What's Shakin' December 11, 2012

Announcing the Finalists of the 2012 Vinos De Jerez Cocktail Competition
Among many entries from some of the best cocktail bars across the country, the field has been narrowed to 10 finalists in the 2012 Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition. The finalists will compete in the live finals tonight Tuesday, December 11th starting at 12pm at Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY, to determine who will be crowned the winner of the next Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition.     The Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition is a nationwide competition featuring bartenders/mixologists from across the country, who are challenged to create the best Sherry Cocktail in America. MORE>>

The 21 Hottest Cocktail Bars Across the US: Where to Drink Right Now
Here are 21 of the hottest cocktail bars in the United States right now. On Monday Eater brought you the country's 38 essential bars, but today it's time to hone in on the new and the buzzed about. The selection includes everything from Chicago's temple to cocktail innovation, which now has a new beverage director (The Aviary), a members-only venture in St. Louis (Blood & Sand), several restaurants with excellent bar programs (Los Angeles' Tasting Kitchen, Houston's Pass and Provisions), a great spot for bourbon and more in Louisville (Meat), and a handsome underground bar in San Francisco's Hearst Building (Local Edition). Almost all of these ventures pride themselves on using local ingredients, having their cocktails reflect the seasons, and emphasizing an understanding of history while being able to reinterpret it. MORE>>

Lucas Bols launches 7th Annual Bols Around the World Bartending Championship
Lucas Bols today announces the launch of the seventh annual Bols Around the World competition, the prestigious bartending world championship that seeks to find the world’s most talented and inspiring bartender. Contenders are invited to compete in three heats over six months for one of 20 spots in the semi-finals which will take place in Amsterdam on May 6, 2013 and  12 spots at the Grand Final, also held in Amsterdam, on May 7, 2013. The contest, which has the widest reach of all major global bartending competitions, went live on December 1, 2012. MORE>>

From toddies to mulled wine, Houston bartenders show off their cold weather favorites
The recent series of cold fronts means that the hot toddy season is upon us, and in a city teeming with brilliant chefs and bartenders, you can be sure that Houston's winter drinks are heading beyond mere hot water and whiskey. Down House makes a bone-warming Isla Toddy served with a chamomile tea bag still steeping in the cup; it’s earthy and floral and the perfect transition into winter. Bartender Jeremy Olivier also makes a spicy pine-scented mug of comfort with Zirbenz, butter and, at chef Benjy Mason’s suggestion, a fresh bay leaf. Olivier’s tip is to avoid too much citrus because it kills the heat in your drink. MORE>>

Down the rabbit hole
The Beefeater 24 Global Bartender Competition Grand Final brought together the world’s best in shaking and stirring in celebration of that key ingredient to all great cocktails: gin. ALEX BRUCE-SMITH tastes the magic with Australian competitor Gregory Sanderson, of Melbourne’s Eau-de-Vie. MORE>>

Drinks Writer Camper English On The SF Cocktail Scene
It's been a rough few months for local drinks writer Camper English. From judging an Olmeca Altos tequila competition in Mexico, to Portland Cocktail Week, to his recent jaunt to Cognac, France for this Grey Goose global cocktail competition, English is happy to be back on San Francisco soil, working out of his home base in the Mission District. MORE>>

Lady Liquor: The rise of the cocktail and the feminization of drink
Early in this series, I posted about how the growth of the temperance movement in the 19th century was spurred in part by broader availability of distilled spirits: where alcohol was a part of daily life in the United States, beginning with breakfast brew and ending with a nightcap, most people were drinking weak-by-today's-standards beer, cider, and wine, rather than rum or whiskey. A commenter wrote: “I think distilled spirits consumption increased during Prohibition and continued with the country's new found obsession with cocktails, increasingly prepared at home and served in gender mixed company, compared to the pre-Prohibition and 19th Century preference for beer consumed at a tavern, mostly by men.” He raises a couple of excellent points I waited to address in a full post, since they merit a more detailed discussion. MORE>>

‘Seggie’ champion cocktail maker
Up at Rum Point you can encounter one of the world’s finest cocktail makers. Seggredd “Seggie” Quizeo is fresh from representing the Cayman Islands at a major regional contest where he displayed his skills to a large crowd.  “We had a competition in Karoo in June with 16 bartenders from local bars, which I won and went on to represent Cayman in the World Bartenders Challenge in Jamaica,” he said. MORE>>

Luke O'Neil on Boston's Cocktail Past, Present And Future
Here we are, a killer cocktail city. But it wasn't always this way, and what will tomorrow bring? From his perch as a journalist covering the Boston drink scene and as a former and sometimes bartender, Luke O'Neil is well informed about the state of the cocktail in Boston. And so, as Cocktail Week 2012 draws to a close, Eater turned to him to tell us a little bit about how Boston stacks up against other cocktail hotspots, where we've been, and where we're headed next. MORE>>

Five Must Mix Cocktails for the Holiday Season
With so many flavors on the market today, there is a cocktail for every occassion. Tis the season for eggnog, cranberries, candy canes, gingerbread and basically anything red or green. We here at Chilled have compiled a list of 5 great holiday-inspired cocktails for you to enjoy this season. Be merry and enjoy! MORE>>

Is David Burnette, bartender at The Capital Hotel, the King of Nog?
Some may feel it begins with the first sight of Christmas trees, for others it’s the ludicrous behavior surrounding Black Friday, for others it’s the sultry sounds of Nat King Cole crooning the words, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But for myself, nothing ushers in the beginning of the holidays like the sweet flavors of egg nog. Sure, you’ll put on 20 pounds just by sniffing the stuff a couple times, but who really cares? It’s the holidays, people…and what good is a New Year’s resolution without some extra holiday weight to shed? MORE>>

Cocktail enthusiast Dutch DeVries shares his thoughts on drinking in Pittsburgh and beyond
Inside Dutch DeVries' apartment, it smelled like smoke, but not the kind to prompt concern. The Brake House loft in the Strip District was laced with the inviting scent of hickory. "I'm surprised smoke detectors aren't going off," said his girlfriend, Heidi Hertzberger. Mr. DeVries was doctoring Sazarac rye with his Polyscience smoker. The handheld wand billowed smoke into an empty Crystal Head vodka bottle that looks like a glass skull. No vodka champion, Mr. DeVries was amused enough by the bottle to fetch it from a neighbor for this alternate purpose. MORE>>



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