Posts tagged with "gin"

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, spirits, mixology, bartender

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation 13th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Semifinalists Presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin

Top 36 Bartenders Stir Creativity Vie for $25,000 Creative Grant and Mentorship by Creative Visionary 

Hamilton, Bermuda (September 3, 2019) – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces today the semifinalists of the 13th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (MIB Competition) presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin. The esteemed cocktail MIB Competition, which seeks out mixologists at the forefront of the industry and provides them with a platform to let their imagination and creativity shine, will kick off the regional stage this September through three (3) competitions held in Nashville (Central), Philadelphia (East), and Portland (West). The 36 semifinalists from across North America will vie for a spot in the top 12 and advance to the finals in February 2020.  The MIB Competition will be held in Chicago, the hometown of the 2018 Most Imaginative Bartender, Carley Gaskin. Driven by the belief that everyone is born creative, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is introducing the Canvas Challenge to this year’s program. The new challenge will task the top 12 finalists to discover their artistic potential and showcase their creativity for a chance to win a $25,000 grant prize and a mentorship by a creative visionary.

According to BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin Brand Director Tom Spaven, the new challenge is a way to encourage bartenders to take their creativity to the next level as he notes: “Each year, the Most Imaginative Bartender competition brings together a group of boundary-pushing bartenders who use BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as the ultimate tool to stir creativity in a glass. Through the incredible work of past participants, we realize the program is not just a competition, but a forum for expression across many different creative mediums. I’m excited to see how this year’s semifinalists will bring the industry to new heights and explore their passions outside of mixology”.

Throughout September, the semifinalists will participate in an invigorating two-day program, aimed to encourage bartenders to stir creativity outside of the traditional lines of the industry. On the first day, all semifinalists will present their masterpiece in a glass to a panel of judges. Following the MIB Competition portion, the program is introducing a new aspect in an effort to encourage self-expression, in which the semifinalists will participate in an educational activity geared towards exploring new creative mediums. Upon completion, the regional winners will head to England in October for an immersive gin discovery tour at the home of the brand’s BREEAM award-winning distillery, Laverstoke Mill. During the week-long tour all finalists will participate in educational programming that will help prepare them for the finale in February 2020.  In addition to the prizes awarded to the final winner, all 12 finalists will collaborate with PUNCH Media for a special cocktail book to debut in 2020.

The 2018 champion Carley Gaskin shared a few words of inspiration for the semifinalists, stating: “The Most Imaginative Bartender Competition encouraged me to explore new forms of self-expression through mixology, while introducing me to a wealth of invaluable resources within the industry. I couldn’t be more excited for this year’s semifinalists to embark on this incredible journey and wish them the best of luck”. 

For more information please visit www.mostimaginativebartender.com. 

Top 36  Semi-Finalists:


EAST

Edward Hansel – New York

Mark Tubridy – New York

Arianna Shaljian – New York

Solomon Thomas – Philadelphia

Valentino Longo – Miami

Derek Stilmann – Miami

Peter Hannah – Orlando

Cody Henson – Savannah

Niall McCourt – St. Pete

Keyatta Mincey-Parker – Atlanta

Sam Treadway – Massachusetts

Michael Rizk – Quebec 


CENTRAL

Maggie Morgan – New Orleans

Terance Robson – Austin 

Nikolas Zoylinos – Austin

Alexis Mijares – Austin

Christa Havican – Houston

Marlowe Johnson – Michigan

Tripper Duval – Wisconsin

David Yee – Columbus

Marta Ess – Ontario

Holly Caverly – Ontario

Jayare Wuo – Chicago


WEST

Cameron Holck – Portland

Estanislado Orona – Portland

Lydia McLuen – Portland

Jamie Socci – Portland

Emilio Salehi – San Francisco

Christian Suzuki – San Francisco

Derrick Li – San Francisco

Shaun Dunn – Los Angeles

Alex Jump – Denver

TJ Vong – Denver

Andrew Woodley – Hawaii

Danielle Pingert – Saskatchewen


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ABOUT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE 
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the world’s number one premium gin by volume and value.  BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten sustainably sourced botanicals from around the globe. The brand’s signature distillation process known as vapour infusion is showcased at the BREEAM award-winning Laverstoke Mill Distillery in Hampshire, England. The vapour infusion process skillfully captures the natural flavors of the botanicals which results in the gin’s fresh, bright taste. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, which was awarded a gold medal in the 2018 Las Vegas Global Spirit Awards and a double gold medal in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, is recognized for crafting the finest quality gin. For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com
.

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.


For more information please visit
www.mostimaginativebartender.com

Stay in Your Own Private Castle with Wilderness Scotland

The Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands are brimming with iconic landmarks (a.k.a tourist traps). But what about those who want more than a pint of Guinness or a bite of haggis? Wilderness  Scotland  (Europe’s No. 1 Rated Adventure Travel Company) and sister company  Wilderness  Ireland  offer Tailor Made trips designed by locals and delivered by local legends—making them a great way to discover the essence of a place in a way that few visitors have access to. 

From enjoying a moonlight paddle in Yeats Country—home to unparalleled star gazing—to uncovering the secrets of the Loch Ness Monster to rappelling off sea stacks, Wilderness’ Tailor Made adventures unearth the true character of the destination. 

Forget everything you thought you knew about Ireland and Scotland with these one-of-a-kind experiences: 

Go Glamping in Yeats Country  

On a camping expedition in Sligo, Ireland, hike the breathtaking lakes, mountains, beaches and waterfalls that once inspired many of the great works of the Nobel Prize winning writer, W. B. Yeats. As the sun sets, hop in a kayak for a nighttime paddle on the “Lake Isle of Inisfree” to a private island. Leap onto the sand where a forested paradise awaits, along with a night of glamping in one of the world’s premier stargazing destinations. But first, enjoy wood-fired pizzas al fresco, while a local expert shares in the tales and legends of the area.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Hunt for Nessie with a Career Monster Tracker 

While Scotland is known for its legends and fables, none are quite as famous as the Loch Ness Monster. While considered by some as folklore, the storied creature has been likened by scientists to a plesiosaur that dates back to the end of the last ice age. To unearth the history of the mystical creature, meet Adrian Shine, a naturalist and researcher, for a private boat ride as he shares his insider knowledge after years of studying Nessie. You’ll fly across the waters of Loch Ness, one of the largest and deepest expanses of water in the UK, as you search for this elusive creature.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Spend the Night in Your Own Private Castle 

Nestled in the countryside on 500-acres lies a palace straight out of a fairytale—Aldourie Castle—and it’s easily bookable for a private rental for you and your closest 20 friends with Wilderness Scotland. This rare experience is set on the shores of Loch Ness, where well-tended courtyards, 16th-century gardens and horseback riding can be found as you stroll vast woodland grounds. For a closer look at the garden’s soaring pergolas, meet with your private guide for a tour, while keeping eyes peeled for deer, sea eagles and even basking sharks—the world’s second-largest fish. Stop for a tour at a world-famous malt whisky distillery to sip the Scottish ‘Water of Life,’ or hop in a sea kayak to observe the ruins of nearby Urquhart Castle from the water.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Cast a Line with an Expert Ghillie 

Grab your waders and wellies for an unforgettable fishing experience with one of Scotland’s most knowledgeable fishing expeditioners. Take to the Highlands to uncover the locals’ best-kept fishing spots along the River Tay in Perthshire. Here, anglers can find the country’s most iconic species—Atlantic salmon—along with pike, rainbow trout and pollock. Cheers to the catch of the day with a glass of distilled whisky on the riverbank.  

Dates & prices available upon request.

Forage for Juniper to Make Your Own Gin

While whisky may be the official drink of Ireland, gin is also a popular local tipple. In Ireland’s Ancient East, you can learn the complicated science behind every bottle of Irish-made gin. Head into the forest with a naturalist guide to forage for fresh ingredients, such as juniper and other herbs. Then, head to an exclusive gin school to distill a bottle with your own herbs—making for a memorable souvenir.  

Dates & prices available upon request. 

Climb a Sea Stack High Above the Atlantic  

Head to what Ireland’s Donegal County calls “the most climbable rocks in Ireland” to unearth a secret spot where you’ll be suspended above the Atlantic waves for an adrenaline-fueled climb. But first, visit one of the area’s most remote spots to meet the local Gaelic-speaking characters who call the area home. They’ll guide you through the history of the separation between Northern and Southern Ireland, the basic knowledge of the Gaelic language and their local traditions. Then, you’ll be whisked away to a tiny island, where you’ll climb to the top of a sea stack, then rappel down the steep cliffside high above ocean waves. 

Dates & prices available upon request.

North Pole Pop-Up Bar

A pop-up bar will open at the North Pole and offer free gin for life

Finnish Arctic Blue Gin is opening the northernmost pop-up bar “Arctic Bar” at the North Pole on April 17th. Any explorer courageous enough to reach it will earn free gin for life.

Situated at N90°E0°, the Arctic Bar will be open for one day on the 17th of April and gift anyone who shows up a lifetime supply of award-winning Arctic Blue Gin. The Arctic Bar will be the northernmost bar in the world, topping the Bar in Hotel Tulpan in Svalbard, Norway.

Why the North Pole?

“To survive here, you need to be a little mad, and quite a lot tougher. Just like the wild bilberries we season our gin with, that fight their way through the frozen earth just to survive. It’s not easy, but you can truly taste their zest for life.” says Mikko Spoof, Co-Founder and Brand Director of Arctic Brand Group.

“And just like the bilberries, our ideas have to fight through a dark and frosty element to survive.” Continues Mr. Spoof, “We believe actions are more impactful than words in telling stories. That’s why we will open a bar at the North Pole. The customers can enjoy free gin during the pop-up day and even better than that: they will get a lifetime supply of Arctic Blue Gin delivered to their front door. ”

The Finnish expedition will ride on the North Pole for a week in very harsh conditions. The thickness of the ice may vary from a few centimeters to a few meters and the temperature can even drop down to -40°C/F.

The expedition to N90°E0° will start today as Mikko Spoof and other three mad explorers embark on an adventure with the beloved gin to open a bar amongst polar bears, walruses, and seals. If you find yourself at N90°E0° on April 17th, you will get a free supply of Arctic Blue Gin for the rest of your life, or at least as long as the bilberries survive and are not extinct due to climate change.

The team is headed by the experienced polar expert and photographer Poppis Suomela. Photographer Valtteri Hirvonen and director Otso Tiainen will also join the extreme trip and film a short documentary on the effects of global warming.

About Arctic Brands Group

Arctic Brands Group is a high-quality artisan spirits company founded in 2017 and merged with Chevaliers Holding Ltd Hong Kong in 2018. The company has produced its first double gold award winning spirit the ARCTIC BLUE GIN. The products of Arctic Brands Group are based on the unique Finnish nature and its pure raw materials. Domestic blueberries, fresh spring water and Nordic plants give Arctic Blue the unique, sophisticated blueberry, juniper, spicy and coniferous taste. Arctic Blue Gin is already exported to over ten countries.

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Joseph Magnus National Growth Strategy

D.C.-Based Heritage Spirits Brand Joseph Magnus Unveils National Growth Strategy

Initiatives include strengthened leadership team, expanded distribution and warehousing, new product introductions and revitalization of its D.C. cocktail room

Jos. A. Magnus & Co., a 127-year-old award-winning spirits brand, today announced details of its aggressive national growth strategy. Key initiatives include an expanded and experienced leadership team, broadened national distribution and barrel warehousing capabilities and the launch of several Magnus special releases in 2019.

In addition, Magnus revealed plans to temporarily close and refurbish its Washington, D.C. cocktail room, consistent with the brand’s legacy. Updates will include the addition of pre-Prohibition artifacts on loan from the Magnus family archives, with the cocktail room expected to reopen in spring 2019.

The company’s bourbon and gin products are now available across 28 states, including California, New York, Texas, Illinois and Georgia. The leadership changes announced include:

  •         Ali Anderson has been promoted to general manager of Magnus from her previous position as director of sales. In her new role, she will work alongside a nationwide distributor of premium and craft spirits to leverage the company’s scaling production capabilities.
  •       Nancy Fraley, Master Blender, who has overseen the production of many of Magnus’ award-winning bourbons, including Joseph Magnus Bourbon, Cigar Blend Bourbon and Murray Hill Club, will continue to guide the Magnus production team and create several special releases for 2019.
  •         Thom Spelde joins Magnus as vice president of production, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry to the Company. Peter Boardman joins Magnus as distiller from Philadelphia Distilling Co., maker of Bluecoat Gin. He has 10 years of distilling experience. Both Spelde and Boardman will oversee production and the construction of a new barrel warehouse facility in Virginia to meet growing demand.

“We are excited by the opportunity to share the Magnus experience with customers in twenty-eight states,” commented Ali Anderson. “We will continue to deliver remarkable spirits to connoisseurs in D.C. and across the country.”

For more information about Jos. A. Magnus & Co. or to purchase spirits, visit josephmagnus.com.

About Jos. A. Magnus & Co.

Inspired by the legacy of pre-Prohibition distiller Joseph Magnus, the premium bourbon and gins of Jos. A. Magnus & Co. promise “remarkable spirits for remarkable people.” Building on 127 years of rich history, the company now distributes premium spirits in 28 states and delights patrons at its distillery and tasting room located in Washington, D.C. The spirits have garnered the nation’s top awards, including multiple double gold medals, and best-in-class bourbon and gin recognitions, using the very same techniques that Joseph Magnus practiced more than 100 years ago. For more information on Jos. A. Magnus & Co. spirits, legacy and distribution, visit josephmagnus.com.

 

MILK & HONEY TAPAS

​”If you don’t love this industry [Food and Beverage] then don’t do it … the amount of time is overwhelming.” – Al Rojas 

By Vaughn Lowery

Nearly twenty years ago, Al Rojas received some investment capital from his father (died from cancer 25 years ago) to become a restaurateur. After years of successfully running Santa Barbara’s widely popular Alcazar Tapas Bar, he commenced to sink his teeth into another endeavor – Milk & Honey Tapas [MHT]. This eclectic, snug cafe with curbside dining provides an array of mystical libations and mouth watering snacks for foodies. 

Specialty cocktails are their strong suit; however, the drinks are so intoxicating that you’ll have to taste their menu. After one drink, we were buzzing like busy bees in the hive. Hence, we started with flash-fried kale chips topped with manchego cheese and an order of Prosciutto Bundles stuffed with goat cheese. Yummy. Next up, we ordered PB&J Sliders (sirloin sliders, peanut butter, raspberry jam, Applewood smoked bacon) and Honey Lamb Pops (char broiled lamb chops; teriyaki, honey, butter, shallot, brown sugar sauce) – yes, we licked both our fingers and the bones. One of the most intriguing indigenous dishes we tried was Por-Que Pig?! (pulled pork shoulder, creamed pasilla chiles, garlic cilantro rice, manchego cheese, fresh cilantro, tomato; tomatillo cream sauce). Definitely not one of the most attractive items on the menu, but it sure was the most delightful – we scraped our bowls. For dessert, we received their house funnel cake alongside of a dark cup of coffee. 

Rojas boasts of being a globetrotter (Spain, France, UK, Grenada, Copenhagen, Montreal) and reminds us that his infused assortments were inspired by his travels. Adorning smart specs and possessing a charismatic personality, no wonder his wait staff is equally professional and attentive – his power to lead permeates the air. Something that his father instilled in him, “Treat everyone equally [no matter what their position in life may be].” Moreover, the fun-loving GM and crew kept the dimly lit dinner service packed like a can of sardines. 

In short, this is one of the best tapas and sips we have put our lips on in a long time. In fact, Milk & Honey Tapas rivals some of the top restaurants in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. If you possess an appetite for tangy handcrafted concoctions paired with savory bites, then this place will literally blow your wig back.

#360Recommended #IssaSnack 

http://milknhoneytapas.com

FUN FACTS:

Alcaraz Tapas Bar was established about 18 years ago and it’s Ginspiration Point cocktail was named the Official Drink of Santa Barbara.

Milk & Honey Tapas has been in business for over 11 years to date.
Al Rojas lends his name and support to 

Community Counseling and Education Center (CCEC) of Santa Barbara: a non-profit which offers family counseling services for victims of domestic violence and addiction.