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Andy Seymour



October 13, 2011

Ultimate Blast discounted tickets for INSIDE F&B readers

There won’t be a ball dropping, confetti falling, or Ryan Seacrest trying to fill Dick Clark’s shoes as Auld Lang Syne plays in the background but you’ll still want to head to Times Square on Friday night.

Paul Pacult, Dale Degroff, Doug Frost, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Dave Wondrich and other industry leaders have provided us with a solid spirits education illuminating topics from pulque to punches and now it’s time to celebrate all we’ve learned. In just 48 short hours the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis will convert into NYC’s most award winning cocktail party and it’s an event no self respecting quaffer will want to miss.

Taste award winning cocktails (some made with Fever-Tree mixers) from Macchu Pisco, new cocktails from Louis Royer Cognac and LiV Vodka, international wines and champagnes that scored high in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge and all sorts of unique bottlings, wine, cocktail and spirit tastings.

The evening doesn’t have to end when you head out the door. Visit with the authors of some spirited cocktail books and take a signed copy home with you. Throughout the evening you’ll have a chance to buy their books and meet and raise a glass with the following authors:

• Ultimate Beverage Challenge/Ultimate Blast founder F. PAUL PACULT – American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and Making the World’s #1 Bourbon; A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Became Global Icons
• JILL DEGROFF – Lush Life 2: Portraits from Behind the Bar
• DALE DEGROFF – The Craft of the Cocktail; The Essential Cocktail
• KAREN FOLEY – The American Cocktail: 50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast
• JIM MEEHAN – The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy
• DAVID J. REIMER SR. – Micro-Distilleries in the U.S. and Canada: 2011 Edition
• DAVID WONDRICH – Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl; Imbibe!

For a DEEP discount on this evening that promises to be one of the best parties of the fall INSIDE F&B is proud to partner with the Ultimate Blast to offer industry readers a $25 ticket. Go to the list of everything that will be available to be poured.

The facts:
Date: Friday, October 14, 2011
Address: Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway @ 45th St., NYC, Broadway Ballroom
VIP Tickets: $122.50 before 9/15; $175.00 after; 5:30 – 9:30pm
General Tickets: $87.50 before 9/15; $125.00 after; 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Purchase Tickets here:



July 21, 2011

Ultimate Beverage Challenge awards double as a sales tool
By Francine Cohen
All photos by Daniel Krieger

WINNING! It’s not just Charlie Sheen’s popular catch phrase (or Giuseppe Gonzalez’s favorite too, if his Facebook page is any indication), but it’s why you enter your brand in competitions. For the guts and the glory. For the admiration from your peers, appreciation from consumers, attention at Tales of the Cocktail ( and a boost in sales. But really, how much glory is there in being the brand that won the double secret probation double gold medal? Why do competitions need “double” medals? One in each category is good enough for the Olympics; and it should be enough for spirit competitions.

That, in part, is why Paul Pacult and his band of merry mixology experts including Jacques Bezuidenhout, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Gaz Regan, Steve Olson, Audrey Saunders, Marcos Tello, David Wondrich, and more boldfaced names you know, love and respect, were hard at work judging cocktails and the spirits that go into them this past spring. In its second year, the Ultimate Beverage Challenge (aka UBC, actually a series of three competitions: Ultimate Spirits, Ultimate Cocktails, Ultimate Wine), continues to lead the way towards enlightened spirits recommendations and turns the competition game on its head. Pacult comments, “I just think it’s simple. When you put together the best mixology, the best cocktailians in the world, authors, journalists, bartenders, and consultants then we set up a situation where not only do we have the leading efforts, we have the methodology. And those two things bring credibility.”

And that credibility, and clarity, is so important. Particularly when you find yourself somewhere like the Publix grocery store on Glades Road in Boca Raton, Florida, awash in a sea of wines and spirits, many of which are proudly displaying neck tags touting their many medals won from some unknown judging body. What do those medals really mean? Is the tennis playing soccer mom who lives in the gated community down the road going to understand what those medals stand for? And why are they valid? Who knows.

It’s a question for the ages. And the skeptical. Pacult notes, “The fact that we don’t give medals really works in our favor. We’re differentiating ourselves from just about all other competitions which issue medals like peanuts at the circus. Continue Reading…



July 15, 2010

Insights into becoming a happier and healthier bartender
By Francine Cohen

You’ve copiously studied recipes from the patron saint of cocktail recipes, Jerry Thomas ; Tony Abou-Ganim, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, Andy Seymour, and Dave Wondrich, have taught you valuable lessons in technique, ingredients, and tasting and now, at Tales of the Cocktail 2011 it is time to learn how to become the master of your own domain.

This seminar asks: Ever wonder how some nights when you worked so hard – you were at the end of the night physically tired but in good spirits and appeared not to have lost a lot of energy? Remember also the nights when at the end you were not only physically tired and exhausted but also emotionally drained and “heavy?” If you can answer “yes”, even if it’s just for one shift, then you need to be in this room on Saturday afternoon.

Join Dushan Zaric (Employees Only, Macao Trading Company and Aisha Sharpe (Contemporary Cocktails for a journey into yourself that results in better bartending. And a better, more peaceful, productive, and profitable you that you’ll get to after understanding how to look at service as an art, maintain balance and sense of self and, essentially, break down the bartender.

Zaric explains why he’s bringing this seminar to Tales after offering it to bartenders around the world. He says, “There are a lot of bartenders who are very well versed in mixing cocktails, knows history, when it comes to service and help themselves that’s where they are not well equipped, and don’t have the tools.”

He continues, “I’m doing this to make people’s lives easier. It breaks my heart to see Continue Reading…



May 22, 2010

A first for the socially and taste conscious
By Darren Atkins

New York is no stranger to a festival. There is the German festival, the Italian festival, the Greek festival; even Gay and Earth Day festivals. However, the Gourmet Latino Festival ( at The Astor Center in New York City (, June 4-12, is the first of its kind. Emphasizing the spirit of the Latin people and their zest for life, culture and history, the festival celebrates this spirit through an exploration of Latin gastronomy and a social awareness of Latino food production. Throughout the week innovative Latin chefs, mixologists and taste masters will showcase their talents through the flavors and culture of Latin America and delve into the flavors and passions that have helped shape a community.

Gourmet Latino festival director Karen Uribe says, “At this festival, there will be many different events from grand tastings, to seminars and talks, all of which are about celebrating Latin culture and really trying to get people to see the diversity and different nuances from countries including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.”

The cuisines of these countries will shared through the talents of many Latin culinary experts who are lead by Chef Aaron Sanchez Chef/Owner of Centrico and Paladar restaurants in New York, and Steve Olson, beverage expert, savant and principle in the firm aka Wine Geek. Sanchez, who grew up in the kitchen of his mother, Zarela Martinez, recognized as the foremost pioneer for introducing and promoting Mexican food to North Americans, couldn’t help but appreciate the need his fellow New Yorkers to have a clearer understanding of Latin food. He comments, “Finally the time has come, where I think enough chefs are creating distinctive styles of their food, for us to create an event that’s just not some homogenized regurgitation of food that’s been done and done before.”

Distinctive Latin spirits and beverages are also on the menu as featured mixologists Junior Merino, Giuseppe Gonzalez and Andrew Seymour will be showcasing spirits and wines that have been preserved in Latino tradition. Sanchez continues, “You can’t have food without a great spirit or wine, Continue Reading…