Cocktail Cornucopia

cornCornucopia (also called horn of plenty) is a symbol of abundance and in the cocktail world there is a definite abundance of variety. The cocktail culture pendulum swings from extreme flair bars to purist craft bars and oscillates past all others in between. I’m for all of them and believe that all pieces of the cocktail pie bring something to the table.

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I will get to experience the extreme side on November 18th at the original flair bartending championship, QUEST. It’s at the groove at Universal CityWalk® in Orlando, Florida. There is a virtual tour of the groove here (scroll to the bottom). I will be there with Mark Hastings, owner of the world’s largest bar supply company. The kicker is that it will be MY BIRTHDAY at midnight! So this high-energy event should be fun fun fun! Come see me! Admission is free if you get there before 9pm. To learn more, Quest has a Facebook event page here.

If you think you can get away, then most of the attendees and competitors stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites across from Universal and next to TGI Fridays (Fridays actually provides room service to the hotel). There are free shuttles over to CityWalk, but you can actually walk it as well. Rooms are around $80 and suites are $130. Their # is 407-351-3333. I’ll be staying there.

capIn the past month I moved from Orlando to Indian Rocks Beach, Florida to work for Mark Hastings, owner of the world’s largest bar supply company: BarProducts.com, LogoBarProducts.com, BarSupply.com, BarSupplies.com, WholesaleBarSupplies.com, WorldBarSupply.com, etc. (Soon there will be a Master Mixologist Pro section added to the sites and the flagship site, barproducts.com, will get a facelift.)

In my first week of work as Promotions Director, I ran across a patent pending product of Mark’s that I thought was pretty clever. It’s an inverted plastic pour spout called the Cap-On®. Well, I put them into my home bar bottles because I liked that I could screw the cap back on. Then I did a 3-count pour and was surprised to find that it measured correctly. I thought they would be perfect for the average person or master mixologist that hated pour spouts. So, I sent out samples worldwide to cocktail friends and the response has been great! It’s been blogged about at The Liquid Muse, Santa Fe Barman, and Cocktail.about.com with more to come.

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But something happened that I didn’t expect from my new BFF Dave Nepove aka Mr. Mojito…Dave fell in love with them and talked Duggan McDonnell who owns Cantina in San Francisco to use them. (Should have photos soon)  I love you Dave & Duggan!

Then John Lermayer told me that he loved them and was going to put them in The Florida Room at the Delano Hotel in Miami! Wow! I never expected them to be used that way! John, you’ve known I’ve loved you a long time 🙂

And to top it off so far this week, Brian Loukmas, mixologist for Bacardi, fell in love with them too and sent a photo! I love you Brian! Can’t wait to see you at Quest! So many new BFF’s!
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If you’d like to try them then they are quite affordable. So affordable they can be disposable. You can get a dozen for 69 cents or 48 dozen for $26.50 at barproducts.com.

ontherocks

The 2nd Season of ON THE ROCKS (bartending challenge ala Top Chef) has it’s first of 3 episodes tomorrow night (Nov 7) on NBC after Saturday Night Live!

On the Rocks, Season 2 follows eight of the nation’s best bartenders as they compete for the title of America’s Top Bartender and a $100,000 prize. I’m crossing my fingers for Todd or Hillary.

Shot on location in Las Vegas, the contestants are judged through a series of challenges that test their skills, knowledge and talent behind the bar.

This season will be hosted by Maria Sansone, who will be joined by an award winning panel of judges… On the Rocks’ season one winner, Amanda Gager, actor and nightlife legend Fabrizio Brienza and award-winning mixologist friend of 12 years, Tobin Ellis, who co-founded the Flair Bartenders Association.


skinnyA few weeks ago, Rachel Poor, Senior Account Executive for SHIFT Communications sent me 2 bottles of Cruzan rum (Light aged & dark single barrel) and a bottle of Canadian Club Classic 12.

They arrived on a Friday, so I made a pitcher of Skinny Cruzan Quad-Citrus Mojitos to share with my neighbors. It was a big hit! The guys didn’t even know it was sugar-free!

I used the Cruzan Single Barrel, mint infused Splenda syrup, limes, lemons, tangelos, and Fresca grapefruit soda.

movember

Rachel also sent me some recipes to post to generate some awareness for Movember, (moustache + November) a charity that raises money for testicular cancer and prostate cancer awareness. Canadian Club is a sponsor of Movember and they’ve made some funny Mo-inspired cocktails to generate some excitement. The site is pretty graphically appealing. You should check it out. Here’s a YouTube vid of it


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the-magnum1




The Magnum

1 ½ parts Canadian Club Whisky

4 parts Ginger Ale

Lime

the-bandit



The Bandit

1 ½ parts Canadian Club Whisky

4 parts Club Soda

Lemon

the-flanders



The Flanders

1 ½ parts Canadian Club Whiskey

½ part sweet Vermouth

Dash of bitters

burgundy

The Burgundy

1 ½ parts Canadian Club Whisky

4 parts Ginger Ale

Splash of Cranberry Juice

Lastly, I want to give props to my new facebook friend, John Collingwood from http://www.wanttoimpress.com and Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. He shot a cocktail photo session in a vintage barbershop for Movemeber and made some cocktails for Movember.

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Come see me at Quest!


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