Category Archives: Events

Free booze this week

Finger Lakes Distilling has two upcoming events at Union Square Wines & Spirits. From their website:

Event Date: Friday, July 30, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Description of tasting:
Join USQ and Finger Lakes Distillery’s Selena Shannon for a look at their Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka! Master distiller Thomas Earl prides himself on the fine elixirs created on Seneca Lake, be they whiskey, gin, eau-de-vie, liqueurs or vodka. Marrying the skills of vintner and distiller, Thomas Earl has created one beauty of a vodka- Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka starts with a grape neutral spirit distilled from the estate’s local grapes. The distillate is infused with pounds of native strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries before a final distillation to further refine and balance the vodka. This hand-crafted spirit might well pass for a vibrant eau-de-vie from the likes of Massenez or Riesetbauer but stop by and sip for yourself! Selena will be showing the Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka both neat and in a summer cocktail just in time for the dog days of summer!

Admission to this tasting is free, and no reservations are required!

If you can’t make it Friday, stop by on Saturday:

Event Date: Saturday, July 31, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Description of tasting:
Few cocktails can capture the feeling of summer like the Gin & Tonic. The trinity of ingredients- the squeeze of lime, the bite of quinine, the juniper-fueled expression of spirit- encapsulate the essence of refreshment on a hot NYC day….anyone thirsty? Stop by the salon for USQ’s Summer Sereis: The G&T Invitational! Featured producers include Europe’s Bulldog Gin, Boudier Saffron Gin, and Old Raj Gin, domestic spirits from Farmer’s Organic Gin, Ransom Old Tom Gin, Death’s Door Gin, Aviation Gin, Junipero Gin, and the Finger Lakes Distillery’s Seneca Drums Gin!

Admission to this tasting is free, and no reservations are required!

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Yelp event at Traif

This past Monday night we attended a “Yelp Elite” event, where Yelp rewards its most-frequent and best reviewers by throwing them a little shindig.  Finger Lakes Distilling donated some Glen Thunder to the party that was held at the 8-week-old Traif, in South Williamsburg. 

Noah and I hijacked a table and brought some additional samples for the Yelpers to try. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Lozovzky.

Heather, manager and co-owner of Traif, created some stellar cocktails with the corn whiskey.  My favorite was the Red Pearl and Heather was kind enough to send me the recipe.

Red Pearl

1.5 oz Glen Thunder
1 slice of jalapeno (add or take away for desired degree of spice) 
3 leaves of thai basil
4 cubes of kiwi (skin off, cube-like shapes) 
.25 oz of citrus sour (sour mix–our mix is a combination of lime, lemon, orange, simple syrup and water)
.25 oz simple simple syrup

Muddle the jalapeno, thai basil and kiwi.  Add ice, Glen thunder, citrus sour, and simple syrup.  Shake all together in shaker. Sip and Enjoy!

Just when you thought it was going to be too spicy, the kiwi would kick in. This cocktail was a perfect complement to the porky dishes. Photo credit same as above.

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This is what we do every weekend…

…cigars, stoles, boas, really tall chicks in old-school stewardess get-ups.

Not really, but Ultimat vodka did have one of the cooler exhibits at the Gala kickoff of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this past Friday.  For the full gallery of our shenanigans, click here.


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Outstanding wine service award

Always held the first weekend in May, The James Beard Foundation Awards started in 1990 and are considered by many to be the “Oscars of food”. 

I wanted to give a shout-out to Bernie, who just won The Outstanding Wine Service Award for Jean Georges restaurant. 

The criteria states: A restaurant that displays and encourages excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, a knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 5 years.

I first met Bernie in 2002, while I was working at Tribeca Grill and he was at Montrachet.  The excitement he had (and still has) for wine has been an inspiration for me.

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What does John know?

John Hansell, editor and publisher of the Malt Advocate, pens a blog with the same title as this post.

Yesterday he announced the impending release of McKenzie Bourbon.

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Thirsty hits the 1 year mark

It was a year ago today that I posted my first blog entry.  A big thank you to all of you following me along.

Cheers to warm weather, cold drinks and more blog posts!

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Pass the spit bucket

This is not always a glamorous job. Those red spots everywhere are not spilled wine, but spit from folks who either missed the bucket or made its contents splash out.

Today was the Louis/Dressner portfolio tasting and even though they were strict with the RSVP list, there was still plenty of pushing, prodding and spit bucket mishaps. 

Fortunately, their wines were good enough to distract me from the occasional elbow or splash back.  Some highlights: Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorées (if you think Beaujolais wines are silly, you haven’t had any made by this man), Matthieu Baudry (stellar wines from Chinon in the Loire Valley), Eric Texier (Rhône Valley wines, including a Côte-du-Rhône made with 80% grenache and 20% white grapes – look for this by the glass soon at L’Ecole). 

The wines that blew my mind, however, were from Radikon.  Located in Friuli, close to Slovenia, they vinify their white grapes as if they were making red wine; over 90 days of skin maceration and a minimum of 3 years aging in large Slavonian oak.  Their current releases for their white wines are from 2004.  My tasting companion summed it up by saying that the whites tasted like a salami sandwich.  Meaty, rich, round and salty; I had to agree.

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Skoal party

To celebrate the birthdays of Nils and Dave (and as an excuse for skoaling), there was a party this past weekend.  If this skoaling business is new for you, click here for full details.

Finger Lakes Distilling sponsored the majority of the booze. Have you ever had a corn juice cocktail?

The aquavit elixer, waiting for its next victims.

The ladies bring in the original skoaling Swede for inspiration.

Shouldn't these three start a band?

Their glasses may be missing, but there's plenty of love.


Filed under Cocktails, Events

These cocktail events aren’t foolin’

Tickets for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic went on sale at midnight last night and while a few events have sold out already, there’s plenty of fun left to be had. 

A cocktail party that takes up the entire New York Public Library?  A double-decker party bus featuring Pisco and Cachaça cocktails?  Exploring the terroir of tequila?  Yes, please!  The best and brightest (not to mention, thirstiest) of the New York cocktail scene will be there May 14-18.

I just got an email with a discount code, thanks to my friends over at Tasting Table.  Through April 15, you can get tickets for 3 events as well as the gala for 25% off by entering TTMCC2010 at checkout.  Cheers!

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They grow up so fast

Recent graduates of Food Blogging with Steven Shaw.

The last 6 weeks flew by.  Check out these noteworthy blogs born during that time:

My Third Child is a Restaurant: manuevering through parenthood and a career
Lickin’ It: a bad-ass ice cream blog
Eating My Way through My Quarter Life Crisis: no job, no boyfriend, no clue = no problem
What Would Cathy Eat: heart healthy recipes that don’t suck
A Fork, Knife and Spoon: adventures of a city mouse/country mouse; she has sheep!
Reubenography: exploring the Jewish deli through its bastard son

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