Archive for June, 2010

Amo Amari: A Tales of the Cocktail Seminar Preview

Posted in Amari, Bitters, Tales of the Cocktail with tags , , on June 26, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

Update: I’ve just learned that the Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck (previously on SNS) from The Bitter Truth will also be speaking at this seminar. This is happening in conjunction with the US release of their hotly anticipated Creole bitters. Sazeracs for everyone!

Sooner or later, as one navigates their way through the bestiary of flavors that can found on the shelves of well-stocked liquor stores, one eventually encounters bottles which contain bitter spirits. These can take several guises: lighter aperitivi such as Campari or Aperol (and now Gran Classico), their heavier bodied cousins, the amari, taken religiously after dinner in countless European villages, and, of course, the aromatic bitters, essential components of “The Cocktail,” generally consumed in dash and barspoon quantities only [*]. Acolytes of bitters are truly blessed by the possibilities this varied array of products provides to them—whether mixing or looking for a shot. For others (heathens though they be) bitter spirits rank in flavor only slightly better than a slug of NyQuil taken for an evil cold. We forgive these souls their trespass and, honestly, are just as glad to save the all black stuff for ourselves. Amen.

A Seminar Guaranteed to Leave a Bitter Taste in One’s Mouth…

For those who might not as yet have formed a strong opinion on the matter of bitter spirits, or, for those who, like myself, feel compelled to try every bitter they can get their hands on, I am pleased to recommend Jacob Briar’s seminar at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail entitled: A Shot of the Black Stuff – Amazing Amaros and Brilliant Bitters to be held on Thursday, July 22nd at 3:30 in the afternoon. As a member in good standing of The Bitter Brotherhood [**], I have been sworn to utmost secrecy and so cannot divulge too many details about this seminar. OK. That was a lie. I actually can’t tell you anything because Jacob hasn’t told me. Yes, it’s going to be THAT good and THAT entertaining! Whether those who eschew bitters upon entering will leave converted to the faith, however, I cannot say. As your mother might have said, regarding the leafy green vegetables remaining on your dinner plate: “It couldn’t hurt to try.”

[*] – We’ve certainly all had a bitters-heavy cocktail at this point. Bah! I encourage any serious fan of Fernet to pop the shaker top off a bottle of Angostura and pour themselves a full ounce of the stuff and down it. It will change your life! The serious bitter goodness in that little bottle deserves this kind of treatment more often. Kudos to Daniel Hyatt for showing me the way.

[**] – There is no such organization.


We Now Resume Our Regularly Scheduled Blog…

Posted in Left Coast Libations with tags on June 24, 2010 by Mr. Manhattan

…Already in Progress!

It’s been a little over a month since I last posted, right as I was on my way out the door for a vacation on the island of Curacao. Unfortunately, the day I returned I had a pretty serious personal medical emergency which has kept me side-lined for the last three weeks. I’m home, recuperating and ready to jump back into the blogosphere. I’ve got a number of posts coming in the next week including some overdue pre-event coverage for Tales of the Cocktail 2010. I’ve also been getting busy in the kitchen again and have been making my own candied cherries and some new noyaux.

They’re (almost) here…

One really exciting bit of news to share right away: we’ve now received our advance copies of Left Coast Libations. Yes, we’ve held actual books in our hot hands. All I can say is that they are more beautiful that any of us could have imagined. Really stunning. (Kudos to our book designer, photographer and the press.) Of course most all of those books have now been sent out to editors at various national long lead magazines. We’re of course hoping for a big media blitz in late August/early September when the book officially goes on sale everywhere.

The bulk of the books are en route to us by boat from China. Our freighter is set to dock in Oakland on July 1st and the books should be out of customs on July 5th. I’m busy clearing space out in my (fortunately) sizable garage in anticipation. Once we’ve got these books we’ll start sending out review copies to key cocktail, spirits, and food bloggers.

Ted, Scott, and I are working with the bookstore in the Monteleone at Tales of the Cocktail and will have a limited number of copies available for sale. We’ll be hosting a book signing at the Monteleone on Friday, July 23rd at 11:30 AM. Simultaneously we’ll be making and offering one of the cocktails from the book in the Domaine de Canton hospitality suite upstairs. We hope to be able to offer additional selections at other hospitality suites throughout the week. If you are interested in buying a copy of the book while at Tales, I’d recommend you don’t wait until the last day. We expect it to sell out.

OK. that’s all the news for now. Stay tuned for more!