails I'd had all day!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to check out the full-time menu just yet, but if it's anything like the preview party, I'd say it's worth a stop by. I know I'll be back!

**UPDATE** Found the menu and its looks spectacular!


The Great Match - Wines from Spain

The members of Brand Action Team have been running around in every which direction the past few weeks - we apologize for our pause in blogging!

Last week, Jean and I attended the Wines from Spain Great Match Tasting held in NYC at the Metropolitan Center. The event kicked off with a seminar led by Steve Olson focusing on the variation of the Godello grape. Steve is a wonderful speaker and presenter, not to mention an incredibly intelligent man... I don't know one person who left that room without feeling a new appreciation for this grape one may not be so familiar with. Having had it before, I was most interested to see it's variation of style through the country; the influence of the terroir was higher than expected (but... isn't it always?)

From there, we filtered down into the grand tasting room. There was wine from every part of Spain - Rioja, Ribera, Rias Baxias... and several importers, producers, winemakers and the like in attendance.

Industry folk filtered in throughout the day, happy that the over sized room provided enough space to taste wine without bumping elbows with too many people. I took a particular liking to the sherry table - which explains why I lingered until the next seminar.

To be honest, I've had a lot of experience with Spanish wines, but not so much that I could say I was even a moderate expert. There are so many regions, grapes, styles and the like that beg discovery. Even seasoned wine tasters, familiar with Spanish wine, could find something new, different and/or interesting.

After the grand tasting, Steve Olson introduced us to Cesar Saldana - in short, a sherry master, who led us through a tasting from Fino to Pedro Ximenez. I'm partial to Amontillado, personally, but I've recently discovered cream sherry (a blend of Pedro Ximenez and Amontillado) which might be my new favorite.

Anyway, the Great Match was a great success - I can only imagine it's counterpart in Miami this past Wednesday went to the same way. The Great Match is held annually and open to consumers - definitely recommend marking you calendars for next year's extravaganza (LA, NYC or Miami.)


A Tour of Mandarine Napoleón

Unfortunately, it wasn't I who got to go and spend some time with the team at Mandarine Napoleón at the end of September. Head honcho Steve got to jump the pond to The Netherlands and spend some time getting to discover fantastic new bars (he wrote of this amazing speakeasy-style bar called Door74 that I someday MUST check out!) along with visiting the multiple facilities where deKuyper liquors are produced. I'd rather let him tell the story, but I wanted to post some pictures he took that I thought were pretty neat.

As for me, I have some exciting travel plans coming up as well. October 20th I'll be headed to Portland, Oregon for Drink.Write 2010 and Portland Cocktail Week. Then, the first weekend of November, I'll be jet-setting back west for a visit to Boulder, CO for the First Beer Bloggers Conference, followed by a few days of R&R in Los Angeles. You'll be sure to hear more from me on all of these adventures.

Groet for now!
Mandarine Napoleon XO Grande Reserve is aged in these impressive French oak barrels.

The inner courtyard of the facility - on display outside are some of the older stills once used on site.

A modern update, but look at the intricate wood working in the roof - that's original to the building!


Fried Drinks and Fairgrounds

I know the information I’m about to share may not necessarily be “new” information, but I was waiting for the appropriate occasion to add in my two cents. There’s been a great deal of coverage online given to the country-wide state fairs that took place mostly in the month of September and the ungodly amounts of fried deliciousness served up on an annual basis.

I’ll get back to what caught my eye the most in just a second as I digress to another story.

I had been waiting to write a blog post about the state fair phenomenon until after I went to New England’s coveted Big E fairground for the second straight year. I had a trip planned for a rainy-looking fall evening, but my adventure got sidetracked in order to make a work trip into NYC for the afternoon. I could have gone that Sunday, too, but was enveloped by the massive amounts of football to be watched on TV.

Alas, while sitting at the bar on Sunday night, drinking an Otter Creek Oktoberfest, the discussion of the Big E came up with the bartender. To my dismay, I learned that that very evening was the last day the Big E was running for the year. :(

I had looked forward to sharing my Big E adventures on the blog with you and, in turn, sharing the fascinating news I had learned of weeks prior about the addition to the Texas State Fair’s annual fried food contest – fried alcohol!

As this article from Slash Food said it best:

“This year’s contestants have batter-dipped their way into whole new territory with two new concoctions: Fried Beer and the Deep Fried Frozen Margarita.”

Umm…yes please!

Checking back in now at BigTex.com , I discovered that Fried Beer TM took home the award for the Most Creative entry to the Choice Awards contest. The beer is filled in a pretzel pocket and deep fried – one bite and it seems to be that the beer comes pouring out, to “serve as a dipping sauce”.

So questions I’m still fumbling over:

  • How Much beer is actually inside the deep-fried batter?
  • Is, for example, an IPA going to taste different in the batter than a Pilsner or other light beer?
  • What then would the ABVbe of a fried beer morsel? I'd think, with all that dough absorbing the beer, it would take quite a handful of these to even get a buzz...

As for that Deep Fried Frozen Margarita – well, I can’t even begin to grasp that concept yet. But I’m sure as heck going to give it a try when the state fair rolls around next. Ah, the musings from working in the beverage alcohol industry…


(Photo from friedbeer.net)


Wines of Brazil - A Tasty Delight

That's right, even Brazil has wine and I gotta admit, it's pretty damn good.

Yesterday the Wines of Brazil, an organization created by Brazil's most contemporary wineries in 2002, hosted an importer search tasting at Platforma in NYC featuring 13 of the member wineries.

In all honesty, I knew Brazil made wine, but I didn't know what wine... I was excited to find out.

In the morning seminar, Nora Favelukes, marketing consultant for the Wines of Brazil and Argentina, lead us through the country explaining it's origins, vine covered area, size of the vineyards and the blended Italian and Portuguese background that span the country.

Here are some facts:

  • Winemaking began in Brazil in 1875 by Italian immigrants.
  • Most of the vineyards are located in Serra Gaucha (90%) and include the geographical indication Vale dos Vinhedos.
  • Brazil's top grapes are Chardonnay & Merlot
  • Brazil is a country of sparkling wine, including the grape Prosecco best known to Italy
  • There are 204,012 acres of vineyard covering in Brazil
  • Most of Brazil's grapes fall under Vitus Lambrusca, not Vitus Vinifera
  • There are seven wine regions in Brazil and 1200 wineries
  • Brazilian wine tourism is big for native Brazilians - nearly 92% of Brazilian wine is currently consumers in Brazil
  • Brazilian wines are known to be fresh and fruity with moderate alcohol content
So how were the wines? I was pleasantly surprised. I started with the sparkling wines, being such a big sparkling wine fan anyway, and indulged in Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blends, Muscat wines, Prosecco wines and other variations.

I then moved on to the whites - primarily Chardonnay - and the reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Ancellota and many others.

Overall consensus? Fresh, fruity, balanced, vibrant and entirely enjoyable. Unfortunately, pricing was not available as none of the wineries at this tasting are currently imported, but most of the wines sell for about five dollars in Brazil.

Nora explained to us that due to the organizations infancy, we can not expect the wines to be every where just yet, but she did say this infant is one that consumes a lot of protein and it won't be long before there is an explosion of Brazilian wines on the market.

Personally, I can't wait ;)

Saude! - CC