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Wild Turkey



June 12, 2014

By Effie Panagopoulos

Photo courtesy of Avua Cachaça

Photo courtesy of Avua Cachaça

*****This story sat in the INSIDE F&B vault for four years, waiting for just the right moment to see the light of day. That day is now; and once we dusted it off and took another look at it we discovered it was just as fresh and relevant today as it was back then when it was written. Of course some things have changed; Gianfranco Verga is no longer the Beverage Director at Louis 649, and the Louis 649 TNT program is currently on hiatus as it undergoes a refresh, but despite these minor things that happened as time marches on it is interesting to see that some things never change.

Read it for yourself. And then attend a seminar at Tales ( like “The Art & Science of Cocktail Menus” ( or “For Profit Consumer Education? Yes!” ( and see what positive changes you can make happen in your bar, all because of a finely tuned menu…

Tuesday nights have become the new industry night, spurred by almost a year full of consecutive Tuesday Night Tastings at East Village cocktail bar, Louis 649 ( Pioneered by Gianfranco Verga, Beverage Director at Louis 649, and going almost a year strong every Tuesday, the TNT’s like their eponymous song, and Good Times’ Jimmy Walker –are pretty darn dyno-mite. Every week offers the chance to try a wine or spirit you’ve never tasted; learn something new about a spirit you may always drink yet never knew anything about, or like on this chance evening, get to meet a leader in the industry and find out what makes him tick. What started as a weekly gathering of an industry-only crowd, has refreshingly become an ever-changing group of imbibing enthusiasts– a feat in and of itself.

A few Tuesdays back, I rushed over to get to my 7:00 feeding, for what I assumed would be an intimate presentation by one of New York’s preeminent poster boys for all things cocktail, Jim Meehan. But “rushing” in Greek-people-time means I got there at 7:05 (5 minutes late), and to my dismay Louis was already packed to the gills for their TNT (Tuesday Night Tastings). Well, Jim was only voted American Bartender of the Year last year, and it was only fitting that the cocktail community and common folk alike came out in droves to hear the secret workings of the mastermind behind the cocktail program at neighboring watering hole, PDT You could taste the anticipation in the air as Jim, and his apprentice for the evening, Pernod Ricard’s ( Gordon, were scurrying about to get the amuse-bouche drink to the thirsty, ornery crowd. Jim brushes past me and I am quickly reminded why I and the roomful of people like this guy so much. Tray of drinks in hand, he smiles a quick hello to me along with everyone in a 3 foot radius. You’d never know there was an ounce of stress in his body, as he acknowledges us with the warmth and grace of Mr. Rogers welcoming you to Continue Reading…

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January 22, 2012

By Francine Cohen

There are bourbons that make you go, “Whoo-ee, boy! This is some damn fine bourbon. It’ll put hair on your chest!” And then there’s the kind of bourbon you’ll sip and it makes you think that despite the fact you’ve never been south of the Mason-Dixon line you’ve actually spent weekend afternoons sitting on a wide, sunny porch flanked by tall pillars, rocking back and forth and enjoying great conversation as the creek trickles softly down the hill.

Russell’s Reserve ( is this bourbon. The bourbon that transports you from your mundane and frigid city-bound existence to something much more laid back. It’s the kind of bourbon that you could sip at 8:00 a.m. and not feel a lick of guilt about it aside from the fact that you didn’t add it to the maple syrup so your family could enjoy it too.

Russell’s Reserve is a hand-crafted bourbon born of a family business that reflects the 80-plus years of combined experience the father and son duo of Jimmy and Eddie Russell posessess. Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell has been making bourbon in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky for 56 years and has joined the ranks of the greats when it comes to his legendary craftsmanship. He collaborated with his son Eddie, a relative newcomer with 30 years under his belt, to create the acclaimed Russell’s Reserve. Jimmy Russell has worked at the distillery since 1954 and his devotion to his whiskey making comes from his family. His grandfather worked in the distilling business, as did his father before him.

Russell’s Reserve is a very special clean, rich and full bodied bourbon that’s bottled at 90 proof. Rich with notes of toffee and oak on the nose it crisply delivers the liquid with hints of sweet caramel and vanilla.

Perfect for any time of day. Or night (if you must wait).

Harvest Walnut Old Fashioned
Created by James Moreland

3 bar spoons Harvest Song Walnut Syrup
2 oz. Russell’s Reserve
3 Kingston Cubes (or 1 regular sugar cube)
Lemon peel
1 Harvest Song Walnut

Muddle lemon, cube(s), syrup
Add bourbon and stir
Add ice and stir
Slice walnut in half and place in glas
Pour in drink and garnish with lemon peel and serve with a spoon

(For more information: Kingston cubes –; Harvest Song –