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.
Print, Broadcast and Out-of-Home Creative Presents Life "In An ABSOLUT World"
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.
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.
"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.
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.)
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.
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.
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...
2) Be A Machine Head
3) Cleanliness Is Next To Holiness
4) My Cup Runneth Over
5) The Hand That Brews The Espresso
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.
Shake all ingredients, and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a strawberry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
Serve straight-up in martini glass and garnish with lemon or lime.
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.
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.