May

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May Issue
In this issue
  • Absolut Launches Global Advertising Campaign
  • The Raven's Caw
  • Five Ways to Avoid Coffee's Cruelest Moments - Wine X Magazine
  • Absolut - Strawberry Dream
  • 10 Reasons to Walk Through Your Own Front Door - by Robert Plotkin
  • Classic Martini - A Father's Day Toast to the Perfect Pour
  • X-Rated® - Flirtini
  • Summer Quenchers
  • Tequila Herradura Cocktail
  • Dear Dan,

    Welcome to the May Bar None Drinks Newsletter.

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

    Cheers!


    Dan Hutchinson

    Absolut Launches Global Advertising Campaign

    Print, Broadcast and Out-of-Home Creative Presents Life "In An ABSOLUT World"

    Absolut Politician Advertising Image

    ABSOLUT® VODKA announced its next groundbreaking global advertising campaign titled "In an ABSOLUT World." The new advertising challenges the status quo by presenting a bold and optimistic world view. The global launch is supported by a fully-integrated marketing campaign, including print, broadcast, out-of-home, public relations, on-premise promotions and viral activity. Created by TBWA/Chiat/Day/New York, the campaign will break in the U.S during the week of May 15 with a broadcast spot and print executions in June weeklies.

    "In an ABSOLUT World" is a powerful campaign that provides a rich framework for the ABSOLUT brand that builds on the foundation established by 'The Absolutes' campaign last year. Our consumers are intelligent, and we hope they have a gut reaction that sparks conversations and challenges them to think about their vision of an "ABSOLUT World," says Tim Murphy, Senior Brand Director, The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc.

    The first U.S. broadcast spot, titled "Protest" depicts an epic scene that opens with a tense standoff between protesters and police. As the clash ensues, the viewers witness a massive, friendly pillow fight - demonstrating an alternate way to resolve conflicts. Filmed in Uruguay by Director Frederik Bond and Director of Photography Guillermo Navarro - an Academy® Award winning Cinematographer - this production was the largest in the country's history.

    Absolut Times Square Advertising Image

    The first U.S. print advertisement to launch is a photo of Times Square with iconic works of art installed in lieu of advertising. Other print executions include a factory emitting harmless bubbles instead of smoke, a pregnant man with his wife at a cocktail party and a bar scene where people wear buttons labeling their dating status and mindset.

    "The new campaign visually answers the question: what if everything in the world was a little bit more Absolut? It's not necessarily about perfection, but about making the world better by seeing it with fresh eyes. As the story unfolds you can expect commentary on topics and ideas big and small, serious and humorous, timeless and of the moment," said Rob Smiley, Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat/Day/New York.

    The new campaign also includes an industry-leading social responsibility broadcast spot. Titled "Taxi," the spot illustrates a young couple exiting a club. As they press the key fob, instead of unlocking their car it signals a taxi, suggesting that in an "ABSOLUT World" people would always call a cab or use a designated driver after they drink. "The campaign speaks to consumers on multiple levels. The topics range in scale and tone but use the same clever voice ABSOLUT has used for more than 25 years," adds Murphy.

    Absolut Pregnant Advertising Image "In an ABSOLUT World" will also be supported by viral elements that will bring the idea to life for consumers. On May 14, ABSOLUT will begin a week of guerrilla activities in New York that will make the city a better place for one week. Consumer activities include rickshaw rides in Soho and the Meatpacking District, music downloads in Union Square, Metro Card giveaways and VIP treatment at select downtown restaurants and clubs, all compliments of ABSOLUT.

    The campaign will continue this summer with customized out-of-home executions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago that speak directly to these geographic communities. The global campaign will also roll out in 12 international markets this year, beginning with a broadcast execution titled "Disco Moon" in Germany on April 27. Additionally, the campaign will be complemented with executions tailored to their niche market consumers along with an interactive experience at ABSOLUT.com.

    The Raven's Caw

    Raven's Caw Logo Image

    Ravenoids and Ravenites (I'll let you decided which is which), I have two new pieces of information that I must share with you. I trust that everyone is as ready as I am to get into the sublimity that is summer. As most people will tell you, many traditional drinks of summer involve mixing alcohol with some form of produce of another, whether it be the fruit in a daiquiri or the mint in a julep. Strangely enough, I've actually come across something that is relevant to the summer drinking season.

    A recent university study out of Thailand brings some interesting news for all you daiquiri, pina colada and margarita drinkers out there. While searching for a preservative, researchers discovered that adding ethanol to fruit increases the antioxidant activity in the fruit. Without going into the physoilogics of it, suffice to say that more antioxidant activity is good. The article, found on MSNBC.com, goes on to suggest that any antioxidant containing fruit or vegetable might be likewise enhanced by adding a splash of alcohol.

    Something to think about I suppose. I'll be watching this one closely to see if there are any more developments. It might be a revolution in cooking (hopefully only at home. I can imagine an army of people flasking up on their way to their favorite juice bar, and calling it health food. I can see the headlines now: "But the Raven said it was healthy!" Man, 42, cries. Well, if you're going to base your health decisions on an article posted on a drinking site, I suppose you deserve what you're gonna get.)

    Moving on.

    This next one is not nearly as life changing, but still kind of fun; plus it has the added bonus of a sprinkling of pseudoscience. On what was likely my first trip to a bar in many months I came across a little device that purported to age a shot of alcohol many years, in just a few seconds. This bar had a Shooter Buddy. Using a specific alignment of magnets, the device is supposed to, I dunno, change the polarity of ions or something.

    Shooter Buddy Image I tried two shots side by side, one with the 'aging' and one without. I'll admit, there was definitely a difference; what that difference was, I couldn't tell. In any case, the company that markets the Shooter Buddy says it will save you hundreds of dollars in premium booze because now you can buy the younger, cheaper stuff and just age it as you drink. For all you wine aficionados, they also make the Vintage Express, which is effectively the same thing but in a wine bottle size.

    If anyone has had any prolonged experience with the Shooter Buddy or the Vintage Express, please post it in the boards. Otherwise, if you're interested in it, you can find it online, or perhaps at one of the "As Seen on TV" stores.

    Well, that's all for today folks. Enjoy the beginning of summer and have a julep for The Raven. I'll see you next month for The Raven's Caw.


    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.

    Five Ways to Avoid Coffee's Cruelest Moments - Wine X Magazine

    Paper cups of molasses-brew beckon me from the bagelry down the block. I enter, knowing full well what's in store: A cup of an industrial-roasted coffee that slashes through my palate like a dagger. I suffer it, in a lazy attempt to thrust myself out of Saturday's sleepy womb and into Sunday's world. Sometimes the coffee is so spiked with its two parts bitterness, one part caffeine that a cupful with cream and sugar careens through my veins on a non-stop flight to the heart and the head, erasing the idea of "stillness" for the day. My body is filled with coffee and chaos. By evening, as the barbed brew's effects wear off, I slip back into pre-coffee lethargy. Monday's on its way.

    I now know why coffee from this shop elicits such a response: I saw an employee press the "brew" button and run hot water through already-spent grounds into a pot one-quarter filled with coffee. This accounts for the caustic cups I've swigged. So does the very appearance of the beans, which range in tone from straw to soot. The roasting process likely leaves a lot to be desired in the smoothness department, which can ease the effects of caffeine pandemonium.

    When it comes to coffee, whether American or espresso, I try to play detective before I order a cup in a restaurant or cafe, especially after a nice meal. In my mind, a cup of bad coffee is a tragedy, especially if it's the thorny finish crowning fantastic food -- the palate loves to finish food with fantastic coffee. What could be more satisfying than leaning back in your chair, contentedly full, sipping a warm cupful of roasted paradise brewed to perfection? Or waking your body and mind to coffee's a.m. potion?

    Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind when ordering coffee out:

    1) A Brew By Any Other Name...
    Ask what brand of coffee or espresso the cafe or restaurant serves, and if you enjoy it, make a mental note. It may take some trial and error to learn which brands you like -- and which cafes serve them -- but in the long run, knowing your favorites will help you immediately decide whether or not to order. If your server has no clue what kind of coffee is being brewed, it's probably a sign that the place doesn't care much.

    2) Be A Machine Head
    If you can peek into the kitchen, or if the espresso machine is in plain sight as in many cafes and restaurants, take a look at it. Note the brand of machine, and, depending on whether you like the coffee or not, keep it in mind when you order subsequent cups in other restaurants. It's amazing the effect the machine used to brew the cup can have on the finished product. If I go to a restaurant and notice a home machine on the counter, I steer clear of the espresso coffee. Not only does that tell me that the establishment doesn't serve a whole lot of specialty coffee drinks, but it also tells me it really has no interest in doing so.

    3) Cleanliness Is Next To Holiness
    Always note the appearance of the machine with regard to cleanliness. If the espresso machine brandishes a steam wand crusty with old milk, you probably don't want to order the house-special bacteria-infested cappuccino. Likewise, look at the coffee pots.

    4) My Cup Runneth Over
    Espresso should be served in a white porcelain demitasse cup. This cup cradles the warmth of the infusion, coddles the crema (which is the thick golden froth that tops a finely prepared cup) and allows for the perfect amount of water to pass through the grounds. On that note, you'd do yourself a favor to order your espresso "short" or "ristretto," which means that less water will pass through the grounds during the same standard brew time, resulting in a stronger, more flavorful espresso. Also, while it may seem frivolous to mention the color of the cup, the contrast of white cup against brown coffee creates the right environment for appreciation of brew quality. If you've ever downed espresso from a black cup, you can appreciate what I'm saying.

    5) The Hand That Brews The Espresso
    And finally, if you're ordering espresso in a restaurant you visit regularly, you may want to remember who makes the coffee well and order only from them. Just as everything else mentioned affects the flavor of the finished cup, so too do the people who perform the brewing. Usually, certain people develop a talent for eliciting great espresso from a machine, while others completely lack the passion required.

    Hopefully these tips will help you avoid late-night agita and coffee's cruelest moments. But if in your experimenting you still experience the occasional sharp brew, remember: You can always go back to your favorite coffee place tomorrow and erase the bitter memories.

    *****

    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 Maja Tarateta. 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 - Strawberry Dream

    Strawberry Dream Absolut Strawberry Dream Cocktail Image

    • 1.5 oz. Absolut Vodka
    • 1/4 oz. Parfait Amour (or Crème de Peche, if P.A. unavailable)
    • 1/4 oz. Maple Syrup
    • 1/2 oz. Fresh-squeezed Orange juice
    • 3 muddled Strawberries
    • 2 dashes Peach Bitters

    Shake all ingredients, and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

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    10 Reasons to Walk Through Your Own Front Door - by Robert Plotkin

    Our latest Rober Plotkin article talks about why you should walk through the front door of your establishment. 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.

    10 Reasons to walk through your front
door Image

    For years you've reserved the parking space close to the back door, walked past the time clock and directly into your office. It's a tried and true, nearly universal routine. And why not? It's the shortest distance to the coffee machine and your over-flowing in-basket. But not everyone in this business subscribes to the theory that the fewer steps to the office, the better. In fact, there are ample reasons to avoid the loading dock, and map out an alternative route. Here then is our top ten list of why to enter your business through the front door.

    • Check Out the Front Parking Lot - Is there sufficient lighting for your customers to feel secure? Is the lot clean and in good condition? Or, is it in need of repair? Is there ample parking? Poor parking is a turn-off and can cost you business.
    • Assess Your Curb Appeal - What does your establishment look like from the street? Does it look like someplace you'd want to frequent? Is the exterior of your building showing signs of disrepair? Does your business have a contemporary look, or does the outside of your business look dated, and in need of a face-lift?
    • Inspect Exterior Signs - Are your signs effective, and portray your business in the best possible light? Are they in good working order? A broken exterior sign reflects poorly on the business inside.
    • Check the Condition of Front Entry - Is the front entry—walkway, front doors, vestibule and lobby—in good condition? Or is it showing signs of wear and tear? Does your front entry give a good first impression of your business?
    • Appearance of Host/Hostess - Does your host or hostess give a good first impression? Do they smile and make people feel welcome?
    • Effective Marketing - Have you posted a current menu by the front entry? Do you have a board listing your daily specials somewhere in the lobby? Many operators begin to market their wares right as people enter their establishment. Do you have any marketing in place?
    • Sweet Smell of Success - As you walk in from the outside, take a sniff. Does your establishment have an off-odor? Enclosed areas usually do, and your business is probably no exception. Is the odor off-putting to customers? Is it a problem that needs to be addressed?
    • Eye Appeal - What level is your lighting set at in the walkway and front entry? Is it too dim, creating a safety hazard? Is it too bright, blinding people as they enter from the dark? Does your lighting create the atmosphere you're looking for?
    • Sound Check - Is your sound system set at a decibel level that deafens people when they enter your establishment? Or is it set so low as to be barely audible? Does the sound level in your establishment help generate excitement or is it audible filler?
    • Press the Flesh - Walking in the front door allows you an opportunity to be seen by your clientele and staff. Shake some hands. Pat some backs. Let yourself be seen.


    Proven Strategies for the On-Premise Operator

    This may be the best resource guide ever written for controlling, managing and operating a beverage operation profitably.

    Covering virtually every aspect of a beverage operation, Robert Plotkin has left no stone unturned. From analyzing bartender and server productivity to explaining how to use pour cost formulas to increase profits, it is a guide that anyone can use to increase their profits, reduce their costs and understand how to do it in a step-by-step format.

    Classic Martini - A Father's Day Toast to the Perfect Pour

    From his ability to grill a juicy steak to perfection to his expert swing on the golf course, fathers take pride in relishing the simple luxuries in life. When the cocktail hour tolls, chances are your dad would appreciate a perfectly poured premium martini.

    June 17th is both Father's Day AND National Martini Day, and a class-act father deserves a classic drink, so celebrate our much loved dads with one of history's most loved cocktails - the original martini.

    While there is actually a martini style for every dad, the best place to start is with the classic dry martini. If he likes to mix it up, just find the cocktail that suits his style and make sure he's equipped with the tips and tools to master the perfect pour.

    Starting with the original dry martini, here a few perfectly stunning variations on the classics.

    Plymouth Martini Image

    The Purist.

    Ready to dispel common myths on many topics, your dad will be the first to describe how to properly make the original martini. If he claims that it's only a martini if its gin and vermouth, then he's right (as usual!). In fact, Plymouth Gin is documented as the gin used in the Original Dry Martini in every bartenders bible, the 1896 Stuart's "Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them" (New York).

    Plymouth Dry Martini - 1 part Plymouth Gin, Splash of dry vermouth

    Pour vermouth into a mixing glass over ice cubes and swirl or stir, making sure the ice is coated with the vermouth. Strain off excess vermouth, leaving only as much vermouth is desired for the level of dryness (the less vermouth in the drink, the drier it is). Add Plymouth Gin to the mixing glass and stir until extremely chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist or unwashed olive.

    The Name is Dad. Your Dad.

    Does your debonair dad fancy himself as a ladies man who knows his way around the casino in Monaco? If so, the enchanting Vesper Martini is his weapon of choice. Debuting in Casino Royale, creator Ian Fleming named this original cocktail after 007's female double agent, Vesper Lynd. Just remember, James Bond got it wrong. This martini, and all other gin martinis are stirred, not shaken - how good will it make your dad feel to know he's more cocktail savvy than Bond himself? (And between you and me, Ian Fleming only ever drank the classic Plymouth Gin martini...but that's another story).

    The Vesper Martini - Prepare same as Plymouth Dry Martini, but add ½ part Absolut vodka and ½ part Lillet blanc to the mix and garnish with a lemon twist.

    The Globe-Trotting Executive Dad.

    If your father conducts important business over lunch, have him pay homage to the Gibson Martini, rumored to be named after a savvy business man who wished to remain on top of his game during the standard "three-martini lunch". He always began with a classic martini and then to keep his cool while his counterparts continued to toss back the cocktails, he instructed the bartender to serve him cold water garnished with an onion to distinguish his beverage. A sobering strategy for a cunning man, don't you think?!

    The Gibson - Prepare the first the same as Plymouth Dry Martini, but garnish with a few silverskin cocktail onions (and you know what to give him when he asks for a second!)

    
    
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    X-Rated® - Flirtini

    Flirtini X-Rated - Flirtini Image

    • 1 part XR Fusion
    • 1 part X-Rated Vodka
    • Splash of cointreau or triple sec
    • Splash of cranberry

    Serve straight-up in martini glass and garnish with lemon or lime.

    
    
    
    

    Summer Quenchers

    Summer Quenchers
    $24.95
    This DVD contains over 90 Minutes of quality footage for the home bar enthusiasts. Grab a seat and watch the most popular tropical drinks being mixed to perfection. Includes step-by-step instructions and detailed recipes listed at the segments end.

    Tequila Herradura Cocktail

    With the start of summer on the horizon, we're all looking for that unique and tasty way to cool down. Tequila Herradura has the perfect way to stay refreshed in June while remaining outside under the sun. The new Herradura Pear cocktail has been a longtime favorite on the beaches of Mexico and its popularity is spreading to the U.S. The simple, delicious drink combines sweet fruit nectar, tart lime juice and rich tequila for a one-of-a-kind burst of flavor that is sure to relax and refresh anyone on a warm summer day.

    Herradura Pear Herradura Pear Cocktail Image

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 oz. Herradura Silver
    • 3 oz. Pear Nectar
    • 1 oz. Peach Nectar
    • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 cup of crushed ice

    Fill the cocktail glass with crushed ice and add the Herradura Silver tequila, followed by the pear nectar and peach nectar. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime and stir. Add a pear slice for garnish.

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