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One Small Change to the Lineup…

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Ah, Tales of The Cocktail. The greatest yearly gathering on earth for cocktail enthusiasts, bartenders, students of mixology and aficionados of fine liquors. Also, a logistical nightmare for those who have to plan the hundreds of events spread over those five days in New Orleans. Shortly after to agreeing to sit on Paul Clarke’s panel, | Read More

Xante Pear Liqueur (Not A Sex Toy)

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I absolutely hate it when someone sends me a box full of sex toys in the mail. Sure, it might sound like fun to some of you (you know who you are), but receiving a big box of free sex is much more trouble than it’s worth. Believe me. So I get a little guarded | Read More

Norwegian Wood

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“Here, see if you can make me something with this”, the liquor rep taunted as he dropped a bottle of aquavit on the bar. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I don’t really work that well under pressure. I try, but it literally takes me weeks to come up with | Read More

Spring Cleaning

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It’s been busy times here in Portland, but I thought I’d take a break from all the hot bar-managin’ action to post a aggregated update of what’s been happening in my world lately – loose ends, mostly: Last week I attended the Grand Marnier/Navan Mixology Summit in Vail Colorado. One hundred bartenders from around the | Read More

My Turn in the Barrel

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Hey, here’s a fun way to illustrate karma. If you’ve, say, built a large web presence upon a not-so-generous string of public criticisms of bar-related web videos [1, 2, 3, 4], then one day somebody will ask you to appear in a series of videos yourself. That’s what happened last month when Imbibe Magazine called | Read More

Ask Your Bartender: Protestant vs. Catholic Whiskey

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Hey Bartender My South Side Irish Chicago Dad always told me that Jameson was the Catholic whisky and that Bushmills was the whiskey made by “the damn Protestants”. Now this character I met at the bar is trying to tell me it’s the other way around. Help! Who do I believe, the man who raised | Read More

Elements Eight Rum

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The list of increduble experiences I had last fall while attending (and speaking at) the Bar Convent Berlin is a mile long, but up near the top of the list is the afternoon chat I had with Andreas Redlefsen, owner of St. Lucia’s Elements Eight rums. Elements Eight is virtually unknown in this country, but | Read More

How to Make a Caipirinha – The American Bartending School Way

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Speaking of great cocktails made with cachaça, let’s take a moment before the weekend and see what our old friends at the American Bartending School would do when confronted with a bottle of the stuff. In this segment, we’ll learn how to make the Brazilian classic, the caipirinha (kai-peer-EEN-ya) 1. Announce to your friends that | Read More

Caneflower

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With my recent move to Portland and consequent adjustment to a new work environment, new living situation and new selection of great bars and restaurants to explore, I’ve been a little lax on the new drink recipes. Fortunately I have my cruel taskmasters at Boca Loca Cachaça to keep me toiling away, day and night, | Read More

I’m Bored, Give Me Something to Do

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I’m a big fan of my friend Eric Tecosky and his company, Dirty Sue. So when he asked me to judge the upcoming Dirty Sue Cocktail Competition, I accepted without hesitation. Also, he’d just said some nice things about me on the internet, so I felt obliged. Anyway, here’s the deal. Grab yourself a bottle | Read More

Back in Black

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Portland, Oregon is the best, as everyone knows. The city is largely unhindered by the cruel oppression of the sun’s toxic ultraviolet rays, which keep skin cancer and unnecessary happiness at bay. Mount Tabor, a dormant volcanic “cone” lies within the city limits, which is in no way absolutely terrifying. And a large near-sighted Amish | Read More

Ask Your Bartender: Buybacks

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Photo Credit: Zach Lewis (www.zachmlewis.com) Susan writes: I am a frequent bar customer. I need an explanation of the concept behind buybacks. One bartender who I was friends with would not let me pay for my drinks, ever. He said they were on him. One day when it was very slow in the bar I | Read More

Repeal Day in Washington, D.C.

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You guys don’t realize how good you’ve got it. See, when I was a young blogger, we didn’t have all these new, fancy blogs that you guys have got nowadays. There was none of this Kaiser Penguin business, and certainly not the Scofflaw’s Den. Hell, Boudreau was probably still in Canada back then, for all | Read More

Keepin’ It Repeal

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The world is gearing up for Repeal Day this Friday and I couldn’t be more pleased. My good friend Kevin Erskine over at The Scotch Blog has a big summary of Repeal Day history and events posted – thanks for the kind words, Kevin. How’s Your Drink author Eric Felten devoted his weekly column in | Read More

What Are You Doing on Repeal Day?

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A few years ago I posted some thoughts about why Americans should celebrate the anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, and since then people from all over the country have written to tell me about the events they’re organizing, the celebrations they’re planning, and the parties they’re throwing. I’ll be in Washington, D.C., celebrating the | Read More