Posts Tagged ‘Ilegal Mezcal’

SUPER SIPS

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Memorable cocktails that rise to the top of the list
Stories curated by and photos by Jason Rowan (except where noted)

Photo by Virginia Miller

Most publications are busy prognosticating; focused on the year ahead, projecting trends and anticipating the future. But at INSIDE F&B we decided to take a moment before rushing pell-mell into 2012 and invite you to join us in relieving some stress that always comes with looking ahead. Instead, stop and smell the proverbial roses as we take a look back at some of the spirit industry’s best drinks tasted around the world.

Simon McGoram, Drinks Editor, Australian Bartender Magazine (boozebraggart.blogspot.com/)

The best drink I had all year had to come from one of the more unlikely places in Australia – Katoomba in the Blue Mountians in NSW. Once upon a time it was known as Sydney’s playground – especially during the roaring twenties with Gatsby-like characters parading around in finery. Now the place attracts only a few weekend tourists with its beautiful art deco cafes and hotels remaining for the large part empty and falling into disrepair.

I was up there with my partner for a Valentine’s Day getaway – with February being the middle of summer down under we were expecting swelter. Instead a cool mist hung eerily over the whole town as we walked up the steps of the Carrington Hotel for a pre-prandial tipple. The hotel by the way looks like something out of The Shinning and sure enough during the middle of the week the place was empty and spooky.

We were sat next to a roaring fire in an anteroom next to the grand 1930s ballroom. I was expecting that they might manage a decent G&T but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cocktail offering. I ordered an Old Cuban – an Audrey Saunders masterpiece that had somehow found its way to this country town. My partner had a Bramble – a Dick Bradsell modern classic from London. The drinks were good. Not exceptional. bBut it was the more the fact that in rural Australia I could order drinks created by the best bartenders of London and New York whilst being transported to almost untouched art deco setting. I thought truly cocktail culture has come of age and perhaps one of America’s greatest inventions can be enjoyed at all ends of the earth.

Stephen Myers, Illegal Mezcal
(www.ilegalmezcal.com)

Drinking a Negroni at an outdoor cafe with a beautiful girl and a great friend on the Sardinian coast as the sun set over a Phoenician ruin and a lighthouse. Rather than the 1:1:1 ratio of the drink on its own it was all the elements of the time, place, people and the great drink itself that made it my best drink for 2011.

Philip Gandevia, cocktail bartender, Eau De Vie, Sydney
(eaudevie.com.au/)

We were having a meeting at Eau De Vie, going over our recipes and making sure that our techniques were uniform. We mentioned a Bijou (equal parts gin, Dolin and Chartreuse, orange twist and discard) and I made a casual statement that of course it was always stirred. One of our team, Taka Shino, demurred, saying that he always shakes his. Not only was this interesting in terms of discovering an inconsistency but it was also something I’d never entertained for this cocktail. “Well, let’s try them,” I said and we made side-by side identical Bijous, mine stirred and his shaken. When we tasted them I was fairly shocked to discover that I preferred the shaken. It was an excellent reminder that the junior bartender can show the senior bartender something

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NO MORE MEDALS FOR EVERYONE

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The end of the spirits competition as youth soccer league
By Francine Cohen

Photo by Keith Long

Summer is coming to a close which means in a few more weeks covers will start getting back up to their pre-summer levels, brands will kick off their 2012 marketing budgets, and kids go back to school and their fall soccer leagues.

While it might not seem as if underage soccer enthusiasts have anything to do with spirits and spirit competitions, they do. Think back to when you were running around on that soccer field and how much you loved the game, the team’s camaraderie, and winning.

But is it really winning when almost every spirit gets a medal the same way every kid on the team gets a medal for showing up? The new breed of cocktail competitions doesn’t think so. In fact, Paul Pacult, founder of the Ultimate Beverage Competition, was quoted in an earlier story (insidefandb.com/2011/07/baby-you’re-the-best-2/) as saying, “We’re differentiating ourselves from just about all other competitions which issue medals like peanuts at the circus.”

The aversion to the “every kid in the class gets a Valentine” mentality and the blind judging by spirits buyers who evaluate spirits by pricing bands within each category is also what sets the New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC, ) apart from existing competitions.

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ROCKS STARS (SOUTHERN EDITION) – GINA CHERSEVANI

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

PS7’s Mixtress rolls into the Big Easy with some SavourEase
By David Ransom

Rocks Stars goes to Tales of the Cocktail 2011

*This week, when we’re all in New Orleans doing what it is we do at Tales of the Cocktail, columnist David Ransom will be catching up with Rocks Stars to find out what’s happening in their universe. five minutes, five questions (those asked at The Absinthe House or Alibi are fair game too). First up, Miss Gina Chersevani.

5 Questions for Gina Chersevani, Head Mixtress at PS7’s in Washington,DC.

Q1. How many years have you been coming to Tales?
A. Six

Q2. Sponsorships aside, What’s your go-to spirit right now?
A. These days, I’m lovin’ white whiskey and mezcal. LOVE THEM!. Can’t get enough of them, and they’re all over my drink menu at the restaurant.

Q3. Do you wear an armband?
A. NEVER!

Q4. You are one of the most imaginative bartenders I’ve come across. You seem to be simply fascinated by the makeup of ingredients and the chemistry of the flavor profiles they create when paired in a drink. Where does that inquisitive nature come from?
A. Too much education, I think. I have two degrees (so far…), and just love to learn everything I can about everything.

Q5. As a veteran Bartender, I mean Mixtress, what advice do you have for someone just getting into the business?
A. READ! … Pick up every book you can and read it until the end… And when you’re done reading it pick up another and read that one until you fall asleep…and when you wake up to turn off the light, don’t, and keep reading. There is so much to learn out there! Oh, and don’t bullshit your customers…

‘Nuff Said. Enjoy Tales…

COCKTAILS FOR A COUNTRY

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Spirited sipping leads to $5,800 raised at the Hearts & Cocktails for Haiti Benefit

By Francine Cohen

Photo courtesy of Lush Life Productions

Who said people drink just for pleasure? Sometimes they drink to help those in pain. At least that’s what was going on at Bar Celona in Brooklyn on Sunday, January 31st when hundreds of spirits industry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts gathered to raise a glass and some much needed funds for Haiti.

Haitian American Ray Raymond of Leblon Cachaça and Dave Catania of Chairman’s Reserve organized this important evening and welcomed their industry friends and cocktail lovers to join them for cocktails created especially for the evening by some of New York’s best mixologists.

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