Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy Hour Goes to the Dogs in DC

Helix's 'Dog Days of Summer' is Back!

Every Wednesday from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Helix Lounge
you and your four-legged friend are invited to meet, mingle and sniff on the outdoor patio, while enjoying human-friendly cocktails and Happy Hour menu, and tasty treats for dogs.

Just like last year, proceeds will benefit the Washington Humane Society, and each week an adoptable dog will be featured at the event. (For once, a bar pick-up you can introduce to mom!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Snow in Beverly Hills

Snow CONES, folks, snow cones. Yes, those refreshing childhood favorites that we can now enjoy with booze! (Isn’t it great to grow up?)

Ian Porter, Head Bartender at Blue on Blue (named as one of Food and Wine’s top 50 hotel restaurants) created this Raspberry Pina Colada Snow Cone Cocktail, and he kindly agreed to be the first Special Guest on my new online cocktail show, now playing on YouTube.

(Be kind. I’ve never made any sort of movie before. I edited it at the Apple Store, while learning with tech support Dee and Lee Beth. They must think I’m the most
technically-challenged moron on the planet. And - special thanks to Hollyboots who allowed me to use their fantastic song “Chilax” in the video. I promised I’d make sure to say "all rights reserved, registered b.m.i. chris lashelle productions". If you watch it, do not even think of lifting the song, people!)

The stylish Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills is rich with Hollywood history. Originally built in 1949, it was originally called the Beverly Carlton. Stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball and members of the Rat Pack have been photographed poolside. Today, it is a hang out for trendy Angelenos looking to get out of the spotlight and into a swanky, cool hide-away, tucked into a discreet corner of 90210.

The Snow Cone Cocktail will be served from July through the end of the summer. So, do like TLM and head to the Avalon for a little R & R. Everyone needs to chill-lax. Especially in a hot venue… (photo credit: Claire Barrett)

The Raspberry Pina Colada Snowcone Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Stoli Razz vodka
1 1/2 ounces Malibu Coconut rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
generous dash Coco Lopez

Fill a chilled cocktail glass with shaved / crushed ice. Shake vodka, rum, juice and Coco Lopez with ice, and strain into glass. Garnish with skewered fresh raspberries.

Gin Martini? Vodka Martini?

Drinking Sonnema, you feel like you don’t have to choose…

Gin pretty much starts out as vodka, which is then flavored with Juniper. Back in the1800's, a Dutch trader named Hendrik Berenburg sold an herbal blend (which included a healthy dose of juniper) in port towns, where the herbs were blended with alcohol. Parallel with the origins of the “cocktail” itself, this concoction was used for medicinal purposes. Later, Freddie Sonnema, an innkeeper, took that concept and re-vamped it into what became a popular local spirit.

Today, Sonnema VodkaHERB is steeped in Dutch history and heritage, and carries on the tradition of a Jenever-style spirit. The charcoal distilled grain vodka is infused with gentian root, wormword, cedar and, of course, juniper.

One of the things I like about Sonnema is the subtlety of the herb influence. While Sonnema has depth and layers, its herb-a-licious-ness is not overpowering. It is superb for my favorite kind of martinis – ones using fresh rosemary or basil. Add a splash of vermouth, a twist of lemon or hint of lavender… and you’ve got an amazing cocktail on your hands!

I’d say this decision is a no-brainer.
Confessions of a Muse...

Tagged by a Fashion Girl

What 7 things don't Sipsters know about The Liquid Muse? asks Fashion Girl. Would they really give a rats ass? I wonder.

First Confession: This photo of me is the best headshot I've ever taken. It is better than I look in real life. I will use it often and unrelentingly til I die. (photo credit: Claire Barrett)

Well, just in case any of you would like a little more insight into me, my goals and some of my un-Musey qualities, here it goes:

#1) I am married. People seem to find that surprising. I guess Muses are supposed to have an air of attainability. My attainability went out the window about a year and a half ago...

#2) I do drink on a regular basis but I am not a "party animal." People tend to assume I'm out boozing at some night club everyday of the week. In reality, those years are about 5 years behind me. I do, however, regularly review new alcoholic products, go to glamorous events and interview fascinating winemakers, Mixologists and CEO's of spirits companies. I also experience fab restaurants and lounges on a regular basis. These things keep me dedicated to my work, and give me something to write about!

#3) I don't know every cocktail recipe in the world off the top of my head. I end up feeling like I'm on a game show with some people: "What's in this? How do you make that?" I'm like, "Search my blog - it's probably on there!"

#4) I did go to bartending school (in the 90's) but I'm not a bartender. I create Signature Cocktails for private celebrations or high-end events, but I don't work at an actual bar. I've thought about it, though. I think it would be fun to try out my new concoctions on unsuspecting customers...

#5) I don't make a penny from The Liquid Muse, directly. Not yet, anyway. I've just signed up with the Cocktail & Spirits Advertising Co-op, headed by Darcy at The Art of Drink, in hopes of at least covering my costs of running the blog. And, my "Cocktail of the Week" emails will soon be "sponsored" (ie: paid for). Yes, folks, TLM costs me time and money to run. It is a labor of love but I do need to create a little revenue soon so it can support itself. I ain't no trust fund baby. I do, however, make my living as a freelance journalist and creating Signature Cocktails.

#6) I have FIVE monthly columns. (Yes, five!)
  • My newest is a nationally syndicated cocktail column "Travel Buzz" running in all 20+ editions of Where Magazine. That page prints over a million times per month! (woo-hoo!)
  • I also have "Cocktail Corner" in Northern Virginia Magazine, which I loooooove writing.
  • I just picked up a regular gig in LA for Valley Life Magazine, focusing on restaurants in the San Fernando Valley.
  • I write "Cooking With Michel" for The Georgetowner, a publication in Washington DC. In it, I feature one of Celebrity Chef Michel Richard's recipes each month, and write the intro to it.
  • I have a second column in the same publication called "Savor the Good Life.
#7) My goals for the next year are:
  • Sell my cocktail book to the publisher of my dreams
  • Get hired by Conde Nast and / or
  • Host my own cocktail show for a major publication or TV network (see my first feeble attempt at guerilla fimmaking on YouTube)
  • Spend just one whole 24-hour day in a beautiful, natural setting, without touching a computer
So, now I have to tag some people - which I kinda hate to do because it can feel a bit like a chain letter . So, I am going to tag a few people (though no obligations if you don't want to) and if anyone else reading this wants to be tagged, leave me a note in the comments and I'd be happy to tag you (with links, of course). I tag: Deb at Dinner At Six, the sun-lovers at Flashy Shades, for a little variety!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My New Favorite Hang Out!

Bar Keeper in Silverlake

I've been hearing about it for a while. And, man, do I kick myself for not going by sooner. Bar Keeper rocks!

Joe Keeper, owner and "community leader" provides an oasis for enthusiasts, experts, once-in-a-whilers and the cocktail-curious, alike. He and his wife, Ana, value living in a village, and wanted to build a place of comfort and freedom to relax into enjoyment.

He recalls, "When I was a kid, there were these things called records. You'd pull one out and listen to it with a friend. It was a shared experience. Now, I have a whole generation of customers who weren't around before walkmans or ipods."

Bar Keeper is not even two years old and has already been written up in LA Weekly,, and Lucky Magazine... and, it didn't even have a website until yesterday!!

Cocktail books, shirts, antique glasses and moveable bars, Absinthe spoons (pictured on left) and a wide variety of other cocktail-related goodies fill the store.

In addition, there are cocktail classes (I will be teaching some later this summer - yay!) and he keeps beer on-hand for people who want to meander by on a Saturday afternoon and hang out on the back patio.

"I don't mind providing some free drinks. It's the best advertising I could ask for. I have loyal customers who come back."

So, dear Sipsters (especially those of you who are in LA) get thee to Bar Keeper. And, pop open a cold one for me. I'll be along in a minute...

Photos courtesy of Bar Keeper Website and LA Weekly Review.
What's Red, White and Blue, and Green All Over?

As per my previous post, a few DC bars are featuring "green" happy hours. Well, don't think that out here in California we don't have plenty of Eco-Activity, ourselves!

Obviously, our buddies up in No-Cal have lots of eco-focus, and Elixir bar is even the San Francisco's first "green" saloon. How about them (green) apples?

Sipsters who want to stay green, all the way down to their libations, only have to look as far as LA Green Drinks to find like-minded people! This way cool blog has tons of info on green events along with places to drink, hang out, and get pro-active.

In their words, "Green Drinks allows for anyone concerned about environmental issues to get together over a drink. LA Green Drinks: Culver City 1st, Hermosa Beach 2nd, Silverlake 3rd, Studio City 4th - Thursday of every month. Green Drinks events are very simple, informal, unstructured, and self organizing but help connect the green network."

And, of course, don't forget about my cocktail class: Sustainable Sips on Tuesday, July 24 in Century City. You will learn how to make delicious cocktails, using organic or biodynamic products. (And, have a fine, damn time doing it, I might add...) Email me for more info at: (People registering by July 15 are guarenteed a goodie bag!)

For the Love of Earth

DC’s Happy Hour Goes Green This Summer

Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar has launched an all-organic wine list, called Per L’amore Della Terra, or for the love of the earth. Eco-friendly wines are half price from 5 – 7 pm, through Labor Day. A sustainable menu is also available for “ecotarians.” (ya like that one, dontcha ;-)

If you’re in the mood for exotic, hit Bangkok Joe’s on your way home from work and induldge in the “Thai Street Food Happy Hour.” Also available from 5 – 7 pm, small dishes of traditional and contemporary Thai street fare range from $2 to $4, and specialty libations, beer and wine are half-price.
Where the Boys Are…

I hear a lot of women complaining about men. Where are the good ones? Why don’t they meet any?

Well, I’ll tell you why. Because the cool guys are online writing about cocktails!

As one of the (relatively) few females impassioned enough about spirits, wine and cocktails to write about them like, oh, every freakin’ day, I can tell you, from personal experience, t
here are a whole bunch of boys over here. Fun-loving, knowledgeable and for Chrissakes, they make a mean margarita. Or martini. And, please, don’t insult them by asking for a hum-drum blended daquiri or Cosmo. These guys are on the cutting edge of what’s new and exciting in cocktail culture. Don’t be controlling. Leave it in their hands. (It’s a turn-on to be able to do that, ladies. Trust me on that one.)

o, forget hanging out on a late-night barstool. Cancel your subscription to Mosey on over to The Liquid Muse, and I’ll share the 411 on some of the most fascinating gentlemen on the web.

And, if you don’t connect with an actual man, you’ll definitely pick up some good drink recipes along the way. Nothing heals a lonely heart like a good, stiff cocktail. And, once you’ve mastered the art of mixing a killer drink, you may lure a good, stiff man over to enjoy one with you…

Let’s kick this off with my adopted mentor in the cocktail world. Tony Abou-Ganim lives in Vegas, travels the world shaking up the classics, had a show on Lifetime and recently released a new line of how-to-mix DVD’s. Join the fan club (I’m the President) and check out the Modern Mixologist, himself.

The King of Cocktails, Dale Degroff, has been slinging booze since before many of the folks on this list were old enough to drink. He ran the bar at the top of Manhattan’s World Trade Center and now teaches cocktail antics around the globe.

Darcy has mastered both the Art of Drink and the entrepreneurial spirit. Are you a potential advertiser? Email Darcy. He heads up a cocktail bloggers advertising co-op.

If I were constructing an online family, Jeffrey Morgenthaler is the one I’d choose to be my big brother. Or, kid brother. Behind the bar, or behind the scenes he’s the kind of guy who’s got your back. For a great attitude with a side of booze visit his Oregon-based blog.

Paul from the Cocktail Chronicles kicked off Mixologist Mondays. And, I feel like such an ass not to have jumped on board that wagon, yet. Perhpas I'll host one in the not-too-distant future.

Dr. Bamboo
comes up with cocktail recipes and awesome graphics to accompany them. Check out his site for the artwork as much as for the cocktails. (And, congrats are in order as Baby Bamboo is on the way!)

Shawn, a lawyer by day, Mixologist by night, is the cocktail world’s Clark Kent. Armed with both a sense of justice and a killer cocktail, his original recipes are featured on his blog, Rejiggered.

Grandiose Blog’s barman, Mondiu is a newcomer to the Blogosphere so a hearty welcome from TLM. His first several posts (bar tools and classic cocktails) are definitely worth a gander.

San Francisco has an incredible cocktail culture. Interactivity, collaboration, passion and knowledge are words that come to my mind after spending a few days up North for the San Francisco Cocktail Week. Camper English is in the City by the Bay, and therefore in tune with all sorts of cool stuff.

Ok, ladies, Chris is taken (wife and child) but his blog Nonjatta devoted to Japanese whisky is available to all the world. Who knew that Japan was one of the biggest whisky-loving countries in the world?

Rick Lyke, of Lyke 2 Drink, reports wine, beer and booze news from North Carolina. He’s also got a very comprehensive drink link list on his blog.

These other guys I have not met or corresponded with personally, but want to make sure they’re included in this round up. Their blogs content (and in some cases the bloggers themselves) provide plenty to drool over: Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour, Drink Boy, Joe Bartender, The Thinking Bartender, Liquor Snob, Martini Lounge.

Into Beer? Knut’s Beer Blog is based in Oslo, and Jeffrey Wells website is on its way!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Beer Has Never Been So Much Fun...

Now that I finally posted my first YouTube episdoe, I've been browsing the airwaves. Man! There is tons of crazy stuff out there!!!

Of course, I'm mainly interested in cocktail coverage - but I did find an amusing animated piece called Party With Beer. Here's to you, beer-lovers. (cuz tonight is kinda special)...

New Kid In Blog Town

It's always nice to see a friendly new face on the block, and The Grandiose Blog seems to be just that. It calls itself a "men's magazine" but I think I'll be checking in from time to time, as we have many common interests. They say they like gambling, cigars and a good cocktail. Well, Gentlemen of the Grandiose, ya may have noticed that ya ain' t the only ones!

I thought you Sipsters would appreciate their post on the Red Lion Cocktail. Yum!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Like, Puke Me Out the Door!

As if! Does anyone really believe that 10 or 14 or 22 days behind bars will make Paris Hilton a changed woman? She made this declaration to Barbara Walters, declaring her commitment to philanthropy, "I would like to make a difference... God has given me this new chance." Read more here.

Photo credited to Associated Press and run in the article linked to in this post.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Raising a Glass To My Favorite Girl Next Door!

Has anyone out there in Sipster-land listened to Bridget's radio show? Any opinions for this Playboy fan? I'm dying to know...

Photo is credited to this site.
Little Black Dress - Dress It Up or Down

Since Coco Chanel first introduced the concept 80 years ago, it’s been the staple every chic woman relies on. Add dressy flats and a cashmere cardigan and she’s off to an “elegant casual” lunch. Pumps and pearls for the Opera. Slide over lacy lingerie if a late-night romance is on the agenda. Each woman selects her Little Black Dress for its ability to complement any occasion.

Little Black Dress
wines appeal to the 34+ million American female wine drinkers for the same reasons. According to the wine’s Brand Manager Laura Webb, the label features a hanger and a pair of high-heeled shoes to “invite women to interact with the brand by recalling their own version of the little black dress.” Though it may be peppered with marketing jargon, the message is clear: Little Black Dress is an accessible wine, and appeals to the female market.

For example, the Chardonnay goes fabulously with book club offerings like cheese plates and fruit platters. The Pinot Grigio (my favorite of the three) is quite pleasant to sip while chatting at a social gathering (or sitting at home catching up on TiVo). And, with Merlot making a slow but steady comeback, this might be the occasion to pick up a bottle!

And, at only 9.99, its easy to stock up. That way, if an unexpected opportunity presents itself, you’ll have something versatile and stylish on hand, not only to wear but to drink. Coco would be proud.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Put Your Conscience Where Your Neck Is...

And Get A Special Liquid Muse Discount!

Annatarian's Peace, Love, and Earth jewelry line is meant to inspire positive change. Designer, Anna, feels that words and intention affect feelings and actions. Her eco-fashion charms are each made from 5.5 grams of recycled pure sterling silver, hung on 16-18"chains and made in Los Angeles.

They retail for $150 each ... but Sipsters get a special discount! Just click here!
Is This Something You'd Like To Drink?

If so, sign up for the Cocktail of the Week to find out where to find it, and how to make it!

xo The Liquid Muse

Photo credit: Moshe Zusman
So-Cal Bartenders Battle It Out in Long Beach

A couple of weeks ago, some of the most talented bartenders from the hottest spots in “the LB” gathered at hipster hangout, Sachi, to compete for honor and cocktail glory. (Ok, a signed bottle of Hennessy Richard and a trip to Mexico were also at stake.)

The contestants were judged on speed, quality, personality, and recipe creativity. Everyone was in a festive mood, and being a local competition, most of the bartenders already knew and respected each other, which set a friendly (though still competitive) vibe.

Let’s just say that they were already off to a good start given that they were required to use these luxury brands: Chopin, Navan, 10 Cane, Belvedere, and Grand Marnier with the focus on Hennessy. (Aw, poor babies.)

The dj set the party mood with dance tunes while onlookers and judges slowly filled the space. And, like a scene from the show based in neighboring "OC" these guys and girls came dressed to impress.

The back patio even features
a stripper pole in one corner for uninhibited ladies (or gentlemen) looking to really leave a lasting impression...

Finally, around 10:00 pm, it was on! Bottles, cheers, jeers and applauds erupted around the bar. Drinks were dispersed, and notes were taken. Cocktails were sipped, measured, enjoyed and put up for scrutiny.

By the end of the evening, it was determined that Juan Alvarez, President of the Southern California Chapter of the United Stated Bartenders Guild, and owner and mixologist of King Neptune’s had created the drink of choice. No stranger to cocktail competitions, Juan already has a few victories under his bartending belt, and has several more
competitions lined up, including one in Taiwan, later this year!

Here’s his winning cocktail. (Whomever says victory isn’t delicious is a drunken, lying fool!)

The Passion Flower
1 part Hennessy VSOP
1 part Belvedere Pomarancza
1 part orange juice
1 part pineapple juice
a splash of blueberry Monin syrup

Shake, strain and serve.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Beat the Heat With Beer Popsicles in Alexandria!

Comfort food is not only warm and squishy mashed potatoes or mac-and-cheese. When the Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity get a little overwhelming, nothing is more fun than a throw back to younger days with Rustico’s beer popsicles, available through September.

This grown up version of a childhood favorite is the result of a playful collaboration between Executive Chef, Frank Morales and Beer Director, Greg Enger. “When it comes to food, I’m often inspired to create adult takes on kid’s classics,” says Morales.

The beer pops are made from simple syrup, fresh fruit and high-quality brews:
  • Raspbeer-y” is made with the St. Louis Framboise, a Belgian, fruit-style beer
  • Plum” is made from Chapeau Mirabelle, a sweet, effervescent and yeasty Belgian Lambic
  • Fudgesicle” features Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, a dark, viscous beer from Michigan with creamy, bittersweet chocolate notes.
Other seasonal flavors will be offered on a rotating basis, including “Banana” with Chapeau Banana Lambic and "Apple" featuring Unibroue Éphémère from Quebec.

For the young at heart, summer has never been so sweet!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cool Baby, Drinking Mamas, Preggatinis ™ and A Little Porn

Where Moms, Martinis and Muses Collide…

Members of LA’s hipster Mom’s Club gathered at Cool Baby, Southern California’s hottest kid hang-out, for a night of literature, laughs and libations.

I kicked off the evening with a Preggatini ™ presentation. I created a Call Me Princess Preggatini for the event, demonstrated how to make it, and provided samples of the non-alcoholic and “de-virginized” versions for the moms to sip while they settled in for the readings.

Next up, came the writers. Christie Mellor, best-selling author of "Three Martini Play Date" featured excerpts from her new book, "Three Martini Family Vacation."

Erika Schickel read from "You're Not The Boss of Me,” which was included in People Magazine’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

Stephanie Wilder Taylor, author of "Sippy Cups Are Not For
Chardonnay" will see her next book titled "Naptime Is the New Happy Hour" out next year.

And, I was happy to finally shake hands with Brett Paesel, irreverent author of the popular "Mommies Who Drink," with whom I’d be corresponding via email for about 10 months! With a title like that, I knew we must be birds of a feather. (Well, ok, I’m not a “mommy”… but I do drink… and I like mommies who drink… so there!)

Once we covered all the mom stuff, the topic switched to something which goes even better with drinking. Yes, folks, we’re talking sex. And, not just plain old, run-of-the-mill sex. We’re talking porn.

Hostess of the evening, cool owner of Cool Baby, mother of a two-year old and Harvard-grad-cum-porn-expert, Ayn Carrillo-Gailey, treated the moms and me to a reading from her recently released Pornology.

Whether you live for skin flicks or are “pornophobic” (her
term, not mine) you will do yourself a favor by reading this hilarious (yet informative) journey from porn-loathing to a comfortable understanding of what makes the nether-regions warm and fuzzy. Ok, wet and sticky. Whatever.

Witty, insightful and intriguing, Pornology will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the things most people know little about. Lap dances, brothels, “squirting” techniques (ok, that part was kinda gross), porn stars, group sex and more, Ayn lays it all out with a slap and a tickle, leaving the reader feeling curiously ok with the “dirty” world of sex-on-display.

Let me tell you – this Mom's Club thing is fun. I had a blast! I got to glimpse into the world of moms who “had kids and survived to write about it.” And, laugh about it. And, make no apologies for retaining their sense of fun and previous identities. After all, with the apple not falling far the tree and all, to get a cool baby, you gotta be a cool mama!
Win A Trip to Iceland

Where You Can Be Pretty Happy, And A Little Like Jesus

Reykjavik is one of the most “buzzed” about party cities on the planet. If you are over 21, and a resident of the US or Canada, click here to win a trip for 10 to see puffins and volcanoes, soak in natural hot springs, drink eco-friendly Reyka Vodka and dance at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival (Oct 17-21).

Unlike Disneyland, which calls itself the “happiest place on earth,” Iceland claims to be the 4th happiest, according to an unnamed, independent "scientific" study. Reyka Vodka also claims to turn water into vodka, somewhat like the Son of God’s feat of water into wine, but without the sandals. See Hafdis Huld, former singer of GusGus, demonstrate in the clip below:

A few other fun facts about Iceland:

  • Traditional Icelandic dishes include: pickled ram’s testicles, putrefied shark, singed sheep heads, sheep head jam, and blood pudding
  • Astronauts practiced for their moonwalk in Iceland
  • All of Reykjavik is heated by underground hot springs
  • There are only 300,000 people in Iceland, 137 of them are in jail...
So, if you win this trip, drink responsibly and don’t become one of them. And, don’t forget to send a postcard to your dear ole’ pal at The Liquid Muse!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Rammy Winners Roll Out the Red Carpet in Nation's Capital

I wouldn't refer to Washington DC a glamorous place. Sure, it has money, political powerhouses and a few household names but let's face it - for better or for worse, it will never be LA or Miami.

However, the recent Restaurant Awards celebrated its Silver Anniversary with a night of black tie and boas, crystal chandeliers and plush decor. Nominees and attendees pulled out the stops and went "Hollywood" for the occasion.

And, anyone who has ever worked in hospitality knows that restaurant people are partiers. And, no one parties harder than after they've won an award appreciating their year-round efforts. So, a hearty congratulations to the winners (especially Hottest Bar Scene winner, Zaytinya)! You folks deserve to sparkle like the stars you are...

Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year: Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Hottest Bar Scene of the Year
: Zaytinya
Power Spot of the Year
: Georgia Brown’s
People’s Favorite
: Lebanese Taverna
New Restaurant of the Year
: Rasika
Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year
: CityZen
Informal Dining Restaurant of the Year
: Tallula Restaurant
Chef of the Year
: Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve
Restaurant Employee of the Year
: David Voorhees, waiter, 2941 Restaurant
Pastry Chef of the Year
: Huw Griffiths, Tabard Inn
Wine and Beverage Program of the Year
: Restaurant Eve
Restaurant Manager of the Year
: Ellen Kassoff Gray, Equinox
Rising Culinary Star of the Year
: Nathan Beauchamp, 1789 Restaurant

Ask The Liquid Muse

As always, I love getting feedback from TLM readers, and try to provide suggestions, when possible. Here is a note from Sipster Stever, in DC, who totally stumped me. Anyone have any suggestions?

Hi! I have friends coming into town this weekend, and as always, want to make sure I have what they drink stocked. One drinks a cocktail called a “Georgetown” or “Georgetowner”, and I can’t find the recipe anywhere. I asked him what the ingredients are and he said “…don’t worry about it, I’ll drink vodka.” Can you help??? Thanks!! Steve

Hi Steve,
Wow – I have no idea on this one! Is this a drink created by a specific bartender at a specific restaurant or bar, perhaps? Sometimes bartenders (being the creative people that they are) come up with their own unique cocktails – hence, the rest of the world is not privy to the recipe... Can your friend provide more info?

If we don't get to the bottom of this little mystery, you can come up with something thoughtful for your friend. Given that he is a vodka drinker, try preparing a summery vodka infusion in honor of his visit.

One idea is to skin a cucumber, then cut it length-wise into several long, skinny pieces. Drop those into a bottle of vodka, along with a sprig of fresh dill or rosemary, then let them sit (ideally, this should sit for at least week, or two, so get it going now). This infusion is delightful served chilled on its own, or as part of a refreshing Garden Spritzer: Pour two ounces of the infused vodka into a tall, ice-filled glass. Add a squeeze of lemon, then top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Another idea to spice up the visit is to infuse jalapenos in vodka. Shake a couple of ounces, with a squeeze of lime, strain into a cocktail glass.

In the meantime, if anyone knows what a Georgetowner Cocktail may be... please share in the comments, below!

xo The Liquid Muse

Sunday, June 17, 2007

“A Drop, A Dash, A Jigger”

San Francisco Cocktail Week Wrap Up

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve returned from the wonderful and amazing San Francisco Cocktail Week, and I'm still dreaming about it.

Bay Area Mixologists: Jeff Hollinger of Absinthe, H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir and Duggan McDonnell of Cantina organized a week-long celebration of the town’s vibrant and collaborative cocktail culture. I’ve written about a few bars I visited up North in posts, below, and now its time to post the grand finale, which took place at Absinthe, with an after-party at Elixir.

San Fracisco Cocktail Week was planned to bubble over into the celebration of The Museum of the American Cocktail’s World Cocktail Day, and the annual Bay to Breakers ‘drunk’ fun run (an amazing race whose participants push fully stocked bars or carry martinis through the streets of the city dressed in wild get-up and toasting good cheer.)

I was able to get up to San Fran for a couple of days with friend and photographer Claire Barrett. We hit 7 bars in two nights, chatting with intriguing personalities and snapping as many complementary images as possible. This was not a sponsored trip. This was a labor of love, which came out of our own personal budgets, workweek, and desire to soak up a little cocktail-inspired fun!

“Absolutely thrilled” is the best way to describe my excitement at meeting so many other people who are passionate about cocktails and the history, lore and “spirit” behind them. On Monday, May 21st, the week’s festivities culminated at Absinthe, a casually elegant Parisian-style brasserie and bar, where the occasional little green fairy peeks out at the revelry.

Wall-to-wall cocktail lovers, bartenders, Mixologists, spirits makers and personalities mingled over drinks and passed apps. It was fun for me to clink glasses with other cocktail enthusiasts such as Ann Rogers, the woman behind Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans; Gary Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology and San Francisco Chronicle’s cocktail column “The Cocktailian;” Alison Evanow, CEO of Square One Organic Vodka and Arne Hillesland from Gin Distillery No. 209 (write up on that coming in a future post...)

I also met Alberta Straub whose new online show “Cocktails On The Fly” recently debuted (Her clips are fun – and she beat me to the punch! I’ve already shot a few episodes but finding the time to edit and post amidst my full time writing career makes it a bit slow going… So, tune in to Alberta’s show in the meantime!).

Once we’d drunk Absinthe close to dry, it was time to meander on down to Elixir for the after-party, where the fun
continued well into the night. By that time, I had “sampled” several of the tempting libations (like Absinthe’s featured cocktail The Bobtailed Nag) so I slowed down on drinks.

Well, to be honest, I slowed down on drinks AFTER I tried Elixir’s featured classic cocktail The Corpse Reviver. (I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of it before - and I couldn’t resist a name like that!) I’d describe Elixir as an old-west gold rush saloon, gone modern, gone retro. Rustic, a little chic and definitely happening, it was a great place to wind down two solid nights of festivities.

The only danger of drinking in San Francisco is the Pavlovian response one develops upon return home. Just hear the city’s name mentioned and the mouth dries, the lips smack and a yearning for an incredibly well-crafted drink, along well-informed and enthusiastic people with whom to share it takes hold...

(But, between you and me, it’s a risk worth taking.)