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Melisse Mixes Next Level Cocktail Program



Photo by Aaron Tell http://www.savoryhunter.com

Pablo Moix is standing in his own, brand-new bar, Pour Vous, but he can’t stop talking about the new cocktail program he and business partner Steve Livigni are starting at Josiah Citrin’s Santa Monica, California restaurant, Melisse.

“Everything Josiah works with is the best. The best ingredients, the best equipment. People are amazed at his wine list… So when I built his bar program, I built that with all the best, too.”

Pablo is talking about exclusive spirits and elixirs, but he and Livigni have developed their reputations as being among the best bar men around. A few weeks later, Melisse is hosting an event to celebrate the new cocktail program’s debut. As frosty glasses of “Les Restes” (Death’s Door vodka, crushed grapes and lychee, shaken with egg whites) are passed, and Michelin two star award-winning Chef Citrin, himself, delicately pieces together icy towers of geleed rum tipples, it’s clear to see the respect Moix and Livigni have earned, and why.

In the room are some of LA’s brightest beverage folk. This one is a fellow bar/restaurant owner, and his eyes light up as he presses the restaurant’s nouveau take on the Zombie (three rums, house-made passion fruit “dipping dots,” mint gelee and passionfruit juice) into a newcomer’s hand. There’s a small group gathered around a cocktail writer in the corner, who’s been talking up the virtues of his American Trilogy (Sazerac rye whisky, Applejack Bonded, Regan orange bitters), as he appreciatively drains his glass. There’s a chef across the room who just reached for her second Dauphine (gin, cucumber and lemon, topped with citrus air).

Before this new cocktail launch, Citrin offered his guests classic mixed drinks, but with the new wave of craft cocktails, old standbys weren’t enough. It took months of collaboration with Moix and Livigni, an entirely new inventory of premium liquors, and even an innovative reinvention of beverage service, (wherein the cocktail list is presented with the Champagne cart), but only the best will do for Citrin. And the best is what he has.

Comments Off on Melisse Mixes Next Level Cocktail Program 06.26.2012 |

The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: The Blood and Sand Cocktail


This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Blood and Sand Cocktail. Robert Hess explains the cocktail: “In 1922 Rudolph Valentino starred in the movie “Blood and Sand”, a movie that shortly before his death in 1926 he declared as the part he liked the best. He had just undergone a touchy surgery for appendicitis and gastric ulcers and told the gathering press “The part I like best was my role in ‘Blood and Sand’. If I had died, I would have liked to be remembered as an actor by that role – I think it my greatest.” He died a few days later from peritonitis. It is unknown who actually created the recipe for Blood and Sand, but its first appearance seems to be in “The Savoy Cocktail Book” by Harry Cradock in 1930. There it lists the recipe as equal parts of all three ingredients, but I feel that the recipe works better by boosting the scotch.”

The Blood and Sand Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz blended scotch whisky
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Cherry Heering
  • 3/4 oz fresh orange juice


  • shake with ice
  • strain into a cocktail glass
  • garnish with an orange twist

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: The Blood and Sand Cocktail 06.25.2012 |

Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old, The World’s Oldest Barrel-Aged Rum


Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum

Appleton Estate has just announced the upcoming release of their Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve. It is comprised of rums that are at least 50 years old, but some stocks could be much older, and is believed to be the oldest rum available for sale in the world.

As one may imagine, this very rare rum will be in short supply with only 800 bottles available worldwide and only 70 of those coming to the U.S. market. The price, you ask? $5,000 per bottle and each bottle will be packed in a custom hand-blown Glencairn Crystal Decanter and celebratory black lacquered gift box.

The press release announcing the release read: The rums that make Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum were specially set aside to age over 50 years ago with the intention of creating a one-of-a-kind blend that would one day be bottled to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. For over fifty years these rums were looked after – first by Master Blender Owen Tulloch and then by his protege and current Master Blender, Joy Spence.

This highly anticipated offering breaks new ground for the rum category as the Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum is believed to be the first rum to be aged a minimum of 50 years. “I am honored to have played a role in the creation of the Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum,” says Master Blender Joy Spence. “Combining my passion for the highest-quality handcrafted rum with my pride in the country of Jamaica is a true privilege. I am honored to share Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum with the rest of the world at this very exciting time as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican independence.”

As the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence approached, Master Blender, Joy Spence carefully examined each barrel to ensure that the barrels had aged to perfection and had attained the level of complexity and richness that would be fitting to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. The barrels were taken from the warehouse to the blending hall where they were brought together in a special vat and left to “marry,” for several months, where each rum’s character, flavor and bouquet were allowed to fuse together in harmony. The result is the highly anticipated Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum.

“The introduction of Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum marks a significant milestone for the rum industry, and Appleton Estate is very proud to introduce what is believed to be the world’s oldest rum,” says Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Brand Manager Gregory Levine. “Appleton Estate has been creating fine handcrafted rums since 1749 in Jamaica’s Nassau Valley, and the historical launch of Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old Jamaica Rum demonstrates the unwavering commitment to extraordinary quality and masterful blending, yielding complex flavors that has placed Appleton at the pinnacle of rum making.”

For purchase information from Appleton Estate’s white glove concierge service, visit http://www.appletonestateinsider.com/50year.

Comments Off on Appleton Estate 50-Year-Old, The World’s Oldest Barrel-Aged Rum 06.22.2012 |

Celebrate #SauvBlanc Day Today!


Sauvignon Blanc©iStockphoto.com/Hofmeester

Today is #SauvBlanc Day! What do you do? It’s easy … Drink your favorite Sauvignon Blancs and join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #SauvBlanc.

From Napa Valley to New Zealand people will be sharing, enjoying and conversing about the great varietal that is Sauvignon Blanc.

If you plan on joining in the on festivities (and who doesn’t want to spend a Thursday drinking #SauvBlanc?), be sure to tweet us and let us know what’s in your glass!

Three Facts About Sauvignon Blanc

  • Sauvignon Blanc’s homeland is the Loire region of France – most famously from Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé.
  • Sauvignon Blanc is the mother of Cabernet Sauvignon. The father was Cabernet Franc. At some point in the 18th century, the vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine in Bordeaux.
  • Sauvignon Blanc is also known under the synonyms Beyaz Sauvignon, Blanc Doux, Blanc Fume, Bordeaux Bianco, Douce Blanche, Feher Sauvignon, Feigentraube, Fie, Fie dans le Neuvillois, Fume, Fume Blanc, Fume Surin, Genetin, Gennetin, Gentin a Romorantin, Gros Sauvignon, Libournais, Melkii Sotern, Muskat Silvaner, Muskat Sylvaner, Muskatani Silvanec, Muskatni Silvanec, Muskatsilvaner, Painechon, Pellegrina and many, many more.

Comments Off on Celebrate #SauvBlanc Day Today! 06.21.2012 |

Napa Valley Museum’s Top Drink: The Art of the Cocktail


Napa Valley Top Drink

On Sunday June 24, Napa Valley’s best bartenders from some of Napa Valley’s best restaurants will go head-to-head in Top Drink: The Art of the Cocktail. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Napa Valley Museum, will give attendees the opportunity to taste bites and cocktails from Angèle, Aubèrge du Soleil, Bistro Jeanty, Brassica, Eiko’s, FARM, Goose & Gander, La Condesa, Morimoto, Mustards Grill, Oenotri and Redd Wood.

The judges for the competition are Brian Kropf, Managing Editor of Mutineer Magazine; Christina Kinney, co-founder of SFMixology; Martin Cate, Owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco; Malcolm McClain, Friends of Ardent Mixology; and Betty Teller, Writer for Napa Valley Register.

Order tickets for TOP DRINK on the Napa Valley Museum website or call 707-944-0500 x 112. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members. All proceeds from this event support Napa Valley Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Comments Off on Napa Valley Museum’s Top Drink: The Art of the Cocktail 06.20.2012 |

Samuel Adams Collaborates with Berkshire Mountain Distillers


Jim Koch and Chris Weld

Samuel Adams and Berkshire Mountain Distillers have recently announced that they are in the midst of a fun and innovative collaboration. Two Samuel Adams beers, Boston Lager and Cinder Bock, will be triple distilled at Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Great Barrington, Mass., before being barrel aged with an anticipated release in 2015. Each beer will be treated differently, with the distilled Samuel Adams Boston Lager being aged for two years in vintage wooden bourbon barrels, while the distilled Samuel Adams Cinder Bock, a rauchbier/bock combination, will age for two years in wooden, oak barrels, some previously used for extreme beer, Samuel Adams Utopias, producing a very rich, bold whiskey.

And those barrels being used to age the whiskey? Once emptied they’ll be sent back to Samuel Adams, of course, where they will be used for a yet-to-be-named barrel-aged beer.

Stay tuned.

Comments Off on Samuel Adams Collaborates with Berkshire Mountain Distillers 06.19.2012 |

Grand Marnier Cherry to be Released This Fall


Grand Marnier Cherry

This September the House of Marnier-Lapostolle will be releasing Grand Marnier Cherry, a limited edition expression of the famed Grand Marnier that will run through the holiday season. The newest expression starts with Grand Marnier’s renowned signature premium cognac which is then blended with the essence of natural European Griottes cherries.

According to Grand Marnier, “Lush and complex, Grand Marnier Cherry delivers a perfect marriage of Grand Marnier’s signature fine cognacs laced with orange essence and the natural sweet cherry flavors. Created to please the most discerning palates, its versatility is perfect for holiday sipping: drink it simply over ice, with club soda or in a signature cocktail; any which way, Grand Marnier Cherry is taking its place as a most intriguing addition to the evolving world of Grand Marnier and should definitely takes its place as part of your holiday imbibing repertoire.”

Grand Marnier Cherry marks the inaugural launch of an entirely new series that will continue to explore the world’s most elegant flavors each holiday season.

4 comments 06.13.2012 |

Jon Stewart to Mayor of London: “You are the Amsterdam of Mountain Dew”

Beverage News

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing to ban sugary drinks and soda a larger than 16 oz. in size from restaurants, theaters and other food and drink venues in the city. The ban is meant to help combat obesity problems, and those who violate the ban if passed could face a $200 fine.

The proposal has been met with great controversy, including Jon Stewart’s take on the situation which he discussed with London Mayor Boris Johnson on a recent episode of the Daily Show.

Comments Off on Jon Stewart to Mayor of London: “You are the Amsterdam of Mountain Dew” 06.13.2012 |

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