Thursday, July 29, 2010

NBC+Absolut Vodka competition!

NBC is having a cocktail competition in conjunction with Absolut Vodka and the prize is 100K. If you know someone that might like this opportunity OR yourself, check out the info below!

Good Luck!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TOTC Day 1

As everyone in the cocktail community know that it is the biggest convention/event of the year: TALES OF THE COCKTAIL! I've arrived yesterday and everything has been close to perfection thus far.

My first stop was the MOTAC's "State of the Art, part 2". This was my first time at the museum and I was blown away by the antique bar, the mixologist mixing up their very best libations, and the vintage collection the museum possesses!

The 8 mixologist had some seriously kick butt creations and I want to share the top 1 that I loved.

Danny Valdez's "Audubon Park Swizzle"

1.5 oz Appleton Reserve
.5 oz Del Maguey Chichicapa mezxal
.5 oz demerara simple syrup
.75 oz lime juice
4 dashes of the Bitter Truth Creole bitters
4-6 large mint leaves

Method: Place mint, demerara, rum, lime juice, in tin or mixing glass, lightly muddle and mix ingredients. Add all ingredients into highball/collins glass. Top until 3/4 full with crushed ice/cracked ice. Add bitters and mezcal. Swizzle with swizzle stick. Top with more crushed/cracked ice.

Garnish: with mint sprig.

Info on MOTAC:

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Un-Written Past Times"...Vol.3:March+April

1st: Atlantico Dominican Crawl, 3/14/10
Location:Washington Heights, NY:
1. Elsa, La Reina de Chicharron, Dominican street food 2. Cana y Cafe,Dominican restaurant 3. Fumee, cigar club 4. Tabaco y Ron, club
Video Tour link(A MUST SEE): *It will take a few seconds to download*

I don't know how much I can say about this great Dominican rum! I've written about it in the past for the launch and now we're celebrating the spirit in the heart of NY's largest Dominican community, Washington Heights!

This authentic exploration through the Heights was an experience to remember! The brand ambassador, Effie Panagopoulos and Atlantico's owner Brandon Lieb escorted us through the streets via van and on foot.

The street food was the first stop, in order to experience what Dominicans eat for an inexpensive fare. Second, was the elegant Cana y Cafe restaurant where we had the delicious cuisine at this 4.5 star hot spot.

Next, was an absolute treat! The members only "Fumee" cigar club. We played poker, smoked some great cigars and relaxed with the members.

On the last leg of this tour, was a Dominican club,"Tobaco y Ron". We had an impromptu cocktail challenge, featuring Atlantico. Heck, I even got in on the mayhem! After we danced out little toes out on the dance floor, we hopped into our Atlantico caravan in pure happiness!!

Video Credit: Atlantico
Photo Credit:

2nd: Gin Symposium, 3/22/10
Location: W hotel(Union Square), NYC

What a great treat to get a chance to listen and learn from the very best of the gin world! Anistastia Miller and Jared Brown was on hand to speak about the history of gin along with Beefeater's Master Distiller, Desmond Payne, cocktail aficionado/author, Gary Regan and Plymouth gin's Master Distiller, Sean Harrison.

The all-star mixologist cast: Dan Warner, Simon Ford, Nick Strangeway, Giuseppe Gonzalez was also in attendance speaking on new and classic gin cocktails, such as the original martini, Monk's Gimlet, The Rouge, The Alaska, The Jolly Stomper, and the English Breakfast.

To wrap this marvelous afternoon up, Audrey Saunders, owner of Pegu Club, talked about why she use's different gins in her cocktails for perfect pairing in the libations.

I want to thank Plymouth and Beefeater for this special opportunity, which I've learned so much and was honored to be in the presence of greatness!!

3rd:Whisky Live 2010, 4/7/10
Location:Pier 60,Chelsea Piers,NYC

This is the one of the finest whisky experience NYC has to offer! This time I didn't attend any of the Master classes, because I was so excited to meet several brands and wanted to speak to them and sample their spirits before all of the other massive whisky fans invaded the event! 1st, I had to pad my belly with the delightful buffet selection. Next, I walked over to the the Jazz Chef lounge, and experienced the various whiskies with chocolate pairings. I have to admit that I didn't know that I wanted chocolate with my whisky, until now!

Tasting the brands: With so many whiskies under one roof, It was only a handful that I was interested in and haven't tasted. Here's is the list of spirits that dazzled my taste buds:
  1. Balblair Highland Single Malt
  2. Glen Garioch Single Malt
  3. Tomatin 12 year
  4. Tomatin 18year
  5. Sheep Dip
*Also a special thank you to Belhaven and Innis+Gunn**

After everything wrapped up, we headed over to the Brandy Library and finished the evening with more whisky and great conversation with good whisky friends.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

4th: Blogger's Brunch #2, 4/25/10
Location: Rye House, NYC

Miss Selena Ricks from the Dizzy Fizz has put together her Blogger's brunch -part duex. The first one in January was amazing and I was wondering what she would do this time to make it just as great.

Selena was in confluence with Ann Tuennerman, founder of Tales of the Cocktail, who lead the Herbsaint tasting with 3 cocktails consisting of Frappe's, Fizz's, and Herbsaint drips.

The Sazerac 6 year brunch menu had many options to choose from, and I went with the mac+cheese to accompany my RYEhouse burger. For dessert, I had the tasty Pecan Ice cream, while Ann gave away prizes from the raffle.

During the brunch, Ann spoke to us about Tales of the Cocktail and what to expect this year(7/21-7/25) and she also enjoyed meeting so many people in the NYC social media industry.

It was a great brunch and I thank Selena, Ann, and the RYE House for such a special afternoon!!
Photo Credit: Lush Life Productions

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Un-Written Past Times"...Vol.2: Feb

1st:"For Peat Sake",2/1/10
Location: Beekman Bar and Books, NYC

The best way to kick off the month of February is a round table discussion about PEAT! The experts, such as Sam Simmons, Jeff Karlovitch, Peter Silver,Robin Robinson, and Simon Brooking came together to share some insight on the "Peated World". I'd learned a lot and tasted some great peaty whiskies and was honored to be in such great presence of these gentlemen!

2nd: Wine Bow's 1st annual Portfolio Tasting
Location: Ace Hotel, NYC

Wine Bow's extensive collection is something to really talk about, but let me be honest here, I came for the whisky!

Goodness me! I was in heaven when I had the opportunity to taste some OUTSTANDING brands!

Out of the dozens of the Bruichladdich selections, my best pick was the Valhalla, (15 year) Links expression. It is yet another great edition to the series. Finished in a bourbon cask with rich flavors. My favorite notes was of citrus and the briny sea smoke.

For info:

Winebow Info:

View the Peaty night:

Photo Credit: Lush Life Productions

3rd:Sunburnt Cow's menu tasting, 2/15/10
Location: Sunburnt Cow Restaurant, East Village,NY

This Australian restaurant will knock your socks off with their un believable specials during the week and their friendly staff! I went on a Monday night with friends and they had this "Happy Hour" special, which consist of all you can eat and drink for 2 hours!!! You can catch this deal on a Sunday too!

My delicious picks was the lamb balls for my appetizer, and the Kangaroo Shepard's pie for dinner. Me and my friends shared the YUMMY: Lamington's, Pavlova, and the Sticky Date Pudding for dessert.

FYI: They also have the all you can drink for 2 hours for $20, any day(well drinks only).

Wrap-up: For $20+tip, I think this place is a TERRIFIC "Recession Special"! You don't come across great service and food like this with a affordable price to match too often.

More info and menu:

Photo Credit: Sun Burnt Cow

4th: Winter Cocktail Tasting Party, 2/9/10
Location: The Summit, East Village, NY

Greg Seider, owner of the Summit Bar was on hand creating some delightful cocktails from the menu along with his dynamic staff. I just had to have the The Gov’ner, which is made of: Yamazaki 12 year whisky, toasted cardamom infused agave,
Japanese yuzu, and fresh orange juice.

The Gov'ner is my absolute favorite at the Summit Bar, but when I'm in the mood for whisky and a beer(normally all of the time), I'll get the Estrella Damm lager and a dram of the Black Bottle.

Stay tuned for my next review at the Summit, because it's a Beefeater libation I can't wait to experience!

Wrap-up: The Summit Bar is a fantastic 5 star East Village watering hole! Now go and wet your whistle and say hi to Greg.

Info on The Summit Bar:

5th:USBGNY+USBG Illinois/LUPEC 1st Annual Winter Ball, 2/21/10
Location: Children's Aid Society, West Village,NY

First off, I cannot say how well this ball turned out! It was a 80's/90's themed prom. We had Lush Life Productions taking silly high school styled photographs, a "Make Out Room", Crif Dogs catering, a live karaoke band, lethal punches and several brands pouring some tasty spirits.

I had more fun at this prom than I did at my own high school prom back in the 90's!! I really do think that the photo's WILL speak louder than words!!! View this link and get your tissue's, because these are some great pix that will make bust out in tears with laughter!


Photo Credit: Lush Life Productions

6th:BEEFEATER'S "Fish and Chips", 2/21/10
Location: The Summit Bar, East Village,NY

This event was to celebrate one of the best English dry gin's: Beefeater and Plymouth. Being a huge fan for the spirit, I was excited to taste the new cocktails and eat some sinfully delicious Fish and Chips.

The cocktails was as the following:
  1. London's Calling(Beefeater)
  2. Chamomileon Collins(Beefeater)
  3. The Income Tax Cocktail(Beefeater)
  4. The Last Word(Beefeater)
  5. Bijou Cocktail(Plymouth)
  6. Pineapple Julep(Plymouth)
All of these was exquisite, but my top picks are number 1+2. Here are the recipe's and I hope you can try them out for yourself and enjoy the spirit!
  • London's Calling
Source: Jamie Gordon,2010
2 parts Beefeater 24
2 parts Paprika-infused fresh pink grapefruit juice
1 part Chardonnay Honey Syrup
2 dashed Lemon Bitter's

To make juice: Use 1 part Chardonnay, 1 part Honey, and 1 part water; then add in a few Coriander seeds.

Method:Add all ingredients together.
Shake and strain into a coup glass.
Garnish: Use the discarded zest of grapefruit and lemon.

  • Chamomileon Collins
Source: Jaime Gordon,2010

1 1/2 part Beefeater 24
1 part fresh lemon juice
3/4 part Chamomile syrup
Top Lavender syrup

To make syrup: Use 1 part strong chamomile tea and 1 part sugar.

: Add Beefeater 24, lemon juice, and chamomile syrup to a mixing glass and shake with ice.
Pour over fresh ice into a highball glass
Top with Lavender syrup.
Garnish: A lemon wedge and chamomile and/or lavender flower.

Photo Credit:
Catering by: A Salt and Battery (Highly recommended)
A Salt+Battery website:


Friday, July 9, 2010

"Un-Written Past Times"...Vol.1:Jan

So here I am,It's July and I've finally learned how to slow down this roller coaster ride!The past 9 months has been more than I have ever expected it to be. I've been on top of everything for my production company, except for the blogging side. I've had a few opportunities to post something here and then something there once in awhile, but not enough to be as active as I wished it to be.

Now, I've have created a newsletter that will catch you up on my social media events within spirits industry. It's not as detailed as I wanted,but at least it will give you a good look at what happens from month to month.

Also, you'll see how busy I was with attending these events,while still working at my formal whisky bar, and running my company with a small staff.

1st up: The Dizzy Fizz Blogger Brunch, 1/24/10
Location: Clover Club, Brooklyn, NY

This is to my belief the first ever Blogger's brunch within the industry. Miss Selena Ricks, who is on the cutting edge of producing unique/original event creations has done it again!

We had tasty tequila cocktails made with Sombra and Partida and the food was absolutely delicious!

It was a great experience and I would like to thank the Dizzy Fizzy: Selena Ricks once again!!

To view this brunch:
Photo Credit: Lush Life Productions

2nd: Meet the Distillers, SKYY Spirits, 1/24/10
Location: The Back Room, Lower East Side, NYC

I don't know where to start on this one! First of all, it's a whisky event and I'm smiling from ear to ear. This was Skyy Spirits guide to "World Class Whiskies", and the selection that they carry is impressive! Let me tell you who dazzled my taste buds that night:
  1. Glen Grant 10+16 years
  2. Auchentoshan:classic/12,18,21years/3 wood
  3. Glenrothes: 1985, 91, and 94
  4. Tullamore Dew:original, 10+12 years
  5. Bowmore: Legend, 12,15,18, and 25 years
  6. Hibiki 12 year
  7. Wild Turkey:101,Rare Breed,Kentucky Spirit, American Honey,Russell Reserve Bourbon
This was an amazing and I really enjoyed sitting down and conversing with Russell himself!

Thank you SKYY Spirits!!!!

3rd: Pegu Cocktail Series, featuring David Wondrich, 1/25/10
Location: Pegu Club, SoHo,NYC

I didn't get a chance to catch the entire presentation from David, but he basically gave a descriptive look inside the cocktail culture from past to present.

To watch him in cocktail action:
video link credit: YouTube and Zagat Survey

4th: USBGNY Jan mixer, featuring Veev, 1/25/10
Location: Yerba Buena, West village, NYC

Back when I was bartending at Indochine(NYC), I came along a new product called Veev, an Acai spirit that I had no idea what to do with, until almost 1 1/2 years later. The brand representative came to speak about the product, where it came from, and why they say it's "a better way to drink".

Also,I learned how they donate $1 per bottle sold to the Rain Forest, they're the 1st certified carbon neutral spirits company, and how Veev is powered by renewable energy.

We received a bartenders guide to what's in season for fruit, in which is better to use in the spirit.
Lastly, we got a cocktail list with some interesting recipe's, such as: Order of the Amazon, English Royalty,Sage Lady, and the Spa Cooler.

So if you wanna feel guilt-free about the spirit your drinking and donate to a great cause, try Veev!

5th:"WTF is Campari?" TNT tasting presentation, Jan 2010
Location: Louis 649, East Village,NYC

Allen Katz delightfully educated and engaged us all on what exactly is Campari. I've learned that it was created in Novara, Italy around the Romantic Age(@1860), which was in confluence with the Classical Age.

Basically, It is a neutral grain spirit infused with spices and herbs. The recipe is a secret, but you can definitely pick up: green cardamon, clove,cinnamon and genchin.

The spirit/botanicals are soaked in water for a minimum of 2 days and matured for 2 weeks. Right after steeping, it's very bitter and dark in color. It's sorta of a sweet vermouth that's not drinkable.

The most popular cocktails associated with Campari, is the: Negroni, Americano, and the classic Campari+soda.

For these cocktails and more:
Photo Credit:

6th: "Hearts and Cocktails for Haiti", Jan.31,2010
Location: Bar Celona, Brooklyn, NY

Ray Raymond, sales manager for Santa Teresa rum and of Haitian background wanted to do something for the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Naturally, he thought of a benefit cocktail/punch party to raise funds, in order to help out those desperately in need. American Red Cross was in confluence with the fund raising and several brands donated their product for the cause.

By the end of the night, Ray Raymond and everyone whom participated one way or the other, raised $5800.00!!

I am so proud of Mr. Raymond and I'm glad that this NYC cocktail community could contribute to a worthy cause to the well deserving people of Haiti!

Here is one recipe that kept my taste buds zinging:
Fidencio Pineapple Nog
1 1/2 oz Fidencio Mezcal, Joven
2oz Pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz Hazelnut water
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

Method: Combine in mixing glass
Add ice and shake
Strain over ice in rocks glass

Garnish: Grated nutmeg
Revised Cocktail Recipe(Haitian Christmas Nog): Arik Torren

Photo Credit: Lush Life Productions
To view this benefit:

7th and last: The Pernod Absinthe Celebration, Jan 2010
Location: undisclosed

Pernod is the first brand to create Absinthe. It has been established since 1805, and the popularity of the brand swept across the USA and Europe like wild fire!! It was very popular amongst the artist, such as some of my favorites: Picasso,Van Gogh, Degas, and Manet.

It is known as the "Green Fairy" or the "La fee Verte", for the addiction to the hallucinogenic drug! In 1915, it was banned and then legalized again in 2008. Now Pernod is back on top with it's 68% (ABV) spirit consisting of wormwood, fennel, star anise, hyssop, and other herbs.

To learn more about Pernod:
Check out my article on how to create the "Traditional Ritual of Serving Absinthe":

The end.........Vol.2:Feb coming soon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whisky Live 2010 Bulletin

Hello whisky lovers around the world. I wanted to update you on the upcoming events with Whisky Live 2010. I know I had a great time this past April in NYC!

Whisky Live had in depth master classes, chocolate whisky pairings (featuring Laphroaig), whisky cocktail challenge, Ardbeg Chopper give-a-way entry contest,terrific brands to taste, and so much more!

If you would like to experience it for yourself, I have the remaining list of the 2010 tours for Scotland, USA and the Canada dates:

Sept. 11: Glasgow, Scotland
*Focusing on the education of the master class.
Sept.13: Los Angeles, California
Sept, 22: Toronto, Canada
Sept.29: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
*In confluence with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Whisky Live will also be in Africa, Paris and Spain. Check out the link for more info:

Photo Credits: Keith Allison

Pod cast of the Whisky Live:

Carmen Operetta