The Fight Over Painkiller

Posted in Editor's Notes on June 10th, 2011 by Josh

A few weeks ago, during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, I told you about my visit to Painkiller. After only a year in business, this Lower East Side tiki bar has become an instant classic, and a favorite among bartenders and cocktailians around the country, myself included.

Well, as you may have seen on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, Painkiller has found themselves in a legal dispute over their name. Pusser’s Rum, a brand based in the British Virgin Islands, claims a trademark to the name Painkiller, and filed suit in federal court against the bar’s owners claiming irreparable harm to its brand, unfair competition and unfair business practices. You can read all about it via The LoDown or Robert Simonson.

The result: Painkiller’s owners – Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato – have agreed, according to The LoDown: Read More

Tags: giuseppe gonzalez, Intellectual Property, painkiller, PKNY, Pusser's Rum, Richard Boccato, Robert Simonson, Trademarking

The Negroni

Posted in Recipes on May 31st, 2011 by Josh

In my last post, I wrote about gin cocktails at Eleven Madison Park. Many of my cocktail friends know that I’m a latecomer to the Negroni, having not been a particular fan of Campari in the past, which is a key ingredient. For whatever reason, it just hasn’t been a good fit with my taste. But to me, the highlight of my afternoon at Eleven Madison Park was the Negroni cocktail, so I thought it would be worth a bit more discussion.

As I started to write about this cocktail, my mind went to that joke about The Aristocrats? Content of the joke aside, the idea is that every comedian has their own version of the joke, and having a version of your own is seen as something of a secret handshake among comedians. I think the Negroni is the Aristocrats of the cocktail world. It’s a perfect template, but everyone has their own version. Read More

Tags: Amor y Amargo, Beefeater, Campari, Carpano Antica, cocktail, eleven madison park, gin, sweet vermouth

MCC 2011 – British Invasion at Eleven Madison Park

Posted in Events on May 27th, 2011 by Josh

Simon Ford of Pernod Ricard and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park with the British Invasion Crew

I know – finally. This post is long overdue, but you know what they say: save the best for last.

On the Sunday of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, the British Invasion event was held at Eleven Madison Park. The event was sponsored by the gin portfolio of Pernod Ricard (Beefeater, Beefeater 24 and Plymouth), and featured classic gin cocktails including the Pimm’s Cup, the Tom Collins, the South Side, and the Negroni. To accompany these delicious gin cocktails? Fish and Chips a la Eleven Madison Park (which is to say, the best fish and chips you’ve ever had). All this, served al fresco on the patio of the restaurant opposite Madison Square Park, with The Crooners (regulars at Eleven Madison Park) playing through the Beatles catalog. What could possibly be bad? Read More

Tags: Beefeater, eleven madison park, gin, mcc, negroni, Plymouth

Interlude: The Emotional Impact of a Manhattan

Posted in Editor's Notes on May 26th, 2011 by Josh

Black Market Manhattan

Editor’s Note: I meant for my next post to be a wrap-up of my time at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic with a recap of the British Invasion event at Eleven Madison Park. I promise – that’ll come next. First, I wanted to share this long-overdue story, as it was relayed to me by my good friend Michael this past holiday season. Michael and I worked together years ago, and have stayed in touch via Facebook, talking mostly about food, drink and guitars (mutual interests, all). I found Mike’s story to be a very touching tribute, and a commentary on the emotional energy that can be unleashed by taking a drink in your hand and raising it to one we love, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

As told to me via e-mail by Michael Feuda, December 24, 2010:

Growing up, I have vivid memories of my Dad and Uncle Al (twin brothers) mixing up Manhattans every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My sister and I were always curiously drawn to watching them, mainly because of the little jar of maraschino cherries. I remember my Uncle poking one with the little plastic buccaneer’s sword, and handing it to me, only to roll in laughter as my sister or I tried it; watching our faces as the bourbon-soaked cherry burned going down our throats. I also remember thinking to myself, “How could anyone ever drink that? It tastes horrible.” Read More

Tags: bourbon, family, manhattans

MCC 2011 – Behind The Bar: Painkiller

Posted in Events on May 18th, 2011 by Josh

In some fit of insanity while planning my agenda for the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Classic, I chose to schedule a Behind the Bar session at Painkiller early in the afternoon on the day following The Gala. As excited as I was to learn more about the bar that is leading the Tiki Revolution, I was dreading another drink so soon after the prior evening’s revelry; especially from a bartender as renowned for knocking his patrons on their asses as proprietor Giuseppe González. Fortunately, he was relatively kind!

Painkiller is located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and in its short life to-date (they just celebrated their one year anniversary earlier this month), it already has a reputation. Ask anyone who has been there about their Painkiller experience and more likely than not, they remember simply that they enjoyed it; not much else! But Painkiller has also established their reputation as a world-class cocktail bar, particularly in the tiki style. Not a surprise, given the pedigree of owning partners Giuseppe González (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club) and Richard Boccato (Little Branch, Dutch Kills). Read More

Tags: Events, giuseppe gonzalez, mcc, painkiller, tiki

MCC 2011 – The Gala

Posted in Events on May 16th, 2011 by Josh

MCC Gala @ New York Public LibraryOver the next few days, I’m going to walk through the events I attended this past weekend as part of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. We’ll start at the beginning, of course, with the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala.

For the second year in a row, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicked off in style with a lavish party at the main branch of the New York Public Library. The halls and hallways of this classic New York location were filled with liquor industry elite and fans alike, sharing in the delight of hundreds of different cocktails representing nearly every major spirit brand on the market. I will admit, though, having attended the gala two years in a row now, I have some mixed feelings about whether I’ll go back next year. Read More

Tags: DonQ, Events, mcc, NYPL, Tuthilltown

Let the MCC Madness Begin!

Posted in Events on May 13th, 2011 by Josh

Today kicks off the 2011 Manhattan Cocktail Classic! The long weekend begins with The Gala tonight at the New York Public Library. Hopefully you’ve got your tickets, because it’s sold out! It’s sure to be a night filled with crazy fashion, food, music, debauchery, and of course, amazing cocktails from pretty much every brand in the industry.

Here’s the list of the events I’ll be attending. Of course, I’ll also be trolling around the main bar at Astor Center, and probably popping my head in on a few other sessions. Tickets are still available for a number of sessions and events throughout the weekend. Let me know where you’ll be! I’ll be providing updates via Twitter (@cocktailspirit). I hope to see you there.

Cheers,
-Josh

Tags: mcc