Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The 2000 Euro Ramos Gin Fizz Part 2

                                                  We got to the Bar 47 @ Hotel Chateau Frontenac around 10 PM or so. Lovely Bar on the corner and attached to the hotel. Nice selection oof spirits, very n ice drinks menu and wonderful liitlle bar set in this 4 star hotel. Ugo Frabbeti is the bartender there- a excellent, world class bar tender and outstanding host. Ugo will do anything and will meet your most demanding and elastic desires  in order to make sure you have exactly what you want.
It is because of this that the title is what it is.
Joan ordered a Ramos Gin Fizz- both because she loves them and it was on the menu.. 

What they neglect to mention on the menu is that the hotel does not supple Ugo with eggs.

Ugo has to break into the kitchen to get his egg, Crawling through a window and around other thing s to actually gain access to the refrigerators where they lock down the egss. When he was coming out egg in hand (left) someone else  came in and the door whacked his hand - breaking his hand in 2 places.
While we were unsure about this at first hoping it was just a sprain or minor dislocation , he was in extreme pain but he did not lose or crush the egg. He also gamely insisted on trying to make the Ramos , and when shaking proved too excruciating other help was pressed into service- the clerk from the front desk.
Meanwhile I stepped behind the bar and poured Ugo a double gin for the pain and we iced the hand in the hopes of reducing the swelling and pain.

After the clerk proved to not be suitable ( and he had to go back  to the desk) I took over bartending until around 2 AM Which was a lot of fun, as the bar only had a few people and we were able to keep them served no problem . At some point someone ordered in some pizza and the bar continued until the end around  Ugo remained bravely and gamely on station until the end. At which point he went to the emergency room to have his hand  looked at - hoping there would be a beautiful nurse he could fall in love with- more on that later.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reviews and Updates August 18th 2010

We have just added new reviews for Smooth Amblers Greenbrier Gin, Stilltheone Distilleries Comb Honey Vodka, and also added a new revised tasting for Tequila Tamers sangrita mixer as they have changed the formula/makeup.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 1 at Tales 2-Later On

After hanging about a bit at the Carousel we went out to our second home at Tales- The Alibi Lounge.We were there until about 5 AM meeting up with old friends and crew along with making  some new ones.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tales Day 4

Tales of The Cocktail Day 4
You know you must be having a good time if you need to us e discarded schedules and pocket litter to forensically reconstruct what you have been doing for the past 4 days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's 4 AM at Tales

Went to the shaker and barware symposium at the Museum of the American Cocktail which was a lot of fun and very informative. For the full batch of pictures please go to our flickr page for some of the photos of the barware and the people doing the presentations. On the way back Johnathan Forester and I realized we must go to Meyers hat shop - about 15 minutes before they normally close. After much discussion we end up buying some hats.This for me is a stellar event. I ever can find a hat that fits me. Ever.We got to talk to Mr Meyer himself and get fitted out with some outstanding hats.

My two new hats, One is a straw fedora and the other is a tweed porkpie with the old style 2 inch brim.Luckily Mr Meyer ships so you don't have to risk flying them home
Mr Meyer Himself- In business since 1937
Meyer the Hatter Hat Shop

After this major shopping adventure we headed back to the hotel. After a quick rinse off we went on to the Beefeater Party around 7 PM - not bad in the scale of things -- not as crowed as last year but less food and the drinks were not quite as interesting. The theme was a Alice in Wonderland - a sort of William Burroughs version of Alice and Wonderland.
Alice was a rather tired looking lingerie model version, with the Mad Hatter looking like a Johnny Depp on a bad day and the Red Queen reminding me of the old saying " There is never a prostitute too old or too ugly to make a living in Paris" Substitute Drag Queen for Prostitute and the location for New Orleans and you get the picture.
After staying there long enough to be polite we decided to make our escape. On the way out we encountered a line of Ford Model A  cars parked at the curbside and snapped a few shots of them . Not sure why they were there but they did add some nice texture to the scenery as it were

After jumping on the bus and discussing the crew from extreme makeover with the bus crew (who had worked with them recently) we got back to the hotel and ran over to our dinner date at G.W. Finns with the CEO of Van Gogh Vodka Norman Bonachick. Who is a really nice gentleman and gourmand.
The meal we had there was outstanding and quite reasonable. I would definitely recommend the place if you are looking for a higher end but not too pricey place to eat during Tales.
We are falling asleep at the keyboard so we will continue this chronicle in a few hours,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

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Tales Day 2

Ed Hamilton The Minister of Rum
Up early Kahlua Coffee Bar and Cocktails at 8:30 AM followed by Breakfast at the media room compliments of Oxley Gin.Potato cakes, scones , ham scrambled eggs. Great Irish cheese also - Just not quite up to solid food today and so early.
Hanging with the Minister of Rum. Wireless network at Monteleone is not working at all it seems- going with a cellular modem to get a signal out.
Tried the Oxley Gin- Interesting but not overly impressed. Also they never seem to answer inquiries so I doubt if we will ever get to review them formally.

Outlaw Blogging At Tales Day 1

Got in Early and promptly took up residence at the Carousel.3 drinks later (Sazerac,Veiux Carre and a Manhattan) then off to d.b.a for a tasting of small, artisanal spirits.
Some real stand outs from Haus Alpenz. Also a aged grappa that was quite a revelation.
Then off to the Alibi for the Bloggers in exile anti reception.Alibi has outstanding gumbo by the way as we had that for a quick dinner after meeting up with some PR people. Afterwards we went to the Drambuie Rusty Nail event at the Roosevelt which was lightly attended.
I think everyone went to the Cointreau Burlesque Show.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Still Life of Tales of the Cocktail 2010

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Alibi Lounge July 20th (Day 1 of Tales)

Bar at the Alibi
This is the scene from the Alibi Lounge (815 Iberville) . The Alibi is my second home or base during Tales each year. Contrary to popular belief, I do take a hotel room and do not actually live at the Alibi itself during Tales. I do go to my hotel about twice a day to shower, change clothes, and on rare occasions lie down. It has many advantages over a number of other bars or even the media room for a writer ( or anyone else) who needs a good ( notice I didn't say nice) place to drink, eat, and hangout with friends at all hours and not be bothered.
The beer selection is one of the best in the area there, they serve good bar food 24 hours a day and even deliver, and it is a service bar so most of the clientele are bartenders, wait staff and off duty strippers.
So guys, if a woman expresses an interest in you there you know they are serious as they are off duty.
Another advantage is because they do escort services for customers carrying fair amounts of cash (see above), the staff are armed - so like a cop bar it's a safe place to be- it has a reputation and the local criminals (at least the robbery types) know to avoid it. Downside is don't ask for a Sazerac or any other mixed drink that needs much in the way of ingredients or mixology skills- won't happen.But otherwise it is at least 1/2 the price of the Absinthe House and much less crowded. It is also relatively isolated being around the corner from Bourbon Street - so you don't get all the amateurs and riffraff that you get on Bourbon Street.

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Friday, July 09, 2010

I will be blogging at Tales of the Cocktail. No, I am not part of the club that does it. I tried a number of times to become part of it and gave up. Including last year when I was supposed to be a "Guest Blogger" but they never bothered to acknowledge or publish my dispatches or answer my emails as to why not.
I will be an outlaw ( as in beyond/outside the law/rules/society/organization). In the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson and William Burroughs I will attempt to report on what is going on without dressing it up or making it pretty and more acceptable. I will continue to be the "Contaminating Antiauthoritarian Element".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Camera and Photography at Spirits Review

We recently acquired a Pentax K-7 to do more ( and better) photography for ourselves and the website. After much research and asking around we decided on the Pentax because it gave us the most bang for the buck and is designed for rugged conditions ( like New Orleans during Tales or deserts in Peru). It's got over 20 different weather seals and even the lenses are built to be weatherproof (read more likely drink proof in my case and where I go).
I looked at Nikons and decided they were overpriced and riding on their name rather than value  and so did Canon to a lesser degree. Another point in their favor is due to their rarity you can pick up old  lenses ( film SLR) for almost nothing as no one else is competing for them.
It also had a lot of advanced features such as a automatic level, options to use AA batteries and lots of features for the money.
Only downside is the 330 + page manual - and I mean all in English- this is not some 6 language manual- It is going to take a bit to use this camera up to it's potential. But on the plus side the manual is easy to understand and well written - it's just a lot to absorb.
So far we have taken it to Miami to the Rum Renaissance Festival where we shot about 1400 photos , indoors and out with temperatures ranging from 65 F to 90+ F in full sun all day and the camera held up better than I did ! Please check Spirits Review, Face Book, and this Blog for more results.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fathers Day Suggestion - Or Any Time You Need a Nice Bottle for Someone

As my role as a "Spiritual Adviser" I am asked a lot about what bottle to get for someone who already usually has a well established private bar collection of their favorite whiskeys. Some of these are bourbon, a lot of them single malt scotch and a few Irish whiskeys as their focus. Problem is, it is getting increasingly hard to get someone something different that they will like. Most people seem to have fairly established collections and tastes, and chances are over the years between what they buy for themselves and what they have gotten as gifts you run out of options.
I recently found a nice alternative to all of the above whiskeys with a spirit that Dad probably doesn't have, or certainly not this particular expression. Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal 2 is a lovely blend of over 240 eau de vies of cognac the minimum age is 4 years and the oldest 20 years. This makes it a bit short of an XO but on the flip side less than half the money ( around $50 or so), more importantly it has many of the aroma and taste characteristics that whiskey lovers -be they Scotch , Bourbon or Irish enthusiasts-enjoy . That coupled with the fact that in many cases they can use this cognac for their familiar cocktails ( swapping the cognac for their usual)  for a somewhat familiar but new taste and all the cognac cocktails they can easily make also.
We found the Remy 1738wasn't just good in a snifter ( which it is) but mixed and tasted well in a number of cocktails. Both in price and overall characteristics it closer to a whiskey ( in many nice ways) than a cognac is traditionally thought of. Not only an opportunity to get a father something he doesn't have but would like (unlike a tie) but a chance to teach him some new tricks and expand his horizons a bit.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Peru and Ron Cartavio Rum Distillery

Through the kind invitation of Robert Burr of RumXP I was invited down to Peru for a few days to visit a Peruvian Rum Distillery (Destilleras Unidas ) where they produce Ron Cartavio Rum A very respectable rum which comes in several varieties and is now imported into the US.
Previous to this I had heard of Peruvian rum but had little experience with it. When I thought of Peru I thought mostly of Pisco ( a lot of that was also sampled during our sojourn there also)
We have about 500 photos up on flickr and also linked from our web page (under the adventure section) Here we will recount some of the stories in more detail.
We started off by flying from Rochester,New York to Miami. Hadn't been to Miami in a few years so it was nice to be back.
Got picked up by Rob Burr of Gifted Rums and we went out to lunch and await David Russel (of R&D Rums)who had a slightly later flight.
Later we went out to a product launch party then over to a bar for a Square One Dinner with the estimable H.Joseph(Ehrmann)