The celebrations marking World Cocktail Week, held May 6–13, had an international flavor this year. Among the notable events: In Seattle, Wash., Oliver’s Lounge and Bar ub the Mayflower Park Hotel marked the week serving Sazeracs and Trader Vic's Mai Tais while Suite 410 featured Old-Fashioneds. At San Francisco's Cocktail Bill Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, Charlotte Voisey and Philip Greene hosted a seminar, “When It's Cocktail Time in Cuba: An Evening of History and Cuba Libations.” The Crunkleton in Chapel Hill, N.C., welcomed guest bartenders from the area to speak about different eras of the American cocktail, including the Baroque Age (1830-1885), the Classic Age (1885-1935) and the dreaded '80s and '90s.
The Luxe Bar in Highgate, Western Australia, presented classic American cocktails, while Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria, B.C., featured a Plymouth Gin avec punch party to benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail. The annual celebration has even reached Poland, where Paparazzi locations in Warsaw, Alkoteka, and Locostacja invited guests to sample “classic cocktails prepared by Polish Mixologists.” No joke.
Brands sponsoring World Cocktail Week included Appleton Estate Reserve, Pernod Absinthe, Fee Brothers, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Plymouth Gin, Hendricks Gin, Absolut and Maker's Mark.
Bartenders who came in droves are just now leaving New York City as this year’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic winds down. Among the most interesting events was a continuation of restaurant LTO's pop-up bar program, which was initiated in late April with R.J. Cooper’s preview of Rogue 24 featuring Washington, D.C., mixologist Gina Cheresvani.
The event, organized by the Hawthorn Beverage Group, included 14 guests bartenders from America’s top bar programs. Each night, two bartenders from a selected feature city paired a sponsored brand in two cocktails; punch pairings were created by Josh Durr, who also tended one night with Larry Rice (The Silver Dollar) and Fred Sarkis (Sable). Other participants: New York's Toby Maloney and Troy Sidle (Alchemy); Chicago's Logan Lavachek (Sepia) and Susie Hoyt (The Violet Hour); San Francisco Bay area’s Dominic Venegas (Smugglers Cove) and Scott Beattie (Cyrus); Los Angeles' Jennifer Contraveos (SoHo House) and Jackie Patterson (Lillet); and Seattle’s Anu Apte (Rob Roy), Brent Jones of Ventures in Bartending and Mike Padgett of Proof pitched in as well.
Sponsors included Bulleit Bourbon, Heaven Hill, Bols Genever, Cointreau, Peirde Almas Mezcal, Four Roses Bourbon, Appleton, Ocho Tequila, Lillet, Angostura and Remy 1738 Cognac.
Absolut marked the “rebirth of the American cocktail” with a bar crawl of New York landmarks, including the Grand Central Oyster Bar, the Four Seasons and Pravda, which opened in the late 1990s as one of the first contemporary vodka bars in New York City. On hand to mix up the drinks: Dale DeGroff, Toby Cecchini and Michael Waterhouse from the United States and Nick Strangeway, Jamie Gordon and Nick Van Tiel from London.
The winner of the Bacardi Superior Rum Global Legacy Cocktail Competition was announced at an event in Barcelona, Spain. The winner, Marc Bonneton of France, beat out 10 finalists from Belgium, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Julian P. Van Winkle III has been awarded the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional. Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, is a third-generation bourbon scion and the first James Beard winner from Kentucky.
The award is given to a “winemaker, brewer or spirits professional who has had a significant impact on the wine and spirits nationwide.” Van Winkle, who is responsible for iconic bourbon brands such as the Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 and 23 year old Bourbon Whiskey, grew up running around on his grandfather’s Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Ky. He has been in charge of the family’s bourbon operations since 1981.
This is the third time Van Winkle has been nominated for the James Beard Award.
Now available in digital format, Class Magazine can help readers keep up with international bar and booze developments online. Difford’s new pubs and bars online guide also is live at www.diffordsguide.com. The first issue covered a debate on the term "speakeasies," new spirits, new London bars, a pilgrimage to Harry's Bar in Venice, a look at vermouth and a visit to the Fratelli Branca Distillery in Milan.
gaz, the bartender-author formerly known as Gary Regan, loves the bartender profession and the people who strive to deliver the finest drinks. Now his “Annual Manual for Bartenders, 2011” will be the go-to book for professional bartenders worldwide. The manual is directed specifically at working bartenders; beside covering mixology and methodology essentials, the book includes in-depth lessons in bar philosophy, details eight industry innovators and provides recipes and commentary on the “101 Best New Cocktails” from bartenders all over the world. The bonus is the story of Regan’s first 17 years, including the day he was born. The book, including an electronic version, can be found online.
The G'Vine Gin Connoisseur Program competition finalists are: Jill Saunders (Savoy, London), Terry Cashman (Hoxton Pony, London), Torsten Spuhn (Modern Masters, Erfurt, Germany), René Soffner (Roomers Bar, Frankfurt, Germany), David Gonzalez (Shikku Izakaya, Madrid, Spain), Gegam Kazarian (Xandom, Alicante, Spain), David Wolowidnyk (West, Vancouver, Canada), Rob Montgomery (Miller Tavern, Toronto, Canada), Michael Pazdon (Solbar, California, United States) and Jeff Bell (PDT, New York, United States). Also participating as “global wild cards” are: Guillaume Ferroni (Chateau Cressauds, Aubaugne, France), Monica Berg (Ice Bar, Oslo, Norway), Glaser Ladislav (Zapa Bar, Prague, Czech Republic), Solomon Siegel (Veneto, Victoria British Colombia, Canada) and Javier Ruiz Vera (Cocteleria Lubbock, Barcelona, Spain). Finals will be held in Cognac, France, in June.
Bacardi has released an all-in-one shaker that allows bartenders to muddle, shake and pour in one quick step. The shaker simplified the bartender's job without sacrificing cocktail quality. With a stainless-steel finish, a comfort grip, acrylic numbs and a build-in muddler, the shaker increases efficiency and decreases the mess behind the bar by increasing the speed at which drinks can be made and served.