Thursday, July 30, 2009

Delaware Phoenix Absinthe Tasting

It was July 21, 2009, and I attended my first absinthe tasting at the Richardson bar (Brooklyn,NY=Greenpoint). Previously, I knew 3 things about this lovely spirit.

1. It's a distilled spirit and it's very alcoholic.
2. It's nickname is the "green fairy", because of it's color I assume.
3.It's made from herbs, primarily Anise and Wormwood.

Cheryl Lim(the master distiller) educated us on how the distillation process is executed, the history of Absinthe, and she gave a visual display of the ingredients used in creating this wonderful potion. I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson she taught and sipping on her 2 products that she produces.

The Delaware Phoenix distillery is located upstate NY, where she owns and operates all by herself! I think it is probably the smallest distillery in the USA, but produces a great product, such as Walton Waters and Meadow of Love. The Meadow of Love is my favorite, because it is floral and soft on the nose.

In a LIBATION, Cheryl recommends 20 milliliters of Absinthe and 80 milliliters of water, since the strength of the spirit is about 60%! Also, I would put that measurement in a shaker full of ice along with a sugar cube or two and shake vigorously. Next, pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist or maybe nothing at all.

For more information about this product please contact:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Day 3 TOTC (pt.2)

As we returned to the hotel and prepared for the BIG night ahead, Don Q had there tasting party 2 floors above us! All I had to say is that it involved a nitrogen tank and plenty of Puerto Rican rum......

The all star mixologist: Esteban Ordonez whipped up a succulent frozen rum punch LIBATION by mixing all of the in ingredients into a large mixing bowl and then spraying it down with nitrogen. Yes, nitrogen folks! At that point, the libation was frozen and ready to apply my taste buds around that glass. It was extremely delicious and I thank the Don Q co. and Esteban for putting together such a great demonstration.

The spirited awards(our oscars), was filled with great energy and excitement! Upon entry, the dinner set up was buffet style with a great deal of delectable meats, veggies, pastries, and LIBATIONS. My favorite selection was the lamb chops that felled off the bone. As everyone began to seat themselves into the ceremony area, I absolutely loved the flower centerpieces filled with mini Jameson, Glenlivet, and Plymouth bottles inside of the glass vases(I think everyone had an eye on those bottles).

Here are the winners :

Best bar: Pegu, NYC

Best hotel bar: Merchants, Ireland

Best cocktail writting: David Wondrich,NYC

Best new product: Bols Genever____Congrats Bols, because I thought Angustura was a shoe in!

Best brand ambassador: Simon Ford,NYC

Best drink selection: Merchants, Ireland

Best bartender: James Meehan,NYC

Best new cocktail book: Dale DeGroff, NYC

World's best new cocktail bar: Clover Club, Brooklyn, NY____I can't even express to you how appreciative and wild the audience stood up in excitement for this bar.......

Best world cocktail bar: PDT,NYC

Helen David lifetime award: Peter Dorelli

Off to the bartender breakfast: As everyone exited the awards, the NoLa jazz band greeted us and escorted the attendees to the breakfast. It was great music, people sipping on those mini bottles from the centerpiece's and the police on motorcycles blocking off streets for our entourage to walk to the breakfast safely! How cool is that?

The breakfast: At this point, everyone was having such a great time! It was a live jazz band, drinks flowing, dancing, and everything else! I had a frickin blast!

As the night ended, It was time for me to get back to the hotel and get ready for the 7am flight back to NYC.

In conclusion, going to the TOTC for the first time was an unbelievable experience! I met so many wonderful people in the industry. I've learned about some amazing cocktails, watched the mixologists at their best, and tasted some of the best cocktails ever! I LOVE NOLA AND TOTC!!!

**I would like to thank Bar and Books, NYC for sending me to the TOTC. I'll never forget it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 3 of the TOTC (pt.1)

I woke up on this Saturday morning(7/11/09) with a great big smile on my face and happily anxious to experience another day of the Tales! Me and Adriana walked down to our Hotel's lounge for coffee and a light bite and then we was off to experience the people of NoLa in the French Quarters for a little shopping.

Next, we attended the Xante/Cherry Herring tasting party located at the Hotel Monteleone. This was a great event, because the bartenders crafted some amazing LIBATIONS! Xante introduced their new coffee liquor brand and it was very flavorful. I would pour an ounce of that in my morning Colombian joe any day.

Among all of the lovely LIBATIONS, such as their versions of the Singapore Sling, the Blood and Sand, I loved the Xante ginger martini! It was mouth watering delicious! As a big fan of ginger, Xante executed this recipe properly. well done Xante.

Round 2: the Double Cross tasting party at the Hotel Monteleone. Double cross is a 7 timed distilled Slovak vodka, which was the spirit used in the featured Bloody Mary LIBATION. Esteban Ordonez was the mixologist in charge of creating the best Bloody Mary I ever had in my life! The preparation for the mix took him 2 days to create, which included peeling off the skin of the tomatoes with a fish knife. The LIBATION had a light red color and spiced to perfection. The garnish was a "smokra"(smoked okra), which was a local NOLA product.

During the tasting, Double Cross had a complimentary massage service to all of the lucky attendees. Can you think of what could be better than experiencing the best version of a great classic cocktail while having the knots in your back released?

The pool party, and yes it was at the Monteleone. It was quit the gathering of friends. The pool water temp was perfect, the splashes, the flix, the pix, and everything else was legendary! I will keep these thoughts/comments to myself and for the memoir I'm writting.......... be continued

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tales of the Cocktail festival- NewOrleans(NOLA)

Day 2: A lazy day starts for us in NOLA. As I awoken, It was well into the afternoon and me and my GM missed several seminars! It was raining hard, therefore I took my time getting ready as I sipped on my coffee and responding to all of the texts people sent me asking "where the heck are you"?

In a brief hour, the rain ceased and the sun returned in full force! We walked over to the Hotel Monteleone(the main location for the TOTC)and lounged poolside with our fellow industry folks. We shared many giggles, liquor, splashes, and of course business cards.

After taking in the sun, me and Adri (Adriana-GM)returned to the W to get dressed for the Le Blon competition held at the O'Briean's on the river , inside of Jack's Brewery. Our entourage met up at the Don Q suite (a few floors above us) and tasted some delightful LIBATIONS that I so approve of (recipes will be posted very soon). Shortly after, we walked over (Don Q LIBATIONS in hand)to the competition and the streets of NOLA was filled with spirited natives and dazzling musical entertainment. It almost felt like we was escorted by the people of the city, and everyone was in a rhythmic motion.

Competition: Le Blon created several regional mini bar tables for each chapter. It was 2 bartenders each creating their own specialty. My favorite pics was NYC, Chicago, and Phoenix. Ballots was handed to you upon entry and of course I had to vote for the big apple! We had an amazing time and yes NYC won again! It was a wonderful experience and I thank you Le Blon for such a great competition!

Next event: Grey Goose tasting, this event was hosted in a dark tasting room, since my group had to leave early I was unable to attend, but the new cocktails that was passed out was very interesting. I like the Grey Goose L'Orange Black Orchid and the Grey Goose Le Citron Rosy Ramos(recipes will be posted very soon).
Later on..... to wrap up the night, we left for more parties and fun! It was a great day in NOLA.................

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Tales of the Cocktail" festival, New Orleans(NOLA)

DAY 1:

(7/9/09) I arrived at the New Orleans(MSY) airport @2pm with an airplane full of mixologist discussing/sharing stories about molecules and such wonderous mixology. I even heard the other people speaking about how excited they were about experiencing this major event just as a novice (Yes, I thought this festival was for the industry insider's only)!

Upon my departure from the MSY and my drive to the W hotel(Poydras street), I felt an air of southeren pleasantries and humid delight. I started getting excited as we drew nearer to the W! As a virgin to this here Tales, I knew it was going to be something special!

At the arrival of the W, my lovely GM (Adriana Daci )greeted me in the lobby, we raced upstairs and ordered food for the pool, and then we ascended to the "WET" pool.....YyeeEssSSsss!! The water was luke warm and the server(Andrew) was delightfully funny and relaxed as a cucumber.

Evening: It was now time to walk down to the French Quarters. The Presbytere(Louisiana State Museum) held the cocktail "carnival" happy hour. I think every bartender participating in the Tales had a mini bar table set-up. They served the best cocktails of thier represented liquor brand.

Everyone from Bombay to St.Germain had a special spirit to offer and I felt like I was in my version of DisneyLand! I think I might of sampled enough libations for 2 people! It was then time to exit the building!!

Later on.... off to socialize with our spirited Tales asscociates. 1st stop: Old Absinthe House (bourbon street), which is one of the main social scenes of the Tales. Everyone had a great time and the festivities in the street from the natives created an authentic NOLA vibe.

2nd stop:D.B.A. (Frenchman street) Ray Deter's sequel from his NYC's D.B.A.(1st ave). Yes, i did end up sitting next to him at the bar, which we had a great conversation along with his welcome to the Tales and NOLA.

Late-late-later on...... at this point, we had a large entourage combing the beautiful quarters, and as the sun was rising, it was time to head back to the W.

NIGHT CAP: NOLA-what an amazing city! Tales-round 1 is under my belt and what a delight it has been!!