Archive for July, 2009

July 12th, 2009

Postcard from Tales ’09


Hello, Boston. Wish you were here in New Orleans. Having a fabulous time. Highlights:

Agave, agave, agave. So many drinks here this year with good tequila and mezcal.

Seminar on how to promote your brand or bar through blogs. Moderator Paul Clarke did a bang-up job with this one, which conveyed to PR folk that they need to get a little more sophisticated in cultivating coverage in the blogosphere.

Seminar called World’s Biggest Bar Crawl with Simon Ford and Angus Winchester, two British gin ambassadors who have traveled the world a few times over and experienced some of the world’s best bars. Wow, did I want to book an open-ended, global airline ticket after this one.

Two amazing meals at Cochon, including one with a little appetizer of pig’s head for eight.

On the Fly bartending competition: eight bartenders from around the U.S. competed mixing cocktails with a box of ingredients presented to them Iron Chef-style. Giuseppe Gonzalez (creator of the Trinidad Sour) of Dutch Kills in Queens won, and our own Misty Kalkofen of Drink took second — hooray, Misty!

Attending the Spirit Awards and cheering on John Gertsen and the other bartenders of Drink, which was nominated for World’s Best New Cocktail Bar. Alas, Clover Club of Brooklyn won, but all the Beantowners present were pleased that Boston is being recognized as a great cocktail and hospitality town.

More to come soon. In the meantime, check out my posts for the Tales collaborative blog.

Posted in New Orleans | No Comments »

July 7th, 2009

Drinkboston in NOLA … and Wellfleet!

Just a quick post before I leave on a Jet Blue plane for New Orleans and my third annual stint at the booziest convention in the known universe, Tales of the Cocktail. I’ll be tweeting (yes, I finally took up microblogging) and posting during the festivities — my posts will appear here and on the official Tales Blog. (See my preview post on Sunday’s hangover seminar.) So check back over the next few days, y’all.

I hear this a lot during the days leading up to Tales: Am I going to be able to get a decent drink in Boston that week? Yes, don’t worry. It’s true that a lot of industry folk from Boston participate, but they don’t all go at the same time, or for the whole time. There will still be talent behind the stick at most if not all of the best cocktail-centric Boston bars.

happy-oyster-showMeanwhile, starting this Sunday, July 12, drinkboston guest blogger Scott N. Howe will be performing in the Happy Oyster Spectacular Show at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT) in Wellfleet, Cape Cod (whose oysters kick southern oysters’ ass — sorry New Orleans). The premise of this part-live, part-video comedy that Scott co-wrote: “Two Wellfleet oystermen, Hewlett Packard and Pitney Bowes, host a variety show featuring live sketches, video, musical performances, and segments on oysters, clams, experimental theater, lyme disease, documentary filmmaking and dog poop.”

I will unfortunately still be in NOLA for the first show, but luckily there are five more running through August 23. Scott and his troupe are funny people, so if you’re looking for some laughs in the outer Cape this summer, check it out. (Buy tix here.)

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Posted in New Orleans | 4 Comments »

July 1st, 2009

The man, the doctor, the legend


Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, originally published in 2004, is the book that made me “get” this whole classic cocktail thing. I’d been dabbling around the edges of that world for years, drinking Martinis, Negronis and the occasional French 75, collecting vintage barware here and there. But most of the books I encountered failed to inspire me: they were either thick tomes listing, without context, every mixed-drink recipe of the last 50 years, or books for the serious bartender, dense with text about tools and techniques.

That’s why I was so thankful when I found VS&FC, with its mere 80 carefully chosen, carefully formulated classic recipes, snappy historical briefs on each drink, and as good a summary of cocktail history — including how cocktails got popular again — as I’ve ever read. The book was fun, accessible and smart. It guided me in stocking my home bar, and when I tasted the mysterious delights of Corpse Reviver 2’s and Widows Kisses, I never looked back.

If you missed VS&FC’s initial printing, don’t worry. The Revised and Expanded Deluxe Edition is now available. Besides a hard cover and a whole new (and improved) look, it’s got 100 recipes (still a quite manageable list), more photos of booze artifacts from the Doctor’s own collection, and added appendices, including one on “the 25 most influential online cocktail pioneers.” Hint: I’m on page 318. Ever seen yourself quoted in a book that influenced you to become that quotable person? It’s freaky.

Speaking of which, several of the bloggers mentioned in the “pioneers” section, including myself, are contributors to the blog for Tales of the Cocktail 2009. I recently contributed a post previewing a seminar on hangovers taking place Sunday, July 12. I’ll be filing additional stories later next week, so stay tuned.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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Posted in Books & resources, drinkboston in the news | 2 Comments »

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