All posts by dietsch

Appleton Remixology

I don’t really know what’s up with these faux holidays. Today, for example, is National Rum Day. I have no idea why, who declared it such, or why we don’t have a day off work for it, but such it is.

One night last week, I found myself at Sons of Essex bar, on Essex Street on the Lower East Side. The event was Appleton Estate’s Remixology competition, meant to coincide with Jamaican Independence Day. The concept was simple: five bartenders were invited to choose a song they really liked and devise a cocktail to accompany the song.

Sons of Essex had bartending stations set up around the bar, with the five cocktails in various forms of premix. (So, for example, a cocktail might be premixed up to the point at which the bartender would top it with something that needed to be fresh, such as champagne or ginger beer.)

The winner was a cocktail I found a little odd, a blend of Appleton Estate, lime juice, falernum, and black bean soup.

Yes. Bean soup. Probably one of the strangest ingredients I’ve had in a cocktail.

It didn’t have the texture of bean soup, so I have to assume it was pureed or strained. I generally liked the flavor it added to the drink, I have to say. I just thought it skewed the drink farther into savory territory than I normally like in a cocktail.

(Although I have to say, that alone made it a pleasant surprise; some of the drinks that night were far too sweet for my tastes.)

The winner was Lubens Besse from Mister H and Imperial No 9 in the Mondrian Soho. He moves on to a finals round on September 10, versus winning bartenders from similar events in San Francisco, Boston, and Miami.

Ads of the week

Oops, I inadvertently missed a week; doubling up today to catch up.

Seagram’s King Arthur

First up, from the July 12, 1937, issue of Life magazine, an ad with a cocktail recipe included:


Zooma zooma!



Martini & Rossi

Next, an ad from the July 19, 1937, issue; this one reflects how much our drinking culture has changed since the 1930s. Few people today drink vermouth on its own, of course, even though more of us should.


Of course, this ad reminds me I keep promising to make Vermouth Cassis for Mrs. Bitters. Oops.

New! Shiny! Age-verification comes to Twitter

If you’re reading this blog, I generally assume that you’re a drinker, or at least unopposed to the concept of drinking. Which means I assume that you have, from time to time, checked out other websites related to alcohol. Some of them were probably brand pages — official websites for whisk(e)y, gin, rum, and other spirits brands.

If so, you know the hoops you have to jump through, entering your date of birth to demonstrate that you’re of legal age to consume spirits. Perhaps you’ve even wondered why anyone’s so stupid as to believe that everyone who visits such pages are telling the truth. I mean, I personally have been of drinking age for well over 20 years, and even I don’t always tell the truth about my age, simply because the older I get, the less patience I have for scrolling down, down, down, down, down, down to finally alight on 1968. So I hit the drop-down box, and if my cursor lands on 1985 or 1979 or whatever, who cares?

So today, word comes that some alcohol brands have signed on to a plan to allow Twitter to age-screen Twitter followers. The procedure works like this:

  1. You click a link to follow Miller Lite on Twitter. (Why? Presumably because you don’t like actual beer.)
  2. You get a DM asking you to verify your age at within 24 hours.
  3. If you pass the age muster for your country, Twitter lets you follow Miller Lite.

I can’t say I understand the hoopla. Liquor companies and breweries advertise outside all the time and all over the place. I’ve never yet seen someone clamp a hand over the eyes of a youngster to keep the poor innocent from seeing Sean Combs’ mug on a Ciroc ad.

But just in case the prospect of a Belieber visiting is something that gives you the night sweats, rest easy. Twitter’s on it.

Hundred Year Hooch in Man’s Attic

Century-Old Whiskey Bottles Found in Missouri Man’s Attic

To save money on the installation of central air-conditioning in his St. Joseph, Mo., home, Bryan Fite began replacing the wires in his attic, prying up the floor boards on the rafters. Along with possible savings, he found a treasure beneath the floorboards: 13 bottles of century-old whiskey.

[Warning: there’s an Auto-Play video at the link; very annoying]