eventing

Eventing: Summer Solstice (Fuck This Snow)

Oh the weather outside is… fuck is it STILL snowing?! This is now the 3rd nail appointment I’ve had canceled on me in the past 2 weeks due to the, ummm… 7 feet of snow we’ve gotten in New England? I’m starting to feel like Luke Skywalker riding a Taun Taun in Hoth for crying out loud (WHERE MY STAR WARS NERDS AT?!).  But I promised myself I wouldn’t bitch about the weather, much like I wouldn’t bitch about my nails but much like your parents, I lied to you.

Ironically, the cold weather doesn’t make me want a Hot Toddy or any of that delicious, decadent shit; It makes me want citrus, shaken fast and extremely refreshing. I’m applying sun tan lotion with one hand as I type with the other (not masturbating at all. promise) cause I am in complete denial of the weather and perhaps suffering a bit of cabin fever. I suddenly remembered I was saving this gem of an event from last year, titled ‘Summer Solstice’, where the people’s champion (and fantastic kisser), Ray Tremblay & cocktail slinger extraordinaire (kissing ability tbd), Ray Guerin celebrated the unholy union of Chartreuse and Angel’s Envy bourbon in the gorgeous Empire in Boston, MA.

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Ray Tremblay working hard on that eyebrow game while working equally hard on an Angel’s Envy cocktail titled ‘Angel Blossom Punch':
Angel’s Envy bourbon, sage infused Aperol, lemon juice, hibiscus-rose petal syrup, bubbly

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Ray Guerin, of Tavern Road in Boston tinkering with a delicious Chartreuse cocktail called ‘Pineapple Express':
Chartreuse, Batavia Arrack, smoked pineapple juice, lime, pineapple syrup

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I recall tasting them all but I was too busy rockin’ the shit out of the sweetest skinny tie so I didnt get the ratios to the cocktails but if you ask nicely, I can pass on the info somehow through my expansive network of spies (ie. I will txt them and ask). Some of the other cocktails from the event (in order of appearance here):

How Rhu$d:
Mezcal, rhubarb tea liqueur, strawberry-peppercorn infused agave, lemon, lime, bitters
Chonburi In The Summer:
Hendricks, cucumber water, lime, agave, sriracha, chili-cumin salt
Smoked Out In Paradise:
rum, chai tea smoked coconut cream, pineapple juice, cinnamon toasted coconut shavings

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Fun was had by all I’m sure. I also stuffed my face with unlimited sushi from Empire this night. Looking at these drinks now reallyyyy makes me wish I was doing this now but alas, this shovel aint gonna get to work by itself. Oh well! Time to fire up that sweet Nickelback/ICP playlist I’ve been working on.. See ya next time, lovelies and remember to stay safe!

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^ What’s so funny??!?

Eventing: Thirst Boston 2014

Thirst Boston 2014 came and went like rolling thunder. In its second year running, the spiritual successor to 2012’s Boston Cocktail Summit, Thirst Boston is New England’s premier celebration of the spirit industry & modern cocktail culture with 2 full days of seminars covering a gamut of topics, like carbonation, cocktail history, sustainability in spirits, hospitality and so on. There really is something for everyone, be it bartenders, manufacturers or the average enthusiast alike. I was all over the fucking place this year with my Polaroid camera and the freshest haircut that $7 can buy, hitting up as many seminars, parties, secret bars and hot dog stands I could. Here is some of the fun you missed out on.

We kicked things off with The Thing at The Fairmont: Opening Night Gala…oh, where are the photos for that, you ask? Yeah, I’m gonna be completely honest: it came down to wearing a fancy jacket all night, fighting myself to not spill like 9 different drinks on it, all while punishing my small brain to its limits to remember everyone’s names… so I left that damn camera at home for this one. Took some sweet-ass selfies on my phone tho. SO ANYWAY! The Thing, it’s what kicks off Thirst and it’s where everybody looks super beautiful while doing shots off the ice luge before making a B-line to dance floor when they start playing the greatest song of our generation: Whitney Houston’s ‘I wanna dance with somebody’. Long story short: They had several bars throughout 2 connected rooms in the gorgeous Fairmont Copley Plaza, with a “secret” bar that was operated by Chicago’s Charles Joly. If you must know, the night ended with hot dogs at Citizen Public House and 70’s beats (compliments of Brother Cleve) at The Hawthorne.

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Day 1 started so early that I cant remember if I wore underwear to Thirst but that’s TMI and I apologize for scarring you like that. The morning started with a mimosa in lovely French café themed bar followed swiftly with Aperol punch by Nick Korn (Silvertone, OffSite) for The Aperitif Hour, an interesting look at how aperitif cocktails can be tinkered with and elevated via presentation, infusions and flat out creativity. Thanks to Naren Young for being such an awesome host.

Slam whats left of your carbonated Negroni (cause we don’t leave no Negroni behind!) and move onto The Re-emergence of Rum panel moderated by Misty Kalkofen with Charles Joly, David Wondrich, Joaquin Simo, Maggie Campbell and Wayne Curtis. There was a blind tasting to go along for the ride but to hear these avid rum historians, distillers & experts talk about rum, where they see it going and the effect that it has in the modern spirit industry is damn-right contagious. I could have sat there for hours. Especially had they started handing out donuts.

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It was time for a pee break before State Lines: Portland & Providence Pop-up; My favorite part of the entire event, where 8 bars from Maine & Rhode Island were assembled in force, expertly shaking up their best while I very clearly overstayed my welcome at the cheese table (that Brie isn’t gonna’ eat itself, AMIRIGHT?!). Here’s some highlights of this lovely pop-up event.

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The ever awesome and way more talented BeantownEats, BeantownDrinks & Cocktail Virgin Slut representing bloggers at the event.

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Fantastic bars with VERY different drinks and big smiles all around. I plan on visiting all of them in their respective bars shortly and I’ll be sure to do a couple #onLocation posts about them when I do. Did somebody say “road trip”?!?

I had a few drinks in me at this point and I don’t recall what I did with the hours between the State Lines pop up and the Roadhouse event but I have the suspicion it involved napping on a couch at the Fairmont, followed with a fun game of “am I gonna fall asleep face first onto this burrito at Boloco or not”. Either way, the next stop was the Roadhouse event which was set to look like dive bar where everyone wears clothes from Urban Outfitters while huddled together to eat some tasty pulled pork to the dulcet tones of Tigerman WOAH (who fucking KILLED it). There were like 5(?) bars set in this cool warehouse in the middle of nowhere which was an Uber driver’s wet dream scenario because I’ve never seen so many Toyota Camrys in my life…

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I just realized this is a really long post, but you know what? Neither of us are wearing pants right now, so might as well just keep on going. I feel that is exactly what my dad told my mom the night I was conceived. Yikes… DAY 2!

Had a class on infusing spirits hosted by Tito’s vodka that was a lot of fun. At the end of the session you got to infuse your own vodka with a bevy of ingredients and carry it around in a little mason jar for the rest of the day (this was at 10 AM) like a pet rock. I drank the vodka, ate the stuff I would have infused it with and moved onto Carbonation.

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The lovelies from JM Curley and Merril & Co held the most intense seminar on the science of carbonation and how to McGiver your own legit carbonation machine. Now if you know me, you’d know that I cant load a stapler right without looking like I’m trying to disarm a bomb or some shit so I took notes, smiled and drank all their carbonated delights. It was a fun class that reminded me of being in my 6th grade science class all over again; Minus the booze (that would just be weird).

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Off to the New England Craft Showcase we go! Many familiar brands and faces from Massachusetts but a lot of new ones from all over New England with strong offerings for the cocktail scene. My favorites were a Hub Punch from Bully Boy distillery and some gin by Berkshire Mt but I’m looking forward to visiting many of these distilleries in the coming months and writing about it right here. So more on that soon.

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So it’s no secret that I have some weird clear ice fetish. I mean. Not like in a creepy way that you might be thinking but in a snobby, popped collar kind of way. The Water, Ice & Scotch seminar was unexpected in that I thought It’d be more about Johnnie Walker scotch but was pleasantly greeted with an in depth Q&A on types of ice and the different states and shapes they come in, to the effects of chilling & diluting, presented by William Codman and the ever-intriguing Ezra Star. I still drank plenty of Johnnie Walker though.

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Hang in there, kids. We’re almost done. So by now it’s an hour or so before Blender Bender, quite possibly the most fun event at this entire thing, where awesome bartenders, fantastic rum, Vitamix blenders, questionable dance moves and daring wardrobe choices are flowing with reckless abandon. I love it and I just had to find the nearest defibrillator station, zap myself with it like 5 times and I’d be ready to roll, baby! I was lucky enough to have Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin as my gentleman caller for the evening, sharing stories as we made the pilgrimage to China town on foot.

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And there you have it! Thirst Boston 2014 and its wild adventures in cocktails are over and now I can get some sleep; Maybe even get myself a grilled cheese sandwich. Yeah, I think I’ll go that now.

Eventing: Prym Rum

We meet again. I’m gonna be honest with you off the bat: Some entries for my Eventing series will be wayyy shorter than others and that is mainly because, believe it or not, sometimes I’m trying to learn about this stuff and therefore forget to take photos. But since we’re being honest, sometimes I’m just being the social butterfly that I am, and therefore forget to take pictures of things, faces and macro shots of whatever the hell I was there to learn about in the first place.

Over the winter (yeah. it was that long ago) I had the pleasure of meeting Dinna & Damian of Prym rum in this sweet warehouse in Red Hook for a private tasting of their new rum. Well that rum aint so new anymore but it is still delicious. For a white rum it’s got all the heft you would expect from aged one but with an unorthodox balance that has made it my personal flask-it spirit of choice.

Think more along the lines of a rum old fashioned than a daiquiri with it. You’ll be seeing more of Prym rum on the site now that I have another bottle (I use my flask a lot) since it’s quite versatile but if you see it, give it a go and tell me what you think!

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Eventing: Saveur Best Food Blog Awards 2014

The Saveur Best Foof Blog Awards happened last month and here’s my very-late (too late??), super short post with less-than-stellar photogr— WAIT! Come back, please! I have booze!! BUT it’s only because way-more talented folks have already covered it (here, here, here, and here to name a few) in greater detail with prettier faces and fancier writing but here goes:

I won 2014’s Saveur Food Blog Awards: Editor’s choice for Best Cocktail Blog! [slow clap?] I got to meet Prairie Rose of Bit By A Fox, who won People’s Choice in the same boozy category. She was lovely and I miss her already.

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The “bromance” was strong at the BFBA’s in Vegas with not just one handsome gent but 2: Phil & Josh (sorry Dip & Tommy, I only go for dudes with blogs or Tumblrs that feature kittens, regardless of how cool you were). But all the wonderful ladies made me feel like one of the girls in no time ;]

Chocolate. So. Much. Chocolate. If you know me, you’d hate me but more importantly, you would also know that chocolate is my thing. I don’t know how to make it or quite frankly where it comes from (fairies? chocolate fairies?) but I died and went to chocolate heaven at the Bellagio. I’d show a photo of it but I shoved it in the face part of my head faster than they expected. Which then brings me to the food.

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I ate everything they put in front of me. Sometimes even off of other people’s plates (too slow, bro). I feel bad for anyone reading this that didn’t get sample that dim sum. sigh. As a cocktail blogger, I was most excited when there was booze around and Highland Park made sure we didn’t feel out of place with their tasty Scotch, which was in no short supply. See how happy everyone looks with a delicious drink in their hands?!?

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Then there’s the talent. These guys make you want to raise your blog-game QUICK. I’m fortunate for having spent what little, yet precious time I could with them & share a laugh (or a drink or other random delicious treats) with them and look forward to reading along in their blogs, books and unavoidable drunken Facebook posts.

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I wish I could have got to meet them all but even beautiful social butterflies like myself have a limit!

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Here I am with my BFBA 2014 award, which I will request I be buried with one day (hopefully they’ll throw in some Bellagio chocolate too).

A big THANK YOU to all the fabulous people of Saveur for allowing me to join in on the fun and for executing such a memorable event.

Eventing: Spotted Tiger Pop-Up

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In this first installment of Eventing, we visit The Spotted Tiger Pop Up hosted by the Siegfried & Roy of bartenders (get it?! …cause its 2 dudes and a tiger?! …nobody? I will die alone), Ran Duan and Daniel Lynch at Empire in Boston, MA.

The event was sponsored by Bacardi and featured a rum-based cocktail menu deigned by Ran and Dan, who went by the names Ran-Kwon & M.E.T.H.O.D. Dan respectively for the night. There was Bacardi rum everywhere. There was also sushi (served by Empire’s kitchen) but I didn’t get to taste any of that because life is unfair (aka ‘poor time management’ on my part), so you wont be seeing any of that here, kids.

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Drinks were poured into coconuts and pineapples all over the damn place by the crew @ Empire lead by these 2 darlings. No. That’s a lie. Technically they were poured in a very specific place behind the bar. I’m sorry I fooled you just now.

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You may already know about Ran Duan (I wrote about his bar, The Baldwin here) from kicking the crap out of Boston shakers with his patent pending 2-handed-gallop-shaking technique and Dan Lynch, previously of The Hawthorne, now bar manager over at the upcoming Liquid Art House.

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A fun, rum-fueled event by The Spotted Tiger. Looking forward to the next one.

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Eventing: Adventures Outside The Bar

e·vent·ing
iˈventiNG
noun
  • an equestrian sport in which competitors must take part in each of several contests, usually cross-country, dressage, and show jumping.
  • the action of going to events, being socially active.

I’ve wanted to make a section on the site devoted specifically to the different events I show my [gorgeous]face at in or around Boston; Sometimes even in a different state. The idea is to share some of what I learn with you. New spirits and mixers, tastings, distilleries, ‘The Bachelor’ finale parties, Dorito factory tours, etc. I’m sure it will be like playing ‘telephone’ and in the, I give you 100% incorrect information but who cares! You’re just here for the free food and sex anyway!

Over the course of the 1.5 years (give or take a month) that Death To Sour Mix has been around, I’ve been lucky enough to attend some fun events that I’ll have to back-track in chronological order as I go. Some are dedicated specifically to a spirit type, or a brand but other times it’ll be an all out battle-royale.

The main focus of the site will always be my failures in new craft cocktail ideas but I go to enough of these that it would be a shame not to share. Hope you enjoy them!