Spirit Spotlight: Absinthe

National Absinthe Day is March 5. Absinthe is an anise-flavored spirit that was originally 136 proof and made with grande wormwood. It is typically made by distilling neutral grain spirits with herbs, predominately anise, florence fennel and grande wormwood. Other herbs such as angelica root, coriander, dittany leaves, hyssop, juniper, nutmeg, melissa, star anise, sweet flag, and veronica are also used.

Seasonal Spotlight: National Kahlua Day

National Kahlua Day is February 27.  Kahlua is a rich, creamy liqueur from Mexico that is made with rum, Mexican coffee, sugar and vanilla. Kahlúa is a blend of sugarcane and 100% Arabica coffee where the sugarcane and coffee beans are grown in the shade and handpicked.  Kahlua traces its roots back to Veracruz, Mexico.  First produced in 1936 by Veracruz, Mexico native Pedro Domeca.

Seasonal Spotlight: Southern Comfort

February is "National Cherry Month" and what better way to celebrate its rich history by trying Southern Comfort's new cherry flavor.  In 2012, by reclaiming their roots as an original flavored spirit with fruit (peaches), honey, spices and whiskey, Southern Comfort introduced Bold Black Cherry after 138 years of unique expertise went into this original concoction that is now available in the US, UK, and Ireland.  Southern Comfort grew from its birthplace in New Orleans to a spirit enjoyed around the world by itself or in mixed cocktails.

Industry Spotlight: Trending in 2014

I realize that many of you may not be interested in going this far with creating cocktails, but I think it is interesting to see the cocktail movement for this year. Much of mixology now is presentation and flair. Image is everything, right. If anything, these concoctions can certainly be the talk of your party should you decide to incorporate them into your theme. They would look great on display.

Cocktail Spotlight: Hot Toddy & Hot Buttered Rum

Hello Friends,

This post is long overdue considering it was meant for the month of January, but better late than never, right?  As I have done in the past, I will be featuring cocktails of the season so, without further adieu, I present to you the "Hot Toddy" and "Hot Buttered Rum" cocktails as a double feature filled with warmth and delectability this winter season. Great cocktails to be enjoyed in January and February.

Liqueur Spotlight: Creme Yvette

After a short hiatus from the blog, I am presenting you with an oscure and mysterious liqueur, but special, that can be enjoyed all year long called 'Creme Yvette' aka Creme d'Yvette. It is finally available in PA at your most of your local wine and spirits shops. Production was stopped in 1969 and Creme Yvette no longer existed. At which time it was referred to as its orginal French name listed above and used in a lot of classic cocktails, such as the Blue Moon, Eve's Garden, and Aviation. As of the Fall of 2009, this intriguing and delish elixir found it's way back on the market.

Cocktail Spotlight: Ciroc Cocktails for the Winter Season

In 2007, Sean Combs aka 'Puff Daddy' 'P-Diddy' partnered with Diageo for a groundbreaking strategic alliance to oversee and manage all branding and marketing initiatives for Ciroc Vodka. Combs said he wanted to work with Diageo because the company understood that "I'm not just a celebrity endorser, I'm a brand builder. I'm a luxury brand builder." Since collaborating with CÎROC®, Combs has heavily contributed to make this brand a household name. "They're looking for something that tastes like their lifestyle," he said.

Mixology 101 (Part 2)

For today's post, I will be focusing on my efficient free pour system (count system) when pouring from liquor bottles into a glass or tin. Of course, you will need pourers on top of bottles. I find that the best pourers around are the clear plastic and silver, long spout ones you can be purchase at 'The Restaurant Store' in Camp Hill. They are very accurate, inexpensive, and have a smooth pour flow. Also, get some jiggers to use for juices and mixers. You can always use the jiggers until you feel comfortable free-pouring.

Mixology 101 (Part 1)

I hope everyone had a great New Years and are ready to mix it up in 2014. This post is the first in a series of posts describing the basics of Mixology and providing you with a foundation and a basic knowledge needed to be an educated and informed drinker. Many moons ago when I took the leap of faith to go to bartending school and become a part-time bartender, which lead to full-time, then management, then teaching, then consulting, and now, writing and blogging. Little did I know that it would carry me to this point of my life. To say the least, it was a rocky time in my life.