Friday, December 21, 2007

Good Morning, San Francisco!

To all my Bay Area buddies...

If you'd like to see the fun I'm shaking up with Fre cocktails, please tune in to KRON4 Morning News on Sunday morning!

Henry Tenebaum, along with Ysabel Duron and Marty Gonzalez, have invited me to present some alcohol-removed options for your holiday entertaining.

See ya around 8:15 am!

Wishing you lots of Christmas cheer!
xo The Liquid Muse

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Canton Ginger & Cognac Liqueur Launches in LA...

In April of this year, I gushed about my newest all-time favorite product: St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, created by Robert Cooper. Over the course of the year, the deco-chic bottle – and its contents – have become a staple in just about every high-end bar around the world. Elderflower mania.

Meanwhile, who knew that Robert’s brother was working on a stunning new libational contribution of his own?

When I arrived at Culver City restaurant du jour Fraiche, a couple of weeks ago, for a cocktail pairing dinner to launch Canton Ginger & Cognac liqueur, I had not yet realized that my new newest all-time favorite product was directly related to the previous. As I shook hands with John Cooper, it all fell into place.

Canton fuses the force of VSOP cognac (made primarily from Ugni Blanc grapes and aged in French oak), with the sweetness of a liqueur (derived from orange blossom honey and sugar cane), and finishes with the spicy bite of ginger (balanced with Tahitian vanilla and Tunisian ginseng). For me, this combination makes it a stand-alone sipper, and a wonderful mixing ingredient for unique cocktails. (I’ve already used Canton in two Liquid Muse Signature Cocktails, and plan to include it in my personal celebratory Christmas cocktail recipe.)

My favorite of the three cocktails presented at the Fraiche dinner was a Negroni-type drink, which mixes Canton with gin and Campari, which proved a worthy complement to my first-course choice of Beef Tartare atop sourdough fingers.

It is no surprise that the two young Cooper hotshots are taking the liquor industry by storm. They are the third generation in a family of alcohol revolutionaries. According to the brothers, Granddad Maurice Cooper made his mark selling real beer in near-beer casks during Prohibition. After Repeal Day, he went on to acquire the oldest maker of domestic cordials, Charles Jacquins & Cie., first established in 1884.

Later, Maurice’s son N.J. Sky Cooper (Robert and John’s father) entered into the family business, and in the early 1980’s, a fateful trip to France landed him at a little country chateau where a certain raspberry liqueur was concocted. After falling in love with the crimson nectar, Cooper bought the recipe and rights to Chambord and, well, you can figure out the rest. (fyi – Chambord was sold to liquor conglomerate Brown Forman, last year, for an estimated $250 million.)

After completing an MBA at the Wharton school of business, and several years of the spirits industry under his belt, John named his spin-off of the family business Maurice Cooper & Cie., in honor of his grandfather, and launched Canton as its first product.

Today, our generation is witness to liqueur history-in-the-making sprung from the creative gene pool which brought us St. Germain in early 2007, and now Canton Ginger & Cognac Liqueur as year’s close. Like Chambord before them both, St, Germain and Canton are made in France, and Canton blends a little French flare with the exotic flavors of Indochine.

Canton is not available everywhere – yet. It can currently be found in only New York and Los Angeles, with plans for limited expansion in 2008. I feel quite certain that I can assure you, however, that Canton will make its way across the country - and jump both bordering oceans - very quickly.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Shopping Made Easy

The Liquid Muse 'Lucky Seven' Holiday Picks!

With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, it is time to whip out the plastic and let your fingers do the walking across that great shopping expanse otherwise referred to as the Internet. From the worldly wine connoisseur to the creative-type “between careers,” there’s a little something for every alcohol-enthusiast on your list. So, pour yourself a stiff one, and lean back in that easy chair. I’ve practically done the shopping for you!

1. Learn from the King of Cocktails himself with Dale DeGroff’s Craft of the Cocktail Deck

2. Become a Cocktail Cassanova with Tony Abou Ganim's Modern Mixology DVD

3. Think you know about wine? Prove it with Trinchero's World Wine Challenge computer game!

4. Want to give a gentle nudge to a financially-challenged special someone? Miss Charming’s Bartender Resume Service is a loving way to say, "Get off my couch!"

5. Mixing New Orleans is the go-to book for drinking in the Big Easy, and beyond... Buy it here.

6. Give the Rockstar in your life a one-of-a-kind present... their own customized Signature Cocktail from The Liquid Muse!

7. And, if you're in the LA-area, make like a celebutante and head down to Robertson Boulevard. Hipster designer Lisa Kline has created some limited edition Jack Daniel’s T-shirts. (This one's mine... and, no, you can't have it!) For those of you outside La-La-Land, here's the link.

Friday, December 07, 2007

From London With Love...

The elegant and fashionable Lanesborough Hotel is nestled in the swanky Knightsbridge neighborhood (and conveniently located near Harrod's - Christmas shopping, anyone?) Its Library Bar is one of the most acclaimed in the British capitol, and known for its trend-setting cocktails.

One of their holiday recipes caught my eye as it features calvados (apple eau de vie) and aperol (bitter orange liqueur), both of which currently enjoying a lot of play on cocktail menus, worldwide.

Christmas Martini
4cl Calvados
2cl Chambord
1cl Aperol
2cl Raspberry puree

Shake all ingredients, with ice. Strain into chilled glass. Garnish with three raspberries with a spring of mint

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

See You In Miami!

If you're in the Miami area, switch on the tube Tuesday, December 11, to see The Liquid Muse at work! I'll be whipping up some non-alcoholic options for the "Thoughtful Entertainer" on WFOR-TV (ie: the CBS Morning Show).

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be popping up around the country demonstrating some of the cocktails I've designed for Sign up for their newsletter to keep up to date with the latest destinations.

I hope you tune in to learn just one more way to help you be thoughtful when entertaining over the holidays!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Repeal Day!

For those who don't know, tomorrow is Repeal Day. It's the happy drinker's national holiday! It commemorates the day the US Government lifted that nasty little period of time referred to as Prohibition.

There is alwasy something fun going on in the blogosphere around Repeal Day, and this year I'll direct you to Jeffrey Morgenthaler's blog, where he hosted this month's Mixology Monday. Enjoy a bevy of exciting libations from around the globe...

Happy Drinking!

xo The Liquid Muse

Sunday, December 02, 2007

San Francisco Takes A Punch!

Celebrate Pisco Punch on the Wings of Cherubs at Cantina…

I so wish I were in San Fran tomorrow (Monday, December 3)!

Peruvian Author (and No-Cal resident) Guillermo Toro-Lira will read from his new book, Wings of Cherubs. Toro-Lira intertwines historical fact with cocktail lore, pertaining to that controversial South American spirit, Pisco.

The Spanish edition of Wings of Cherubs won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2007 as the Best Wine Literature Book of the World written in Spanish. The fascinating story unravels the secrets of Pisco Punch, which is made with Peruvian Pisco brandy—a very popular staple in San Franscisco, California, at the end of the 1800s and beginning of the 1900s, due to trading with South America. With cocktail classics on the rise, Pisco is once again being served in high-end bars, worldwide.

Complimentary apptizers and Pisco Punch will be served at the event, and signed copies of Wings of Cherubs will be available for purchase for $19.95.

This festive and informative party takes place at Cantina (580 Sutter Street at Mason, next to Hotel Rex) at 7:00 pm on Monday December 3, 2007.