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The 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award Winners


Tales of the Cocktail 2012

The 2012 Tales of the Cocktail has come and it has gone. For many of us in attendance, while the festivities are now officially over, the havoc wrecked on our bodies may be felt for some time. Also felt for some time by a few of those in attendance will be the excitement and honor of winning a Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award. Below are the final nominees and the winners. which are in red.

American Bartender of the Year: From Jerry Thomas onwards, American bartenders have been amongst the most influential on drinks styles and cocktail culture in general. This award seeks to recognize the most influential American bartender today. The winner should be proficient at making all recognized classic drinks and also have created contemporary cocktails that have been copied by his/her peers. Nominees must actively be working behind the bar.
Eric Alperin
Charles Joly
Jeffrey Morganthaler
Joaquin Simo

Best American Brand Ambassador: An award which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade and their ability to execute compelling education and seminars. This person must be working as an Ambassador full time in the USA. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.
Erick Castro
Elayne Duke
Jamie Gordon
Jim Ryan

Best American Cocktail Bar: This award recognizes the influence on cocktail trends within the United States and seeks to award the country’s best cocktail bar. Menu, bar teams, atmosphere and cocktail quality are all considered.
Anvil Bar & Refuge – Houston, Texas
Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
Columbia Room – Washington, District of Columbia
The Varnish – Los Angeles, California

Best Bar Mentor: Not everybody who is having an impact on the quality of the cocktails we drink are working behind the bar as bartenders. There are many people who are creating fine bar programs, training the next generation of great bartenders, and playing an active role in designing the bars we all love to drink in. This award is to recognise those individuals who, in their professional life, play a crucial role in raising the quality of bars, bartenders, and cocktails without currently working as a bartender. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.
Bridget Albert
Wayne Collins
Francesco Lafranconi
Steve Olson

Best High Volume Cocktail Bar: Awarded to the bar that consistently delivers top quality cocktails at bars with 100 seats or more. This award celebrates those bars that deliver cocktail culture to the masses efficiently. Cocktails, lists, bartending and service are all considered.
Beretta – San Francisco, California
Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
Eastern Standard – Boston, Massachusetts
La Descarga – Los Angeles, California

Best Cocktail Writing: Great journalism is one of the best ways to communicate to the general public the value and significance of great cocktails and related products. This award is for any non-book journalism (Magazine, Newspaper, Website, etc) that promotes bars, bartender, or cocktails in general. Please attach samples below. This award is split into two sub-categories: non-book author and non-book publication.

Time Out NY

Gary Regan
Robert Simonson
David Wondrich
Naren Young

Best International Brand Ambassador: An award which recognizes the importance of personality in the promotion of drinks brands and their creative use of brand communication to engage the trade and their ability to execute compelling education and seminars. This person should work in an International capacity or in a country other than the USA. Nominees must NOT be working behind the bar.
Jacob Briars
Ian Burrell
Claire Smith
Angus Winchester

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book: The best book published in 2011 regarding cocktails, liquor, bars, bar design or bartending in general. New editions of existing works may also be nominated.
The American Cocktail by the Editors of Imbibe
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all
Gaz Regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders 2011
PDT Cocktail Book

Best New Product: This is awarded to what the judges consider to be the best newcocktail ingredient (spirit, liqueur, syrup or juice) or piece of cocktail equipment (muddler, shaker etc.). To qualify products must have been launched after March 2011 and must be on general retail sale in at least three US states as of March 31, 2012.
Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
Cognac Pierre Ferrand 1840 Formula
Lillet Rose
Perlini System

Best Restaurant Bar: This award is for the restaurant bar that is dedicated to creating a great cocktail experience for their dining guests. Considerations will go to the approach they have to aperitif and digestive drinks, how well they work with the kitchen to pair cocktails with food as well as general bartending and mixing excellence.
Bar Agricole – San Francisco, California
Rivera – Los Angeles, California
Saxon + Parole – New York, New York
Slanted Door – San Francisco, California

International Bartender of the Year: The absolute best drinks mixer in the world. The winner must have received international recognition of their work with their own recipes crossing borders to appear on cocktail menus in numerous countries. (US citizens are not excluded.)
Zdenek Kastanek
Alex Kratena
Sam Ross
Dushan Zaric

World’s Best Cocktail Bar: Only truly world-class bars will be considered for this illustrious title. Some bars attain worldwide recognition and this award recognizes the very best of the best.
69 Colebrooke Row – London, United Kingdom
Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
The Connaught Bar – London, United Kingdom
The Varnish – Los Angeles, California

World’s Best Cocktail Menu: The judges seek to reward innovative and thirst inducing cocktail menus. Both the design and content will be considered. Nomination requires inclusion of PDF or JPEG copy of the menu being nominated. Please attach samples below.
Black Pearl – Melbourne, Australia
Callooh Callay – London, United Kingdom
Clover Club – Brooklyn, New York
Mayahuel – Manhattan, New York

World’s Best Drinks Selection: A venue stocking an outstanding range of spirits and liqueurs. The judges will favour discernment as well as sheer number of bottles stocked.
Artesian Bar at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
Death & Co. – Manhattan, New York
Eau de Vie – Sydney, Australia
Salvatore at The Playboy – London, United Kingdom

World’s Best Hotel Bar: The classic ‘American Bar’ played an important role in the history and development of cocktail culture. The judges are looking for hotel bars that uphold this tradition (but are not necessarily old) and offer five-star service and consistently well made drinks.
Artesian Bar at The Langham – London, United Kingdom
Clive’s Classic Lounge – Victoria, British Columbia
Clyde Common – Portland, Oregon
The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar
 Criteria: Only bars which opened after March 31 ,2011 may be nominated. This award aims to reward new creativity and ideas as well as well executed drinks.
Aviary – Chicago, Illinois
Candelaria – Paris, France
Canon – Seattle, Washington
The Zetter Townhouse – London, United Kingdom

Congrats are also in order for Gaz Regan for picking up the Helen Davie Lifetime Achievement award.

Mutineer Magazine’s Ten Tips for 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Rookies


Tales of the Cocktail

Mutineer Editor-in-Chief and Tales of the Cocktail veteran Alan Kropf has learned a lot at the event over the last few years. Below are a few of his suggestions. Some might not make sense now, but they will.

1. Only pack half as many t-shirts as you think you’ll need. You will acquire more.

2. Make sure your hotel room comes stocked with a bathrobe.

3. Gain access to the swag room. Do what you must, but a glorious bounty awaits those who earn the right to enter.

4. Do not ride the mechanical bull. Regardless of whatever anyone tells you, it can only end badly for you.

5. Avoid any alcoholic beverages over 16 ounces. Again, it can only end badly for you.

6. Do not pet the horses that police officers ride. They will not be into it.

7. Drink NOLA Beer. It’s delicious, and cocktail monogamy of such an intense nature has been linked to severe morale loss.

8. Always have a respectable and relatively full drink in your hand when entering an elevator.

9. If a strange and authoritative looking person walks up to you on the street and gives you a “ticket” for “not partying hard enough,” do not be alarmed. These people only want to sell you a hat.

10. Do not wander away alone from Bourbon Street on foot at 4AM in search of “the real N’awlins.”

See you all next week.

Mutineer Magazine, The Spare Room, and Pernod Ricard Kick Off Tales of the Cocktail 2012 With Ode To The Bowl


Tales of the Cocktail Spare Room and Mutineer

Mutineer Magazine has teamed up with the folks from The Spare Room—a 2012 nominee for World’s Best Hotel Bar—and Pernod Ricard to kick off the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail festivities in style. 11 world class cocktail bars and one cocktail society will battle it out on the Rock n’ Bowl lanes, clawing their way frame by frame to victory for the ultimate bowling bragging rights. Guests not bowling will enjoy The Spare Room’s famous original punch bowls made with Pernod Ricard spirits, live music, food, prizes and more.

The 12 competing teams and their captains are:

  • Atlanta – Ava Kopieczek (Therapy Lounge)
  • New York City – Jan Warren (Dutch Kills)
  • Chicago – Sergio Serna (The Drawing Room)
  • Houston – Alba Huerta (Anvil Bar & Refuge)
  • Kentucky – Jared Schubert (Meat)
  • New Orleans – Sean McCusker (Sylvain)
  • Los Angeles – Aidan Demarest (Neat)
  • Miami – John Lermayer (Mac’s Club Deuce)
  • Portland – Tommy Klus (Kask)
  • San Francisco – Ryan Fitzgerald (Beretta)
  • Washington D.C. – Angie Salame (The Passenger)
  • Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) – Misty Kalkofen (Boston’s Brick & Mortar)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
10:00PM – 1:00AM

Rock N’ Bowl, 3000 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans

Grab a glass of your favorite punch from The Spare Room, the newest issue of Mutineer, and we’ll see you there.

2012 Wine Blog Award Finalists Announced


Wine Blog Awards Ceremony

Comedian Ben Morrison co-hosts the 2010 Wine Blog Awards on the big screen with Alan Kropf, who enjoyed some absinthe during the ceremony, at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Walla Walla, Washington.

Here we go folks, the finalists of the 2012 Wine Blog Awards. The winners will be announced at the Wine Blog Awards, hosted by Mutineer Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf, which will be held during the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Portland from August 17 – 19. To vote for your favorites visit the Wine Blog Awards website and vote by July 26th at 11:59pm!

Best Winery Wine Blog

Best Single Subject Wine Blog

Best New Wine blog

Best Writing on a Wine Blog

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog

Best Industry Wine Blog

Best Original Video or Photography on a Wine Blog

Best Blog Post of the Year

Best Overall Wine Blog

Jordan Vineyard & Winery Introduces Solar Array & Hopes To Further The Solar Conversation In The Wine Industry


Environmental stewardship in winemaking has become more important than ever in recent years. The wine industry is investing more into increasing sustainability while decreasing their carbon footprint and impact on the planet, and the recent installation of an ambitious solar array at Jordan Vineyard & Winery is a great example.

From the press release:
After focusing on reducing its energy consumption for several years, Jordan Vineyard & Winery has completed installation of a 1,932-panel, solar photovoltaic array composed of 100% American-made equipment—quite uncommon in this country due to the higher cost of U.S.-manufactured products. The solar power generated is expected to offset the family-owned and operated winery’s utility bill by 99% and save nearly $4.9 million in electricity costs over the next 30 years.

While it’s encouraging to see another winery take the step to integrate clean energy into their operations, Lisa Mattson, Communications Director at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, has discovered that the actual number of wineries utilizing solar power is much lower than most people think. According to Mattson, “The largest comprehensive list of solar-powered wineries that exists today only includes about 100, which is sad but not surprising, due to the fragmented tiers of the solar, energy and wine industries.”

As a result, Mattson has started a Solar Powered Wineries Group on Facebook, hoping that it will bring solar-minded wineries together and gain a better perspective on the scope and impact of solar energy on the wine industry, saying, “I’m hoping to build more awareness around how many wineries are using solar, as my research and conversations with insiders at trade groups indicate the numbers are low. I hope they are wrong.”

Jordan Winery

Comments Off on Jordan Vineyard & Winery Introduces Solar Array & Hopes To Further The Solar Conversation In The Wine Industry 07.18.2012 |

Ticket Sales Begin August 2 for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival


GABF logo

Planning on heading to Denver for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival? Be sure to grab your tickets early as all sessions will definitely sell out!

If you’re a Brewers Association or American Homebrewers Association member, tickets will go on sale on July 31 before opening up to the general public on August 2.


Visit the Great American Beer Festival website for more information.

Comments Off on Ticket Sales Begin August 2 for the 2012 Great American Beer Festival 07.17.2012 |

New Study Suggests Alcohol Is The New Milk

Beverage News

Alcohol Is The New Milk

Osteoporotic Bone: Low power scanning electron microscope image, showing osteoporotic architecture in the fourth lumbar vertebra of an 89 year old woman. The bone is heavily eroded in places by the action of osteoclasts and consists mainly of thin, fragile struts. Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Alan Boyde & Oregon State University

For you ladies out there that have been drinking a daily White Russian to get your recommended supply of whatever it is in milk to fend off osteoporosis, a new study out of Oregon State University suggests that moderate alcohol consumption on its own may help prevent bone loss.

The study was published in the scientific journal “Menopause”, which I personally read for its witty sense of humor and random beverage story nuggets such as this.

From the study:
A new study assessed the effects of alcohol withdrawal on bone turnover in postmenopausal women who drank one or two drinks per day several times a week. Researchers at Oregon State University measured a significant increase in blood markers of bone turnover in women after they stopped drinking for just two weeks.

The researchers found evidence for increased bone turnover – a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures – during the two week period when the participants stopped drinking. Even more surprising: the researchers found that less than a day after the women resumed their normal drinking, their bone turnover rates returned to previous levels.

“Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health, especially in postmenopausal women,” said Urszula Iwaniec, associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and one of the study’s authors. “After less than 24 hours to see such a measurable effect was really unexpected.”

So, in summary, we now know that it is no coincidence that menopausal women, book clubs and cheap white wine go together like Kahlua, vodka and non-dairy creamer. If this study is correct in its conclusions, then women of an older variety are likely to be hardwired at the genetic level to get their daily alcohol intake in the name of bone longevity, and that’s a win(e) for fine beverages.

Comments Off on New Study Suggests Alcohol Is The New Milk 07.16.2012 |

Terrapin Beer Co. to Release Samurai Krunkles


Terrapin Samurai Krunkles

Terrapin Beer Co. has announced the release of Samurai Krunkles, a follow-up beer to Capt’n krunkles which took the BeerAdvocate forums by storm. Samurai Krunkles will be released on July 15 available in 22 ounce bottles and on draft in restaurants, bars, and package stores across the Southeast.

According to the press release, “This most recent episode of the Krunkles saga finds our friend traveling around the Pacific Rim. Storms at sea leave Krunkles shipwrecked on the coast of Japan. Taken in by the Samurai, Krunkles develops a love for the diversity of culture, the delicious cuisine, and the skills of the ancient warriors. He decides to extend his stay and eventually becomes known as Samurai Krunkles.

In Side Project 17, Samurai Krunkles takes on the Orient. This Asian-inspired IPA is brewed with fragrant jasmine rice, ginger and jasmine green tea for a bold and unique set of flavors built to balance out the hoppy kick present in all Krunkles brews. Yes, Krunkles is known for his love of hops and the Samurai Krunkles is no exception with five hops in the mix. This beer is our homage to the man and the beers we think he brewed while studying with these ancient masters. We call it his version of the tea ceremony.”

Planned Release: July 15th
ABV: 7.1% IBU’s: 70 O.G.:6.5
Malt: 2-Row, Best Munich, Victory, Pale Crystal
Hops: Columbus, Nugget, Falconers Flight, Zythos, Sorachi Ace
Other: Green Tea, Jasmine Rice, Ginger, Dextrose

1 comment 07.13.2012 |

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