Cocktail curator for hire Friday, Feb 10 2012 

For the past handful of years that I’ve been writing about other peoples’ drinks, I’ve been playing around with the stuff quite a bit myself. It’s natural, I think, to experiment with something you’re writing about, to understand it better in hopes of writing more coherently about it. It’s the reason I (very, very) briefly attended this local bartending school, and it’s the reason why I insist on making — or making up — cocktails as often as possible.

Other than Thanksgiving (at which I served the first drink I ever made up, The 1621), I think the last time I made up a drink was for a friend’s Rosh Hashanah dinner back in September. It was called The 5772 (notice a pattern?) and it incorporated several elements traditional to that holiday meal: apples, honey, etc. It was seriously delicious, which reminds me that I need to recreate that recipe sometime…

About a month ago, an acquaintance of mine in the local visual arts scene asked if she might pick my brain about what to serve at her film screening this weekend. It would have been easy enough to simply reply with a few recommended bottles to buy and mix herself, but it’s much more fun (for me, anyway) to come up with a drink that’s truly unique, that will really complement the event’s theme.

“So, what’s the theme?” I asked, a few emails later.

Fluxus.”

Fluxus, for those unfamiliar (including me), is that international collective of artists who came together in the early 1960s to celebrate the blending (or “flux”) of different media. John Cage was an important contributor, as was George Maciunas. After a bit of research, I learned that the Fluxus group was affiliated with four basic philosophies: attitude (as opposed to style), intermedia (the intersection of, say, everyday objects with texts), simplicity, and fun.

The challenge: create a cocktail that speaks to Fluxus, and can be made relatively easily for a crowd of 50 or more.

I’m on it.

Cocktail Club catch-up: The Sazerac Saturday, Feb 4 2012 

If anyone’s actually following this blog for news on its raison d’etre, the Central Park Cocktail Club, you’re in luck: I’m in catch-up mode. Let’s just pretend I’ve been spreading out these reports on purpose, shall we?

I believe we left off with November 2010 (I can’t believe the club’s been going on that long — it’s awesome), which was all about the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. As the holidays are always hectic, in December 2010 we had a very small, informal meeting to toast the season with hot cocktails (snow bunnies and glogg were served). Which brings us to January 2011.

(So I’m a year behind on these. Deal with it.)

vintage Herbsaint ad

Anyway. Scott the Cocktail Enthusiast (yes, that’s his real name) had volunteered to kick off the new year with his personal favorite, the Sazerac, so that’s exactly what we did. He led us through the history of that gloriously delicious rye classic (did you know that it dates back to the 1830s?) and its sister cocktail, the Vieux Carre, named for the cafe in New Orleans. Both drinks have strong ties to that city, of course, which were discussed at length. If you’re curious to learn more, you can download the presentation here.

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