The New Smoker says

Puff, Puff, Drink…

When getting intoxicated in only one way isn’t enough!

Sure you like to get high, and you like to get drunk. But if what you really want to do is get drunkly high or highly drunk with style, then the book Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics by perma-happy mixologist Warren Bobrow, is the book for you.

Warren Bobrow (Author)

Some say alcohol and cannabis don’t mix. Those people are just doing it wrong. Booze before Bud, head hits thud… but Bud before Booze is a breezy cruise. And Both blended together can be badass.

Bobrow’s book is a collection of 75 recipes of cannabis influenced cocktails and drinks designed to bring the buzz. But beyond cocktails, you can create special tonics, syrups, shrubs, bitters, compound butter and exotic infused oil to use in any drink, or to start your own Apothecary in the 1890s.

Begin your day with coffee, tea, and milk-based cannabis beverages to bring in a super Sunday hanging around the house listening to aaallll of Sting before heading to your local Broga class (Bro yoga: for dudes only). Or get an afternoon pick-me-up with gut healing shrubs and mood enhancing syrups before chowing down on Mickey D’s on your “cheat day” cuz the cravings are craaaazy today. Make cooling lemonades and sparking herbal infusions to soothe the fevered brow after that big fight with your boyfriend about who didn’t soak the dishes enough. Then have an after dinner herbal-based cannabis drink for relaxation at the end of a crazy high day cuz you didn’t realize you didn’t have to try all the recipes in one day. The options are intoxicatingly endless with Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics.

http://thenewsmoker.com/cannabis-cocktails-mocktails-tonics/

A Perfect Base For An Energy Drink Rum Punch

Hackamore energy drink

Energy drinks… hmmm.  Maybe because I’m neither a millennial, nor “out of energy”, but quite honestly- I’ve never had one.

Warren Bobrow

The entire multi-billion-dollar energy drink market- completely ignored by myself.  I have no desire- none at all– to see what it’s like to mix Red Bull with Vodka.  That’s amateur hour stuff, which in my opinion, sends all the wrong messages on drinking responsibly. 

Thus, when I received a bottle of Hackamore recently, I didn’t open it at first. The 1-liter bottle filled with a crystal clear liquid stated on the frosted part of the bottle- Premium Energy.  Are the millennials growing up and drinking a higher quality energy drink?  Which part of Energy was I not seeing here?  Aren’t all energy drinks safe to drink and therefore- premium? 

Marketing in this segment of the industry is so oblique. I wouldn’t know premium from non-premium as I’ve never even put a Red Bull to my lips, mixed with vodka or not.  Just not on my radar.

Hackamore energy drinkSo, I opened my liter bottle of pure energy (premium!) and touched a bit on my tongue.  The flavor was not unpleasant, a hint of citrus- forgive my trepidation, without any alcohol levels, you really don’t know what you’re getting into unless you try it.  Should I try Hackamore on an empty stomach?  Mixed in with my espresso?  Probably not such a good idea, so I put a couple drops on my tongue.   The texture is rich and selfless- I neither disliked it, nor found it reminiscent of any liqueur.  The product does not contain alcohol (probably a good thing) nor does it really go much further into what it might do to you if you drink too much… (not a good thing).

 I’m old fashioned, I suppose.  When I need a pick me up, I reach for my Ibrik and make a slurp of cardamom scented, Greek Coffee.  The Millennials?  They would grab this stout bottle of clear liquid and play pick me up in quick shots.

This product is absolutely magnificent in its genre.  There is nothing that compares with it. Sure you can go out and buy an energy drink – there are hundreds of them.  But none of them can speak the language that Hackamore speaks.  It’s the perfect base for craft cocktails of all sorts.  Add a few ounces of this to your favorite bowl of punch and your guests will run on pure inertia for hours and hours… You can call it the rapid fire punch.   I can only imagine the conversations.

The Rapid Fire ‘Mezan XO Rum Premium Energy Punch’

Ingredients:

  • 3 Quart Freshly Squeezed Orange 
  • 3 Quart Freshly Squeezed Roasted Grapefruit Juice (split grapefruits, sprinkle with Demerara Sugar and roast for ½ hour at 300 degrees, cool and juice)
  • ¼ Pint Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Pint Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 12 oz. Double Simple Syrup- 2:1 ratio- ‘sugar in the raw’ to boiling water
  • 16 oz. Hackamore Premium Energy
  • 750 ml bottle Mezan XO Jamaican Rum
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Peychaud’s Bitters

Prep:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a punch bowl
  2. Add 20 or so shakes of both Angostura and Peychaud’s
  3. Stir and serve.

All the Cocktails and Spirits Books Published in 2016 for Reading or Gifting

I love books! Here are all the books on cocktails and spirits I know of (please do comment if I’ve missed something) published this year. Give some gifts or just stock up on your winter reading for the cold months. I’ve got stacks to get through myself.

 

Whiskey Books

6a00e553b3da20883401b8d22461da970c-200wiBourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick

More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler 

The Big Man of Jim Beam: Booker Noe And the Number-One Bourbon In the World by Jim Kokoris  

Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky by Dominic Roskrow 

Iconic Whisky: Tasting Notes & Flavour Charts for 1,500 of the World’s Best Whiskies by Cyrille Mald and Alexandre Vingtier

Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic and Original Cocktails by Michael Dietsch

The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail with Recipes by Philip Greene 

 

Miscellany 

6a00e553b3da20883401bb09376999970d-200wiMade of Iceland: A Drink & Draw Book  by Reyka Vodka, Snorri Sturluson 

Inside The Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories  by Arthur Shapiro 

The Craft Cocktail Coloring Book by Prof Johnny Plastini

Drinking with Republicans and Drinking with Democrats by Mark Will-Weber

The Moonshine Wars by Daniel Micko

Drinks: A User’s Guide by Adam McDowell

Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times (Second Edition) by Michael Dietsch 

A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World by Robert Simonson 

Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by Steven Grasse 

DIY Bitters: Reviving the Forgotten Flavor – A Guide to Making Your Own Bitters for Bartenders, Cocktail Enthusiasts, Herbalists, and More by Jovial King and Guido Mase 

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons 

Drink Like A Grown-Up by The League of Extraordinary Drinkers 

The Coming of Southern Prohibition: The Dispensary System and the Battle over Liquor in South Carolina, 1907-1915 by Michael Lewis

American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues by Dan Dunn 

Distilled Stories: California Artisans Behind the Spirits by Capra Press

Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity by Allan T. Shulman

Craft Spirits by Eric Grossman

 

Cocktail Books, General

6a00e553b3da20883401bb08fac9f3970d-200wiCocktails for Ding Dongs by Dustin Drankiewicz (Author), Alexandra Ensign (Illustrator)

Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker by Jules Aron

Pretty Fly For a Mai Tai: Cocktails with rock ‘n’ roll spirit  

Cocktails for Drinkers: Not-Even-Remotely-Artisanal, Three-Ingredient-or-Less Cocktails that Get to the Point  by Jennifer McCartney 

Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy by Marisa Huff 

The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes by Lou Bustamante and the United States Bartenders’ Guild 

 Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts by Kara Newman

101 Cocktails to Try Before you Die  by Francois Monti 

Drink Like a Man: The Only Cocktail Guide Anyone Really Needs by Ross McCammon and David Wondrich

The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Cocktails by Andre Darlington and Tenaya Darlington

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau 

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello 

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations by Warren Bobrow

Tiki with a Twist: 75 Cool, Fresh, and Wild Tropical Cocktails by Lynn Calvo and James O. Fraioli 

Cocktail Books from Bars or Places

6a00e553b3da20883401bb094fd3d5970d-200wiThe Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau  and James O. Fraioli 

Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske and Georgette Moger-Petraske 

Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough By Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz

Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate

 Cuban Cocktails: Over 50 mojitos, daiquiris and other refreshers from Havana

Brooklyn Bar Bites: Great Dishes and Cocktails from New York’s Food Mecca by Barbara Scott-Goodman

The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by Frank Caiafa

Lift Your Spirits: A Celebratory History of Cocktail Culture in New Orleans by Elizabeth M. Williams and Chris McMillian

Science!


Shots of Knowledge
: The Science of Whiskey by Rob Arnold and Eric Simanek

Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions  by Brian D Hoefling 

 

Classic Cocktail Book Reprints

THE HOME BARTENDER’S GUIDE AND SONG BOOK {By Charlie Roe and Jim Schwenck}

AMERICAN BAR {By Frank P. Newman}

LOUIS’ MIXED DRINKS {By Louis Muckenstrum}

Beer (A few beer books slip through the cracks and come to me)

The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink by Dane Huckelbridge 

The Beer Geek Handbook: Living a Life Ruled by Beer by Patrick Dawson 

 

http://www.alcademics.com/2016/12/all-the-cocktails-and-spirits-books-published-in-2016-for-reading-or-gifting.html?utm_content=buffer73188&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Gift Guide: 13 Great Cocktail, Spirits and Bartending Books from 2016

Books stacked on bookshelves

The cocktail book category seems to grow exponentially every year, and 2016 brought readers everything from bourbon to amaro to tiki. (Photo: David_Ahn via iStock)

Another year, another slew of smart, thought-provoking and entertaining cocktail books. Tomes about spirits, bar ownership, drinking cultures and more filled the shelves as bartenders and cocktail experts put pen to paper. The category of cocktail books is ever-growing, and this year brought readers everything from bourbon to amaro, from minimalist equal-parts drinks to over-the-top tiki builds, from drinking to your health (literally) to the goings-on behind the scenes of a World’s Best Bar.

Because we’re in peak gift-giving season, because a certain holiday is mere days away, and because books are equal parts thoughtful gift and handy last-minute solution for shopping procrastinators, here’s just a smattering of the titles published this year that any bartender would be lucky to sport on their shelf.

For Your Open-Minded Friend in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts or Maine: “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics” by Warren Bobrow

“It adds very green tasting notes and aromas, and I find that to be quite beguiling,” Warren Bobrow told us earlier this year. That “it” is referring to cannabis, which makes its way into cocktails in the form of tinctures and infusions dreamed up by Bobrow for his guide to more, ah, herbacious drinks, “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics.” Though the concept of adding THC to alcohol has catalyzed some debate in the mixology community, Bobrow’s stance is more apothecarist than bong-ripping bro: he cites the historical precedent of cannabis-infused elixirs and views them more as a health tonic than a one-way ticket to outer space. Just use common sense: don’t try these at home if recreational marijuana’s illegal in your state, never experiment with these at a bar or other commercial establishment, and remember, if you go too far, a glass of lemonade with three to four black peppercorns will set you straight. According to Bobrow, at least.

For everyone on your list: “Regarding Cocktails” by Sasha Petraske with Georgette Moger-Petraske

Perhaps one of the most anticipated releases of 2016, this beautiful book is both tribute to and legacy of one of the world’s greatest bartenders, who passed away unexpectedly last year. Sasha Petraske’s subtle wit, revered wisdom and timeless recipes are preserved in these pages thanks to the efforts of his wife, spirits writer Georgette Moger-Petraske, who lovingly and generously worked to complete the book. From Milk and Honey devotees to young bartenders interested in gleaning the wisdom of a legend, this book will suit any reader interested in cocktail culture and the man who helped to catalyze it.

For the aspiring owner of the next World’s Best Bar: “The Canon Cocktail Book” by Jamie Boudreau

Jamie Boudreau’s drinks helped to solidify Canon’s status among the world’s best bars, so it’s no surprise that the recipes in this book would appeal to advanced cocktail connoisseurs. But where this tome really shines is through Boudreau’s own insights, observations and advice for opening a bar, keeping operations running smoothly and elevating every detail along the way. Expect a refreshingly honest take on what it really takes to run a world-class bar like Canon — and, of course, no shortage of equally world-class recipes.

For the Pappy hound: “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of American Whiskey” by Fred Minnick

With the great bourbon revival, many lay claim to the title of expert. But few have chops quite like Fred Minnick’s. The whiskey historian has multiple titles under his belt already, including a history of women in whiskey and an interactive guide to tasting whiskey. His latest promises an in-depth, colorful retrospective of bourbon’s role in America, dispelling a few myths and uncovering some little-known truths along the way.

For the bartending minimalist: “Shake. Stir. Sip. More Than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts” by Kara Newman

In a world of twelve-ingredient cocktails and sub-sub-sub recipes, Wine Enthusiast spirits editor Kara Newman’s take on drink recipes is a breath of fresh air. Each cocktail listed here is equal-parts, straightforward, quick to mix, and very, very difficult to mess up — making it a perfect fit not just for home bartenders, but also professional bartenders who just want a good drink without, you know, feeling like they’re at work.

For the aperitivo aficionado: “Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes” by Leslie Pariseau and Talia Baiocchi

This homage to Italy’s culture of low-ABV, easy drinking came from an editor at Saveur and the editor-in-chief of PUNCH, meaning it was destined from the start to be masterfully executed (and beautiful to look at). Leslie Pariseau and Talia Baiocchi combine a little history, a bit of travel and culture, and a slew of delicious recipes from bartenders around the world for their love letter to all things bubbly and refreshing. The rigorous research process involved the duo embarking on a road trip to seven different Italian cities to explore each community’s unique spritz culture, making the book just as much a wanderlust-inducing travelogue as it is a cocktail book.

For the Hawaiian Shirt-Wearing, Orgeat-Making, Rum-Swilling Tiki Fan: “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” by Martin Cate

The culture of tiki is so much more than syrupy sweet drinks, tiny umbrellas and vintage Hawaiian shirts. And few people understand this quite like Martin Cate, proprietor of San Francisco’s renowned Smuggler’s Cove and devoted student of the deep, rich history rooted in Polynesian pop culture. In Cate’s expansive book, he looks at the history of tiki and how it was revived, how bars and home aficionados can recreate the tiki experience on their own, how he built that experience at Smuggler’s Cove, and over 100 recipes from their award-winning bar program (plus a few new ones created specifically for this book).

For the Friend Who Hits the Bar on Their Way Home from Yoga: “Zen and Tonic” by Jules Aron and “The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking” by Ariane Resnick and Brittani Rae

Can you live a healthy lifestyle and regularly enjoy a good drink at the same time? This year, a few books set out to prove that yes, you can.

Bartender-turned-author Jules Aron published “Zen and Tonic,” her guide to cocktails “for the enlightened drinker,” earlier this spring. The book sets out to bring readers back to the old-school philosophy of cocktail as conduit of the medicinal properties of plants, focusing on florals, herbs, fresh fruits and natural sugars. While we have a long way to go before a cocktail can truly be “guilt-free,” Aron imbues hers with healthy alternatives to mass-produced mixers and syrups — think kombucha concoctions, herbal tonics and fruits front and center, all with a nice kick of booze.

2015 Speed Rack champion Brittani Rae isn’t just formidably fast behind the stick; she’s also incredibly creative when it comes to cocktail creation. In “The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking,” Rae teamed up with nutritionist and bestselling author Ariane Resnick to offer a comprehensive guide to home bartending that eschews artificial flavoring agents, high-sugar ingredients and other nasty add-ons. Instead, you’ll find drinks that use ingredients boasting antioxidants and other wellness benefits, from greens to coconut cream. For home bartenders, the book also includes a helpful crash-course on prep, glassware and techniques.

For the Embittered: “Amaro” by Brad Thomas Parsons

The follow-up to Parsons’ 2011 “Bitters” compendium, “Amaro” picks up the mantle and explores the production, categorization, and history of the storied bittersweet liqueur. (Complete with a slew of recipes, of course.) Parsons describes it as a companion piece to the James Beard Award-winning “Bitters,” and “a love letter to Italy filtered through my American point of view.” As bartenders continue exploring the category and more guests dip a toe in the waters, “Amaro” makes for essential reading for anyone on either side of the bar.

For the Bartender Who Rolls Her Eyes When Someone Calls a Drink ‘Girly’: “Drink Like a Woman: Shake, Stir, Conquer, Repeat” by Jeanette Hurt

The sexist history of bartending culture; the laughable concept of “manly” or “girly” drinks; the many powerful women making huge moves behind the bar — it’s all up for discussion in Jeanette Hurt’s girl power cocktail guide (plus, all the techniques, recipes and tips a home bartender might need to know). “Drink Like A Woman” features the life stories and recipes of feminist heroes, including noted bar matrons like Marcy Skowronksi, the feisty nonagenarian helming the bar at Milwaukee’s Holler House, and Ada Coleman, the first female celebrity mixologist who rose to fame at The Savoy around the turn of the 19th century (and invented the classic Hanky Panky).

For Your Cocky Young Barback Who’s Never Had to Make a Fuzzy Navel: “A Proper Drink: the Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World” by Robert Simonson

My, how far we’ve come. In the past two decades, cocktail culture has evolved by leaps and bounds thanks to the grit, determination, and good taste of a select few pioneers who endeavored to resurrect the classics and bring us back to a more thoughtful way of drinking. That’s the story as told by Robert Simonson, the New York Times drinks writer who profiles the hard-won gains made in the cocktail world over the last two decades, and the people we have to thank for them. Buy a copy for yourself to remember your roots; give another copy to a young whippersnapper who’s never used prepackaged sour mix and deserves to understand why.

For the Lovable Dingus in Your Life: “Cocktails for Ding Dongs” by Dustin Drankiewicz

Why so serious, cocktail books? In a time of leather-bound tomes espousing complex recipes and in-depth treatises on single spirits, it’s refreshing to see one take a lighter approach. With its doodle-esque line drawings and goofy title, “Cocktails for Ding Dongs” may look and sound like pure whimsy. But with know-how from Chicago bartender Dustin Drankiewicz, the book is actually packed with practical insight and solid recipes for classics, drinks resurrected from the “tini days,” and boozy drinks with aged spirits, all supplemented with hilarious illustrations. (Adjacent to the Lemon Drop recipe, two organic lemons watch from a farmstand as a third lemon jauntily struts by. “He’s just cocky because he’s going to The Aviary,” says one.)

https://talesofthecocktail.com/products/13-great-cocktail-spirits-and-bartending-books-2016?utm_source=Online+Subscribers&utm_campaign=2aab944acd-Tuesday+-+December+20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2c672a26a8-2aab944acd-97215241

8 Great Gifts For Your Best Buds- #4!

All through the year, they were there to pack you a bowl when you needed them most. So, now that this season of generosity has rolled around, show your best pothead pals how much they mean to you with these gifts designed to put the merry in marijuana!

1. AnnaBís Purse

1. AnnaBís Purse

An AnnaBis bag is the ultimate in elegance for the sleek and stylish stoner gal in your life. The up-and-coming brand’s newest line takes inspiration from some of pop culture’s most beloved cannabis queens, and earns its laurels with stunning design and fabrication. As always, AnnaBis purses prove that dank and discreet don’t have to be mutually exclusive, stowing your stash and its scent safely away.

2. KushKards

2. KushKards

This holiday season, give a greeting that’s higher than Hallmark, and say it with a Kush Kard! They contain what every festive friend wants — wit and weed! You just slip in a joint rolled with your special someone’s preferred strain, and voila! Holiday cheer is as good as guaranteed. It’s the perfect present for any cannabis enthusiast!

3. Coaching Session with Molly

3. Coaching Session with Molly

Everyone has that one stellar stoner friend who is astoundingly still single despite being basically the best. This year, why don’t you gift that good catch a coaching package with Molly Peckler of Highly Devoted? Molly knows that cannabis comes into play with compatibility, and gives the dankest dating advice to help potheads find the partners they desire and deserve! Get a free consult just for filling out the form on her site.

4. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics by Warren Bobrow.

4. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics by Warren Bobrow.

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics by Warren Bobrow is a great gift for any aspiring ganja gourmand! Whether your friend is new to bartending or a seasoned expert, the marijuana infusions in this must-have volume are sure to take their mixological adventures to new heights! You never know, you might even end up reaping the benefits of these irresistible recipes yourself!

5. Binske Chocolate

5. Binske Chocolate

If you think an ethical edible would be just the right thing to show your friend you care, well, it doesn’t get any better than Binske. These chocolate champions are fair to their farmers, kind to the community, and provide a product that tastes like a little piece of pot-infused heaven. They’re available now in Colorado, but look out for their fruit leathers coming soon, as well!

6. City Sessions Denver Tour

6. City Sessions Denver Tour

Maybe this year you want to skip the stuff and give the gift of experience. In that case, the City Sessions Denver tour is our top suggestion! If you know a smart stoner who seems curious about the story behind their bud, you can give them this awesome opportunity to tour an extraction lab or grow house and learn a lot about pot. Tag along with them, and you’re sure to make meaningful memories!

7. Hmbldt vape pen

7. Hmbldt vape pen

7. A Hmbldt vape pen is the perfect present for your health-conscious loved one who isn’t necessarily looking to get high. A dose from this delightful vape pen offers all of the sense-soothing benefits of bud without the cognitive effects that can sometimes come with cannabis. Time Magazine even called the device one of the 25 Best Inventions of 2016, suggesting that cannabis could replace both over-the-counter and prescription medication for some.

8. Custom 24K Gold Joint

LA’s most discerning cannabis connoisseurs (with the necessary medical credentials) know that Rose Collective rolls the classiest jays. So, the next time you’re in need of a host present for a holiday soiree, why don’t you skip the obligatory bottle of wine and go for one of their famed 24-karat gold leaf custom rolls? Select a strain that suits the mood of the event, and spread the joy of the season to all of your fellow revelers. You can even add to the effect by slipping it in a Kush Kard for safekeeping!

https://www.buzzfeed.com/goldcat88/8-great-gifts-for-your-best-buds-2ptm2?utm_term=.ffjlNe0xXW#.qn06KaqK

Wild Ginger Brewing Company – Hard Soda Indeed!

The Wild Ginger Brewing Company approached me through their PR wanting me to review their new line of alcoholic craft soda. It’s not my usual topic, I try to stick to craft spirits, the craft soda business is much different. It’s more akin to craft beer. I don’t write about beer at all. It’s just another language!

wild

Imagine my surprise and delight when four ‘hard’ sodas of various alcohol by volume from 4 – 5% arrived at my door. I love craft soda, the kind without alcohol… it used to be one of my topics a while back. Anyhow this lineup of colorfully cartooned cans were waiting to be tasted. With the craft beer boom, top quality beers are being canned in colorful, artist attended vessels. These are no exception with a funky sense about them.

The first one that I opened was the Wild Root Original. Smacking of herbs and good old fashioned Root Beer goodness, this is as close to what I remember from my boyhood, when my father would put some of his Haig and Haig in my root beer to keep me quiet. It was a good representation of the buzz anyhow. I remember it all these years later in a sip. And what a delicious sip it is. The Wild Root is chock full of spice as well. It’s brilliant with large ice and fine bourbon whiskey- like the Barrell Bourbon #010 version that should be out any day now. It’s that good.

The Wild Sit Russ Original.. with a snarling dog on that brightly festooned label was my least likely to enjoy, yet one of the ones that tastes the most true to form. The label reads alcoholic citrus soda, there’s that snarling dog and all I can think about is Mezan XO Rum. Smacking of herbs, spices, an element of tonic from the citrus oils- this wild soda is screaming for funky, dunder laden rum that only can come from Jamaica. No other place in the world makes rum like this and no other soda should taste quite the same. I don’t always recommend mixers with this rum, but the Wild Sit Russ Original (who was Wild Sit Russ I wonder, oh, no matter) it’s good soda. Great with Mezan Rum.

The Wild Docta’ Original Rock and Rye is way too sweet for me, but with that said I mixed some really amazing barrel aged Rum from Barrell Whiskey with a splash of this ‘rock and rye’ type soda. It dried out the sweetness immediately. It’s more of a millennials drink than I’d like to admit. They’d love it to no end. With that Barrell Rum, it’s so far over the top that I’m heading for a Hemingway Daiquiri right now. I’m not a big sugar in drinks fan.. Mark my words on that.

The Wild Ginger Original Ginger Beer – Alcoholic, like the other three soda pops is a thing of rare beauty. There is an underlying element of spice that swirls around my tongue. It’s a bit sharp, but the bubble spins in an undulation that is gratifying and bold in every spin around my mouth. There is alcohol in there, you cannot miss it. This element warms as quickly as it pours down my throat. I’m charmed immediately and my palate calls out for something to deepen the spice element of the slurp. I chose a bottle of the Mezan Guyana Rum. This rum, distilled at the Diamond Distillery is a thing of rare beauty. The Ginger Beer mimics the funky elements of the Guyana Rum, the smoke and char from the barrels and the sweetness from long aging in hot climes. To mix this rum would normally be a sacrilege, but I have good feelings about this alcoholic soda. Try it. Let me know.

In conclusion, all good stuff, probably too good for the marketplace. The funky can art is creative. It’s a Millennial product. Flashy. Bold. The soda is pretty darned good; I’d like to say that they will be used as a mixer. A fine mixer at that. Best of luck to them! Cheers!

The Wild Ginger Company is doing a fine job.

http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/wild-ginger-brewing-company-hard-soda-indeed#gs.oSXtQSQ

Shaken, Stirred, Drizzled, Garnished: Beautifully Concocted Cannabis Cocktails

cannabis-cocktailsShaken, Stirred, Drizzled, Garnished: Beautifully Concocted Cannabis Cocktails

by Caroline Hayes

This is one of the most impressive books we have seen in a while. Aesthetically pleasing, concise, informational and fun are just a few words I would use to describe Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics. There is so much knowledge in this blue and red book about drinks. Author Warren Bobrow is clearly an expert, and he provides the reader with information to help enhance their cannabis consumption in a really good way.

First of all, why alcohol? Well, for those of you who don’t know, alcohol works well as a solvent, breaking down the available cannabinoids in the plant matter to allow for better absorption into your system. Alcohol is inexpensive, and when used correctly, creates a mostly healthful drink prepared with ingredients that all work together in a positive way.

Now, you might think that combining alcohol and cannabis would be dangerous — and it can be, so remembering “everything in moderation” is very helpful here. Bobrow gives plenty of warning about the dangers of over-medicating with the combination, and encourages everyone to sip slowly and listen to your body. These drinks of art were crafted to help you feel better — not worse.

There are 75 recipes in this book meant to guide you through your day, such as morning cocktails intended to light you up instead of weigh you down, and afternoon cocktails to chill out with. Many of the recipes can be made without the alcohol if that’s a worry for you, and the recipes generally call for only a small amount of alcohol. Bobrow gives a list of strains, flavor profiles and what alcohol they taste best with, as well as what time of day to enjoy them. The recipes to make the infusions that go into the drinks are simple with clear instruction, and they range from tinctures and simple syrups to coconut creams.

The health benefits that lie in each drink are deeper than just cannabis. Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics made me view the way I ingest cannabis differently. The recipes are sophisticated, bold and definitely worth your time.

http://www.thcmag.com/shaken-stirred-drizzled-garnished-beautifully-concocted-cannabis-cocktails/

Wild Ginger Brewing Company – Hard Soda Indeed!

The Wild Ginger Brewing Company approached me through their PR wanting me to review their new line of alcoholic craft soda.  It’s not my usual topic, I try to stick to craft spirits, the craft soda business is much different.  It’s more akin to craft beer.  I don’t write about beer at all.  It’s just another language!

wild

Imagine my surprise and delight when four ‘hard’ sodas of various alcohol by volume from 4 – 5% arrived at my door.  I love craft soda, the kind without alcohol… it used to be one of my topics a while back.  Anyhow this lineup of colorfully cartooned cans were waiting to be tasted.  With the craft beer boom, top quality beers are being canned in colorful, artist attended vessels.  These are no exception with a funky sense about them.

The first one that I opened was the Wild Root Original.  Smacking of herbs and good old fashioned Root Beer goodness, this is as close to what I remember from my boyhood, when my father would put some of his Haig and Haig in my root beer to keep me quiet.  It was a good representation of the buzz anyhow.  I remember it all these years later in a sip.  And what a delicious sip it is.  The Wild Root is chock full of spice as well.  It’s brilliant with large ice and fine bourbon whiskey- like the Barrell Bourbon #010 version that should be out any day now.  It’s that good.

 

The Wild Sit Russ Original.. with a snarling dog on that brightly festooned label was my least likely to enjoy, yet one of the ones that tastes the most true to form.  The label reads alcoholic citrus soda, there’s that snarling dog and all I can think about is Mezan XO Rum.  Smacking of herbs, spices, an element of tonic from the citrus oils- this wild soda is screaming for funky, dunder laden rum that only can come from Jamaica.  No other place in the world makes rum like this and no other soda should taste quite the same.  I don’t always recommend mixers with this rum, but the Wild Sit Russ Original (who was Wild Sit Russ I wonder, oh, no matter) it’s good soda.  Great with Mezan Rum.

 

The Wild Docta’ Original Rock and Rye is way too sweet for me, but with that said I mixed some really amazing barrel aged Rum from Barrell Whiskey with a splash of this ‘rock and rye’ type soda.  It dried out the sweetness immediately.  It’s more of a millennials drink than I’d like to admit.  They’d love it to no end. With that Barrell Rum, it’s so far over the top that I’m heading for a Hemmingway Daiquiri right now.   I’m not a big sugar in drinks fan.. Mark my words on that.

 

The Wild Ginger Original Ginger Beer – Alcoholic, like the other three soda pops is a thing of rare beauty.  There is an underlying element of spice that swirls around my tongue.  It’s a bit sharp, but the bubble spins in an undulation that is gratifying and bold in every spin around my mouth.  There is alcohol in there, you cannot miss it.  This element warms as quickly as it pours down my throat.  I’m charmed immediately and my palate calls out for something to deepen the spice element of the slurp.  I chose a bottle of the Mezan Guyana Rum.  This rum, distilled at the Diamond Distillery is a thing of rare beauty.  The Ginger Beer mimics the funky elements of the Guyana Rum, the smoke and char from the barrels and the sweetness from long aging in hot climes.  To mix this rum would normally be a sacrilege, but I have good feelings about this alcoholic soda.  Try it.  Let me know.

 

In conclusion, all good stuff, probably too good for the marketplace.  The funky can art is creative.  It’s a Millennial product.  Flashy.  Bold.  The soda is pretty darned good; I’d like to say that they will be used as a mixer.  A fine mixer at that.  Best of luck to them!  Cheers!

 

The Wild Ginger Company is doing a fine job.

 

The Lotte New York Palace Hotel

The Lotte New York Palace Hotel offers an uncommon approach to the philosophy of hospitality.  From the moment that the din of Madison Avenue evaporates behind you, the experience of visiting this property is utterly breathtaking.  Each detail is carefully choreographed down to the minutia.  From the tasseled umbrellas shielding the courtyard tables from the sun, to the generously adorned landscaping- the immediate experience is memorable. Even the music-scape that dissolves into the background shields the visitor from the street.  The way the former carriage courtyard is set gives the immediate impression to welcome you to the most luxurious accommodations.

Step into the gently restored mid 19th century mansion through the carriage courtyard and experience the air of relaxation for yourself.  Time stands still and one can imagine the opulence and careful attention paid to the architecture of the mansion.  This is a grand building built from the finest materials of the day.  It’s obvious to even the most casual observer that the family who lived within these storied walls spared no expense building the home.

Now, over one hundred years later and a complete ground up renovation, this grand dame of Madison Avenue and fiftieth streets is glowing again.

http://www.lottenypalace.com/villard

The Villard Restaurant is handsomely located in the formal dining room of the mansion.  It’s an elegant setting.  From the gilded Latin writing that rings the soaring ceilings to the grand fireplace seemingly plucked from a European castle to the deeply polished, dark wood floor; elegance and seamless, Continental service is the rule of this roost.  But what does Continental mean?  It means elegant conversational service with a smile.  Continental means to me a studied demeanor, not pretentious in any way- but offering a hushed mood that is both calming and relaxing.  This fashion of service is sadly missing from most restaurants.  Villard raises the bar, literally.  How do they do it so well?

Brian, the friendly chap who came by the table made it crystal clear.  He believes in quality of the whole experience.  But not just the auspices of ingredients-because in a setting such as this, the ingredients are on stage because they are brilliant.  You have to offer something that most restaurants wish they could offer.  That is the genuine smile that each person exudes, even while performing their detail oriented, highly polished service.  It’s not easy…  I’ve tried to do this in a five star restaurant.  And not well!  This is a task to make everyone feel cared for, not just served.

Morning brings business people and their meetings, other tables are scattered about with locals and hotel guests who want an uncommonly delicious breakfast in a most exalted setting.

The waiter and service lead for the table- a round, modern seating, set to the side of the grand fireplace was both intimate and private.  The entire room spills forth from the corners and they may well be the best seats in the room with the best view of the swirl of guests and restaurant staff.

Our waiter, an affable and soft-spoken gentleman who made our stay most pleasant, described a decadent plate of shaved white truffles and stone-ground grits.  There is nothing more beguiling than white truffles and grits.  But that dish had to wait in favor of a once or twice per year dish.  What I desired was the classic New York City, brunch staple- the backbone of the term: Grand Hotel Breakfast.  The breakfast that speaks to me clearly of sophistication and relaxation is the classic Eggs Benedict.  My breakfast companion ordered an egg white omelet with avocado and tomato on the side.  A simple repast that made perfect sense in this high style room.

Coffee was ordered and served in perfectly polished pots-holding the steaming liquid from within.  The helpful waiter showed my guest how to open the top so not to spill the steaming contents asunder.  Nice touch!  Orange juice was quickly served,  freshly squeezed from the highest quality fruit.  Sweet and luscious, 4 or so ounces poured into the modern style glassware.   Water was ordered, sparkling- refreshing and crisp, poured into a larger glass of modern design.  Jams and Jellies in a tray was set at the top of the bare table, adorned only with woven table mats and crisp white napkins.  Ultra elegant!  Ultra chic!  It was like haute-chic Paris came to NYC and made herself at home at Villard.

The Eggs Benedict came served with a tangle of perfectly roasted new potatoes, each one redolent of their seasonings, tiny bites, bursting with their own potato goodness.  The eggs, each one cooked into a perfect round, set on top of equally precise rounds of Canadian Bacon and crispy, buttered English Muffins were unctuous and steaming hot. The Hollandaise, a celebration of butter and whisked, farm fresh egg yolk napped the stack of breakfast goodness without overpowering.  Simple and refined are the touchstones at Villard.  My companion’s egg whites, a fluffy mound of health and satisfaction were served with a sliced half of an avocado and several slices of tomato.  Colorful and bold, the touches of love from within the kitchen are obvious.  This is simple food, raised to the highest level.

The beverage menu described a Bloody Mary Bar.  Of course the champions of Bloody Mary history are mentioned here with some twists and turns along the way.  The Wild West Bloody Mary, assembled with Ketel One Vodka, Mezcal, Tomato Juice, Worcestshire, Horseradish, Black Pepper, Fresh Lemon Juice, Salsa, Bell Pepper, Jalepeno, and Peppered Bacon enticed as did the Spanish Daybreak, a compliment of Belvedere Vodka, Tomato Juice, Worcestershire, Horseradish, Black Pepper, Yellow Bell Pepper, Amontillado Sherry, Fresh Lemon Juice, Celery Salt and Tabasco was cheery and bold to my imagination.  But the “Classic” with Grey Goose Vodka, Tomato Juice, Worcestershire, Horseradish, Black Pepper, Fresh Lemon Juice, Celery and Olive.   I didn’t have to go any further.  It was served in a crystal glass, just the right amount of ice- assembled with a smile.  I could feel that friendly nature in every sip.  Such is the way at Villard.  Doing something with passion.  A task, possibly mundane to others is handled with a word that is sadly missing from many restaurant experiences.  That word is “hospitality.”

Villard does this darned well.  And as it turned out, in small talk that our waiter shared with us, he too is influenced by the cocktail arts and worked with the King of Cocktails himself, Dale DeGroff.  Class Act!  Small world, but at the top of this rarified air comes humility and that humility cannot be taught.  It is innate.  Villard shows this generosity with every bite.

Go and experience this lovely room for yourself and take a vacation to Paris without a plane ticket.  Dress up and have fun.  Drink a Bloody Mary or any of their mixology level cocktails while having breakfast.  It’s ok, no one will tell on you, even if it is 10:30 in the morning!img_3910 img_3912 img_3913 img_3914 img_3915 img_3916 img_3917

Zen and Tonic; Book Review

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294990157

Zen and Tonic: savory and fresh cocktails for the enlightened drinker

Zen and Tonic is a lovely confection of a book, seemingly happily penned by the talented author, Jules Aron. The book is printed beautifully, reminiscent of Art Nouveau in appearance. Crisp and healthy is her mixology mantra, as each recipe encourages gleeful imbibing! Vibrant photography frames this carefully produced book.

Review by Warren Bobrow(@warrenbobrow1[twitter])
Zen and Tonic mech.indd