Books, Classes & Cocktails

Jill DeGroff has visited all the best bars of the world, but she’s often seen sketching away quietly off to the side while hubby Dale holds court. Now we can all see what she’s been doing, as the release is here of Lush Life; Portraits from the Bar. Parties will be held in several cities, featuring culinary cocktails prepared by award-winning mixologists, and she will be signing books and rendering a few caricatures. The tour started in Boston, and she’ll be in New Orleans Nov. 4 at Café Adelaide, Nov. 8 at Stage Left in New Brunswick, N.J., and then on to D.C., NYC and San Francisco — check here for her current schedule.

A new “Absinthe of the Month” series at the Absinthe Museum of America in New Orleans has launched with Lucid Absinthe Supérieure’s Ted Breaux. Distiller Breaux will host a lecture on absinthe every Friday in November from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 14 from 2-3:30 p.m.

For you blossoming distillers, the American Distilling Institute still has a few spaces left for its “Hands-on Whiskey Distilling Workshop” at Stillwater Distillery in Petaluma, Calif., Dec. 6 – 11, where attendees will learn “how-to mash and make whiskey,” according to Bill Owens of ADI. The program includes visits to St. George Spirits/Hangar One Distillery in Alameda, Anchor Distilling in SF and H. Joseph Ehrmann’s Elixir for some tasting. Contact Owens at [email protected] for more info.

H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of the first certified “green bar” in the country, San Francisco’s Elixir, presents his ideas on “green drinking” and how it is accomplished at NYC’s Astor Center Nov. 13. He’ll offer tastes of organic spirits, make green cocktails and reveal tips on sourcing organic ingredients. For details, click here.

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s Fall Preview, New York City’s first-ever multi-day celebration of the cocktail, came off splendidly Oct. 3-4, by all reports. About 6,000 handcrafted drinks were poured at the educational seminars and the bar at NYC’s Astor Center, and an estimated 12,000 drinks requiring 800 pounds of ice were served at the closing gala at The New York Public Library by 150 of the metropolitan area’s best bartenders. Thus, the stage is set for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s main event, a five-day blowout that will take place May 14-18, 2010.

Never too early to think of your fellow bartenders for yearend gift giving — check out the absinthe spoons, Martini spears, ice tongs and stirrers and other sterling silver works suitable for their private cocktailing moments at Martini Pic.

(Got news? Send to me at [email protected].)


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