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Lani Kai

Events

RAISE A GLASS FOR THE GIRLS

May 24, 2012

International Women’s Day is celebrated with a wee dram once again
By Vincenza Di Maggio

Each year International Women’s Day is celebrated globally in various ways. In Italy and Russia men traditionally give women sprigs of bright yellow Mimosa blossoms to commemorate the holiday, and in China women are given the day off. Well, leave it up to New Yorkers to chicly celebrate the occasion by raising their glasses and toasting to the infinite past, present, and future accomplishments of women!

This year, at Julie Reiner’s Lani Kai cocktail lounge in SoHo, Compass Box Whisky Co, and Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails joined together for the third annual “Whisky and Women Unite” cocktail party. Women gathered at this spirited celebration to only to honor the occasion and raise money for Bottomless Closet, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged New York City women transform their lives by helping them to become self-sufficient and thus allowing them to succeed in the work place.

Abigail Gullo, a founding member of LUPEC shares, “The LUPEC Compass Box event for International Women’s Day has always been a favorite of mine because it’s an opportunity to work with such amazing and accomplished women. It inspires me to see women in this industry come together and celebrate not only our craft, but our desire to make a difference and make the world a better place for women everywhere. I am always honored to be a part of this event and look forward to it every year.”

The fact that it is even possible for this event to exist speaks volumes about how far women have come since 1911 when the holiday was first observed. John Glaser, renowned whiskey maker and founder of Compass Box Whisky Co, comments on the event, “I love this event and I am so proud that we sponsor it. It’s something that never would have happened even ten years ago in this industry: a Scotch whisky brand sponsoring a women’s event.”

In honor of the occasion New York City’s most talented female mixologists blended together six different deliciously refreshing cocktails using Compass Box Whisky’s newly produced Great King Street, a craft blended scotch whisky.

Among the group of skilled bar tenders who participated in the event was Meaghan Dorman, of Raines Law Room and Continue Reading…

Events

BE LIKE A BULGARIAN

March 5, 2012

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Compass Box Whisky and LUPEC NYC and LUPEC SF

LUPEC NYC and LUPEC SF, the fine first ladies of liquor, know one thing for sure; whisky cocktails are a great way to celebrate achievements of women around the world. And there’s no better way to honor their accomplished sisters in arms who hit the mark with memorable “firsts” all the time than with whisky cocktails made with a brand new spirit – Compass Box Whisky Co.’s Great King Street – Artist’s Blend, a craft Blended Scotch Whisky that has a signature elegance and approachability for both whisky enthusiasts and novices. (www.compassboxwhisky.com).

This Thursday in NYC and SF women (and men, too) will unite like their counterparts in countries such as Bulgaria, China, Russia, and Vietnam where International Women’s Day is a national holiday. They’ll lift a glass or two for International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

In NYC Compass Box Whisky Co, innovator and award-winning boutique Scotch whisky maker known for breaking down barriers in a once staid category and the NYC Chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC), announce their 3rd annual “Whisky & Women Unite” cocktail party to benefit Bottomless Closet NYC (www.bottomlessclosetnyc.org). Bottomless Closet is a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged NYC women become self-sufficient through comprehensive programming and support.

Don’t miss Thursday evening’s cocktail at industry luminary Julie Reiner’s tropical-influenced craft cocktail lounge in SOHO, Lani Kai (www.lanikainy.com). The evening promises a menu of half price Continue Reading…

Features

VIVA LA DIFFERENCE

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 (www.lanikainy.com), austere Death & Company (www.deathandcompany.com), tiki style Painkiller (www.PK-NY.com) and stylish Dram (www.drambar.com), 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 (thedrchicago.com), 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; www.cienfuegosny.com) and Mexican style Mayahuel (tequila; www.mayahuelny.com) many still embrace Prohibition rooms as Milk & Honey (www.mlkhny.com/newyork) and PDT (www.pdtnyc.com). 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 (www.hendricksgin.com) and Appleton rum (www.appletonrum.com); but right alongside these iconic brands proudly stand a group of vodkas, such as Ketel One (www.ketelone.com) and Stoli (www.stoli.com), 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 (www.sazerac.com) and Continue Reading…

Rocks Stars

ROCKS STARS

October 11, 2010

Julie Reiner
By David Ransom

Julie Reiner’s favorite spirit is not what you probably think it is. As she’s a native of Hawaii, one would think that Julie’s dream drink would include exotic ingredients like pineapple, star fruit, and rum, and inspire visions of far off places like the north shore of Kauai or the white sand beaches of Fiji. However, while she does show a deft hand at creating masterful libations reminiscent of Gauguin’s South Pacific, her personal go-to drink is far more mainland than that. But rather than let the cat out of the bag in my own words, I think it may be best to let Julie tell us in hers…later.

As one of the world’s most accomplished and respected mixologists, Julie has helped define an industry, and along the way, built herself a mini empire of trendsetting cocktail bars that have been emulated countless times around the world. Strange as it may seem, while growing up the last thing Julie ever thought was that she’d end up in the business she’s in, or that she’d play such a major role in pioneering what we now call the world’s “cocktail culture.” Yet that’s what she’s done, and it may have been inadvertently due to the fact that she gets bored easily.

Spend some time with her, and one almost immediately notices that Julie has a somewhat restless spirit, visibly apparent in her mannerisms and constant need to out-do her last success and not rest on her laurels. So, it may not be such a stretch to say that boredom played a key role in making her who she is today, as lack of inspiration invariably leads one to want to change a situation to the way they feel it should be. And this is certainly true in Julie.

Like many young people first starting out in the job world, she was first drawn to the hospitality industry for the benefits it offered; like flexible hours, excitement, and quick money. Her first job, as a cocktail waitress at the Hotrod Café on Honolulu’s famed Waikiki Beach, was the perfect vehicle for this, and she did well there, but never dreamed of actually pursuing it as a career path. However, life has a strange way of dictating to us what we are born to do; and we are powerless to change it, no matter how hard we try. Calvin called it predestination, Aristotle and Taylor called it fatalism, and luckily for us, Julie’s experience at Hotrod Café lit an internal spark that remained burning no matter how hard she tried to extinguish it. And it kept coming back to life until she finally gave in and let it blaze the path to her future.

After the Hotrod Café, college was in her immediate future and, having spent her formative years on Oahu, and feeling there was lots more world to see, she decided to go to school as far from Hawaii Continue Reading…