Monthly Archives: May 2010

A Surprising Summer Recipe

Summer has been knocking on the door for a few weeks now, but seems to have finally let itself in for good. That means Margarita season is now in full swing (though if you don’t know I drink these treats on the rocks year-round, then we’ve clearly never met)!

I introduced some expected and some not-so expected Margarita recipes in preparation of Cinco de Mayo; however 944 Magazine recently posted another one that certainly caught my eye. Enjoy it on this long Memorial Day weekend.

The Pernod Absinthe Margarita

1 and ½ parts Tequila
1 part Hiram Walker Triple Sec
1 part sour mix
½ part Pernod Absinthe
½ fresh squeezed lime
Rock Salt

Add ingredients to a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled margarita glass rimmed with salt. Grate fresh lime on top.

You can find eight other Pernod recipes on 944’s web site, all with great names ranging from The Root of All Evil to Monkey Gland.

Bring on the oooh’s, aaaah’s, and “huh?”s.

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Kahlúa and Fernet: A Lip Smacking Combo

If there was one ingredient I was excited to see in the Kahlúa-sponsored Thursday Drink Night (well, besides the Kahlúa, duh…) it would have to be the appearance of Fernet Branca. Yes, Fernet, that bitter Italian digestif, has a soft spot in my heart.

Here are a few more submissions for the Kahlúa Brunch Drink Challenge that spurred from the Mixoloseum chat room, capitalizing on the Kahlúa-Fernet duo. Maybe you’ll see one of these tipples featured at the Kahlúa Coffee Bar during Tales of the Cocktails! You’ll have to come by and find out.


Veracruzan Swashbuckler by Rick Stutz

1.5 oz aged rum (Zaya)
1 oz Kahlúa
.5 oz orange juice
.25 oz Fernet Branca
1 dash absinthe

4 Stars by John Hearn

1 ¼ oz. Lairds Bonded
Lemon Peel
¾ oz. Kahlúa
½ oz. Fernet Branca
2 tsp Benedictine

Muddle lemon peel, add Lairds Bonded, Kahlúa, Fernet Branca, and Bénédictine. Shake & strain.


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Highlights from the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala

Dan Warner hides in the dimly-lit, yet festive, Beefeater Summer Gin bar at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala.

The multi-day festival that was the 1st annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic has come and passed and I was lucky enough to participate in a sampling of the events and educational seminars that the Big Apple’s biggest cocktail party had to offer. Pernod Ricard USA invited me along for the opening gala on May 14th, for the introduction of Beefeater Summer Edition, a lighter style gin specially designed to reflect the more relaxed style of summer drinking. The bar also featured Beefeater 24 which was introduced to the market last year and has successfully launched throughout the country.

At the Beefeater bar resembling a summer garden, I had the opportunity to finally meet Dan Warner, Global Ambassador for Beefeater. We had a chance to chat across the bar about the unique flavor profile in the Summer Edition gin, which features the addition of elderflower, black currant and hibiscus botanicals. Along with Warner, Kenta Goto of Pegu Club NYC and TJ Lynch of The Breslin served punch and stirred martinis to order for the 2,500 guests in attendance. Want the recipes? You got ‘em:

Demsond Payne, Master Distiller of Beefeater Gin with a Summer Gin Punch at the MCC Gala. Photo Courtesy Pernod Ricard USA.

Summer Gin Punch

5 parts Beefeater Summer Gin
1 part St Germain
1 part Maraschino
5 parts Chilled Green Tea
1 part Lime Juice
5 parts Prosecco
Method: Add ingredients to Punch Bowl with Ice Block
Glass: Punch Bowl
Garnish: Pineapple sticks, strawberries, lemon wheel, pink grapefruit wheels, mint sprigs

How perfect does this sound for your Memorial Day festivities coming up?!

24 Martini
5 parts Beefeater 24
1 part Lillet Blanc
2 dash orange bitters
Method: Stir all ingredients until ice cold and strain into glass.
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Grapefruit twist

Steve Raye, and I at the Gala.

Beefeater’s summer gin was certainly a hot topic throughout the gala event. But what other ground did I span over the four stories of the New York Public Library? I got to connect face-to-face with some of my awesome online cocktail friends, play “Where’s Waldo?” with others, and sample a slew of beverages (oh, and I did I mention that there were Oompa-Loompas roaming near the front entrance?!). Not a bad gig, right? Many thanks again to Pernod Ricard for letting me join in the festivities.



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New Product: Beefeater Summer Gin

With Memorial Day coming up this weekend, the unofficial start of summer is upon us. What better way to celebrate than with a new gin!?

Beefeater Summer Gin is the latest creation from master distiller Desmond Payne, and this lighter style gin is perfect for the warm weather season. In addition to the 9 natural botanicals used in the original Beefeater London Dry Gin, Beefeater Summer Gin features elderflower, black currant, and hibiscus. It’s simply delicious! Stephanie and I were lucky enough to sneak an early taste of the product back in March and it knocked our socks off!

Beefeater Summer Gin will be sponsoring Thursday Drink Night over at the Mixoloseum on Thursday, June 24th, so there are sure to be a bevy of new cocktail ideas to come, but there’s also something to be said for keeping it simple and letting this gin shine. For easy summer-sipping, it’s delightful when mixed with just Cranberry Juice and lime!

Beefeater Summer & Cranberry

1 part Beefeater Summer Edition Gin
3 parts cranberry Juice
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients in a tall glass with ice. Garnish with lime wheel.

Serve a pitcher of that alongside some Blueberry Lemonade and you’ve got a festive red & blue look for Memorial Day!

Keep in mind, Beefeater Summer Gin is a limited edition product. It’s only available in 750ml and comes with a price tag of about $19. It will only be available in retail stores through the end of summer, so make sure to get your hands on some early and often! You won’t regret it!




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Harry Johnson’s Turf Cocktail

Earlier this month, cocktail historians Jared Brown and Anastatia Miller led a group of bartenders and industry professionals on an historic journey around NYC and the boroughs to explore the life and times of bartender and author, Harry Johnson. Beginning at the grave of Harry Johnson in Greenwood Cemetery, the tour made stops at Delmonico’s, Harry’s Bar in Hanover Square, and Keen’s Steakhouse—all relevant establishments to Harry’s career and life in New York.  Along the way, cocktails from Harry Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual or How to Mix Drinks were enjoyed including the Turf Cocktail.

Turf Cocktail by Harry Johnson

3 dashes of orange bitters
3 dashes of Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes of Pernod Absinthe
2 oz Dry Vermouth
2 oz of Plymouth gin

Stir up well with a spoon, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a medium size olive and serve.

Envious of those who got to take the tour? Me too! But at least we can all enjoy the cocktail. Cheers!


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24 Drinks: Chris Milligan’s Basil-ica Cocktail

Cocktail Culture’s going to keep the gin drinks coming with “24 drinks with Beefeater 24,” a warm-weather series that’ll stretch through summer and provide you with some delectably light cocktails.

This week, we’re featuring a cocktail from bartender Chris Milligan of Secreto Lounge in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here’s what Chris has to say about it:

“I named this drink in honor of St Francis Cathedral-Basilca here in Santa Fe. It is a great little drink, designed in a classic sense and uses fresh ingredients, which is the basis I try to use with all the drinks I make.”

The recipe is below but be sure to check out Chris’ own post about the cocktail on his blog, Santa Fe Barman.

The Basil-ica Cocktail (recipe and photo courtesy of Chris Milligan)

2 oz Beefeater 24

1/2 oz St. Germain

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz simple syrup.

4 large basil leaves

1 dash Peychaud Bitters

1 dash Orange Bitters (he uses Regan’s)

Muddle basil, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters.  Add Gin and St Germain.  Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with Basil leaf and long orange twist.

To learn more about Chris & the great work he’s doing at Secreto Lounge, check out Colleen Graham’s recent interview with the bartender.


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Kahlúa Thursday Drink Night Cocktails

If you were unable to attend last night’s Thursday Drink Night, you definitely missed a great evening of cocktails and conversation. The TDN theme of the evening was Kahlúa (aka “I better go brew some more coffee”), and Mixoloseum members went to the nines in presenting original cocktails inspired by the rum and coffee liqueur.

Before moving forward, we must extend a huge thank you to Michelle Sanders, Senior Brand Manager for Kahlúa, for joining the chat room and educating us all on this product.  She shared with us photos from her excursion to Veracruz, Mexico, where Kahlúa boasts its rich history, along with her favorite recipe of the moment, The Kahlúa Sour.

Kahlúa Sour:

1 1/2 oz. Kahlúa

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1/2 simple syrup

Combine ingredients over ice. Shake. Strain into rocks glass.

TDN participants had an added incentive to contribute their drink recipes last night:  a panel of both marketing and mixology experts will choose one beverage to be featured at a Tales of the Cocktail coffee bar. To find out which drink was chosen, you’ll need to show up to the Kahlúa Coffee Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone where the selected drink – credited, of course – will be available each morning, Wednesday -Saturday.

We will feature over the next several weeks a slew of the cocktails submitted for the Kahlúa Brunch Challenge. We’ll begin with the evening’s very first submission from our night owl, Tiare.

Sweet Wake Up:

1 oz chicory coffee
1 oz warm milk
0.75 oz Kahlúa
0.75 oz dark rum
Garnish Dark cocoa dust

Brew a cup of Café au Lait, add dark rum and Kahlúa and stir. Dust a little dark cocoa on top.

There was also this charmer, submitted by Chuck Taggart:


1-1/2 ounces Sazerac Rye
1/2 ounce VSOP Cognac
1/2 ounce Kahlúa
1/2 ounce cold brewed coffee (NOLA-style coffee & chicory preferred)
1/2 ounce Torani Amer
2 dashes Herbsaint Original
1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters

Combine with ice and stir for 30 seconds, strain into a large cocktail coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

Check back in to Cocktail Culture, as we will continue to share more recipes submitted for the Kahlúa Brunch Challenge. But don’t expect to see a selected brunch beverage any time soon – you’ll have to show up to Tales for that!



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Thursday Drink Night with Kahlúa

Ladies and gentleman, today is Wednesday. That means – yea, that’s right – that tomorrow is Thursday!

Not whetting your appetite yet?

Being that tomorrow is Thursday, that means there is a new edition of Thursday Drink Night ready to be had, brought to you by the gang over at the Mixoloseum. This week’s event is sponsored by Kahlúa, so you can bet that I will be in the chat room stirring up coffee-inspired cocktails with fellow cocktail bloggers, bartenders, and enthusiasts.

Never been to the Mixoloseum chat room before? Well, Thursday Drink Night is the perfect night to check it out! And, it’s open to the public. Just proceed to the web site, create a user name and password and – voila! – you’re logged on. The event gets underway around 7:00 p.m. (Eastern time) and lasts into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re not around for the chat, you can also follow the action in the Mixoloseum via Twitter. I’m sure I’ll be tweeting up a storm as well.

Come chat, stir, and sip alongside us in this virtual community for an evening of fun with Kahlúa.


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National Fruit Cocktail Day

In my ever-lasting quest to turn the mundane into the FUNdane, I have over the last month posted recipes for National Peach Cobbler and Blueberry Pie days. But the action doesn’t stop there. I discovered that May 13th was recognized (by someone else besides me) as National Fruit Cocktail Day.

Ready for the play on words?

Fruit Cocktail

Fruit Cocktail

Here’s a recipe from Hiram Walker that calls for the brand’s popular Triple Sec, which adds just enough orange notes to add more depth to this lemonade recipe. Enjoy it today, or make it in a batch for your Memorial Day weekend festivities.

Blueberry Lemonade (serves two)

3 parts Hiram Walker® Blueberry Passion Schnapps

4 parts Hiram Walker® Triple Sec

20 parts Lemonade

Pour Schnapps and Triple Sec into a tumbler full of ice. Fill with lemonade and stir. Garnish with lemon twists (or fresh blueberries).

Isn’t this more fun than fruit cocktail? Cheers!


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The Manhattan Cocktail Classic May 14-18

The New York Public Library in daylight. Can you imagine this place, covering four stories and spanning two city blocks, filled with cocktailians alike!

It’s finally here! After it’s smashing fall preview event, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is back to the city that never sleeps for a multi-day event “celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail.”

According to the Web site, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is:

Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for five days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure.  (There will be some drinking involved, too.)

The event kicks off this evening with the sold-out gala, where cocktail enthusiasts and professionals will be in the hands of the finest mixologists stirring up what I can only assume to be an exorbitant (but what else would you expect?!) number of crafty cocktails at the New York Public Library.

The rest of the weekend is jam packed with seminars, tours from Behind the Bar at some of New York’s most renowned cocktail bars, and a three-hour booze cruise. Need I tempt you more?

These events are sure to sell out, so get your tickets soon.

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