Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

LUPEC NYC member Lurie De La Rosa-Jackson puts the finishing touch on The Alice Paul (recipe below) at Compass Box Whisky's International Women's Day celebration.

  • Earlier this month, Compass Box Whisky partnered with the New York members of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of the Endangered Cocktail) for its second annual International Women’s Day celebration of women and whisky. Eight of the city’s top female bartenders created Compass Box cocktails–several of them were named after inspirational members of the women’s movement–which were paired with either Murray’s Cheese or Bespoke Chocolates. The event raised funds for Bottomless Closet NYC, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged NYC women become self-sufficient through comprehensive educational and training programs.
  • The winners of the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge were recently announced, named by top beverage experts in a blind tasting held at Astor Center earlier this month. The judges, led by Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult and Assistant Judging Chairman Sean Ludford, included Eric Alperin, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, Jim Meehan, Robert Plotkin, Julie Reiner, Jack Robertiello, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Aisha Sharpe, Willy Shine, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan and David Wondrich. This year, the competition also recognized spirits that offer “Great Value,”  based on the relationship between their score and price. For the full list of winners, click here.
  • On March 28, the New York chapter of the USBG (U.S. Bartender’s Guild) is holding its third annual Cocktail Jam at Astor Center. Twelve of the city’s best bartenders will shake, stir and sling during the smackdown, taking place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Judges Giuseppe Gonzalez, Thomas Waugh, Phil Ward, and Stephanie Moreno will decide the winner, who will receive a $2,000 scholarship to the esteemed cocktail conference, Tales of the Cocktail. Tickets to the jam are $35 and 50% of all ticket proceeds benefit Action Against Hunger (Tsunami Relief) and the USBGNY.

The Alice Paul by Erin Williams, Hush Cocktails, NYC

1 ½ oz Spice Tree
½ oz Orangerie
1 bar spoon fig preserve
2 dashes Smeby’s Highland Heather bitters
Peat Monster
-rinsed coupe

Top with Champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.

Alice Paul was the woman who championed the women’s suffrage movement and ultimately won women the right to vote in 1920.

More than 600 spirits were sampled in the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

File Under: Hot Dates

 

  • Feel like a kid in a gourmet liquor shop as you sip your way through a dizzying array of top-rated adult beverages at the Ultimate Cocktails, Spirits and Wine Blast this Fri. Oct. 15. Sample hundreds of tipples judged by F. Paul Pacult’s inaugural Ultimate Beverage Challenge earlier this year. Expect world-class bartenders, author signings, seminars and savory bites. Bloomspot and Time Out New York are offering discounts on tickets (enter the code “TONY1015” for 50% off), priced at $90 ($110 VIP). From 6:30 to 10 p.m. (VIP 5 to 10 p.m.) at Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway (44th and 45th Sts).
  • On Sun., Oct. 17, Frankie’s Sputino and Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens are holding their annual Oktoberfest with traditional Bavarian fare and drinks. The party goes from noon to 6 p.m. in the backyard, with a special music performance following. 457 Court St., Brooklyn.
  • Oy–also on Sun., Oct. 17, is the Tenth Annual NYC International Pickle Day, featuring free samples of all sorts of pickled veggies, fruits, meat and cheese. What’s this got to do with cocktails, you ask? Well, if you’ve ever had a pickle back (a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice) you might appreciate the variety of “briiiine.” From 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the parking lot on Broome between Essex and Ludlow.
  • With the recent success of San Francisco Cocktail Week and this week’s London Cocktail Week, it’s no wonder that Portland, Ore., wanted to get in on the celebration of their cocktail culture as well. Get ready for Portland Cocktail Week, Oct. 21 to 24, in conjunction with the Great American Distillers Festival. Highlights include a tiki bash, a meat tour and a Benedictine ball.
  • And you have until Oct. 31 to submit your entries for the Bols Around the World Cocktail Competition. The theme this year is “Mix Your Way to Cocktail Heaven,” seeking the most divine drink containing a Bols product. Two North American finalists, as judged by John Lermayer, will win a three-day trip to Amsterdam to compete with six other international finalists in February of 2011. Up for grabs are some hefty cash prizes: first place gets 2,500 Euros (about $3480 US), the second-place winner will receive 750 Euros (about $1045 US) and the third-place winner goes home with 500 Euros (about $696 US). You must be a working bartender to enter and your submission must contain at least 3/4 of an ounce of a Bols liqueur.

Rick's Picks' new "Hotties," sriracha-habanero pickles, will be served on Saxelby Cheesemongers' grilled cheese sandwiches at International Pickle Day Sun. Oct. 17.

Ultimate Spirits Challenge Winners Announced

The Ultimate Spirits Challenge judging panel at Astor Center.

I’m currently having a blast as a featured blogger at SXSW in Austin, Tex., but I must take a quick break to share yesterday’s announcement of the winners from the first-ever Ultimate Spirits Challenge spearheaded by F. Paul Pacult. Congrats to the winners! Here’s the press release:

March 15, 2010 (New York, NY): Ultimate Beverage Challenge’s (UBC) first Ultimate Spirits Challenge was held at Astor Center on March 1-3, 2010. The inaugural Ultimate Spirits Challenge proved that integrity, method, and credibility can flourish and be the driving forces in a competitive beverage alcohol environment. More than 520 entries from scores of companies and nations were entered, but only a dozen distillates were awarded the esteemed USC Chairman’s Trophy as the highest scoring spirits of their category.

Following four stages of competitive judging over the course of three days, Ultimate Spirits Challenge Chairman’s Trophy winners were arrived at based on their aggregate score on the 100-point scale. Panels of carefully selected spirits authorities (such as Assistant Judging Chairman Sean Ludford, Dale DeGroff, Andy Seymour, Jacques Bezuidenhout), educators (Steve Olson, Doug Frost), buyers (James Conley, Ethan Kelley, Audrey Saunders), and author-journalists (David Wondrich, gaz regan) employed UBC’s innovative multi-stage scoring system that determined the best of the best entries.

Said UBC Judging Chairman and Managing Partner F. Paul Pacult, “It’s clear that a perfect storm of superbly qualified judges, meticulous and innovative methodology, the state-of-the-art clinical environment of Astor Center, and a gifted operational staff helped usher in a new era of beverage alcohol competitive evaluation. I’m looking forward to 2011 already.”

The Chairman Trophy winners and Semifinalists for the 2010 Ultimate Spirits Challenge are:

Ultimate Spirits Challenge Chairman’s Trophy Winners & Semifinalists 2010

Vodka & Aquavit
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Orzel Vodka (Poland)
Semifinalists: Skyy Vodka (USA)
Vermont White Vodka (USA)
Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka (Finland)
 
Gin & Genever
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Broker’s London Dry Gin (England)
Semifinalists: Beefeater 24 Gin (England)
Citadelle 2009 Reserve Gin (France)
Tanqueray London Dry Gin (England)
 
Tequila & Mezcal
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Tres Agaves Anejo Tequila (Mexico)
Semifinalists: Sambra Mezcal, (Mexico)
Don Pilar Anejo Tequila (Mexico)
Del Maguey Tobala Single Village Mezcal (Mexico)
 
Rum & Cachaça
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Mount Gay Rum 1703 (Barbados)
Semifinalists: Zafra 21 Year Old Rum (Panama)
J. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum (Jamaica)
Bacardi 8 Years Old Rum (Puerto Rico)
 
Ireland & Wales Whiskey
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Midleton Very Rare 2008 Blended Irish Whiskey (Ireland)
Semifinalists: Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey (Ireland)
Bushmills 1608 Single Malt Whiskey (Ireland)
Redbreast 12 Years Old Pure Pot Still Whiskey (Ireland)
 
Scotland Whisky
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: The Macallan Fine Oak 21 Year Old Malt Whisky (Scotland)
Semifinalists: Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year Old Blended Whisky (Scotland)
Royal Salute 21 Year Old Blended Whisky (Scotland)
Glenmorangie Signet Single Malt Whisky (Scotland)
 
US & Canada Whiskey
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey (USA)
Semifinalists: Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (USA)
Crown Royal XR Blended Canadian Whisky (Canada)
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (USA)
 
World Brandy, Grappa & Eau-de-Vie
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Nonino Grappa Il Merlot (Italy)
Semifinalists: Macchu Pisco (Peru)
Bartlett Spirits of Maine Apple Brandy (USA)
Giovi Clear Brandy of Cactus Pear (Italy)
 
Cognac
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Frapin Chateau Fontpinot XO Grande Champagne Cognac (France)
Semifinalists: Landy XO Cognac (France)
Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges Grande Champagne Cognac (France)
Hennessy XO Cognac (France)
 
Armagnac
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Chateau du Busca-Maniban Hors d’Age
Tenareze-Armagnac (France)
Semifinalists: Chateau de Laubade 1960 Bas-Armagnac (France)
Marie Duffau Hors d’Age Bas-Armagnac (France)
Cles des Ducs VSOP Armagnac (France)
 
Calvados
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: Boulard Grand Solage Pays d’Auge Calvados (France)
Semifinalists: Coeur de Lion Hors d’Age Pays d’Auge Calvados (France)
Roger Groult 8 Year Old Pays d’Auge Calvados (France)
 
World Liqueurs, Absinthes & Other
Chairman’s Trophy Winner: St Germain Elderflower Liqueur (France)
Semifinalists: Herbsaint Original Liqueur d’Anis (France)
Bauchant Orange Liqueur (France)
Mathilde Raspberry Frambroise (France)
 
For a complete list of all results and scores please go to:
www.ultimate-beverage.com/USCresults2010/ 
 
ABOUT ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE
Founded by award-winning journalist, author, educator and critic F. Paul Pacult, wine and spirits publishing industry veteran David Talbot, and Spirit Journal managing editor Sue Woodley, Ultimate Beverage Challenge is now providing both the industry and consumers with a clear and unassailable indication of beverage alcohol quality, in terms that are readily accessible.

Ultimate Cocktail Challenge, in which spirits and wines will be judged on how well they perform in classic cocktails, occurs on April 12-14, 2010.
• The inaugural Ultimate Wine Challenge, for the evaluation of fine still, sparkling, and fortified wines, will be held on June 7-11, 2010.

For more information on all three 2010 UBC competitions, for help with entry forms, for complete Ultimate Spirits Challenge scores, please go to www.ultimate-beverage.com or call 1-347-878-6551.

F. Paul Pacult noses spirits at Astor Center.

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse

  • BarSmarts Wired is now open for registration through March 31. Created by Beverage Alcohol Resource and Pernod Ricard USA, the online bartender training program is available for two-month intervals twice a year. While BarSmarts Advanced is invitation-only, the Wired version is open to any bar enthusiast 21 and older. The $45 course fee includes a messenger bag packed with essential bar tools, shipped to you whether you pass the course or not.
  • For reasons yet unknown, Audrey Saunders has left her helm at the Tar Pit in L.A. She told The New York Times that she and the other bar owners disagreed over the swanky retro bar’s promotion: “It’s not our style to promote our beverage program through cable programs, etc — and that became a stumbling block for us.”
  • New York sales of Fernet Branca jumped 50 percent in 2009, undoubtedly thanks to NYC’s cocktail community–but the saturation here still doesn’t match San Francisco, which drinks more than half of the Fernet sold in the entire U.S.!
  • Save the dates for the first-ever Ultimate Beverage Challenge series, starting with the Ultimate Spirits Challenge at Astor Center on March 1-3, followed by the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge on April 12-14. For the cocktail challenge, spirit and wine categories will be meticulously mixed in classic cocktails to determine which ones work best, such as the best gin in a dry martini. The judging panel will include founder F. Paul Pacult, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, Jim Meehan, Doug Frost, Andy Seymour, David Wondrich and more.
  • Liquor industry giant Diageo is leading efforts to stop New York grocery stores from selling wine, as proposed in a current bill from Gov. Paterson.
  • Today is National Margarita Day! I like mine spicy:

Spicy Cucumber Margarita by Kara Newman, author of “Spice & Ice“:

1/2 small cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 slice jalapeno pepper, minced
1 ounce reposado tequila
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Ice
1 small jalapeno or cucumber or lime wheel for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the cucumber and jalapeno. Add all liquid ingredients, and fill halfway with ice. Shake well, for at least 30 seconds or more, then strain twice into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the small chili pepper or cucumber or lime wheel.

Photo from FoodNetwork.com

Elsewhere in the Liquiverse…

Another Jazz Age Lawn Party!

Another Jazz Age Lawn Party!

  • Following the success of this summer’s Jazz Age Lawn Party, Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra are throwing one last 1920’s-themed bash for the year on Governor’s Island, featuring St-Germain cocktails. Sunday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5.
  • Red Hook’s Fort Defiance is temporarily closed due to some technical difficulties. Keep an eye on the website for the reopening, which will involve a new food menu.
  • Domain de Canton is accepting recipes using its ginger liqueur for its 2010 Bartender of the Year competition, which holds its final round in St. Martin and awards $10,000. The 2009 winner was John Lermayer of The Florida Room in Miami. Deadline is Sept. 30.
  • New iPhone Apps for Drinkers: F. Paul Pacult’s iWhiskey puts 600-plus whiskey reviews in your pocket for only $10.99, and Nirvino’s Wine Ratings Guide offers 1 million wine reviews for $1.99.

Tickets & Details Announced for The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

manhattanclassic

I just received the press release announcing the schedule for The Manhattan Cocktail Classic:

NEW YORK, August 20, 2009—The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City’s first-ever multi-day celebration of all things cocktail-related, today announced the details of its Fall Preview seminar series, which will take place during the day on October 3-4, 2009, at Astor Center in New York City. The seminars will be led by members of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Advisory Board, which includes legendary mixologists, cocktail historians, spirits critics and writers, and speak-easy impresarios. Each seminar will be individually ticketed for $50, available through the website at www.manhattancocktailclassic.com beginning on September 7, 2009.

“I am very excited about the topics we have lined up for the Fall Preview,” said Lesley Townsend, Founder and Director of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. “It’s an unbelievable honor to have our Advisory Board members kicking off our event in this regard. Our hope is that this series will inspire the rest of the spirits and cocktail community to come forth with their own ideas for presentations for the first annual event in May of 2010.”

The seminar schedule is as follows:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

“Have Cocktail Shaker, Will Travel” with Charlotte Voisey & Simon Ford: Once the last legal cocktail was served on the eve of Prohibition in New York City, things would never be the same again. ‘Have cocktail shaker, will travel’ was the mindset of many a passionate barkeep in the 1920s when their craftsmanship turned criminal. Join Charlotte Voisey, Simon Ford, and other assorted friends for a jovial discussion on how New York has been influencing cocktail culture around the world for many years. Liquid refreshments will be served.

“Cocktails for Your Home Cocktail Party” with Sasha Petraske: Famed (and oft-elusive) owner and proprietor of Milk and Honey, Sasha Petraske will demonstrate the basics of creating cocktails in the home. He will go over how to set up and stock home bars of varying degrees of seriousness, as well as cover different scenarios of cocktail entertaining – from temporarily taking over your friend’s kitchen for a house party, to grabbing the reins at a fully-equipped bar. And of course, Sasha will teach you how to prepare some basic, ever-pleasing libations for these occasions. Participants will leave armed with a no-fail recipe list and a short set of directions for preparing basic cocktails with block ice and fresh juices.

“The Agave Session: The Magical Elixirs of Mexico” with Steve Olson and Special Guests: There is a heritage and culture associated with Tequila and Mezcal that dates back well over a thousand years, when the agave plant – also known as the maguey – was utilized by Mexico’s native peoples for virtually everything: from food and drink, to sugar, to shoes, soap, building supplies, and even medicine. Join us for an exciting tasting of this exotic elixir, each by artisan producers, as we pay homage to the heritage, history and culture of Mexico’s national spirit. It is also likely that agave-based libations will be consumed.

“The Many Faces of Cognac & Armagnac” with Julie Reiner, Charlotte Voisey & F. Paul Pacult: This one-time-only, comprehensive seminar joins celebrated master mixologists Julie Reiner and Charlotte Voisey with America’s spirits guru F. Paul Pacult on an extraordinary excursion deep into France’s legendary AOC grape brandies, Cognac and Armagnac. Participants will first be taken on a guided tour of tasting a half-dozen remarkable brandies to see how these distilled and oak-matured cousins compare and contrast. Then, they will be treated to a Cognac cocktail, made by Julie, and an Armagnac cocktail, made by Charlotte. A rare opportunity to spend 90 minutes with three of America’s most engaging spirits and cocktail personalities.

“History of the Cocktail in New York, 1810-1920” with Dave Wondrich: Among all the classes of American mixed drinks—the Cobblers, Sours, Fizzes, Coolers, Juleps and all the rest—the Cocktail stands as first among equals. If there’s something about a quick jolt of ice-cold, mixed-up boozy deliciousness that’s essentially American, then it’s quintessentially New York. And indeed, while many other cities have made key contributions to the Cocktail’s development, none has done so much as to shape it as Gotham. This seminar will attempt to track the interventions the city’s mixologists made in the idea of the Cocktail during the 110-odd years between its first documented appearance here and Prohibition. Liquid exhibits will be served.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

“Audrey and Gary’s Unparalleled Gin Palaver” with Audrey Saunders & Gary Regan: Audrey Saunders, Libation Goddess from New York’s Pegu Club, and perhaps the bartender most responsible for the resurgence of gin in the 21st century, will join Gary “gaz” Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology (2003) and The Bartender’s Gin Compendium (Fall 2009), to present gin-based cocktails, old, new, borrowed, and, well, you get the picture. They will wax lyrical on all things juniper; they will pontificate endlessly about the attributes of the Martini and of the MarTEAni, and they will display the splendor of cocktails made with dry gin, genever, Plymouth gin, and a most peculiar Old Tom. It’s probable that Saunders and Regan will flirt shamelessly throughout the workshop. The throwing of rotting fruit or vegetables will not be permitted.

“Glasses & Tools: How Do You Choose the Right Glass for a Drink?” with Dale DeGroff:  The choice of glass can mean the difference between a successful and elegant drink, or a glass of booze. In a commercial operation, the choice of glass can impact dramatically on the bottom line. At the home bar, the choice of glass can have an impact on the success of your cocktail party, and the well-being of your guests. Explore the classics with Dale DeGroff as he culls his glass collection to find the perfect glass for well-known classics and the tools to make them successfully.

“Call of the Rye” with Allen Katz: Ryes, Ryes my beloved, Meet me down by The Bowery. There will I give you my love. By history and culture, With song, per chance dance, A Savor to be kissed by kisses. O, my dear, come… Ryes at the day break. As the shadows enter over Astor. Awake. Inhale. O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O, beloved.

“Sherry: The Cobbler and Beyond” with Andy Seymour: Sherry has long played an important role in the world of mixology and has emerged in this new age of the cocktail more popular than ever. Join Master Mixologist and U.S. Sherry Ambassador Andy Seymour for a fascinating look at one of the world’s most cocktail (and food) friendly wines. Taste five of the finest Sherry, representing its many styles, and sample cocktails that show off Sherry’s traditional side and what it is up to today. Come ready to shake, as Andy will lead the group in building their own version of the Sherry cobbler!

About the Manhattan Cocktail Classic:

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is New York City’s first ever multi-day event celebrating the history, contemporary culture, and artful craft of the cocktail. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic brings together the unparalleled talents and opportunities of the bars, bartenders, and restaurants of our great city for two days of activities, both educational and celebratory in nature, championing the common ideals of authenticity, equality, sustainability, service, and pleasure. (There will be some drinking involved, too.) For additional information, kindly visit http://www.manhattancocktailclassic.com .

And there you have it!