February Issue
In this issue
  • Absolut production record
  • The Raven's Caw
  • St. Patricks Day Black - Wine X Magazine
  • Absolut - Voodoo d'Anjou
  • Avoiding the Ten Critical Errors Beverage Operators Make - by Robert Plotkin
  • Plymouth Express
  • Dekuyper launches new Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Spirits of Ireland
  • St. Patrick's Day Recipes
  • Dear Dan,

    Welcome to the February Bar None Drinks Newsletter.

    Another month gone by and we're off to the races for St. Patrick's day. Got some great recipes lined up and The Raven give us a little history lesson.

    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.


    Dan Hutchinson

    Absolut production record

    I have to say, that's a lot of Vodka and I would hope some really great cocktails!

    Absolut Production Record Image New production record at the ABSOLUT plant in hus

    10,000,000 9-liter cases in 12 months

    Production records have been broken on a regular basis at the plant in hus lately. At the end of January and beginning of February it was time again, but now ABSOLUT has surpassed a symbolically significant boundary 10 million 9-liter cases in 12 consecutive months. The total production equaled an incredible 10,026,000 9-liter cases, which is the equivalent of about 92 million liters for the period February 2006 January 2007.

    In the past 12 months more vodka has been produced at the plant than in 1979 1987.

    Todays production record is another confirmation that ABSOLUT VODKA is appreciated by consumers around the world, on the American market as well as the other focus markets. With the pace of growth V&S Absolut Spirits is keeping, the next dream boundary is in clear sight 100 million liters in 12 months. The export success for ABSOLUT VODKA leads to more employment opportunities in hus and at our subcontractors, such as the glassworks in Limmared. We estimate that approximately 1500-2000 people in Sweden work to make ABSOLUT VODKA a success. Everyone from farmers to label manufactures, says Ketil Eriksen, President V&S Absolut Spirits.

    Last week the annual results were presented for V&S Absolut Spirits and showed that ABSOLUT VODKA broke sales records in 2006. Sales of ABSOLUT VODKA increased with as much as 7 percent in 2006. The volume for the entire business area increased with 13 percent. The total turnover for the business area increased with 9 percent to 5 882 MSEK. The result for V&S Absolut Spirits increased with 9 percent to 1.9 MSEK.

    ABSOLUT VODKA is growing by double-digit percentages on most of the twelve focus markets. In Mexico sales of the vodka from southern Sweden grew with 33 percent, in the United Kingdom with 23 percent, in Canada with 17 percent and in Germany with 11 percent. Even the Swedish market is showing a sales increase for the first time in several years. We are very pleased with the results for 2006. All products in our portfolio show fantastic sales results. We are especially proud that our other brands, such as Level Vodka and the new acquisition Cruzan Rum, are also showing strong growth. In 2006 Level Vodka grew with 29 percent and is now the third largest super-premium vodka in the US, says Ketil Eriksen.

    Other V&S Absolut Spirits production records:

    • 16 March 2004 the 1 billionth bottle of ABSOLUT VODKA leaves the plant in hus
    • 15 December 2005 the 9 millionth 9-liter case was produced
    • October 2006 the largest shipment ever in one month: 9,153,000 liters
    • 5 December 2006 the 100 millionth bottle was produced
    • February 06-January 07 the first time 10 million 9-liter cases are produced in a 12-month period

    The Raven's Caw

    Raven's Caw Logo Image

    Top o th mornin to ye, fair lads and lasses. Today we will explore a holiday known to all of us for its revelry, for its green overtones and of course, for its penchant for getting its celebrants piss drunk. I am referring of course to St. Patricks Day, when the green beer flows and everyone, regardless of heritage, drinks a toast to the land of the leprechaun. But what do we know of the man who was St. Pat? (Shhh, Catholics, let the others have a chance!) (Unless of course you dont know the answer, in which case, no Communion for you!) More importantly, what are we celebrating?

    Im not going to bore you with all the details: St. Patrick is credited with bringing Catholicism to Ireland. Others had tried, but he was most successful. Hes also credited with driving the snakes from the Emerald Isle, but most historians agree snakes really meant pagans. The date on which we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, March 17th, is actually the anniversary of his death. St. Patrick, besides being the patron saint of the Irish, is also given honor amongst the faithful as the patron of missionaries (he was Welsh, originally, and spent a lot of time in the custody of the pagans as he spread his unpopular message.) To those within the faith, St. Patricks day is a day for blessings upon the missionaries. To the rest of us, Protestant and pagan alike, its a reason to get hammered.

    It is important to note before going any further that St. Patricks Day as we New Worlders know it has nothing to do with the first 1300 years of its observance. The Irish celebrated the feast quietly for many centuries, respectfully paying tribute to their beloved saint. In the early 1700s, during a period of Irish immigration to America, the world saw its first St. Patricks Day parade in Boston, of all places. It might also surprise you to know that until the mid-1990s, a person would have to search far and wide to find a pub open in Ireland on the holiday.

    With all that said, anywhere that you might find someone of Irish descent, youll probably find some manner of celebration of St. Patricks Day. Quick quiz: besides Ireland, what two other countries in the world will you find St. Patricks Day recognized as an official holiday? (Catholics can play along too!) The answer is Montserrat, the little island in the Caribbean Sea, and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador of Canada.

    Now you know the whys of St. Patricks Day. Not that it really mattered of course. This March 17th, do what people the world over are going to do, get lavishly drunk; even the Irish, after so many somber centuries, have started to realize that the rest of the world might be on to something. Weve even convinced them that green is the color of the day (it used to be blue...so Ive been told).

    The luck of the Irish be with you!

    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.

    Please visit our sponsor for all the latest supplies for your club, bar or home!

    St. Patricks Day Black - Wine X Magazine

    St. Patricks Day Image

    For 364 days of the year, most North Americans are satisfied with a pretty standard style of beer: Cold, crisp and fresh-tasting. Plus, according to the flavor profiles of the most popular brands, a little on the sweet side. And most of all, clear and golden.

    Yet on one lone day, St. Patrick's Day, millions of beer drinkers across the continent will head to their local bar for the express purpose of drinking beer adulterated with green food coloring. The mythology is that it's an Irish thing -- even though you'd be served only astonished looks if you ordered green beer in Dublin -- and that ordering green beer on St. Patrick's Day is the proper way to celebrate the national day of Ireland. It's a tradition that's as horribly misguided as it is well intentioned.

    To really welcome the feast of St. Patrick, the color of the beer in your glass should be not green, but black, as in stout, the true national drink of Ireland.

    Within the almost limitless scope of beer styles, perhaps none is more intimidating than the jet black potion known as stout. Because of its color, stout is commonly perceived to be thick, rich, heavy and filling. It's a meal in a glass, according to some and "liquid Viagra" if we're to believe Caribbean legend. Some brewers of the style even promote these misunderstandings, as in Labatt's recent campaign for its Canadian version of Guinness, brewed under license, which boldly claims "It's not beer, it's stout!"

    But the truth is that this lion of the brewing world is actually a docile lamb. With 4.1 percent alcohol by volume, Guinness, the world's most famous stout, is actually lighter in alcohol and equal or lower in calories compared to a typical North American lager. In fact, far from being a repast in and of itself, the dry and appetizing taste of Irish stout actually makes it a wonderful aperitif.

    The source of stout's misleading personality can be found in the barley malt, one of the primary ingredients that, along with hops, yeast and water, make up a beer. Malt is simply partially sprouted barley that's been kilned in order to stop the germination process. For golden beers, this is the only preparation necessary. For darker brews, however, the cooking continues until the malt assumes deeper and deeper shades, eventually reaching the pitch black of what's known variously as chocolate, black or roasted malt. In stout, a generous portion of these dark malts is used, so that result will sport its characteristic midnight hue.

    Though invented in England, stout has become almost synonymous with Ireland. This is due to the work of one man, Arthur Guinness, who, in 1759, set up his company in a disused brewery on what was then the edge of Dublin. He agreed to what may well be one of the best leases ever signed: 45 pounds per year... for 9,000 years! Twenty years later, he added porter -- the precursor of stout -- to his brewery's lineup. And twenty years after that, he boldly decreed that henceforth his brewery would produce only stouts and porters. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Today, Guinness is far and away the most popular stout in the world, distantly followed by the other two major Irish stouts: Murphy's and Beamish. Behind them come a multitude of other stouts of every variety: the strong and intense Courage Imperial Russian Stout, no longer brewed but still sporadically available in aged versions; rich Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, made silky smooth and rich through the addition of oats; the sweet and curiously refreshing Dragon Stout, which is actually a potent and tasty lager; and the occasional Oyster Stout, fortified with actual oyster liquor and crafted by only the most adventurous of brewers.

    Regardless of name or style, all modern stouts owe their existence to Arthur Guinness and the Irish stout. So this St. Patrick's Day, try on some black instead of green. You just might like it. (And it won't change the color of your tongue.)

    Five Fine Stouts

    Guinness (Dublin, Ireland): Still a classic after all these years, despite the brewery's recent and, to my mind, ill-conceived attempts to convince people to drink it ice cold (at 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit)! The key to its success? A dry, roasty, lightly coffee-ish flavor with a slight sour edge and a smooth, drinkable character.

    Murphy's (Cork, Ireland): All too often ignored in favor of its much more famous Dublin-produced cousin, Murphy's is a minor classic in its own right. The sweetest of the "big three" Irish stouts, the malty, chocolaty character and faint fruitiness make it a beer well-suited to the dinner table.

    Beamish (Cork, Ireland): Fifteen years ago, only small amounts of this stout were produced for Cork residents. Today, the Beamish black is easy to find in Dublin and has become the second most popular stout in Ireland. Roastier and more assertive than Guinness without the Dublin stout's faint sourness.

    St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (Montreal, Quebec): The addition of oats in the brewing grains affords this beer a silky smoothness and a slight suggestion of sweetness, while the roasted malts give it outstanding flavor and complexity. Canada's finest stout and undeniably a world-class example of the oatmeal stout style.

    North Coast Brewing Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout (Fort Bragg, California): A big name for a massive beer, this is arguably the best example of the Imperial stout style brewed anywhere in the world today. Fabulously balanced between its fruitiness, roastiness and 9.2% alcohol, Rasputin has a beautiful taste profile that flows seamlessly from the sweet start to the bitter-roasty finish.


    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 Stephen Beaumont. 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 - Voodoo d'Anjou

    Couldn't jet set over to the Sundance film festival this year?

    Party like a star with this tempting new cocktail. No drama necessary.

    Try the winning recipe of the Official Sundance Cocktail Contest, which was served throughout the Festival at all participating Park City, Utah bars.

    Voodoo d'Anjou Absolut Voodoo d'Anjou Cocktail Image

    • 1 oz Absolut Pears
    • oz Absolut Vanilia
    • oz Fresh Lime Juice
    • Lemon Lime Soda

    Shake vodka and lime juice with ice; strain. Pour into a highball glass over ice. Fill to top with lemon lime soda. Garnish with a lemon and lime wedge or a pear slice.

    Submitted by: Layne Edwards

    The Sidecar
    333 Main Street
    Park City, Utah

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    Avoiding the Ten Critical Errors Beverage Operators Make - by Robert Plotkin

    Our latest Rober Plotkin article talks about managing your bar. 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 Critical Errors Image

    As the adage goes, When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with the experience ends up with the money and the man with the money ends up with the experience.

    As any teacher will tell you, making mistakes is an essential part of gaining experience. Some things you just have to learn at the school of hard knocks. Perhaps the keys to success, however, are keeping your mistakes to a minimum, and striving to keep the learning curve short and shallow.

    In the beverage business, there are a number of critical errors that should be avoided like the plague. Every industry has them, ours is no different. Here then is the list of the ten critical errors beverage operators make.

    1. Loss of Control Running a bar requires making a significant investment in liquid assets, liquid that can disappear without a corresponding sale at an alarming rate. Failing to implement an effective inventory control system places at risk the capital youve invested in that inventory.

    To be profitable, you should have the capability of knowing exactly what inventory you have, what you paid for it, at what rate you use it, and exactly where it is at any point in time. Tracking inventory throughout your operation doesnt require software. Rather, its a matter of simple bookkeeping.

    2. Monitoring PC One of the many truisms in this business is, If you cant measure it, you cant manage it. Nowhere is that truer than behind the bar. Determining your bars ongoing cost percentages pour costs reveals your level of profitability. As your cost of goods sold increases, gross profits diminish. Success behind the bar greatly depends on maintaining and safeguarding your profit margins. Tracking your cost percentages is a fundamental form of control the more frequently you conduct an audit and determine your pour costs, the more insight youll have into your operation.

    3. Weak Links Your business is only as strong and vital as your weakest employee. Through their hands pass your cash flow. It is therefore critical to assemble the most professional staff you can. One of the most important steps in the process is establishing an on-going training program. What your people dont know can most certainly hurt you. Their lack of expertise reflects poorly on your business, and prevents them from attaining their potential. Ongoing training is an investment, not a hardship.

    4. Fiscal Responsibility One plague of the beverage business is the scourge of shrinkage. Bartenders control both ends of every transaction at the bar. For some, the temptations of handling a steady stream of cash can be irresistible. Take pains to implement solid cash controls and look to reduce your vulnerability to theft. The savings often spell the difference between financial viability and the unpleasant alternative.

    5. Productivity Every industry tracks employee productivity except ours. Calculating sales per hour is easily done and is an enormously effective means of assessing employee effectiveness. Productivity measures employee sales per hour, and is computed by dividing the shifts gross sales by the number of hours the bartender worked. An employee with chronically low sales per hour may indicate a serious problem. On the positive side, a bartender with consistently high sales per hour deserves acknowledgement. Either way you look at it, tracking productivity is highly beneficial.

    6. Suds Watch Industry wide, we lose roughly 20% of the draft beer we purchase due to waste, spillage, and theft. That translates to one out of every five kegs of beer. With interest in draft beer soaring, clamping down on draft costs is essential. Proper maintenance of the draft beer delivery system and staff training are fundamentally important. For operations that depend on draft beer sales to remain financially viable should consider investing in a draft beer control system. They are capable of tracking every ounce of product dispensed and providing a report detailing exact shift cost percentages per brand.

    7. Shoddy Product A restaurant that doesnt routinely change its menu always has plenty of open tables. Same too with bars. Add some pizzazz to your beverage line-up. Shake up your specialty drinks. Change spices things up and helps keep your clientele interested. Likewise, bartending staffs typically operate without a clearly defined set of recipes. The result is a loss of product consistency, fluctuating costs, and shoddy, hit-or-miss drinks. Determine what theyre to pour, or theyll do it for you.

    8. Slash Marketing The only marketing some operators do is to slash prices during happy hour. Strive instead to promote your business from the inside out. People are open and receptive to timely suggestions on what to drink. Develop bar menus, table tents and wipe off boards on which to market your house specialties. If youve created interesting, delicious signature drinks, make sure you announce your success. Youll likely notice that sales for whatever you actively promote will skyrocket.

    9. Ill-Devised Playbook Get drafted into the NBA or NFL and theyll give you a playbook. Get hired as a bartender or food server and all youll likely get are three training shifts and a page of house policies. Being an employer is fraught with legal ramifications. Make a mistake and you could find yourself on the wrong end of a civil lawsuit or in front of the National Labor Relations Board. The first line of legal defense is a comprehensive, well-structured employee handbook, one that clearly defines the employees job descriptions, areas of responsibilities, and all the operations policies and procedures. Without it, legally holding employees accountable for their actions is practically impossible.

    10. Lack of Leadership Things are managed, people are lead. Make every effort to become a dynamic leader, one who leads by example. Your staff is the lifeblood of your operation, without whom all enterprise ceases. Acknowledge and encourage their efforts, and nearly all other management issues will abate.

    Successful Beverage Management
    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.

    Plotkin's experience has allowed him to carefully analyze all aspects of running a beverage operation, whether in a restaurant, hotel or nightclub, and apply the controls and systems necessary to generate profit from the business. This all new book is based on methods operators have used nationwide to cut thousands of dollars off their operating costs, reduce theft, and increase their sales in percentages that reach into double digits.

    Included in the book's 24 information-packed chapters are; maintaining health code standards behind the bar, establishing pouring procedures, analyzing the beverage operation, implementing safe-guards to protect inventory, conducting market research, the mathematics of profit, standards in bar design for efficiency of movement, and even how to select well liquor. This is a complete guide of strategies, formulas and steps to reach beverage management success. Make the most of your beverage operation and order today!

    Plymouth Express

    Plymouth Express Cocktail Image Plymouth Express

    • 25 ml Sparkling Water
    • 50 ml Plymouth Gin
    • 25 ml Lime Cordial

    Place some ice in glass. Pour in the Plymouth Gin and add the Lime Cordial. Top with sparkling water. Stir and garnish with cucumber.


    Dekuyper launches new Pomegranate Liqueur

    Dekuyper Pomegranate Liqueur Bottle Image

    DeKuyper Offers Consumers a Juicy Burst of Fresh, Tangy, Sweet Pomegranate Flavor

    DeKuyper, the best-selling line of cordials and liqueurs in the U.S., announces the launch of DeKuyper Pomegranate liqueur. The brand that bartenders trust most offers consumers a liqueur made from all-natural ingredients with the sweet taste of pomegranate and a hint of tartness. The 1L bottle of DeKuyper Pomegranate will be rolled out beginning in March 2007 followed by other bottle sizes.

    DeKuyper has extended its flavor offerings throughout the years with its Pucker line and best-selling line of schnapps and liqueurs. The DeKuyper family of products consists of more than 60 flavors to satisfy all consumer tastes.

    We continue to offer our consumers innovative liqueurs, schnapps and cordials to expand flavor profiles, said Amy Underwood, senior brand manager, DeKuyper. With its deep red-magenta color, DeKuyper Pomegranate is a fun, festive and exciting addition to any drinks occasion. It mixes well with spirits, juices and sparkling wines and Champagnes.

    DeKuyper Pomegranate will be supported by on- and off-premise merchandising; sampling and promotions. The new 30-proof product eventually will be sold in 50ml, 750ml and 1L bottles. A 750ml DeKuyper Pomegranate bottle has a suggested retail price of $10.99.

    Spirits of Ireland

    Spirits of Ireland
    Spirits of Ireland, by Ray Foley. Over 300 Irish Cocktail Recipes! Travel to Ireland via your taste buds and experience the many Spirits of Irish Whiskeys, Malts, Stouts, and Cream Liqueurs. Now everyone will have a little Irish in them while reading Irish folk remedies, Toasts, wisdoms and triads.

    St. Patrick's Day Recipes

    Due to the large amount of recipes we have for you this St. Patrick's Day, we will be running a special recipe edition of the newsletter.

    You'll be receiving this a little closer to the great day!

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