April

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April Issue
In this issue
  • Aloha!
  • The Raven's Caw
  • Gettin' Fortified - Wine X Magazine
  • Absolut - Level Startini
  • Juice and Water Passe? - by Robert Plotkin
  • Plymouth Major Bailey
  • X-Rated® - Cotton Candy
  • Competition Juice Pourer Necks
  • The Partida Margarita
  • Dear April Showers Survivor,

    Welcome to the April Bar None Drinks Newsletter.

    Some great things this month. More recipes, some product features and highlights of The Raven's cruise ship adventure.

    Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.

    Please forward this email to a friend who might enjoy our newsletter.

    Cheers!


    Dan Hutchinson

    Aloha!

    Real, fresh, local molasses from Hawaii sugar cane, Maui rainwater and Maui sun come together in small batches in a tiny craft distillery located 2000 feet above sea level on the legendary Haleakala Ranch. The result? Rums that are double distilled in hand-wrought copper stills, then aged in American Oak casks previously used for fine Bourbon. Braddah Kimo, the Master Distiller, hopes you enjoy his rum in moderation and with aloha.

    Today we feature the Maui Platinum Rum. It's an 80 Proof. Clear, light sweet taste with a hint of vanilla. Mixes well with anything. An authentic Maui Rum!

    Maui Platinum Rum Bottle Image Maui Mojito (we know this is a tough market to serve, but it is growing fast, AND WE MAKE IT EASY)

    • 1 shot of Maui Platinum Rum
    • 2 oz. of your fine fresh squeezed lime juice
    • 2 oz. soda
    • sugar to taste, also on rim of glass
    • garnish with pineapple slice, AND mint sprig.

    With the mint muddling left to the customer the bartender has no more work to do than for the average mixed drink. Because it is a MAUI mojito, it is not expected to be exactly the same as a NY or Cuban mojito. Most Americans don't like the muddled mint leaves floating around in their drink anyway. If they poke at the whole mint leaves with their stirrer they will dislodge an essence of mint into the drink.

    Alternatively, you could just garnish with Pineapple only and add a splash of one of the mint liqueurs you already have on hand. The Mojito went from not even being on the menu to number one in volume in less than one year in both Austin and NYC. I am sure it did well elsewhere, but those two datapoints are hard facts and leading edge indicators.

    Visit Maui for some Rum... or, buy it online!

    The Raven's Caw

    Raven's Caw Logo Image

    Howdy all, and welcome back. I've just returned from a week long cruise to the Mexican Riviera, and to be perfectly honest I haven't thought of much of anything for the last month, let alone come up with an interesting bit of esoterica to share with you. Instead, I thought I'd share with you a few of the drinks I tried on the trip.

    The first one I got was the Mambo Martini, a vodka-based 'tini with coconut and banana. The first thing that surprised me on this one was the rim; most crustas, whether the original incarnations or their younger, rougher sisters, the margaritas, are rimmed with either sugar or salt. This was rimmed with a mixture of sugar and toasted coconut, which helped to enhance the flavor of the coconut rum. It was a decent 'tini, though the vodka did slow down the drinking speed. The best part of the whole thing was that this was the 'tini of the day, which meant I got to keep the special glass.

    My second drink of the trip came from an entirely unexpected source (and no, I'm not referring to the aging, lonely cruise hags that prowl on innocent boys like me.) After glancing at the menu one night at dinner I proceeded to order a soup that piqued my interest. It was billed as 'a puree of coconut and pineapple, served with a splash of rum'. I was expecting a bowl with a highly blended mixture of pineapple and coconut milk, possibly heated slightly and with a slightly less sweet flavor than one might expect. What I got was, as you might guess, anything but. It was the first time that I've ever been served food that had to be consumed with a straw. "Even soup can be eaten with a spoon", I hear you cry, but that is because soup is normally served in a bowl. My soup came to me in nothing less that the gaudiest pina colada glass from the bar by the pool. The only thing missing from the 'soup' was the ice. O.k., and I didn't get an umbrella. High class dining or is the chef a candidate for AA?

    My third and final drink was really a strange voyage for me. I went back to my favorite bar on board, the martini bar and ordered up my breakfast 'tini, delightfully named the Tangotini. With slightly different proportions, this 'tini is the same as the Mambo with one major difference - It's a rum 'tini. Folks, I'm here to tell you that the rum-based 'tini is by far my favorite. I have never before had a martini that drank quite so easily. I am dedicating my next few drinks to finding the perfect rumtini. I'll report when I find more.

    The recipes for the two real 'tinis above are:

    Mambo Martini

    • 4 parts Vodka
    • 1 part Coconut rum
    • 1 part Banana Liquer

    Shake on the rocks and strain. Garnish the rim with coconut and a lemon twist

    Tangotini

    • 6 parts Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
    • 4 parts Coconut Rum
    • 2 parts Banana Liquer

      Shake on the rocks and strain. Garnish the rim with coconut and a lemon twist


      About The Raven

      J.T. "Raven" Centonze has been a long time student of the art of alcohol. Initially interested in keeping conversation at parties, his love for alcohol grew to an obsession in college. In between his real job of running a college bookstore or two, he is the part owner/operator of his own winery. He bartends at private parties which allows him the innovation of many new, unique drinks.

    BarStore.com
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    Gettin' Fortified - Wine X Magazine

    What do the roughest conditions imaginable, stressful thoughts of the future and a group of barefoot men dancing in a concrete block all have in common? Turkish prison? Date night in the Castro? No. These are factors that go into the creation of premium Port wines.

    The history of Port can be traced back to a story similar to that of Dom Perignon. Records dating back to 1678 tell the tale of a monastic Douro resident, Abbott of Lamego, who shared brandy-fortified red wine with a group of British merchants. His intentions were not to spike the substance with the taste of brandy, but rather to stop the grape juice from fermenting from beyond that point. The finished product was a sweet wine high in alcohol. Today, the fortifying process is still done in this unique fashion, though it's not always easy.

    The Douro region begins 40 miles east of the second largest city in Portugal - Porto. The Douro River flows through the hillsides until it reaches an area that's hot and humid in the summer and freezing in the winter. If it weren't for the quintas (estates) and 85,000 vineyards terraced on the mountainous slopes, you'd wonder how anything other than olive trees could possibly survive in such conditions. This is a Pre-Cambrian area primarily composed of granite schist. The soil's shallow and stony, meaning the vines must work to find nutrients.

    Although 80 different grape varietals are grown in the Douro, the primary grapes used to make Port are touriga nacional, tinta barroca, touriga francesa, tinta roriz (tempranillo), tinto cao, sousao and tinto amarela. White Port's also made in the Douro, but on a much smaller scale than the red. The low-lying zone, Baixo Corgo, is the best area for growing grapes used in Ruby and Tawny Ports. The higher zone, Cima Corgo, is the prime terrain for growing premium grapes used for higher priced Tawnys, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Vintage Ports -- the latter of which accounts for only the top one percent of grapes grown in the entire region. The Douro Superior zone, which is further inland, has become a hot commodity for new plantings and still wines.

    The Process

    Port starts as a warm, quickly fermenting mass of grapes that's vigorously and continuously agitated by either hand or machine. When the wine reaches about six or seven percent alcohol, 154 proof (77 percent alcohol) neutral grape spirits is added. The sudden shock of high alcohol concentration essentially kills the yeast and completely arrests fermentation. What's left is a sweet or off-dry fortified wine that weighs in at about 18 to 20 percent alcohol by volume. The syrupy liquid is then put into oak casks to age before being blended, bottled and shipped to consumers.

    Of all the styles, Vintage Port is the most challenging to consumers. Patience is a virtue -- but patience is hard when you have the opportunity to taste a fine wine before its time! Basically, Vintage Ports aren't filtered, and sediment needs time to settle to the bottom of the bottle. The 1994 and 1997 vintages are true gems of the past decade, with rich and lovely aromas. Unfortunately they're still not ready. LBVs are usually ready four to six years after bottling, Tawnys are released when they're ready to drink, and Rubys (and inexpensive Tawnys) are definitely ready to drink upon release.

    So no matter what route you choose to take when experiencing the sensations of Port wines, just remember the stories of toil and stress that go in to each and every bottle. Cheers!

    *****

    This article has been submitted by the great people over at Wine X Magazine. Wine-X has agreed to bring you a new article every month from their amazing writers. It was written by Christopher Sawyer. If you like living out on the edge and feel the Gen X isn't well represented in the world, have a really good look at Wine X magazine. They've also given us an offer you can't refuse if you're looking to subscribe: $15 for 6 issues. To experience the full magazine, Subscribe Here.

    Absolut - Level Startini

    Level Startini Absolut Startini Cocktail Image

    • 1 ½ parts Level Vodka
    • 1 part Cointreau
    • ½ part Dekuyper Crème de Peche
    • 1 part Sour Mix
    • Splash of Cranberry Juice
    • Star Fruit Garnish

    Combine all ingredients over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Serve up and enjoy.

    Being Served at:

    Star Lounge

    The Hotel Chelsea
    222 W. 23rd Street
    NYC

    
    

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    Juice and Water Passe? - by Robert Plotkin

    Our latest Rober Plotkin article talks about the lack of respect for those common ingredients we see every day. Robert is the founder of BarMedia.com

    For the past 17 years, Robert Plotkin, has been working to provide beverage operators with the right career tools they need to attain success. He has created the best management systems, tools, software and books available in the hospitality industry. His nationally acclaimed products are in the offices and behind the bars of the most successful hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and hot spots worldwide.

    Juice and Water Image

    We tend to take for granted that which is within reach day after day. It's the "familiarity breeds contempt" thing. Such is the lowly regard juices and waters are held in the contemporary bars and lounge scene. It's ironic in as much as they are the cornerstones of mixology. With few notable exceptions, great cocktails owe their existence to the inclusion water or juice. They are, after all, literally the eaux de vie-the waters of life.

    On the unlikely chance that you are among those who think that juices and waters have had their day, that they have lost a step on the field of energy drinks and isotonics, think again. There's a promised land of greatness waiting to be created behind your bar and juice and water can lead you there.

    To that end, here in no particular order are the best moneymaking ideas to exit our think tank on how to leverage the cache of juices and waters behind your bar.

    Bourbon and Branch - Pairing fine whiskeys with spring water sourced from the whiskey's own back yard is about as good as it gets. Adding a splash of Kentucky limestone spring water to a great bourbon is a classy touch appreciated by novice and enthusiast alike. The same can be said about serving spring water from Scotland or Ireland to an aficionado enjoying a dram of malt.

    Fourth Dimension - It was the added splash of cranberry to a Kamikaze that gave birth to the Cosmopolitan. Many of today's cocktails are constructed of little more than a base spirit and two modifiers, leaving ample opportunity add a juice or two to smooth things out and give the drink more dimension.

    Margarita Perfection - Although now the country's most frequently requested cocktail, many give little thought to its construction. The Margarita is not a combination of bar mix, tequila and triple sec. Rather it is made with a base of both lime and lemon, typically with emphasis on the lime. For a true stroke of genius, add in a splash of grapefruit juice, a juice that seems to have a special affinity for tequila.

    Brut Strength - Little did Dom Perignon realize when he invented champagne that he'd created a wine just hankering to be mixed with fresh juice. Champagne marries with about every type of fruit juice or puree imaginable. The famed Mimosa is the combination of orange juice and champagne. Other classics include the Bellini (peach puree), Poinsettia (cranberry juice), Puccini (tangerine juice), Moon Walk (grapefruit juice), Pizzetti (orange and grapefruit juice), Jersey Jack (apple juice), Bikini (passion fruit syrup), Ruddy Mimosa (orange and cranberry juice), and Champagne Hawaiian (pineapple juice).

    No Pain In Spain - Among the many contributions Spain has made to civilization over the centuries, high on the list is the ultimate thirst quencher, Sangria. Growing in popularity in the U.S., Sangria is a dreamy blend of red wine, brandy and a bevy of juices. Throw in handfuls of fresh fruit, let steep and enjoy.

    Seltzer is Passé - Carbonated water is to mixology as Salisbury steak is to the culinary arts. Instead of committing club soda (i.e. carbonated tap water) to your drinks, why not use San Pellegrino or Perrier? Choose the amount of carbonation you'd like to feature in your drinks and select the sparkling water to suit.

    Hot Toddies - Hot water is an infallible delivery system for whiskeys and brandies. Add a lemon wheel or a clove or two and you've got the makings of a classically structured specialty.

    Varietals Rule - The ultimate goal of a successful beverage program is to offer its clientele singularly delicious drinks, ones significantly different than what the competition is promoting. To that end, many are featuring varietal fruit juices in their drink making. Topping the list of hot varietal juices are Kaffir lime, Meyer Lemon, Ruby Red grapefruit, Blood orange, white cranberry, tangerine, blueberry and pomegranate.

    Coffee and Tea Bliss - The better the water, the better the coffee or tea. Consider your options. Tap water can contribute an off-taste to coffee or tea and potentially damage equipment. Distilled water results in a vapid brew. One secret to making a great cup of great coffee or tea is using a spring water that's up to the task.


    The Original Guide to Alcohol-Free Beverages and Drinks

    Don't miss out on this hot new category! Serve delicious taste-tested alcohol free specialties to your customers and friends and enjoy low cost and great taste. The recipes span the breadth of alcohol-free mixology, including blended drinks, coffee, tea and cocoa specialties, ice cream drinks, and specialties made with lemonade, juices and sparkling cider. Plus reviews of the best products to use when making your creations!

    Plymouth Major Bailey

    It may be difficult to choose the right libation this coming May 5. After all, it's Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Day...but what if bourbon and tequila are a bit too rough and tough for your tastebuds? We've got the perfect solution with a minty cocktail that's perfect for entertaining.

    2007 marks the 133rd year of the Kentucky Derby, but did you know that traditional thoroughbred racing actually began in England over 200 years ago? England also lays claim to the origins of the thoroughbred of white spirits - the renowned Plymouth Gin. Perfectly balanced and remarkably smooth, Plymouth Gin's rich heritage and classic sophistication makes it a timeless choice for savoring during this prestigious event.

    The Kentucky Derby wouldn't be the same without a minty cocktail, so if you are looking for something other than the traditional Mint Julep, try a Major Bailey. Made with Plymouth Gin, this mouthwatering cocktail will be first to the finish line for Derby fans - and even for those who just come along for the parties...

    Celebrate two distinguished traditions by toasting the Kentucky Derby with a Major Bailey.

    Plymouth Major Bailey Cocktail Image Plymouth Major Bailey

    • 12 Fresh mint leaves
    • 2 oz. Plymouth gin
    • ¼ oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice
    • ¼ oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • ½ oz. Sugar syrup

    To a shaker filled with ice first muddle the mint leaves with Plymouth Gin then add; lime juice, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Shake with ice and fine strain into a glass half filled with crushed ice. Stir drink and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    
    
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    X-Rated® - Cotton Candy

    Cotton Candy X-Rated - Cotton Candy Cocktail Image

    • 1 part X-RATED® Fusion Liqueur
    • 1 part Vanilla Rum
    • Heavy splash of Pisco Aba

    Garnish with a orange slice

    
    
    
    

    Competition Juice Pourer Necks

    Competition Juice Pourer Necks
    $2.99
    These fast, clog resistant, easy to clean, 1 piece juice pourer necks are now preferred by many operatorsover traditional 2 piece versions. The small air vent is located near the treads, away from the spout,thus eliminating the clog-clog problem. No more straws. No more hard to find, hard to clean, snap in spouts.These are very fast pourers and are now used in many Bartender competitions, including the Quest for the BestBartender in the World! Many large operators have switched including Red Lobster, T.G.I. Fridays,Chilli's and Applebee's.Sold here by the neck only. Containers sold separately! These necks will fit all other screw on juice containers. If you need the screw on containers, be sure to see our large variety.

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    The Partida Margarita

    Partida Tequila (www.partidatequila.com) introduced today the Partida Margarita, a new expression of America's most popular cocktail. "We've tested the Partida Margarita with our key accounts, cocktail enthusiasts, leading cocktail experts and bartenders - everybody has loved it," said Gary Shansby, chairman and CEO of Partida Tequila. "They all agree that it's the best Margarita they've ever tasted." The Partida Tequila Margarita contains:

  • 1 oz. lime juice (app. the juice from one lime)
  • ¾ oz. pure, organic Partida Agave Nectar
  • ¾ oz. pure spring water
  • 1.5 oz. Partida Tequila Blanco, Reposado or Añejo

    Said Jacques Bezuidenhout, noted San Francisco-based mixologist, "Bartenders will love the fact that this cocktail is so delicious and easy to make: you just shake over ice, taste to preference - no garnish, no salt, just pure agave taste." Anthony Dias Blue, former wine and spirits editor of Bon Appetit Magazine and one of the most respected spirits authorities in the US, added, "The Agave Nectar Margarita has everything going for it: fewer calories and less alcohol than the traditional margarita, a great tequila base, and it's all natural."

    "We expect the Agave Nectar Margarita to create a new generation of cocktail drinkers because it is all natural, lower in calories and alcohol, and most importantly delicious," said Mr. Shansby.

    The agave nectar used in the cocktail is an organic, natural fructose sweetener extracted from the blue agave plant. Sweeter than sugar, with a lower glycemic index rating than sugar, honey or maple syrup, agave nectar is water soluble and readily dissolves in cold beverages so it blends effortlessly in cocktails.

    Partida Tequila is a premium tequila that was awarded five stars in all three marques - Blanco, Reposado and Añejo - by Paul Pacult in the Spirit Journal. Partida Tequila also scored highest in aggregate score at the San Francisco tasting Competition in 2006 and the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico's annual tasting.

    Partida Bottle Image

    Partida Tequila is an authentic, all-natural, estate-grown premium Tequila, made from 100% blue agave in Amatitán, the heart of Mexico's historic Tequila region. From cultivation and harvest to cooking, distillation and aging, Partida maintains exceptional standards of quality and consistency. The Partida Estate produces three distinctive Tequilas: Blanco (not aged), Reposado (aged six months) and Añejo (aged 18 months). Partida Tequila is now distributed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington. Partida will continue to expand aggressively and strategically in the United States and has also begun distribution in Mexico. The United Kingdom launch is planned for June of this year.

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