Our Guest Post for all Generations – The Martini

Posted in Editor's Notes, Recipes on November 24th, 2009 by Josh

Our friends over at The 50 Plus Male – a blog for men of the baby boomer generation – asked us to write a guest post about cocktails and the role of the cocktail hour in social life. We chose to write about the cocktail we most identify with the baby boomers – the Martini. You can find the full post over at The 50 Plus Male. The boozy part is provided below.

martini1One of the best parts of writing about cocktails and spirits is that the audience is nearly universal. I actually come from a technology background where, with a few exceptions, there wasn’t much diversity in the crowd. But writing about spirits on Spirited Cocktails, I’ve met so many people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life, and it truly enriches my experience. Read More

Tags: dry vermouth, gin, martini, orange bitters

The Solution to Thanksgiving Overeating – Amari

Posted in Editor's Notes on November 23rd, 2009 by Josh

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, many of us have accepted as a foregone conclusion that we will eat to a point that is well beyond comfortable. We will stuff ourselves full of turkey, potatoes, vegetables of all kinds, and of course, plenty of dessert.

As with so many things in life, the solution to this problem (in this case, feeling overstuffed, but feel free to substitute your problem here) is drinking. Read More

The Casillero del Diablo Murder Mystery

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16th, 2009 by Josh

Big news today! I’m sure that many of you have heard about the murder that took place at Casillero del Diablo recently.  Well, I had the confidential notes written by the lead detective fall into my possession!  I won’t disclose my source, but I’ve been reading these notes, and judging by the little that I’ve skimmed so far, I think that this guy has the case figured out.

He has interviewed the wife of the victim, who disappeared mysteriously, and only recently reappeared.  Apparently, her story doesn’t fit. The detective also thinks that Christina killed the housekeeper because she found the devil mask, which she wore when she killed her husband! According to the notes, he is a few days away from arresting her for the murder.

On a side note, this guy also writes a lot about dragons, werewolves, and dreams that he has.  Quite a character.  My Spanish isn’t what it used to be, but maybe I’ll post some of the actual writing as I translate it.

For more info on this case, check out http://www.facebook.com/diablowine or follow them at http://www.twitter.com/diablowine.

PS – I Passed BarSmarts

Posted in Events on November 15th, 2009 by Josh

Just a quick postscript to my post about BarSmarts last week: the official word came this weekend that I passed. I’ve got to admit, I was a little nervous, particularly about the blind tasting component of the written exam (I’m good at tasting; just not necessarily good at identifying *what* I’m tasting.) In any case, I’m quite pleased that I passed, though I fully intent to keep practicing for the practical anyway :-)


Upcoming Class in High Tech Cocktails

Posted in Community, Events on November 10th, 2009 by Josh

I’ve been slow to get behind the whole “molecular mixology” movement. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that a big part of my mission is to help make the creation of quality, classic cocktails accessible to the home bartender. But anyone who knows me also knows that I’m a hardcore geek. I like gadgets, tools and technology. And that’s why I’ll be going to the Holiday Cocktail class at the International Culinary Center, taught by Nils Norén and Dave Arnold, both of the French Culinary Institute. (I’ve mentioned Dave before – he co-presented the Science of Shaking class at Tales of the Cocktail.) Read More


Posted in Editor's Notes, Events on November 5th, 2009 by Josh

I had the privilege this week to complete the BarSmarts Live course – a training program geared toward the new generation of bartenders. The course was put together by spirits giant Pernod Ricard, but I found that, while many of the examples obviously cited Pernod Ricard brands, the course was very comprehensive and conveyed a wide range of industry information.

The course is broken up into five parts: four self-paced modules completed at home with a book, DVDs, and online quizzes, and a one-day live session which includes seminars, a written exam, and a practical exam. Read More

The Pumpkin Pie

Posted in Community, Recipes on October 28th, 2009 by Josh

The Bar at the Astor LoungeThis evening, my friend Laren (@sweetblogomine) and I joined Jonathan Pogash for his Cocktail Lab class at the Astor Center Lounge. I’ve mentioned Jonathan here before (he was the source for our post on the Maple Plum Sparkler), but to refresh your memory, Jonathan is a cocktail development consultant, and the beverage director for Hospitality Holdings (which manages a number of major bars here in New York, including the Campbell Apartment and Bookmarks Lounge).

I’ve taken a number of classes at Astor Center in the past, and they’ve all offered an opportunity to learn a great deal from some of the country’s most talented mixologists. Be sure to check out their full calendar; if you’re in the area, I highly encourage you to give one a try. Jonathan’s class is actually offered monthly, so you can definitely take that one. If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest the Home Bar Basics course. Read More

Tags: angostura bitters, astor center, averna, cocktail, egg white, jonathan pogash, maple syrup, orange, pumpkin, rye