Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Derby’

May 3rd, 2009

Mine that bird

A Mint Julep at DrinkThe odds of my drinking like a lady at yesterday’s “Run for the Roses” party at Drink were about as long as those of Mine That Bird winning the Kentucky Derby. The name of the first-place horse could have been the party’s slogan, the bird in question being Eagle Rare bourbon. The whiskey flowed so lavishly that John Gertsen mixed a giant Mint Julep in a silver punch bowl just because he could.

For me, a good party was made even better by the fact that I got to enjoy my bourbon alongside one Mr. Paul Harrington, who happened to be in town for the weekend from the West Coast. In the ’90s, as a San Francisco bartender and the authority behind on the now-defunct web magazine HotWired, Paul was among a small handful of people who planted the seeds of the classic-mixology revival. He co-authored Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century (unfortunately out of print), a seminal book for many of today’s bartender-mixologists in Boston and elsewhere. Those influencees include Patrick Sullivan, who consulted Paul’s book when he opened the B-Side Lounge in 1998 and who, as it turned out, met the author last night for the first time. I’m getting verklemmpt.

Paul is a sharp, charming guy with an easygoing manner, and he is plainly impressed by the level that the bartending profession has reached in places like Drink. What he, Dale DeGroff, Robert Hess, Ted Haigh, Audrey Saunders and others helped start took a while to catch on, but now it’s fully in bloom. The good thing is, Paul’s no cocktail geek extolling mixological prowess above all. His advice to today’s barkeep is to remember that a bar should be fun and welcoming; combine that kind of vibe with expertly made drinks, and you’re golden.

Paul, here’s to getting your book back in print and opening up a joint of your own someday.

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Posted in Books & resources, Whiskey | 3 Comments »

April 26th, 2009

Event – Run for the Roses

Mint Juleps - LIFE magazine 1937

One of the things I like about this town is that events in bars have evolved. Of course, it is still often the case that “event” + “bar” = a liquor or beer company decorating the room with plastic banners and table tents and handing out keychains. If you’re really lucky, you get a T-shirt and maybe your photo taken with someone dressed as, say, the St. Pauli Girl or Captain Morgan. It’s not much different from one of those themed birthday parties for six-year-olds.

But now we have bar events that embrace adulthood and a bit of tradition, like the Run for the Roses party this Saturday, May 2 — a.k.a. Kentucky Derby Day — at Drink from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Don a stylish spring hat, strap your bourbon-drinking liver on, grab a racing form, and join in the excitement of one of America’s most storied sporting events.

Drink’s skilled bartenders will serve up classic bourbon cocktails (Mint Juleps, Old-Fashioneds, Horse’s Necks, and more), canapes will be passed, and the race will be broadcast live. Tickets are $40 per person and include the eats, three drinks and a vintage cocktail glass (tax and gratuity extra). Advance purchase of tickets is recommended; to reserve, call Drink at 617-695-1806.

For inspiration (and hat ideas), check out this great series of Kentucky Derby party photos that Alfred Eisenstaedt shot for LIFE in 1937. See you there!

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Posted in Events, Whiskey | No Comments »