Archive for the ‘bartenders’ Category

An Open Letter to the Bartender Community

Friday, May 6th, 2016

An Open Letter to the Bartender Community

There’s been many feathers ruffled recently, and the ugly face of sexism has raised its head, with a focus on some very good friends of mine, a special light being shone on Dushan Zaric from The 86 Company.

I’ve known Dushan for close to a decade now, and I know in my heart, that he’s no sexist. He’s the furthest thing from sexist I can think of. Please allow me to list a couple of facts:

  1. When presented with an opportunity to sell spirits in Dubai, Dushan Zaric refused “because I don’t want to sell our products in markets that have oppressive regimes or any other discriminatory policies. I specifically mean there the treatment of women, minorities and migrant workers.”
  2. EO has hired many women over the years. 2 of their 4 GMs have been women, for instance, and Julia Jaksic has been head chef there for almost 12 years.

I could go on, but I don’t see the need to. People who know Dushan have already rallied around him, simply because they know that he is one of the most caring souls in the industry. And many of these people have been women who Dushan has helped over the years.

How about me? Am I sexist? When I conduct my mindful bartending presentation I use an image of a woman with large breasts sitting in meditation pose while I’m talking about the benefits of meditation. I always say, “I’m taking advantage of showing you a picture of a woman with large breasts at this point,” I then show a picture of a hunk of a man in meditation pose “for all straight women or gay men in the room.”  Is that sexist? It probably is. I’ve never had complaints, though, and usually everyone laughs.  It’s a couple of throw-away lines. No more, no less.

IF, HOWEVER, someone wanted to smear my reputation, then those words and pictures would play right into their hands. And that, from what I can see, is what has happened to Dushan. His words have been taken out of context in order to fuel this witch-hunt.

I leave you to chew this over, folks, but I’m pleading with everyone out there who is still looking to harm Dushan to please stop and turn the conversation over to more real issues. I am sure if you talked to Dushan in person you would see he is not the person you’re making him out to be.

And if you are thinking of boycotting an entire company for the actions of one person within that company, I think you’d probably have to boycott every single spirits company out there, and then what would you sell in your bars? To threaten a small and vulnerable company and the livelihoods of the 10 people, 4 of them women, who work there surely seems preposterous. They are a company that has the best interest of bartenders, men and women, as the focus of their mission. Sure, The 86 Co is there to make money, but they do it in the most ethical way possible.

I want to go on record as standing firmly by Dushan’s side of this issue.  He couldn’t discriminate if his life depended on it. Of this I’m sure.

In conclusion, then, let me say this: If, in your mind, Dushan Zaric’s name is tainted in any way, then please consider my name to be tainted, too.

with lotsa love from gaz regan sig

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Abdou El Asfor, Morocco: World Class, 2012

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Abdou El Asfor, 2012 finalist from Morocco, showed really well in our Cocktail Mastery challenge, despite being hindered by the lack of dry ice, something, he needed for his presentation.  Using exotic Moroccan spices, though, he fair dazzled Ueno-San and me with his innate sense of style, and a couple of beautiful cocktails.

Here’s a recipe for the drink that Abdou presented in the Retro-Chic challenge:

Man in Black

Glass: Coupette

Garnish: None

Method: Stirred and strained

20ml Johnnie Walker Gold Label

20ml Grand Marnier

20ml Espresso

20ml Chocolate syrup

Recipe courtesy Class Magazine

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Matt Seiter

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

I’m using the blog this week to highlight the work of a really annoying bastard.  He goes by the name of Matt Seiter, and he’s the creator of the Sanctuaria Cocktail Club in St. Louis.

Matt has been pestering me for a few years now, and his most recent mission was to let me know about a few very nice cocktail-related articles he’s written for Feast.com, a St. Louis-based missive that obviously succumbs easily to annoying bastards such as Matt.

Without further ado, then, click on the following links to read some of Matt’s recent work.  And whatever you do, don’t let him get hold of your email address.  You’ll never hear the end of it.  Trust me on this.

Cosmopolitan

Martini

Negroni

Old Fashioned

Ping Pong

Bee’s Knees

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