It's been a while since I last posted so enjoy this new blog post on the 2016 Top 10 most popular #summer #cocktails being served at #RaiseYourSpirits. If you would like the 'actual' recipes as far as brands, ratios, and proportions, please let me know. I can't give away my trade secrets! Some of these are classics, some twists on classics, and some RYS originals. Sure, you can check online and google the recipes, but why not contact RYS so you can get the best version of the #cocktails and experience what so many people are talking about.
Double #Wedding Collage from Sat night featuring #cocktail #menus with signature #cocktails and #mocktails, #drink #menu, bar setup and display
Bar Setup with menus at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for #wedding
Signature Cocktails - Peach Tea also in blue
Cocktail Menu Board
Bar Setup at #BrickGables for #wedding
Signature Cocktail - Caribbean Hard Lemonade
Cocktail Menu Board
Bar Setup for #wedding at #TwoHartsBarn
Signature Cocktail - Berry Caipiroska
Specialty Cocktail Menu
Cocktail Menu Board at #PondViewFarm for #wedding
Weekend of June 24, 2016 Wedding Events -
Bourbon Blackberry Collins and Baybreeze Signature Cocktails
Bar Display at Brick Gables for rare Sunday afternoon wedding -
Jaguar Land Rover Corp Event -
Surprise Bridal Shower Mixology Party -
Layered Rum Paradise
Pics from Laurel Rock Farms wedding with featured cocktails -
Lynchburg Lemonade & Baybreeze
Pics from this weekend's wedding event in Ephrata at the Eicher Arts Center -
Signature Cocktail Menu with Dragonberry Mojito and the RYS Watermelon Margarita
Pics from busy weekend at RYS with a 439 person formal gala and wedding in Reading at The Barn at Flying Hills -
Misty Sea Signature Cocktail
Amanda and I working the bar
Some pics of first spring wedding at Brick Gables -
Batched Cocktail "Orange Blossom" with infused Bulldog Artisanal Gin, Grand Marnier, Fresh Homemade Lemon Syrup, and O.J. used for bridal shower -
Opening night for the "The Santaland Diaries" at the Open Stage of Harrisburg on Thurs night. Here are some pics of the exquisite and decadent "Crumpet-ini" -
"A custom “Crumpet-ini” was designed by local mixologist Michael Nagy of Raise Your Spirits. This lightly sweet cocktail combined gin, elderflower liqueur, prosecco, white cranberry juice and lemon — and garnished with real hibiscus flower petal". ~ Sara Bozich Surra, Unofficial Ambassador to Harrisburg, http://www.sarabozich.com
Join RYS at the Open Stage of Harrisburg from Dec 17-23 for pre-show cocktail hour serving up the "Crumpet-ini". For family, friends, and clients, contact me directly to receive the code for $5 off each ticket. Great opportunity to catch a great show and cocktail. Order tickets online at http://www.openstagehbg.com or at the door. Seats filling up so get in on the action soon.
New Blog Post - "Seasonal Spotlight - Holiday Cocktails By Raise Your Spirits".
Awesome Holiday/Christmas Party at Brick Gables for charity -
Bar display and hall at the Barn at Silver Stone in Lancaster Thanksgiving weekend. This is a brand new venue and we were privileged enough to be a part of their 2nd ever event -
Bar display at the Antique Auto Museum for Juvenile Diabetes Foundation reception with antique cars in the background. Thank you MaryAnn for having me do this special event -
Pics from Dillsburg Wedding on Nov. 7, 2015 -
Pics from RYS weekend to end October 2015 -
New Blog post up - "Spooky Halloween Cocktails"
Pic from the beautiful Two Harts Barn in Spring Grove over the weekend -
New Blog Post up... My Top 3 Winter Sangrias here http://www.tailsfromthebarstool.com/blog/cocktail-spotlight-3-fabulous-winter-sangrias-holiday-parties or under the blog tab -
Here are some pics from this weekend's events, including wedding at the Historic Acres in Hershey, wedding in Gordonville, and Dauphin Co. Democratic Party Annual Dinner -
Here is one of my best ever reviews from a bride and groom this summer...I apologize for the length, but it covers everything we do at RYS -
"My wife and I hired Michael and Raise Your Spirits to be the bartenders at our Wedding Reception in July of 2015. Michael was absolutely fantastic to work with. After coordinating the basic details via email, he met with us in person for several hours to finalize what alcohol we wanted to have served. He had an excellent list of recommendations for signature cocktails for us to choose from (he would have been willing to make a custom drink as well, but we liked the ones on his list better). Mike then provided us with a comprehensive shopping list for the alcohol and mixers. When I went shopping, I found some brands of wine other than the ones that he had recommended happened to be on sale. Mike was very responsive to my phone calls to provide feedback on which of the on sale wines were or were not ok to get without sacrificing quality.
A few weeks before our wedding Raise Your Spirits worked at another wedding at our same venue. He ran into some venue-specific issues at that wedding and the next week contacted us to talk thru them so that we were able to avoid those same issues at our wedding.
On the day of the wedding itself Mike arrived in plenty of time (before we or any of our guests got there) and had everything set up and ready to go. He was courteous, professional and extremely competent the entire evening. He even brought an extra staff member beyond what we had discussed just to make sure that we would have no issues! At the end of the wedding the bar area was completely cleaned up with no work left for our bridal party to do (other than pick up the left-over beer and wine, which he had nicely stacked for us).
Working with Mike & Raise Your Spirits was easy and a true pleasure in the midst of the hectic-ness of planning a wedding. I would recommend him to anyone who needs bar tending services without hesitation. " ~ Nate and Kelly (July 2015)
Raise Your Spirits achieved 49 out of 49 five-star reviews over the weekend - see what people are saying at the Thumbtack link to the right...We had an awesome private birthday party in Maryland over the weekend...We continue to be very busy even as we transition to fall and winter...Dates in Nov and Dec are starting to fill up so get in on the action before it's too late...Don't need a bartender for your holiday party or event, that's okay, RYS can put together a killer cocktail or mocktail menu or mix something up for you and deliver to your address in nice two-gallon mason jar dispensers as seen here -
Event pics from a 3 night event marathon from Sept 24-26, 2015 -
Wedding Pics from Spring Mount Farms and Coleman Chapel on September 19, 2015 -
Pics from weekend birthday party and cool wedding at The Carlisle Theater -
Pics from a busy weekend at the Venue at Chilton and Harvest View at Hershey Farms -
Awesome night in Lancaster on Fri night for a birthday party...Thank you Kerwin Sierra for being such a great host...The authentic Dominican cuisine was fabulous and the guests were very friendly...Will see them again! Here are sum pics -
RYS is getting ready to embark on an event marathon starting tonight with 3 events in 3 nights, which will take us from Lancaster to Elizabethtown to Mechanicsburg...We will be serving Classic Mojitos, Pomegranate Cosmos, Blueberry Mojitos, Moscow Mules, Dirty Martinis, Presbyterians, wine, beer, and much more...
GREAT NEWS!!! I just got published in the lifestyle section of the Chicago Tribune for my contribution on "Social Graces: Cocktail Party Planning" Here is the story -http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-fam-0901-social-graces-party...
RYS is offering a special right now for businesses and corporations planning an event or function - If you book with us in the next month, you will receive 10% off bartending service and free optional shopping services and have access to our unlimited cocktail menus (expires Sept. 30th). As always, you will see receive FREE consultations throughout the planning phase, free bar setup, exceptionl customer service from award-winning event planning/event services in Central PA, and much more...Also, if you refer someone and they book with us, you will receive a referral bonus or credit toward your next party or event - Inquire within!
Beautiful pics of Two Harts Barn in Spring Grove for wedding Sat night, including Shelly's first event with RYS -
Raise Your Spirits has been given the 2015 "Best of Harrisburg Award" for Event Planning/Event Services
Beautiful pics of wedding venue at Friedman Farms in Dallas - check my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/tailsfromthebarstool to see all pics and like...Sign up for my fun group page there.
Awesome Mixology Class/Party held on Aug 6, 2015 at The Workplace HUB in Harrisburg with lots of learning, drinking, cool cocktails infusions, socializing, and much more...Here are some pics of the evening activities and pics of blackberry-thyme infused syrup, vanilla bean infused honey syrup, and edible hibiscus flower.
Beautiful and unique wedding venue at the Lehigh Valley Zoo working and serving alongside African Penguins -
Beautiful pics from our Pond View Farm weddings in Maryland. We have successfully reached 30 five-star reviews in less than a year on Thumbtack = AWESOME!!!
Here are some pics of our very successful wedding event at "The Booking House" -
RaiseYour Spirits has been given the 2015 "Best of Harrisburg Award" for Event Planning/Event Services
Raise Your Spirits is doing a community Mixology Class & Party on August 6, 2015 from 6-9pm at The Workplace Hub in Harrisburg. If you are interested in attending (space is limited), please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717.877.2729...Event listing on the RYS facebook page here -
New Blog Post for "Earth Day, Spring-y Cocktails, and Spring Ingredients". GREAT READ!!! Also, the Cocktail of the Week - "Rhuby Collins" is up using organic ingredients made in PA.
Raise your Spirits is testing a new program called "Cocktails-On-The-Go"...Basically, you pick the cocktail(s), sangria(s), batched cocktails, mocktail(s), infusions,etc..., we will shop for the ingredients, i.e. liquor, mixers, fruit, and then deliver to your doorstep in a box with cocktail menu and instructions on how to prepare...It is a personalized service with no shipping and handling cost - just pay a small travel and convenience fee with reimbursement of purchased items...You can also have us infuse liquors and liqueurs and make homemade syrups and mixers (see website for possible infusions and syrups)...There are many national companies doing it, but charge a hefty monthly or yearly fee, charge a shipping fee, and it is shipped in a box..It is becoming a huge trend even for people who just want something nice to drink at home...Shipping outside the area in the near future. Gift packages also available for that special someone...Inquire within and check the "Cocktail Menus" tab for a list of sample cocktails and infusions!
Here are some pics and review from last night's wedding at the Montessori Academy in Chambersburg -
" I wish there were more stars to give! Michael was absolutely wonderful from beginning to end. He is extremely skilled! Michael made sure every base was covered. He helped to personalize our event by planing a cocktail menu. Thank you for being a fantastic bartender and I'd recommend your services with confidence!" - *****+ Sarah O. (April 12, 2015)
Stay tuned for a possible TV appearance on the #GoodDayPA program appearing weekdays at 12:30 on #ABC27News in the near future. I will be either in the kitchen mixing something up for the viewing and studio audience or a studio session with #AmyKhem. We will be focusing on "Healthy Spirits", farm to table concoctions, infusions, organic ingredients and options for the drinker and non-drinkers, and much more...Also, the ABC-27 news team would like to do a Mixology Class on the lawn at the station - pretty cool!
Starting the first week in April, look for my "cocktail of the week" on the blog as well as on the "COCKTAIL MENUS" page.
Check out my exclusive look into the world of Organic Spirits this month at Chilled Magazine http://chilledmagazine.com/organic-spirits-on-the-rise/ Please love and share it!
Also, check out my other story on "Scotch and Desserts" - http://chilledmagazine.com/scotch-with-dessert/
Had a great Corporate event for a new workspace company called "The Workplace Hub" in Harrisburg on Thursday. Here are pics of the delicious specialty and healthy mocktails batched and served that night -
I had an awesome country western cocktail party and bourbon tasting Sat. night...The Old West cocktails were a hit and the bourbon panel was top shelf...The cowboys and cowgirls were well dressed for the Old West and ready for the showdown ...Thank you Alan and Deb for being such great deputies...I had a great time at the corral interacting with the townspeople and sampling some great bourbons...Let's do it again sometime! Here are some snapshots of the town gathering...If anyone would like the cocktail recipes, just let me know.
I am happy to announce that 'Raise Your Spirits' has been chosen as the preferred provider for Bartending & Beverage Services in Central PA by Thumbtack, the #1 Hiring Service Professional site in the country. Here is our profile - http://www.thumbtack.com/…/par…/bartending-cocktail-services Check it out and share with others.
Here are some recent reviews. To see all my 5-star reviews (23 of them), find us on Thumbtack, the #1 Hiring Website for Service Professionals.
"My fiance and I are working with Michael for our August wedding, and he has been nothing but professional and great to work with! It is evident that he is extremely knowledgeable in his field. He gave us a very long list of his cocktails so that we can try them out and come up with some specialty drinks that we want at our wedding. I know our guests will be just as pleased as we have been so far, and I look forward to continue working with Michael!"...Ariel R.
"I think you are an amazing person! You have expertise to accommodate everyone who attends your events!! You are outstanding in what you do."...Donna N.
"I have worked with and been great friends with Michael in the past for a number of years,and had been to a restaurant where he prepared/served the most beautiful and exquisite cocktails that I have ever seen and tasted. Michael truly is an extremely talented man in this field of expertise. If you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing some of his cocktails and acquainted yourself with him,you are really missing out. Michael is professional,personable and a great host for any venue or event,and always goes above and beyond what is asked or expected of him!" ...Karen S.
RYS had a great night at the Goggleworks Art Museum in Reading on Saturday...We worked the 4th floor for the cocktail hour then transitioned to the 2nd floor for the wedding reception...Got a few potential parties from the event as well...Pictured are some of the venue and bar -
Join Raise Your Spirits in "The Enchanted Garden" and experience the mysterious and enchanted cocktail being served at the annual Bishop McDevitt High School Gala...Here is the cover photo -
RYS booked their first Mixology Class of 2015 scheduled for June 13th in Selinsgrove. Great deal on classes for only $20/person - check 'Mixology' page for more details. Some Valentine's Day cocktails being served right now -
RYS is on a roll - Give us a shout out if you want to get in on the action before your special date is reserved. Scroll down to see all of RYS events scheduled for 2015 and 2016. Check out the blog for great information on spirits, cocktails, and everything bar.
GREAT NEWS!!! RYS has been approved by Amazon for affiliate marketing, which means that you can purchase gift cards and products from Amazon through my site and I get credit...Please consider going through my site for your Amazon purchasing needs...Scroll to the bottom of my home page for the Amazon gift card banner or click the link below or on the right for great bar products and one of the best 13 pc. bartending sets on the market. It's a great site for shaker sets, barware, glassware, and bartending tools for the holidays and all year round...Why not purchase a gift card and then apply it to a listed product...Thank you so much for supporting me and the site.
Raise Your Spirits continues to be the best choice for all your bartending and cocktail needs from near and far, big or small, low budget/high budget, a wedding reception, a corporate/business event, a cocktail party, or a holiday party. Now booking through 2016. See the event pics, specialty cocktails, and cocktail menus below along with sample reviews from clients and a link to all reviews on Thumbtack. RYS has recently been selected as a "Pro Mentor" for other service professionals around the country on Thumbtack for it's outstanding content, profile, all five-star reviews, and booking rate/high number of hires.
"Michael and his team were truly amazing, and my guests loved having them at our event! We will most certainly be booking Michael for future events!" - Brittney, Susquehanna Valley Harley-Davidson (October 25, 2014)
"Michael did a fantastic job with our wedding! We are not able to thank him enough for the work he did. He planned a beautiful custom menu for us, which included drinks to match our fall theme. The drinks were FANTASTIC! Our guests continue to rave about how amazing the drinks were and how quick their service was (we had a guest list of 100 people and Michael was able to keep the bar going and seldom had a line). Throughout the entire wedding planning, Michael was there to help organize, plan, and give suggestions on a complete bar menu. He was creative and great to work with. He understood our budget needs and was able to stay well within our budget while giving us a great experience. We would highly recommend Michael for any of your bar-tending needs. Thank you again Michael for all that you have done for us."
Becky and Josiah, Coleman Chapel - Lebanon, PA (October 11, 2014)
"Michael mixed & served drinks for the guests at a surprise party we hosted at our home for a dear friend who just turned 40. Let me begin by saying that his cocktails were a hit! Every adult tried out each of his creations, at LEAST once! Some MORE than once!! The cocktails were very creative, interesting and most importantly, delicious. Michael also kept the beer, wine, scotch, vodka & gin drinkers well supplied! He was well equipped & very well organized. He was very professional yet warmly interacted with all the guests. We look forward to having him back for our next party!" - Preeti - Enola, PA (October 3, 2014)
Just received an awesome gift package from Woody Creek Distillers in Basalt, Colorado as a token of appreciation for my insightful coverage of them in Chilled Magazine...Pictured is the real potato they harvest and use in making their vodka, a small vodka bottle, and a flash drive containing a slideshow of their work...Also, a letter of appreciation...Pretty cool!!! New video of operation below -
New Chilled Magazine cover for the Fall Issue featuring Michael Nagy as Editorial Staff - http://www.chilledmagazine.com/
Here are some pics of the halloween cocktails served on Sat. night at a private home halloween party -
I am excited to announce that RYS has booked more events this week, including a huge corporate event/open house for 250 people on Nov. 19th for a new business starting up in Harrisburg and another corporate event at the Antique Auto Museum in Hershey for the members of Susquehanna Valley Harley Davidson...RYS will be serving a winter mocktail menu and cocktail menu on the 19th...Also, two weddings in Maryland for July of 2015...Here are some pics of the mocktails for the corp event -
I am happy to announce that I just booked a wedding reception for next August 8, 2015 at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville, PA...With over 300 animals waiting to welcome you and your guests, the Zoo is located in the heart of the picturesque 100 acre Trexler Nature Preserve...I am very excited because I have never done an event at a zoo before...Pretty cool! August 2015 is now officially booked. Only one weekend left in July 2015.
Now scheduling top shelf Winter cocktail parties and holiday parties during the doldrums of winter...Let 'Raise Your Spirits' lift your spirits and provide you with a unique and fun party experience and exceptional customer service...Free cocktail menus tailored to you and your guests' taste preferences of the season.
Fall and Winter Cocktail Menus up - book with "Raise Your Spirits" and you will get direct access to the cocktails and recipes. I will feature one of these seasonal cocktails in ongoing blog posts. In the meantime, check out the infusions on the cocktail menu page, blog posts, wonderful pictures of past events and cocktails below.
Raise Your Spirits had a very successful and profitable evening in Lancaster on Sat night...The specialty cocktails were a big hit and everyone had a great time...Here are pics from the evening,including cocktail menu, bar area, and beautiful interior of the "The Trust" Performing Arts Center...Thank you to the event staff - Stephanie, Andrew, and Stuart for helping out throughout the night.
Here are some pics of past events, including a Jewish wedding on a farm in Landisburg and a pool block party in Wernersville. It was a very successful weekend for Raise Your Spirits -
Had a great barbeque event on Sat Aug 9th in Flourtown, PA...It was a huge success...Here are some pics, including cocktail menu, bar area, pool area.
Here are some recent pics of a 60th birthday party on August 1, 2014...Pictured is a "Traffic Light" non-alcoholic drink for the kids and "Tickle Me Pink" cocktail for adults.
Here are some pics of yesterday's fantastic and beautiful wedding at Spring Mount Farms in Warriors Mark, PA with the specialty cocktail. Thank you to Melissa and Brooke at Spring Mount Farms for hosting me and accommodating me throughout the day and night. Within a week, I was able to book another wedding with them.
RYS will create and design a cocktail menu based on your and your guests' taste preferences...You can have one specialty, signature, hand-crafted cocktail or more - they will also make homemade syrups and mixers if you desire made with only the freshest of ingredients...The rates are very affordable and everything is done to your specifications with great attention to detail...Inquire within under the Bar/Event Services tab!
Scheduling top shelf mixology classes in your home or place of business for only $20/person...Details under the Bar/Event Services Tab. One flat-rate per person and a lot of fun...Learn about cocktailing and mixing up your favorite cocktails and 'Become An Expert'! You will receive materials and handouts, including Michael's exclusive homemade, hand-crafted cocktail recipes not available to the public. Also receive a complimentary and personalized "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in the Art of Mixology"
Enjoy this diverse mix of craft cocktails being served up this summer at great cocktail bars in the good U.S.A. Visit one of these bars for your summer travel plans and have them mix you up one of these delectable and visually aesthetic elixirs or make at home for pool partoes or summer parties. Bars listed under each cocktail recipe. Subsititute brand names as needed. In many cases, I offer you an alternative brand or type of spirit for those hard to find products...Cheers!
Follow this Martini primer if you want the "perfect" Martini. Just ask anyone who received one from me (Sam Sharp). There is “The Martini” and then there are martinis and, quite often the latter has little or no resemblance to the original. The classic Gin Martini, made of gin and dry vermouth, will always remain a classic and a favorite of many.
Being a cocktail historian and enthusiast, I am intrigued by the mystery surrounding the classic "Mai Tai" tropical cocktail. So after some digging and researching, I decided to share with all of you the myths and facts related to this truly one-of-a-kind elixir that has been around for a long time and enjoyed at every corner of the globe. Here is my attempt to clarify the facts.
The countdown to #WorldWhiskyDay is upon us. World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the “water of life” on May 21st. World Whisky day celebrates all types of whisky/whiskey from anywhere in the world. World Whisky Day is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. You can drink it however you want (ice, water, mixer – whatever works for you). A splash of water with your bourbon really brings out the unique aroma and flavor.
(Whiskey cover photo courtesy of Whiskey Cheatsheet.com)
As a follow-up to last week's blog post, here is a fun discussion on personality traits related to the way drinkers hold their class. Again, for purposes of novelty, not exact science, but in my many years of servicing the drinking public, I have caught on to a few things. Much of this information was being tabled for my new book, but I thought all of you would have fun going through the list diagnosing your friends and self-analysis...As always, enjoy!!!
In all my years tending bar and observing people in bar-type settings, I have learned a few things. First, it always helps to have a degree in Psychology. Ever since I could remember, I've had a fascination and keen interest in human behavior and cognition, especially as it applies to the drinking environment. Second, working in many different bars and restaurants has afforded me the opportunity to conduct research and gather evidence pertaining to how people behave, specifically from drink #1 to last call.
The development of “De la Tierre” Canadian Maple Tequila didn’t happen overnight, but was an instant success. My good friend Wayne Rezunyk and his friend Troy put their heads together one day and came up with the concept. After a little research and tasting, of course, they realized that they stumbled onto something special. That extensive testing and researching led them to what is now known as “De la Tierre” Canadian Maple Tequila, first of its kind in the world.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and to honor what it stands for I am offering up truly "green", farm-fresh, organic ingredients and cocktails for spring. As an added bonus, I list the best fruits, veggies, herbs, spices, and florals to be used in cocktails, infused spirits, syrups, purees, and juices for the season, best way to prepare them, and what base spirits pair best with them. Thank you to Nicole Friend and my friends from over at Sauza Tequila for contributing.