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July 15, 2011

The French are coming. And the new breed of bar is on its way.
By Miguel Calvo

High-end cocktail bars have been around for quite a while in the United States. In New York alone tropical Lani Kai (, austere Death & Company (, tiki style Painkiller ( and stylish Dram (, to name a mere few, have set the standard in what people expect from a proper mixologist bar. In other parts of the country too, like in Chicago at The Drawing Room (, these bars exemplify what is now the norm in cocktail culture in the United States; offering fresh ingredients, paying attention to glassware, drink specific ice, house infused spirits/ bitters and atmosphere to match. While a number of the new breed of American bars have embraced a singular spirit centric focus like punch pavilion Cienfuegos (rum; and Mexican style Mayahuel (tequila; many still embrace Prohibition rooms as Milk & Honey ( and PDT ( So are we ready for a European invasion that may challenge what we have thought should be a mixologist bar?

Across the water there is a surge in the style of what may be the new direction of cocktail culture that is headed our way. These drinking dens sometimes have a selective door, they allow standing (and occasionally dancing), and have no fear of vodkas. Of course you may find the usual spirits suspects on their menu such as Hendrick’s gin ( and Appleton rum (; but right alongside these iconic brands proudly stand a group of vodkas, such as Ketel One ( and Stoli (, which are commonly ignored by their stateside brothers. Another big difference is that these cocktail crafters who, like their US counterparts, embrace the use of bitters like Peychaud’s ( and Continue Reading…



July 27, 2010

Cynar sponsors New York City Cocktail Competition With $1,000 Prize

Dear New York Area Bartenders,

Lemons, limes, oranges, cucumbers all go just fine in cocktails but it’s time to try something new…the artichoke.

Think your palate and mixing skills are up to the challenge of putting together a drink made from Cynar ( It’s not tough to love the Italian aperitif made from a blend of artichoke leaves and herbs infused in an alcohol base. People have been loving it since it was introduced in Italy in 1949 and Cynar quickly became a favorite sipped on the rocks, with soda or cola; but it’ll be even more interesting to see what else you can do with it.

Your colleagues will be the judge when they gather at Trump SoHo ( on August 23rd and they’re surely eager to taste test what you’ll bring to Cynar’s cocktail competition, co-sponsored by the USBG NY chapter. So grab a bottle of Cynar, and no more than five other ingredients (including: bitters, syrups, rimmers, garnishes and other toppings) and show us what you’ve got. Your creation could win everyone’s approval, and $1,000 in the process.

Here are the rules and the entry form:
Continue Reading…