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Spouting Off About Spouts

November 30, 2015

They go by many names: Speed Pourers, Chromes, Pour Spouts, Plastics.

They are made of many materials and rank in quality.

They range in efficiency and effectiveness.

But every bar uses them.

mpn-bottle-accessoryI have bought these for bars my entire career,  and though I feel they are important, I honestly knew very little about them. I have worked with just about every kind one can buy, and I have my opinions about each.

downloadThe most standard is metal either stainless steel or chrome, and tapered which are my favorites.  The wide mouths (called Goosenecks) are primarily for nightclubs where speed is priority.  The little plastic ones are not for bartenders but cheap managers, along with the ones with ball bearings inside that cut the pour “accurately’ so the manager thinks all is well and pour cost will be dead on every month. Still another (and very ingenious and accurate) is the Cap-On which fits underneath the cap of bottles so fruit flies can’t invade and die drunk (kind of an issue with bottles that come with corks unfortunately).

As I said I have bought and used spouts my entire career, but I knew little about them. Recently I picked up a couple dozen at the local restaurant supply place here in Santa Fe, and low and behold I got an education by the package these were sold in! 26 years of tending and I never knew this?? Well, everyday is a new opportunity:

There are some struggles that bartenders have with these little pieces. First one is getting them in and out of the bottle and here was Lesson No. 1: before putting the spout in the bottle, lube it up with a little H2O.  This makes it easier to get in and out of the bottle. Cool, huh? Also, having a V-Rod Bar Blade (that’s a bottle opener BTW) is handy as well.  This particular blade is deigned with a spout remover that helps pry the spouts out without breaking the bottle, and is still fun to twirl on your finger.

Over time spouts wear out as the fins bend up and don’t fit standard bottles anymore. Enter Lesson No. 2: to fix the fins, run the spout under hot water for 20-30 seconds then immediately under cold water for about the same time. POOF, they pop back into place! Brilliant!

So, once again this old dawg continues to find new things.



The Balanced Bartender

August 20, 2015

Hey everyone!

No, I have not disappeared. It’s been a busy summer here in Santa Fe, but I want to share soemthing really special and new.

A little while back I wrote a post called Zen and the Art of Bartender Maintenance talking about balancing life between personal and professional.  And I described one of the things I do to help balance my life.  There are many like me who do this like my friends Natalie Bovis and Patricia Richards who created Mind Body Spirit offering yoga sessions for bartenders and many cocktails festivals around the country

IMG_1151For me it’s whitewater rafting, and that is exactly where I have been the past few months: out on the Rio Grande River letting go and balancing my life.

20110303-novo-fogo-bottles-500I was blessed last June to have Novo Fogo Cachaca take interest in my way of aligning my world, and they added me to a wonderful series they produce called The Balanced Bartender.

Check out the video here.

Peace my friends, and hope you find your Zen as well.  Comment and share how you balance your life.

Tales of the Cocktail Announces Top 10 for the 9th Annual Spirited Awards

June 10, 2015
7af8e446-0b2c-4e64-8ad1-99e4937f560dNEW ORLEANS, LA – June 9, 2015 – Following a rigorous evaluation of more than 2,000 nominees, Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce the top ten for each of the 24 award categories for the 9th Annual Spirited Awards®. Since 2007, the Spirited Awards® have recognized the year’s best bars, bartenders, writers and experts, becoming the industry’s most prestigious and coveted awards program. A panel of 100 American and International industry experts reviewed all nominees and voted to determine this year’s top 10 nominees.

“Since the first Spirited Awards in 2007, I have witnessed the cocktail movement go from strength to strength and each year the work of the Spirited Awards judging panel has become tougher and this year was no exception,” said Simon Ford, Spirited Awards® Chairman and awards show host. “We had thousands of nominations, which our judges had the almost impossible task of voting on to determine our final tens and ultimately our winners. Enjoy this list of great people and bars and please celebrate with the people who are being recognized this year.”

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Pacific Time), Simon Ford and Jacob Briars, International Committee Chairman, will announce the final four in each category live from San Francisco presented by Perfect Puree. All finalists will be invited to the Spirited Awards® ceremony, being held at the Sheraton New Orleans on Saturday, July 18, 2015 as part of the 13th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®. Each award recipient will receive the coveted Riedel Crystal trophy.

“There’s probably no greater honor than being recognized by one’s peers,” said Paul G. Tuennerman, Co-Founder of Tales of the Cocktail®. “The individuals, establishments, products, and publications recognized as finalists for the 2015 Spirited Awards are representative of an industry’s collective efforts to make the world a better place to drink.”

The 9th Annual Spirited Awards® are sponsored by The 86 Co., Bacardi USA, BarSmarts, Beefeater, Chivas, Cognac Ferrand, Courvoisier, House of Angostura, Luxardo, Nicolas Feuillate, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Rums of Puerto Rico, Silencio Mezcal and William Grant & Sons. For more information about the Spirited Awards® ceremony, visit

2015 Spirited Awards® Top 10 Finalists
American Categories
Best American Bar Team
ABV (San Francisco)
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
Attaboy (New York)
Clover Club (Brooklyn)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Drink (Boston)
Employees Only (New York)
Herbs and Rye (Las Vegas)
The NoMad Bar (New York)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

American Bartender of the Year
Jeff Bell (New York)
Tim Cooper (New York)
Marcovaldo Dionysos (San Francisco)
Chris Hannah (New Orleans)
Bobby Heugel (Houston)
John Lermayer (Miami)
Ivy Mix (New York)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Portland)
Leo Robitschek (New York)
Pamela Wiznitzer (New York)

Best American Brand Ambassador
Brooke Arthur (House Spirits)
Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi)
Elayne Duff (Diageo)
Jamie Gordon (Absolut Elyx)
Guillaume Lamy (Cognac Ferrand)
Bernie Lubbers (Heaven Hill)
Anne Louise Marquis (Marnier Lapostolle)
Johnnie “The Scott” Mundell (Bowmore)
Chris Patino (Pernod-Ricard)
Nicola Riske (Edrington)

Best American Cocktail Bar
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
Attaboy (New York)
Aviary (Chicago)
Canon (Seattle)
Maison Premiere (Brooklyn)
Prizefighter (Emeryville)
Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco)
The Varnish (Los Angeles)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Williams & Graham (Denver)

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Celeste (Chicago)
Employees Only (New York)
Flatiron Lounge (New York)
Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles)
Herbs & Rye (Las Vegas)
Honeycut (Los Angeles)
Pegu Club (New York)
Shady Lady (Sacramento)
Sportsman’s Club (Chicago)
Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)

Best American Hotel Bar
15 Romolo (San Francisco)
Ace Hotel Downtown LA (Los Angeles)
Bellocq (New Orleans)
Breslin at Ace (New York)
Proof on Main (Louisville)
Sable Kitchen and Bar (Chicago)
Sazerac at Roosevelt (New Orleans)
Spare Room (Los Angeles)
The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach)
The Hawthorne (Boston)

Best American Restaurant Bar
Acorn (Denver)
Bestia (Los Angeles)
Betony (New York)
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks (Boston)
Eveleigh (Los Angeles)
Gramercy Tavern (New York)
No. 9 Park (Boston)
Nopa (San Francisco)
Scopa Italian Roots (Los Angeles)
The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange (Kansas City)

Best New American Cocktail Bar
ABV (San Francisco)
Boilermaker (New York City)
Dear Irving (New York)
Julep (Houston)
Latitude 29 (New Orleans)
Lost Lake (Chicago)
Seamstress (New York)
The Happiest Hour (New York)
The NoMad Bar (New York)
The Normandie Club (Los Angeles)

International Categories
Best International Bar Team
28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
American Bar at the Savoy Hotel (London)
Baxter Inn (Sydney)
Black Pearl (Melbourne)
Le Lion Bar de Paris (Hamburg)
Licoreria Limantour Roma (Mexico City)
Nightjar (London)
Schumann’s American Bar (Munich)
The Connaught Bar (London)
White Lyan (London)

International Bartender of the Year
Marian Beke (London)
Ryan Chetiyawardana (London)
Gareth Evans (London)
Shingo Gokan (Shanghai)
Zdenek Kastanek (Singapore)
Chris Moore (London)
Tim Philips (Sydney)
Carina Tsou (Paris)
Hidetsugu Ueno (Tokyo)
Charles Vexenat (Ibiza)

Best International Brand Ambassador
Ian Burrell (Global Rum)
Dean Callan (Monkey Shoulder)
Max La Rocca (Diageo World Class)
Louis Xavier Lewis-Smith (Sailor Jerry)
Joe McCanta (Grey Goose)
George Nemec (Becherovka)
Shervene Shahbazkhani (Bacardi)
Claire Smith-Warner (Belvedere Vodka)
Camille Vidal (St. Germain)
Max Warner (Chivas)

Best International Cocktail Bar
Artesian (London)
Buck & Breck (Berlin)
Candelaria (Paris)
Happiness Forgets (London)
Hemingway Bar (Prague)
High Five (Tokyo)
Le Lion Bar de Paris (Hamburg)
Nightjar (London)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
White Lyan (London)

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Callooh Callay (London)
City Social (London)
Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
Lidkoeb (Copenhagen)
Ruby (Copenhagen)
The Black Pearl/The Attic (Melbourne)
The Diamond (Vancouver)
The Everleigh (Melbourne)
The Lobo Plantation (Sydney)
Trailer Happiness (London)

 Best International Hotel Bar
American Bar, The Savoy (London)
Beaufort Bar, The Savoy (London)
Black Angel’s Bar, Hotel U Prince (Prague)
Coburg Bar, The Connaught (London)
Lobster Bar, Island Shangri-La Hotel (Hong Kong)
Manhattan, Regent Hotel (Singapore)
Ohla, Ohla Hotel (Barcelona)
The Punch Room, The Edition Hotel (London)
Widder Bar, Widder Hotel (Zurich)
Zetter Townhouse (London)

Best International Restaurant Bar
Blind Pig at Social Eating House (London)
China Tang (London)
Delicatessen (Moscow)
Duck & Waffle (London)
Hawksmoor Spitalfields (London)
Le Mary Celeste (Paris)
Mash (London)
The Red Bar at Bam-Bou (London)
Tippling Club (Singapore)
Zuma (Dubai)

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Bar Termini (London)
Baton Rouge (Paris)
Cocktail Trading Co. (London)
Dandelyan (London)
Le Syndicat Cocktail Club (Paris)
Mabel (Paris)
Operation Dagger (Singapore)
Seiberts Classic Bar & Liquid Kitchen (Cologne)
The Clumsies (Athens)
This Must Be The Place (Sydney)

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Australian Bartender
Difford’s Guide
Food & Wine Magazine
Ginger Magazine
Punch Drink
Saveur Magazine
The Cocktail Lovers
The Spirits Business

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Jeff Berry
Dave Broom
Wayne Curtis
Simon Difford
Camper English
Amy Hopkins
Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Leslie Pariseau
Robert Simonson
Naren Young

Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book
Celebrity Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern
Classic Cocktails (Updated Reissue) by Salvatore Calabrese
Cocktails on Tap by Jacob Grier
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day
Futurist Mixology by Fulvio Piccinino
Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold
Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Michael Dietsch
The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles. Hundreds of Cocktails. A New Way to David Solmonson and Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
The Bar Book by Jeff Morgenthaler
The Old-Fashioned by Robert Simonson

Best New Spirits Book
American Spirit by James Rodewald
Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough by Peter Thomas Fornatale
Distilled by Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison
Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots by Bryce T. Bauer
Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers
Sherry by Talia Baiocchi
The Curious Bartender: An Odyssey of Malt Bourbon & Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson
Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbiber’s Guide to Alcohol by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham
Whisk(e)y Distilled, A Populist Guide to The Water Of Life by Heather Greene
Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom

Overall Categories
Best Bar Mentor
Bridget Albert (Chicago)
Jacques Bezuidenhout (San Francisco)
Tony Conigliaro (London)
Jason Crawley (Sydney)
Philip Duff (New York)
Francesco Lafranconi (Las Vegas
Jim Meehan (Portland)
Agostino Perrone (London)
Andy Seymour (New York)
Angus Winchester (God knows)

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
Amaro di Angostura
Balsam American Amaro
Grey Goose V/X
J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey
Mister Katz’s Rock and Rye
Mr. Lyan’s Bottled Cocktails
Redemption Rye Barrel Proof
Small Hands Foods Yeoman Tonic Syrup
Suze Bitters
The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
Artesian (London)
Beaufort Bar at the Savoy (London)
Canon (Seattle)
Dandelyan (London)
Dead Rabbit (New York)
Nightjar (London)
Pouring Ribbons (New York)
The NoMad Bar (New York)
Trick Dog (San Francisco)

World’s Best Spirits Selection
Anvil Bar & Refuge (Houston)
Canon (Seattle)
Eau de Vie (Melbourne)
Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington DC)
Multnomah Whiskey Library (Portland)
Scopa Italian Roots (Los Angeles)
Silver Dollar (Louisville)
The Baxter Inn (Sydney)
The Office at The Aviary (Chicago)
Tommy’s (San Francisco)

For more information on past winners and Tales of the Cocktail®, visit the website or call 504-948-0511

New Mexico Cocktails & Culture Weekend

May 17, 2015

No, I am not dead or on the LAM.  It’s been a busy busy Springtime here in Santa Fe.  What’s got me so tied up other than Secreto Lounge?


We are raising the bar here in the Land of Enchantment May 31st-June 1st.

nm-cc-logo1This is the first cocktail fiesta of its kind here in New Mexico founded by Santa Fe Native Natalie Bovis aka The Liquid Muse, and she along with many other local bar folks are excited to be a part of this monumental event, which includes celebrity bartenders Charlotte Voisey, Kim Hassurad, Tony Abou-Ganim, Bobby “G” Geason, and King Cocktail himself Dale DeGroff!

Yes, all of these amazing bartenders are coming to Santa Fe to speak, teach, and enjoy the  cocktails and culture of New Mexico.

Here is the full Schedule of events:

 New Mexico Cocktails & Culture (click for tickets to all events and lodging options from Hotel St Francis)

Saturday, May 30, Scottish Rite Temple:

  • 3:30 – 7 pm: Award-winning documentary Hey Bartender and VIP Cocktail Party presented by William Grant & Sons ($15 for all)

Sunday, May 31, Skylight:

  • 11:30 – 12:45 pm: Vodka Distilled with Tony Abou-Ganim ($30 public / $15 industry with NM Servers License)
  • 12:50 – 1:20 pm: Santa Fe’s Hard Cideries (FREE to ticket holders)
  • 1:30 – 2:45 pm: The Great Whiskey Cocktails with Bobby ‘G’ Gleason ($30 / $15)
  • 2:50 – 3:20 pm: Meet the NM Distillers Guild (FREE to ticket holders)
  • 3:30 – 4:45 pm: Food & Cocktails: A Culinary Adventure with Kim Haasarud ($30 / $15)
  • 6:30 – 10 pm: Rockin’ Blues & Booze VIP Cocktail party & Sean Healen III Concert, presented by Beam Suntory ($15 for all)

Monday, June 1, Skylight:

  • 11:00 am – 12:15 pm: Mind Body Spirit(s) balance seminar (FREE to industry with NM Servers License)
  • 1 – 2:30 pm: USBG NM luncheon (FREE to members, $10 non-members)
  • 2:45 – 4 pm: I’ll Take Manhattan / Bitters seminar with Dale DeGroff ($10 industry priority)
  • 6 – 8 pm: Tequila Social VIP Closing Party ($15 for all)

So, if you are in New Mexico, please join us for this amazing weekend of events.  If you are not in New Mexico, buy a plane ticket, rent a car and get on over here!!