Monday, June 30, 2008

Tequila Fever, courtesy of a new Cocktail Buzz video, and Death and Co.

El Zete Cocktail, paired with Chorizo Sobres.
The Marianne at Midnight.
So check out our new cocktail/appetizer–pairing video on Cocktail Buzz, our Web site. We created a new tequila cocktail (for Paul’s dad) called El Zete (see prior post) with a complex array of flavors that uses two quinquinas (Lillet blanc and Dubonnet rouge), the spicy, bittersweet Bénédictine, and some orange bitters and lemon juice. Who says Margaritas are the only summertime tequila drink? And to go with El Zete, we created a flavor-senastion appetizer we call Chorizo Sobres. It’s a bite-sized wollop of smoked chorizo sausage, peaches, and scallions, all wrapped in a wonton, and deep-fried delicious. We also created another special cocktail called the Marianne at Midnight (for Paul’s mom), a gorgeous blend of scotch, crème de Violette, and Tuaca, and you can check that out too on the same video.

And speaking of tequila, we visited Joaquin Simo, one of our favorite mixologist–bartenders, at Death and Company last week, introducing our LA friend, David Quantic (who was in town working on a documentary) to the blessed watering hole. The tequila cocktails that Joaquin crafted for us were varied in their flavor profiles, as well as their architecture. David started with a Sarramago (a drink named after the Noble Prize–winning novelist) that was kissed with the beguiling sweetness of St-Germain elder-flower liqueur. He followed that with a blastingly spicy jalapeño-infused tequila cocktail that he drank with gusto. If you’ve never been to Death and Co. (in the East Village), you must go; and if you have been before, you must return, because the mixologists and chefs there have created a new cocktail menu, with some of the old favorites, but a whole array of new concoctions to tickle your mind.

And speaking of mind-tickling cocktails, we stopped at Indochine last week on Lafayette for a quick drink. Chris, the bartender was happy when Steve ordered the Black and Blue, one of his cocktails he created “one day when I was bored.” Well, sometimes ennui brings out the best in people, and the Black and Blue is a sweet and tangy mix of rye, Chambourd raspberry liqueur, fresh muddle berries, among other things. If you see Chris at Indochine, tell him we told you to park yourselves at the bar and whip you up his bruiser of a cocktail.

On a side note, Dumante Verdenoce, who makes Dumante pistachio liqueur, responded very quickly to our concerned bout the cork they used in their product. While we were shooting our Universe video with the lovely Paige Turner and Gracie Mansion, the cork broke and bits fell into the liqueur. Alas, we couldn’t use their fancy bottle in the video. So we wrote them our concern and they immediately got back to us and told us that they are now using a more reliable cork. So do go out and get some Dumante and try a Universe today! It's an amazing liqueur, not unlike amaretto in its nutty sweetness, but a flavor all its own. It’s crazy-good with ice cream as well.

photos © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Six Days of Mixin’ & Drinkin’ (with a little food thrown in for good measure)

Peter, Paul, Marianne, and Steve, drinking Golden El Zetes, in Connecticut.

These last six days have been a beehive of activity for us. On Thursday, we visited our friend Julie in her new Park Slope apartment she calls "The Bird Nest," a one-bedroom penthouse that has three (count them, three!) outdoor spaces. She has the entire roof and will be installing a putting green. Having an outdoor space of our own, we know that she will be spending all her time on the main terrace. So we decided to invent a cocktail for her we dubbed The Bird Nest. It's a champagne cocktail with a twist of somethin’ special. Stay tuned in the near future on Cocktail Buzz because we'll be shooting a video with Julie, pairing it with an old classic appetizer (that too will have a little somethin’ special added, but we’ve divulged too much already).

On Friday, we prepared for our next video shoot, which took place at Paul’s parents’ place in Connecticut over the weekend. The weather was perfect for an outdoor shoot. And what a video shoot it was. We invented some cocktails for Peter & Marianne for Father’s Day/Mother’s Day and will be sharing you the results, along with an incredibly flavorful, decadent, yet easy-to-make appetizer. Paul’s niece Amanda even joined in the making of the appetizer. But since it takes about a week to edit, check for the video after this coming weekend on Cocktail Buzz.

On Monday, we published the the photos and cocktail/food reminiscences of our recent Chicago trip, so check that out on our Web site, and if you’re in Chicago, please do go the The Violet Hour, an amazing cocktail lounge. We can’t speak more highly of it. Just go! In the evening, we made one of our favorite cocktails, the Manhattan, using a hard-to-find vermouth-style fortified wine called Carpano Antica. It’s a little less spiky than your usual sweet vermouths, more smooth and subtle, but makes for a beguiling, whiskey-forward cocktail. Here’s our recipe:

The Manhattan
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)

2 parts Rittenhouse Rye
1 part Carpano Antica
2 dashes Fees Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

Stir in a pint glass half-filled with ice for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo marasche cherry.

{To watch our video making a Manhattan, paired with bacon-wrapped dates, click here. }

Tuesday, last night, we drank Zen Green Tea Liqueur cocktails at the benefit for Soho Rep. for which we were a prize—to come to our home and create a signature cocktail. First off, if you haven’t tried Zen, and you like green tea, do take a swig if you get the opportunity. It is a sweet and slightly syrupy version of a freshly brewed batch of the green stuff, and it balanced nicely with the cocktails that were on offer: a Zen Margarita, a Zentini, and Zen Iced Tea. The Zen folks have a bunch of their recipes on their Web site. Secondly, we are very excited to share our secrets to create a signature cocktail with the winner, Matthew, and his delightful wife, Alexis. We chatted with them quite a bit before the raffle drawing, and found out that they live within walking distance from us in Brooklyn. Small world. We are looking forward to spending time with them and coming up with a special drink to share with you on our Web site. If you would like us to host a Create Your Signature Cocktail class, give us a shout at, and we’d be happy to set something up.

Until our next post, bottoms up!

photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Welcome! Dear Friends, Both Old & New

We present to you “Buzzings,” our quick-&-easy blog (for when we have something to say, but we don't want to film it or create an entire Web page devoted to it { for that, dear friends, you must visit } ).

We are extremely excited about two events that are just around the corner. The first is a benefit for the Soho Rep. here in NYC on Tuesday, June 24. We will be raffling off our services to one lucky winner (and guest) to take part in a one-and-a-half hour class with us. The goal: to create a signature cocktail with yours truly as the mixology guides. For more info and tix to the benefit, visit The second is a trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Cocktail aficionados will fly on down to the Big Easy in the rip-roaring, spell-binding heat of July to share, drink, teach, and hopefully make new friends. There will be plenty of bartenders, mixologists, distributors, distillers, bar owners, drink lovers, and bloggers abuzz with the spirit of spirits. Visit for more details, and be sure to check out the collective  bloggers’ site