IT'S AUGUST, and your garden cup overfloweth.
Tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers are coming at you fast and furious; the farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture boxes are bursting with fresh produce, beautiful berries and heirloom veggies. If you're feeling like Lucy trying to keep up with the bonbons at the chocolate factory, here's a thought: Why not try drinking some of those fruits and vegetables for a change?
Although virgin juicing is one way to go, expert bartenders are finding plenty of inspiration in the garden, using seasonal produce to create cocktails that brim with fresh summer goodness.
The city of New Orleans is taken over by Tales of the Cocktail every year, which brings in the cocktail elite from all over the world. Mixologists, Writers, Master Distillers, Brand Ambassadors, Bar and Restaurant Owners, as well as enthusiasts of all things libation. In our time in New Orleans, which was regrettably short, we met so many wonderful and creative people it left us bubbling with inspiration, not to mention our heads throbbing from numerous days of excess.
The shelves of local liquor stores are piled high with concoctions such as bubble gum vodkas and root beer schnapps, sickly sweet libations that are not only synthetically flavored but also reminiscent of a candy store.
NEW ORLEANS — Tales of the Cocktail, the biggest cocktail conference of its kind, celebrated its 10th anniversary here with a bang. It's impossible to sample the hundreds of products offered — especially with the heat during the last week of July — but I gave it the good old college try. Those that rose to the top are worth further review.
I’ve lived in Philadelphia for over five years now, and there’s a few things I’ve come to love from living in New York’s funnier and generally more mustachioed little brother – namely pretzels, facial hair, and cats.
Here’s a few things I’ve rounded up for you to wear on your way to becoming a local in the City of Brotherly Love. The next step is grabbing a lawn chair and sitting on the sidewalk in basketball shorts all day.
“Do cool things that don’t suck.” This is the philosophy that defines Steven Grasse, period. When asked he will tell you just that and when his own children seek fatherly advice. Same credo. Grasse is no Ward Cleaver but he is obscenely nostalgic in his own style of creative forces. Up until 2008 he captained the S.S. Gyro Worldwide, an edgy advertising agency which created campaigns for both local and global companies, from Wawa to Puma. Gone are those days of Budweiser and Camel ads that appealed to the alternative youth culture and made Gyro a brand builder and marketing leader. Replacing the former Gyro cocoon is Quaker City Mercantile (QMC), a distinctive blend of 19th century mercantilism and 21st century brand artistry. Given its description, there is no problem believing QMC is responsible for the creation and production of an impressive boutique distilled spirits portfolio which now properly define Grasse’s genius. He’s no longer building brands from the outside in…he actually creates them from the inside out.