BarNone Drink Recipes Newsletter )
Valentine's Day Issue
In this issue

Dear Lover Boy/Girl,

Roses are red, violets are blue, cocktails are great and so are you!

Ok, sappy, I know. Hope you have a great Valentine's Day and enjoy it with someone special.

We've also put together a collection of Valentine's Day recipes. Some can be found in the newsletter, but all of them can be found here...


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


Dan Hutchinson

Maui Rum sailing towards North America

Dan and Maui Rum Image Recently two of the three members of Barnonedrinks flew to Maui, a beautiful Hawaiian island in the Pacific Ocean, to celebrate a special anniversary. But this article is not about those...hmmm... stormy, rainy, "beach closed", no electrical power, holidays. No, actually during a (rare) sunny morning we had the opportunity to visit Kimo, who gave us a tour of the Haleakala distillery, where Maui Rum is made.

Nestled in the centre of the island, on the way to the amazing Haleakala Crater, the Haleakala distillery is the only rum distillery in the state of Hawaii. The small production company operates on a former dairy farm, in an idyllic setting (see Dan in the picture). Three years ago, the idea of producing rum in Hawaii was just a that, an idea. But in less than 36 months, Haleakala distillery already been awarded a gold medal by the American Distilling Institute for its Braddah Kimo's Da'Bomb Extreme Rum (151 Proof), and its distribution has spread to all the Hawaiian islands. Jim and his partner have worked really hard to produce a high quality rum, through many tests and trials. Now the production ranges from gold to silver rums, and a special edition has been issued for the connoisseurs.

Although still in the early stages, the company has seen a drastic increase in sales, and has great plans for the future. Deals are in the making for distribution in the Western U.S. states, the small production area is going to be transformed into a state of the art lab and soon you will be able to go and visit their store. When? Not quite yet... but I promise we'll keep you posted! In the meantime, if you are going to any of the islands, don't forget to pick up a bottle of Maui Rum. And if you cannot travel, you can always go and place an order through their website ( Okole maluna (that's "cheers" in Hawaiian)

Staff Writer - Carine Hutchinson

She'd kill me if I didn't mention her. Although we rarely here from Carine, she plays a vital part in the site and the monthly newsletter.

The Raven's Caw

Raven's Caw Logo Image

Alright, y'all. I hope the new year has started out well for everyone. It's kind of funny how you find interesting things sometimes, and this month has been no exception. Last time I told you about some Americana and how NASCAR and the Coast Guard owe most of their history to booze, and how after 7 or 8 decades, absinthe is, for the most part, legal again in the U.S. Well, I've dug up some other tidbits of information that I thought I'd share with you this month.

There are many drinking laws still on the books that were enacted as part of Prohibition, and even a few predating that era. Most, if not all, of these laws are state level, which is about what one would expect, what with federal Prohibition having been rescinded some time ago. Some examples:

  • In Idaho, it is unlawful to sell hard liquor on election day. Many hear this and assume it's got something to do with being sober enough to vote, but the truth is much less comical than that. One of the first laws enacted in the fledgling colonies that would become the U.S. stated that every town must have a pub. A pub was considered to be more or less the seat of government in many small towns, and often served as the only building that the voting public could gather at to pass laws, try criminals, and of course, vote. This tradition of using the local pub (short for public house) as a polling place carried long into the 19th century and the westward expansion of the U.S. Thus it was necessary at one point to prevent people from getting rowdy on election day. No one wants their ballot ruined by beer spilled in a brawl.

  • In Virginia, it's illegal to mix wine and spirits. For most folks, this isn't a big deal. There isn't a whole lot of call out there for wine cocktails, and even fewer for those that would pair vino and booze. There is one little subsection of the population that was rather unhappy when the local gentry decided to enforce this Prohibition-era law. Turns out that our friends south of the border (o.k., east of the shore) have been mixing wine and spirits for years...they call it sangria. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that this poor mom-and-pop restaurant in good-ol' VA was ticketed and fined recently for serving this traditional drink.
The reason for the law? It's not to protect the integrity of the wine (or the booze) but rather to hinder efforts to make wine into a stronger drink.

The last one I heard comes out of a southern state...and I'll be honest I can't recall which one, but it's still pretty funny. After Prohibition, some areas weren't ready to give up their temperance quite so readily, so they passed laws that said beer and wine could only be so strong. It wasn't really a problem at the time; stronger beers, by which I mean those with higher alcohol content, were hard to acquire, and didn't taste that good either. Today though, with the proliferation of microbrews and craft beers, these laws are causing people to drive over county lines and state borders to buy a bottle of their favorite brew.

All is not lost though. All of the laws above are currently in the process of being stricken. There are still enough people out there that care enough to make sure we don't have to labor under laws that were unpopular a hundred years ago. Go forth in peace, and I'll see you next closer to the wearin' o' the green! 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. sweepstakes

Partida Tequila, reinventing America's favorite cocktail

Absinthe - reborn?

Absinthe Original Because of the stigma surrounding it, Absinthe is a drink that many have heard of, but few have had the nerve to try. However, as of late, Absinthe is once again making a come back, these time legalized and deemed safe for consumption.

It is unclear as to when Absinthe was first created. But, it consumption can be traced back many, many years. During the middle to the late part of the 19th century, Absinthe was a favorite of writers and artists. It was said to inspire poets to create poets, authors, and artists to create truly incredible works.

Late in the 19th century, wine prices began to increase, and only the well-to-do could afford what was being produced. Middle-class citizens, including tradesman and artisans, could not afford such an extravagance, and turned to cheaper libations-namely Absinthe. The distilled spirit was a favorite choice not only for the price, but because it was thought to heighten the drinker's senses and be much more potent than wine.

Unfortunately, as Absinthe became more popular, controversy over the drink's effects began to swirl. It was thought to cause hallucinations and insanity, and the term Absinthism was coined.

It wasn't long before the drink was banned in most countries worldwide, and it soon became a drink that many would avoid at all costs so as not to go insane! So, what exactly is Absinthe and why was it thought to be such a toxic beverage? It could be because of the spirit's high alcohol content, which is usually around 68%. Or, it could be because of its main ingredient.

The key ingredient used in making Absinthe is wormword, also known as Artimisia Absinthium. The herb's essential oils contain Thujone, which can be toxic when large amounts are consumed. This chemical is thought to be the reason for the effects that Absinthe had on its drinkers. Its other ingredients are not known to have any ill effects on a drinker, although in combination they are said to give the drink a licorice-type flavor with an aftertaste that is rather bitter.

Through extensive research, it has been found that Absinthe is not the toxic, hallucinogenic beverage that it was once thought to be. It has been found that Thujone is actually a GABA antagonist that does not cause hallucinations. But, if large amounts are consumed, it can cause muscle spasms. In addition, it is thought that the symptoms experienced by Absinthe drinkers was caused by poisonous chemicals that were added to more inexpensive versions in order to give it a brighter color.

Today, because of these finding, Absinthe is making a comeback. It is no longer considered to cause ill effects, and its ban has been lifted in most countries.

Now that you are free to drink Absinthe without having to worry about hallucinating and seeing the Green Fairy, you need to know how to properly drink it.

Absinthe has traditionally been served by placing a special slotted spoon containing a sugar cube over a glass of the spirit. Cold water is poured over the spoon, the sugar dissolves, and the green Absinthe is diluted and becomes cloudy. This cloudy effect is called a louche.

It was also common to see Absinthe served in an Absinthe fountain, which was a large jar that allowed for the preparation of many drinks at once.

With the reemergence of Absinthe, there are sure to be many new drink recipes available. Work up the nerve, and try one!

You can buy absinthe online here...

Val, Val Val. What do we say about Val? I can say that she's been doing a bunch of work for us here at Bar None for the last few months, but most of it site related, not for our newsletter. However, I think she'll start becoming a regular feature here so we hope you enjoy her writing from some little place called Hoboken or was it Halifax? Hmm, maybe it was Hammonton. Wherever it was, she's doing a fine job and we're happy to have her aboard.


Absolut - Valentine's

Strawberry Kiss
Strawberry Kiss Image

  • 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Vanilia
  • 1/2 oz. Strawberry Liqueur
  • Splash of CranPineapple Juice
  • Champagne

Serve in a champagne flute glass and garnish with a strawberry

Drink available at *219 West* - 219 W. 4th Street, Austin, TX

More Valentine's Day drinks here...

Castle Brands - Sweetheart Martini

Sweetheart Martini
Sweetheart Martini Image

  • 2 oz. Boru Crazzberry Vodka
  • 2 oz. Pallini Raspicello

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with raspberries.

More of Castle's Valentine's Day drinks here...

"Fresh" - The new Mantra - by Robert Plotkin

Our latest Rober Plotkin article talks about converting to fresh juices over mixes.

Robert is the founder of

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.

Fresh Article Image


Few people understand how to better quench thirst than Janos Wilder, celebrity chef and owner of Janos and the J Bar, two of Arizona's most acclaimed restaurants. "Tucson has become a popular tourist and convention destination, which means that we're surrounded by posh resorts, hotels and spas. Guests come to our restaurants expecting to sample authentic and expertly prepared Margaritas. So we're held to extremely high standards. I think our Margarita now exceeds expectations, but frankly it didn't always."

Ensconced on the grounds of the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, Janos' trendsetting cuisine marries the sensibility and subtlety of French cooking with the ingredients of the American Southwest, while the more casual J Bar features a menu with the flavors of Mexico, Latin American and the Caribbean.

Wilder and staff recently revised their drink menu and took the opportunity to reassess their specialty cocktails, including their signature Janos' Margarita. "After thoroughly dissembling how we were making the drink, I felt strongly that there was room for improvement. The disconnect turned out to be the mix we were using in the cocktail. I had my staff prepare numerous different mixes using various ratios of fresh lime juice to simple syrup. I was looking for the perfect proportion between tart and sweet. Once we created that mix everything clicked into place."

Made with Sauza Gold, Grand Marnier and aforementioned lime sour mix, the revamped Janos' Margarita is vibrant, flavorful and imminently refreshing. Several of the J Bar specialty Margaritas rival the character and pizzazz of the original. A prime example is the Cranberry Habanero Margarita is crafted using a puree made with cranberries, pineapple, habanero chili and apple cider vinegar.

"Buoyed by that success we began incorporating fresh juice into all of our cocktails. One of the strokes of brilliance that came out of the process is our Blackberry Mojito, in which we muddle fresh blackberries, limes and simple syrup. It's become a popularly requested drink. So too has our revamped Sangria, which we now make with fresh orange, lime and lemon juice. Personally I can't image a more delectable way to quench a thirst."

The decision of whether to convert a beverage program over to fresh juices and drink mixes is a business decision. Look at the most frequently requested cocktails at your bar and assess whether there's room to enhance their taste, quality and presentation. If they could stand a little improvement-and let's face it, whose couldn't-then all that's left to decide is what changes need to be made and how can they best be implemented.

Another popular eatery building a reputation for featuring cocktails made with fresh juice is Tres Agaves in San Francisco. The Mexican restaurant is renown for their Margaritas, all of which are made with freshly squeezed lime juice and sweetened by agave syrup.

Creator of Tres Agave's beverage program is noted mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhaut. "Using the freshest possible ingredients yields the freshest, most vital cocktails. Detractors of the strategy are correct that fresh ingredients are more expensive and labor intensive, but something done exceptionally well normally is. Bumping the price of a drink a few quarters will adequately offset the increased cost. The overriding consideration should be drink quality. People are willing to pay a little more to drink better quality cocktails."

Along with their award-winning Margaritas, Tres Agaves specialties include the La Paloma, a succulent blend of tequila and fresh grapefruit juice and the La Rosa, a cocktail made with Hibiscus punch, crème de mure, fresh lime juice and tequila.

Pairing the freshest ingredients with the finest spirits seems to be the path to cocktail glory.


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.



Castle Brands - Asha Brodie

Castle Brands Logo Image

Asha starts a journey exploring different alcohols in this issue. Her first stop will be the various labels from Castle Brands. I look forward to the series and hope you enjoy both the written word and the beverages themselves. - Dan

Of Knappougue Castle Whiskey, Boru Vodka and Gosling's Gold Rum. Sam Houston Bourbon, Sea Wynde Rum and Brady's Irish Cream. What do all these drinks have in common? Aside from being the leaders of the pack as far as spirits go, the aforementioned are alcoholic beverages that are distributed by CastleBrands Inc. of New York.

Founded in 1988 by Mark Andrews, CastleBrands Inc. is a company known for its alliance with alcoholic beverages that have a mark of distinction and quality. For years CastleBrands Inc has imported some of the very best in spirits from around the world to make them available to both local and International markets.

The selection process for distributorship is one that is done with great precision. For one thing quality is paramount especially when it comes to how each new spirit stacks up to what is available in the company's current beverage portfolio.

Currently CastleBrands Inc successfully markets over 20 spirits that have been imported from such countries as Ireland to Jamaica, Guyana and Bermuda to name a few. The range of tastefully packaged spirits includes whiskeys to vodkas, rums and liqueurs. It is indeed hard to select a favorite spirit for your special occasion simply because most of them are award winners and indeed must-haves.

Bermuda's 150 year old Gosling Black Seal Rum has received the Platinum medal and best buy award from The Beverage Testing Institute. Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda Rum is known for its subtle elegance yet robust flavorings.

And if you have a penchant for liqueurs that are full with cream yet punctuated with chocolate and vanilla flavorings, you will absolutely love the silver medal award winning Brady's Irish Cream Liqueur. Pallini range of Liqueurs offer customers a burst of intense fruit flavors that wind down to a sultry yet lingering finish. CastleBrand Inc's catalog of spirits also includes Ireland's Boru Vodka, Sea Wynde Rum, Celtic Crossing Liqueur and Clontarf Irish Whiskey. The company also markets McLain and Kyne Bourbons, 1951 Knappogue Castle Whiskey and Pallini Liqueurs.


Asha Brodie has spent an interesting 19 years in print media in Trinidad. She currently lives in the USA with her husband and daughter. Her lifelong love affair for writing continues...


Lime Slicer

Lime Slicer LS
Every bar, big or small, can now afford a Lime Slicer. This one is small enough to keep behind the bar to insure your customers get a fresh cut. .Heavy Duty Construction . Stainless Steel Blades . Dishwasher Safe. Slices Lime Completely.

Bombay Sapphire - Valentine's French 75

Bombay Sapphire - Valentine's French 75
 Martini Image Valentine's French 75

  • 5 Raspberries
  • 1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 tsp. Sugar Confectionary
  • Champagne (Rose)

Celebrate Valentine's Day with tips from Bombay Sapphire's Master Mixologist - James Moreland. James is an exceptionally gifted mixologist who is vibrant, charming and creates excellent Bombay Sapphire cocktails.

Muddle 5 raspberries with the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp confection sugar in a martini shaker. Add ice and pour in 1oz Bombay Sapphire. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a champagne flute half way up, top off with rose champagne. Garnish with a dark cherry. - Pom Squeeze-tini

Pom Squeeze-tiniImage Pom Squeeze-tini

  • 1 part Absolut Mandarin Vodka
  • 1 part DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps
  • 1 part Dekuyper Pomegranate Liqueur

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

You can find more Valentine's Day drinks here...

Herradura - Agave Kiss

Herradura - Agave Kiss Image Herradura Agave Kiss

  • 2 oz. Herradura Silver Tequila
  • 1 oz. Double Cream
  • 1 oz. White Creme de Cacao
  • 1/2 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur

Looking for a unique treat for your Valentine's Day honey? Move over flowers and candy. Herradura, the world's finest tequila, introduces its signature Agave Kiss cocktail just in time for V-Day. A unique romantic Mexican twist on the traditional martini, the Herradura Agave Kiss is so delectably sweet that it can even be enjoyed as dessert.

In a shaker with ice, add Herradura tequila, white crème de cacao, double cream and Chambord. Shake for 15 seconds. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass, rimmed with white chocolate, add a spear of fresh raspberries, and serve.


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