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  • Welcome to the Liquid Kitchen

    Kathy Casey is widely regarded as the original bar-chef, and Liquid Kitchen, the beverage consulting agency she founded, stands as a pioneer in bringing the principles of the kitchen into the bar. Liquid Kitchen has something to offer everyone, from exciting recipes for home cocktail enthusiasts to full services for global brands, suppliers and operators.

Cheers from Tales of the Cocktail: 2018 Recap

Photo Courtesy: Kathy Casey

Now in its 16th year, Tales of the Cocktail gave us so much to celebrate with many fantastic bars, writers and bartenders proudly winning coveted accolades during this year’s Spirited Awards®! Among the many national recipients include two Northwest favorites; Clyde Common, (Portland, OR) for Best American Restaurant Bar and Navy Strength, (Seattle, WA) for Best New American Cocktail Bar. 

Since its establishment in 2007, the Spirited Awards have grown to become one of the most prestigious honors in the cocktail industry. Winners were selected by a panel of over 140 industry experts including our very own bar chef,  Kathy Casey, along with top sponsors, like The House of Angostura, Bacardi US, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Peroni, Pernod Ricard USA, and Woodford Reserve to name a few.

Check out the full list of Spirited Award Recipients here!

Although it is pretty much impossible to hit all the events, lectures, and tastings – here are some of our favorite highlights from #TOTC2018!

Celebrating with Yochen Verbeeck:

2018 Libbey Glassology Ambassador

Courtesy: Libbey

Yochen Verbeeck made his way to Tales of the Cocktail in style this year after being recently named the winner of the Glassology Competition by Libbey. The finals were held on May 28th during the Perfect Serve Bar Show, in Amsterdam.

Yochen Verbeeck is a bartender at Cocktail at Nine in Belgium and describes himself as a perfectionist with a great passion for the cocktail scene.

His inspiration for his award-winning glass design is none other than The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald which encompasses the essence of the roaring 20’s as well as the peak of the Art Deco movement.

Courtesy: Libbey

“I brought my love for art and history in my design. I really wanted to keep it simple and let the glass speak for itself.” – Yochen Verbeeck

As the winner, Yochen receives 250 pieces of his glass design and is one of the members of the jury in the next edition of Glassology along with acting as Glassology Ambassador at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail celebration.

Congratulations Yochen and we look forward to seeing your award-winning glass design soon! Check out for more details.

Piscotarian Project at Calcasieu

Courtesy: Kathy Casey

On Friday, we were transported on a culinary adventure through Peru in the form of Pisco-based Chilcanos and Peruvian cuisine.

Courtesy: Kathy Casey

Master Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim shared the history of Pisco through the mixing glass of one of Peru’s most popular drinks, the Chilcanos –  a beverage central to Peruvian’s way of life. Made with Pisco, lime, bitters and ginger beer – it is the highball of your dreams! Easy to make, and even easier to add a signature twist when incorporating your favorite flavors into the Pisco.

Samplings of different Piscos and Grape brandies enlightened even the most seasoned mixologists in the bunch with their complexities.

Photo Credit: Andrew Kist

The hands-on ceviche making (and eating) demo with Chef Carlos Delgado of China Chilcano (Jose Andres’ Peruvian restaurant in DC) was a hit! Chef Delgado’s mastery of raw fish is something to be seen and tasted!


Garden of Elyx

Photos: Courtesy Absolut Elyx

Copper was king at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail with Absolut Elyx’s Garden of Elyx! The 3 Day poolside event, featured a copper speckled Martini Lounge, Gnome Garden, The Elyx Salon and plenty of Copper Mermaids, (their newest copper cocktail vessel for collectors) filled with spectacular libations.

Set within the beautiful architecture of Audobon Cottages in New Orleans’ French Quarter, this year’s Garden of Elyx had guest appearances from world-famous bartenders including Alex Kratena (formerly of World’s Best Bar, The Artesian), Monica Berg (Himlok, co-founder of P(our) Symposium), Leo Robitschek (Eleven Madison Park and Nomad), Toby Cecchini (creator of the Cosmopolitan and owner of Long Island Bar), Maxime Belfand (Saxon + Parole), and Gareth Evans (Elyx Global Brand Ambassador).

Among the copper vessel concoctions were the Elyx Coconut cocktail served in the new Copper Mermaid as well as the Elyx Martini,  but our favorite drink of the day was the Elyx Pineapple, served in a copper Gnome called Felix! A beautiful combination of Absolut Elyx Vodka, Green Chartreuse, John D Taylor Velvet Falernum, pineapple juice, toasted coconut syrup, lime juice and Angostura Bitters. Other creative cocktails included garden and Eden themes like the Elyx Banana served in a flower pot and the Elyx Apple, garnished with perfect baby apples. Can’t live without a copper coupe? Don’t fret! You can pick up your very own copper vessel at The Elyx Boutique, which donates to Water For People with every purchase.

Tequila Cazadores Presents Bartender Boxing Round 3 – Miami VS. San Francisco Final.

Photo Credit: Mark Tomaras

Bartending can be like any other job, stressful and well, unhealthy at times. The Bartender Boxing Organization is out to change this by promoting health and wellness for bartenders through the sweet science of boxing and raises funds and awareness for local and national charities. Sponsored by Tequila Cazadores, it was Miami vs San Francisco at Tales this year. Catch the full match on the Tequila Cazadores Facebook Page.

But First, A Martini: Plymouth Gin

Photo: Courtesy Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin presented attendees with But First, A Martini, where guests were taken on a journey through history, from the classic Marguerite first developed in 1904 to a modern take on the Martinez originally documented in 1884. Plymouth Gin’s Global Brand Ambassador, Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge, introduced reinvented variations of the Martini alongside the classics with flavor profiles ranging from smoky to fruity, dry to citrusy and sweet to savory. The recipes debuted at TOTC will also be featured in an upcoming menu at the Refectory Bar, located at Plymouth Gin’s historic distillery.

Last but not Least: Renée Fitzgerald’s Runner-up Cocktail is worth mentioning!

Gins & Roses by Renée Fitzgerald

We talked about the winner of the TOTC Cocktail Competition in our previous post, but it is seriously worth mentioning the runner-up cocktail, Gins & Roses! A beautiful creation by Renée Fitzgerald from Market Street Restaurant in Reinbeck, NY, featuring Pétillant Naturel Rosé by William Chris Vineyards.

“The William Chris Pétillant Naturel Rosé lends perfect aroma and dry crispness to elevate the drink, as well as providing a necessary and name-appropriate color. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin puts the flavor of rose at the forefront, but still hits as hard as artillery with its high proof. Honey and sage help anchor this cocktail, giving it a heady base that is then brightened up by the intense acidity of fresh key lime juice. Finally, the name Gins & Roses is vaguely reminiscent of the phrase “guns n’ roses”, but a bit veiled and more feminine – hinting again at all the major inspirations for this drink: guns, gins, girls, and roses.” -Renée

The French 75 was the theme of the competition. A classic cocktail whose name attributes to the powerful hit, packed by military artillery in World War I. 

Renée wanted to use the floral and mild sweetness of Pomp & Whimsy liquor as a modern nod to the women who have also served a myriad of roles during wartime, and in thinking about famous and iconic symbols of both war and women, roses became a focal point.

Gins & Roses

Makes 1 Cocktail

  • 3/4 ounce Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed Key lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce honey-sage syrup (*Recipe follows)
  • 2 1/2 ounces William Chris Pétillant Naturel Rosé
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaf

In a shaker, add the Pomp & Whimsy Liqueur, Nolet’s Silver Gin, fresh-squeezed Key lime juice, and honey-sage syrup. Fill a shaker with ice, cap and shake vigorously until all ingredients are chilled and combined. Strain into a coupe glass and top with William Chris Pétillant Naturel Rosé. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf.

*Honey-Sage Syrup

  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves

Add honey and water to a saucepan. Bruise or tear fresh sage leaves to release essence fully and add to pan. Bring all to a boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Let honey-sage syrup cool and steep for at least 1 hour, then strain to remove sage leaves and store in a clean bottle for up to 6 weeks.

For more information, please visit and follow on Facebook and Instagram @WilliamChrisVineyards.

Cheers to another amazing Tales of the Cocktail week and we look forward to 2019! – Kathy Casey

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Twisting Up the French 75!

Tales of the Cocktail 2018 Official Cocktail Winner: Spiced Nashi by Willy Estrada


This year’s Tales of the Cocktail competition winner for best cocktail goes to Willy Estrada from KOMODO in Miami, Florida!

Estrada’s cocktail, the Spiced Nashi, stood out among the others as a winner this year and just like the judges – I can see why.

Chris Hannah, competition judge and Head Bartender at New Orleans’s famed French 75 Bar (and in my mind, the king of the 75) said “ ’Twas a pleasure to judge such amazing variances of the drink I’m so proud of and become synonymous with. As the proverb goes, ‘when life gives you lemons (or in the winner’s case, limes), you make French 75s.”

Estrada says, “It’s just unbelievable to have the honor to have my cocktail named official cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail 2018. I love crafting cocktails and getting creative as well as having the opportunity to showcase my passion for mixology. I enjoy playing with different flavors that can create something magical.”

His creative and bold flavored spin on the 75 is shaken up with fresh kaffir lime leaves, Fords Gin, St George Spiced Pear Liqueur, Matcha Tea Syrup and fresh lime – then served up in a Champagne flute and topped with G.H. Mumm Brut Champagne. …. Yes please!

I look forward to trying the Spiced Nashi cocktail at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans – come out and join us from July 17th to 22nd, 2018. Get the full schedule or purchase tickets by clicking the ticket below:


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Tales of the Cocktail | Spirited Awards

TOTC Spirited Awards
Since its founding in 2007, the Spirited Awards® have become one of the industry’s most sought-after awards, recognizing beverage professionals, products, and establishments across every facet of the spirits and cocktail community on a global scale. The award categories spotlight a range of talent from bartenders, journalists, and brand ambassadors, and entities from bars, to brands and media, to ensure each aspect of the industry is well represented and recognized for its contributions.

“The annual Spirited Awards® come with a legacy and deep-rooted traditions that have been forged over the course of the past decade,” said Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Board Member, Gary Solomon Jr. “We’re looking forward to upholding that tradition, but more than that, we’re excited to diversify the international pool of committee chairs and judges who have the impossibly hard job of selecting the best and brightest across the industry.”

Organized into four pillars, the Spirited Awards® are comprised of industry accolades — American and International — writing awards, and a few highly coveted, overall awards that transcend regionality including World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu. A full list of categories can be accessed here.

“Safeguarding the integrity of the Spirited Awards® is incredibly important to us,” added Board Member Neal Bodenheimer. “We are updating our policies and criteria this year across all categories to make sure they accurately represent the organization’s values and further its mission.”

Winners will be voted on by two panels of over 100 industry experts, led by Charlotte Voisey (Chairperson), Jacob Briars (Spirited Awards International Chairman), Paul Clarke (Writing and Media Committee Chair) Bridget Albert and Kiowa Bryan (U.S. Committee Chairs).

“The Spirited Awards have allowed the industry to recognize excellence and celebrate advances in the cocktail industry around the world for the past eleven years and I look forward to that continuing this year with a broad group of judges representing regions across the USA and throughout the rest of the world,” said Charlotte Voisey, Chairperson of the Spirited Awards®. “ As always nominations are encouraged from far and wide to truly capture the very best of the bar world.”

Tales of the Cocktail will be hosted in New Orleans from July 17th to 22nd, 2018, and the Spirited Awards® will occur on July 21st, 2018. To view the past Spirited Awards® winners, click here. To learn more about Tales of the Cocktail, please click here.

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The Whole Lemon

It’s not too late to enjoy the last of the winter citrus! You can use every little bit of your lemon from pulp to peel. Make a wonderful bitter-lemon soda for this next spring cocktail creation.

For a savory twist try shaking in a sprig of fresh thyme or tarragon with the gin and bitter lemon before adding the sparkling water. This drink is also delicious with the addition of 1/4 ounce of Green Chartreuse.

Gin with House-made Bitter Lemon and Soda

Makes 1 cocktail.

1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce House-made Bitter Lemon (recipe follows)
2 ounces chilled sparkling water

Garnish: lemon wedge and fresh thyme or tarragon

Measure the Martin Miller’s Gin and Bitter Lemon into a mixing glass. Fill glass 3/4 full with ice. Shake vigorously. Add the sparkling water and swirl in mixing tin. Strain into a tall Collins glass filled with fresh ice.  Garnish with lemon and herbs if desired

House-made Bitter Lemon
I like to use my Vitamix blender for its high power to blend the lemon mixture.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

4 large Sunkist lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Wash lemons and cut the ends off. Then slice each lemon in half lengthwise and each half into 4 slices. Combine lemons, sugar and water in a blender cup. Process until almost smooth but a few particulates still exist. Place mixture in a medium non-corrosive pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain through a fine strainer. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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Vibe Conference 2018


We had a blast at this year’s Vibe Conference! A whirlwind of an event for beverage industry leaders to mix, mingle and hear about the latest industry trends.

Representing Monin for the 9th year in a row, the Liquid Kitchen team brought their own “Wow Factor” in funky 70’s style!

We especially enjoyed making the Smoke & Spice Blood Orange Sunrise for guests at the Tuesday evening reception – featuring Monin’s Blood Orange Puree, Sauza Blue Reposado Tequila, Spiced Ginger Syrup, Fresh Lime and a “Flash” of Mezcal! (Recipe below) It was a highlight of the evening!



Speaking of “WOW Factor” – Kathy Casey along with Liquid Kitchen Beverage Director, Layla Linn, taught audiences how to engage their guests with unexpected and extraordinary cocktail elements – from garnishes and techniques to interactive experiences. They also shared inspiring ideas and tips for implementation into cocktail and non-alcoholic menus. Click the image below to see the full presentation!



It is always an honor to be a part of such a great hospitality conference. What will next year bring?



-Liquid Kitchen Team



Makes 1 Drink


1/2 oz Monin Blood Orange Puree

2 oz Sauza Blue Reposado Tequila

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz Spiced Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)


2 sprays Mezcal

Garnish: blood orange chip, fresh bay leaf and flash paper on a pick


Measure the Monin Blood Orange Puree, tequila, lime, and Spiced Ginger Syrup into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake. Pour into an old fashioned glass. Spray with mezcal and garnish with blood orange chip. Arrange bay leaf and flash paper on pick, add to drink, light flash paper in front of guest and serve.


Spiced Ginger Syrup

Makes 4 1/2 cups


1/2 cups fresh ginger chopped

1/2 cup Monin Cinnamon Syrup

4 cups Monin Pure Cane or simple syrup

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain syrup through a chinoise fine strainer. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days.


Recipe © Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® – For more recipes visit




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