By Francine Cohen
If you’ve been thinking lately that we’ve been very spirited in our editorial focus, you’d be right. It’s been an exciting time for drinks events these past few months, starting with the Absolut Sensory Experience which was an eye opening exploration of vodka that just may be the kick in the pants that many bartenders needed to revisit this category (more on this later), and a recent visit to NYC by Japanese cocktail master, Kazuo Uyeda (inventor of the Hard Shake and owner of Tender Bar).
Uyeda-san’s message was heard loud and clear by bartenders who took subways, buses, taxis and planes to be present and learn from a living legend. The two day seminar was a cultural exchange in which the audience was enlightened about the exacting and consistent Japanese approach to style, technique, and, above all, pleasing the guest through service and attention to deliver the most delicious drink (*Factoid: Uyeda-san mentioned the words “delicious” or “deliciousness” a minimum of 20 times each day. It definitely drove the point home.). The Tender Bar approach to crafting that perfectly delicious cocktail is an effort that exhibits the same amount of detail, finesse and grace as a Japanese tea ceremony. For more about this two day East meets West drinks exploration see this story: http://insidefandb.com/2010/05/turning-japanese/
Following right on the heels of this bit of international beverage bonanza a number of those same out-of- town bartenders returned for the inaugural NYC drinks fete/conference/ party that celebrates the mighty cocktail and is known as The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (www.manhattancocktailclassic.com – affectionately referred to as the MCC). Embraced by their NYC brethren, many of these said bartenders were quickly put to work batching drinks for the masses who were about to descend upon the MCC gala. And, while all of them had bar backs, only a few lucky ones (namely Ricky Gomez, Danny Ronen, and Charles Steadman) had the assistance of Oompa Loompas as they manned the Willy Wonka themed bar showcasing Remy Continue Reading…