alacarte

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  1. Cocktail/Cheese pairings

    A couple of weeks ago I co-presented a seminar on "Monastic Cocktails & Cheeses" at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. I can tell you firsthand that cocktails are a tough pair with cheese. We found that wine and ciders worked best, but we also had some success with drinks with more of an herbal profile - and provided you're not using too ripe/pungent or too delicate/mild a cheese. One cocktail that worked especially well was the Monte Cassino (Damon Dyer): Benedictine, yellow chartreuse, Rittenhouse Rye, fresh lemon juice, shaken & strained into a coupe glass. Good luck with your pairing experiment!
  2. Brooklyn Cocktail Bars

    I was on my way to Clover Club, and was stopped in my tracks by Char 4. What an amazing bourbon/whiskey menu. Definitely looks worth a stop if you're Bkln-bound on a cocktail crawl.
  3. The birth of weeniecello

    Hi all! Just a friendly heads-up that Drink Me magazine, a small pub out of San Francisco, is running my article "Blood Thirsty: Carnivorous Cocktails" here: http://drinkmemag.com/ (download issue #6 "Blood Sex Sugar Magic." it's a little annoying to download & no direct link, sorry about that...) You'll see that I drew much inspiration from this long-ago thread - thanks for all the collective brilliance, and I hope you enjoy the article. Best, Kara
  4. US Bartenders Guild

    Head of the NY Bartenders Guild is Jonathan Pogash (find him at www.thecocktailguru.com. and wish him a happy birthday while you're at it!) The NYBG website is not great, but it's located here: http://www.kingcocktail.com/nybg.htm From the few NYBG meetings I've attended, the purpose seems to be general networking and education. They hold monthly meetings at a local bar, with a demo by one of the liquor companies (who usually sponsors drinks for the afternoon). Some of the chapters also sponsor cocktail competitions.
  5. I've been using the phrase "upscale cocktails" more and more frequently in drinks writing, which I guess is not that far from "high end." I also use "classic" and "classic-inspired" to refer to the speakeasy stuff. I do like "neo-classical" and "craft." May have to incorporate those into my booze vocabulary soon. Kent, good luck with your article! I hope you'll post a link here when it's published, I'm sure we'd all love to see what you've written.
  6. Bloody Mary

    Cool, one of my favorite topics! To me, the Bloody Mary is ALL about the garnishes, preferably edible. Pickled okra, spiced string beans, the classic, elegant, crunchy celery stick (leaves on!) a skewer of cherry tomatoes and bocconcini, pepperoni, salt-and-pepper glass rims..... Bloody Marys make me hungry.
  7. This might be too subtle - but if you want to embrace a vodka drink, a number claim to be filtered through diamonds. You could use one of those brands for your drink. Would you consider something as simple as a vodka tonic? The bubbles would provide an effervescence reminiscent of a diamond's sparkle. And rocks/ice - another diamond reference.
  8. Can you hear us chanting? You can do it. You can do it. You can do it! I think you're spot on to go with the "funkiness" of fish sauce, there are a handful of bartenders playing with umami tastes in cocktails, so why can't you. Maybe look at all the bacon-infused cocktails and use that as a starting point for working with sweet and salty? Can't wait to see what you come up with... (you can do it!)
  9. Taught a class last night and used some of the tips offered in this thread. Many thanks - this has been very helpful...and specific to the point where I'd never find this anywhere else. THANKS. The only additional wisdom I have to add (and it may already be elsewhere in this thread), is to have something ready to pour the minute people walk in. We had Prosecco: not too expensive, not too strong, but still light and festive.
  10. If you want to talk trends, I agree with KD that we're seeing more tea infusions. And sweet tea - every time I turn around it seems another commercial sweet tea liqueur is being rolled out. but I'm not aware of any historical tea liquors that could be a revival product like batavia arrack, etc.
  11. The Sept issue of Food Arts magazine includes a lengthy article on freezing techniques, by Dave Arnold and mixology expert Nils Noren. I summarized the section on cocktail ice over here. The article includes a great analogy from Don Lee: “If sushi is all about the rice, a drink on the rocks is all about the rock.”
  12. Chris, good luck with your class! Some great tips here - Janet, love the idea about straining water off of melting ice. I've only recently started teaching hands-on cocktail classes, and wish I'd known some of these tips before. But some of the things I learned and can share: --Have something small for the class to sip on right away, esp. if you'll be talking for awhile first. When I taught a spicy cocktails class I started everyone with a shot of Domaine de Canton. --HAVE FOOD! You need something to absorb the booze & keep people from getting too drunk. Plus, it increases the perception of class value if you can serve something nice but not too complex. (I had artisanal cheese and chunks of bread) --Don't forget about mise-en-place, both for you and your students. Get there early. Check and double check that the limes are sliced, for example, and everyone has all the bottles they'll need at hand. Otherwise students get bored watching you set up and you just look disorganized. --Do as you say. I still remember the class where I advised students to always wear rubber gloves when cutting hot peppers, and then I forgot to put mine on when I demo'ed a habanero drink. And you KNOW everyone jumped to point that out! I made 100% certain to put on those gloves for the next class.
  13. Georgeous photo - it looks like something from the pages of Imbibe magazine!
  14. Naming Cocktails

    This is a fun thread! When I was testing/tweaking drinks for Spice & Ice, naming the drinks was one of my favorite parts of writing the book. All of the drink testers got into it -- most of the names fell into one of three categories: --Descriptive: the name tells you what ingredients are in the drink, i.e. "Blackberry Poblano Margarita" --Drink Style: if we riffed on a classic I tried to make the drink name reflect that, i.e. "Mule Kick" was a jalapeno-infused version of the classic Moscow Mule --Memorable: even if it was silly, it gets your attention! One of my favorites: The Flamethrower. It almost doesn't matter what's in it, but you know right off the bat that it's going to be crazy-hot! And then there were a bunch that were just hilariously bad - I've posted them here: http://www.karanewman.net/Spicy_extra2.html if you feel like a laugh!
  15. Checking in on this thread for the first time in a while...so impressed by the scale of this! And the #10 can of tomatoes as doorstop - that's a keeper, I'll remember that for a long while.