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Q&A with Jon Taffer

Below is a Q&A with Jon Taffer, fiery and very outspoken world renowned bar expert and consultant from Spike TV's Bar Rescue show, about the latest trends in the industry as he travels across America rescuing failing and struggling bars. I'm sure many of you have seen it or at least heard about it. It's a neat show.

Jane's Addiction, Dobel Tequila, 1800, and Ray Liotta

Stay tuned for the exclusive interview I will be conducting with Perry Farrell, frontman, from legendary Jane's Addiction band about his new tequila, Dobel, and Ray Liotta, actor (star of Goodfellas, Field of Dreams, Wild Hogs, The Place Beyond the Pines, etc...) about his promotion and marketing efforts for 1800 Tequila...It should appear in the February issue of Chilled Magazine...Isn't that new 1800 commercial pretty cool? Not much said, but very powerful.

Cocktail Spotlight: Peppermint Stick

This is a cocktail perfect for sitting in front of the fireplace or to enliven your senses during the cold, wintry season on a snowy night or festive occasion. The mint provides a soothing, calming, and cool effect on the palate as well as the brain. Watch that brain freeze! It presents as an almost clear cocktail without the cherry juice, but with the cherry juice, it gives off a very slight pink hue. I served this cocktail at my private cocktail party this Fall to a bunch of friends and they loved it. Give it a whirl over the holiday season and tell me your thoughts.

Ask a Bartender: What's the strangest drink request you've ever gotten?

A good bartender will listen to his customer's request and, within reason, try to satisfy it. Recommending a particular beer according to someone's preferences, or suggesting a particular bourbon cocktail, or inventing a drink that he/she thinks will suffice. But what about the really outrageous requests? Bartenders were polled and asked "what's the strangest drink request you have received?" Here's what they had to say. I also included some of mine as well.

What's the strangest drink request you've ever heard?

Beer Spotlight: Evolution of Craft Beers, Part 2

Craft Brewing Facts

  • Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
  • Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars.
  • Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels* of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.
  • The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars.

Beer Spotlight: Evolution of Craft Beers, Part 1

My nephew, Jonathan, who is a sophomore at Penn State, asked me to do a write-up on craft beers, specifically what defines a beer as 'craft or IPA' and what classifies a beer as being 'seasonal'. It doesn't surprise me that a college student wants to be equipped with all this knowledge. I always said that if you are going to be a drinker, please be an 'informed' drinker. Knowledge is power and very influential. I'm sure all his college buddies will appreciate it.

Mulled Wine

When the temperatures start dropping and there is a chill in the air, it becomes an appropriate time to sip a nice, warming cocktail, or this case, mulled wine. Mulled wine has been around for centuries in many Old World countries, but hasn't been too prominent in the New World yet. If you ask the average person or even bartender, they won't have a clue as to what it is. It is a traditional holiday beverage that has been warming people for a very long time. Think of mulled wine as the wine drinker's version of the classic hot toddy.

Cocktail Spotlight: Tickle Me Pink & Corpse Reviver

For this week's featured cocktails, I will be introducing the "Tickle Me Pink" for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the "Corpse Reviver" for Halloween (both pictured).

"Tickle Me Pink" is a trendy pink cocktail that I adapted from some other more established pink cocktails that incorporates some newer, contemporary ingredients and is on the sweeter side if that's what you like.

Happy Drunk?

To follow up on my blog post last week titled "Hey Bartender", which was a big hit, here is a discussion on social behavior as it relates to drunkenness with celebrity Mel Gibson as the target. No, I don't have any ill-will toward the Lethal Weapon star, but he is the ideal poster-boy for showing what happens when people drink too much and have certain personality flaws. I have seen it all too often. I'm sure everyone has known someone in their lifetime who will come to mind when reading this. My psychology background helps out tremendously. I look forward to your feedback and comments.

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