But first a word
from about our sponsors:
Long-time readers know that I've never had ads on my blog. I abhor the "soulja dancing" refi ads, won't abide dreck like Kraft Singles for the money big Ag would give, and generally don't care for clutter. Then FoodBuzz asked me to be a Featured Publisher and required their sidebar. The sky did not fall.
Then, I got the spiffy new site redesign and a big client skipped out without paying their bill. Ouch. It was a tough couple of months kids. I thought about the possible benefits: keeping the site up and running, keeping my newsletter going out and paying off my patient designer. These things don't come free. Why not revisit this ad sponsor thing? Well, I did.
I am honored to announce three new sponsors which you will see on the sidebar here and two in the newsletter.
Each of these are entities I personally and professionally endorse. I've introduced you to them
- Here - Tales Goes Gamely Goes on Without Me,
- Here - Buffalo It's What's for Dinner Tonight,
- and here - Mail Order Organic Produce.
So I urge you to click on their ads, go to their sites and shop from a vendor you know is endorsed by me. I'm really proud of the fact that I could hand select a group of vendors whom I adore and offer them the opportunity, honored this group said yes! So you can show your support of me, by buying from them. You won't be disappointed. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...
Are Bartenders the new Celebrity Chefs?
With the surge of interest in pre-Prohibition cocktails and the artisans behind the bar making their own infusions, bitters, crafting new cocktails and gaining new professional credentials, we really have an embarrassment of riches here in Boston.
Misty Kalkofen @ Drink - one of only a handful of BAR certified mixologists around. This designation is awarded to bartenders who pass a grueling three day examination process and is similar to a Master Sommelier designation for wine. Ms. Kalkofen took the BAR’s five-day Intermediate course (tuition: $3,500), and by passing the grueling exam received the greater of the two levels of certification, BAR-Ready, which recognizes professional-level bartending skills in high-intensity environments, plus broad knowledge of the culture, history and makeup of spirits and cocktails.
Jackson Cannon @ Eastern Standard - as noted in the Chronicle segment linked here (Shake it harder, Mary!), he's been a curator of cocktail history and lore for a long time, makes his own infusions.
Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli @ Craigie on Main - I believe he's making his own bitters and he's also a fan of classic cocktails.
Mixologists, Cocktailians, Bartenders - what's in a word?
I don't know why the word bartender seemed insufficient, but it seems to me that Mixologist sounds a bit defensive like a garbage collector insisting on being called a Sanitation Engineer. Bad analogy, I know but it's late. The latest portmanteau is "Cocktailian" maybe it's too much Star Trek but doesn't that sound like "Reptilian" to you? What's wrong with bartender?
Let me know your thoughts and here are links to couple of cocktail posts to lubricate the ride...
- Vermouth Rejuvenates the Aromatized Wine Category
- Sustainability and the Cocktail Hour- posting soon on Carrie &Danielle
- Biodynamic Wines for the Planet and the Palate
For Lunar New Year see Lunar New Year Menu that Matters.
And what would a Cocktail Hour post be this time of year if I didn't answer a few queries about V-Day. That heinous Hallmark hijacked day when all the Western world is made to feel under- appreciated or insufficient. Well, stay home with friends and rent a good movie, like maybe Let the Right One In. This film, okay yes, it's about a vampire and yes, there's a bit of gore, some people and limbs go missing...sure it's in Swedish, but you get used to...Really this is a very romantic film at its core. I do recommend it. And to drink? Here are two sparklers that are well under $20 and well worth a try:
- Willm - this Alsatian sparkling wine was the surprise of my frigid New Year's Eve. We went to see the Ice Sculptures (first time ever!) and nearly froze but for the trusty flask and Antarctica coats. Check Bauer wines, and remember they deliver!
- Another surprise in the under $20 sparkling wine category: Gruet Rosé from New Mexico. I know, New Mexico! But you know what, it's not bad at all.
Or you could go with the theme and drink some Egri Bikaver...it's kind of on theme.