Let us toast National Happy Hour Day this November 12th with a #TokiCapri #Cocktail! The #TokiCapri combines the old school fun of a “capri sun” style drink with adult flavors. I love the balance; Toki lends a light touch of smoke, Aperol with a whisper of bitter, Yuzu and lemon adds an exotic citrus pop and spiced syrup adds a touch of sweet – resulting in a well-balanced cocktail with many delicious layers of flavor. Served in a bag – it’s fun for single service, or large functions….think wedding or parties. The band around the bag is also perfect to customize with a hashtag or special branded message. Enjoy! – Kathy Casey #TokiCapri Makes 1 Drink 1 1/2 oz Suntory Toki Whisky 1/4 oz Aperol 1/4 oz Spiced Ginger Syrup (recipe follows) 1/4 oz Monin Yuzu Puree 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice Garnish: mint sprig, orange & lemon 1/2 wheels, edible flowers Measure the Toki, Spiced Ginger Syrup, Aperol, yuzu puree and lemon juice into a pint glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake. Pour into clear drink bag and top with additional ice if needed. Drop in the garnish, insert compostable straw and seal bag. Spiced Ginger Syrup Makes: About 1 cup 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup HOT water To Make Syrup: Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Fine strain. Cool. Refrigerate for up to 30 days.
Airport Lounge Development (ALD) opened a new shared-use lounge in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport earlier this month and Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen was a big part of the opening!
Check out this article from Apex to see what’s next for the company! Here
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
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.
“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,
Congratulations Yochen and we look forward to seeing your
Piscotarian Project at Calcasieu
On Friday, we were transported on a culinary adventure through Peru in the form of Pisco-based Chilcanos and Peruvian cuisine.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Last but not Least: Renée Fitzgerald’s Runner-up Cocktail is worth mentioning!
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 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
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.
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 www.williamchriswines.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @WilliamChrisVineyards.
Cheers to another amazing Tales of the Cocktail week and we look forward to 2019! – Kathy Casey
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:
“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.