Posts Tagged ‘bartender’

Forty Famous Cocktails

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Here’s a neat thingamajig I found in my Bartender’s Attic.  It’s a novelty item from the early years of the Twentieth Century.

Here’s how I’ve seen it described on-line:

This scarce item features a cardboard sleeve cheekily illustrated on both sides with small cut-out windows that reveal different cocktail recipes as you pull up on the inserted card. The recto is identified as: Forty Famous Cocktails: Being a Compendium of Reliable Recipes Carefully Compiled for Use in this Arid Era. Engraved with Humble Apologies to that Master Engraver John Held Jr. The verso is captioned: The Path to Perdition or a Scene from the Back Room in the Days When Life was Simple, with Apologies and a Toast to John Held Jr Master Eng. There are 40 cocktail recipes on the insert, including such classics as Side-Car, Old Fashioned, and Manhattan, as well as some more humorously named concoctions like Corpse Reviver, Bosom Caresser, and Monkey Gland.

And this is the front and back of the recipe insert:

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Posted in Bartenders Attic |

Savoy Cocktail Book, 1933 Signed Copy

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

If memory serves I bought this rare baby in 2012 when I was visiting London to help judge a cocktail competition for Courvoisier cognac. I was approached during the lunch break by a man who told me that he’d just seen a signed copy of the 1933 edition of the Savoy Cocktail book in a nearby antiquarian bookstore. He graciously offered to take me there.

I can’t remember the name of the gent who pointed me in this direction, but I well remember him telling me that his biggest claim to fame was that his wife had been the model they used for Jessica Rabbit in the cartoon movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She must have been quite a babe!

The bookstore in question was owned and run by Natalie Galustian who now works, I believe, for the DHH Literary Agency in London. She and I haggled a little, but we soon agreed on a price, so I handed over my credit card and the deal was done.

Here’s a picture of the page that was signed by the illustrious Harry Craddock. “Here’s How!” was a common phrase heard in the bars of yesteryear, and Craddock often used it in his signature.  It’s dated February 22 (or 23?), 1936, three years after this edition was published.

The Savoy Cocktail Book has been described as the Bhagavad Gita of cocktail books by English writer Alice Lascelles, and it contains many great cocktail quotes. Underneath the recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No. 1), for instance, is a note advising the reader that the drink was “To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed”  The note under the next recipe for the Corpse Reviver (No 2), however, warns that “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”

Craddock’s best known quote from this book, though, can be found in the foreword under the heading


Hint Number 6 instructs

Drink your Cocktail as soon as possible. Harry Craddock was once asked what was the best was to drink a Cocktail.

“Quickly,” replied that great man, while it’s still laughing at you.




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Posted in gaz regan's library |

Cocktails in the Country: “An Eye-Opening Experience”

Friday, April 27th, 2018

“Attending the Cocktails in the Country program was an eye-opening experience. It has allowed me to reflect on myself not only as a bartender but, as a person.

“It is easy to get caught up in a busy shift and schedule and allow it to hinder the customer service you provide to a guest. As Gary told stories about his experiences, I sat and tried to think of past instances where I could have applied a different approach to a difficult situation. I was able to identify my strengths and weakness by either related to how he handled a situation or by thinking, ‘I should try that.’

“When I returned back home, I was more conscious of my actions and attitude towards guest. I made it a point to make more eye contact and personalize my guest experiences to the best of my abilities.

“I have noticed that guest have been more appreciative for their service, and I have been given verbal compliments about how enjoyable I have made their experience.

“It was a pleasant surprise to notice how people will actually take the time to say thank you or give your positive feedback. It is rewarding to have a relationship like that with your customers.”

Jessica Torres, 320 Main, Seal Beach, CA

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “A Changing Point for Me”

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

“’We can’t change the world, unless we change ourselves’. Words that were adapted by The Notorious B.I.G., from a brilliant peaceful man. This was my reoccurring thought that this was the underlying morality behind Cocktails in the Country.

“Taking on a busy bar day after day can wear anybody out; I was fortunate enough to meet Gary at a changing point for me. I think all of us as like-minded barkeeps, carry a degree of mindfulness behind the stick, but hearing it out loud solidifies it.

“I now begin ALL of my shifts with words to myself, and really center my patience for questions like ‘Do you have any beer on tap’. Despite my large gold construction with faucets and handles, I answer with a light quip than my old responses. Either that or I use my Cocktail Kingdom Negroni stirrer and use it for all my pointing purposes. Thanks again pal for providing such a platform. Hope to see you soon.”

Steven Ferreira, Bobby Vans Steakhouse, John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 8, New York

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Helped Me to Be a Better Person, a Better Bartender”

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

“I really enjoyed Cocktails in the Country.  It was an amazing experience with  the cocktail guru Gaz Regan.

After this program I started to think and apply what I learned during the 2 days. I started giving people more attention, really listen them, answer back as Gaz taught us.  I started helping more and not be ashamed to ask for help if I really needed.

“I realize how these techniques work well and the results are incredible. People start giving me more attention as well. I see my coworkers are happier as I am.

“I usually meditate now and it gives me a sense of peace. When I am angry I am trying to breathe deeply and say to my self is not worth to be angry and keep doing what I do thinking about things I love and I am no longer angry.

“Intuition, I really used it a lot. I pushed my intuition to the limit and came out with an amazing cocktail recipe, well elaborated and presented, I am willing to even presented for a competition.

“Mindfulness technique really worked and helped me to be a better person, a better bartender and make people happy. I want to thank Gaz for teaching me all these things.  I want to thank all the staff for making our experience incredible.  It was my pleasure!”

Alex Bilodid, Junoon, New York, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “You Really Helped Me Find Clarity”

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

“First of all, an unexpected benefit of attending CitC was the great comradery amongst the group. Not only did I learn a great deal from my fellow bartenders, I was also fortunate enough to make legitimate friends with people who I will continue to have conversations with that I know will help improve my level of service as time goes on.

“The principles I’ve taken from the workshop have already come into play for me in both bars that I work at. Recently, I’ve struggled to find focus in two contrasting positions, and you really helped me to find clarity in terms of time & emotional management.

“Meditation has been key for me.  Truthfully, prior to my CitC experience I kind of viewed my idea of meditation as corny. For some reason, when we practiced a ‘conventional’ meditation with you during the workshop, it really hit home with me.

“Accepting and understanding that you will always have to be open to different and new approaches to bartending from making up cocktails to dealing with a difficult guest is definitely key in my idea of becoming a master of service. A master of service is not a graduate of the school of bartending, but rather a bartender who strives and will always strive to put forth effort in learning and executing in providing the best guest experience possible.

“Thank you so much Gaz! I had an amazing time and it was a treat to be able to participate in CitC!”

Edward Hansel, The Richardson, Brooklyn, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to


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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “. . . All Because I Asked How She Was”

Friday, April 20th, 2018

“I recently used the Mindful Greetings technique with every guest that came into the bar, almost immediately after returning from the class (of course I was eager). I had this gal at the bar that has been coming in for some time now and she’s very introverted. I would always say hello, but never actually say “how are you?”

“Today [I asked her how she was doing], and looked her in the eye.  She proceeded to have a twenty minute conversation with me, detailing her life and her experiences. At the end of the conversation she asked me to go to another bar afterward. I explained that I had to close the bar. She said she would wait.

“I close the bar…we are walking to the next spot and I let her know that I have to drop my stuff off at my house (it’s on the way to the bar we are going to). She then says, ‘Oh, well, do you have beer at your house?’ I replied…yes….yes I do (Well shit…I had beer at my house. I didn’t want to lie!)…So we have beers at my house…all because I asked how she was . . .”

Wade Budinetz, The MINT Gastropub, Bethlehem, PA

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “My Job Is to Make Them Smile”

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

“Since attending Cocktails in the Country with Gary Regan I have found myself implementing the practices and reminding myself of the principles discussed in the workshop each and every shift.

“Before getting behind the stick I read over The Four Agreements, and remind myself to not take anything too seriously and to not beat myself up when I make mistakes. Then I grab my crystal that I keep in my pocket and sit for around five minutes alone, feeling the cool air enter my lungs and the warm air leave them. All these things help me find a clearer, and more prepared head space to be mindful during my shift.

“I make sure to make eye contact and wait for each guest’s response when I ask them how they are doing that day, and I watch them either realize there’s a connection and light up, or not realize it and I just let it go.

“When I get angry or frustrated I just ask myself, what am I afraid of that’s making me react with madness? I remind myself that yesterday was a different day tomorrow will be too. The internal dialogue may seem strange from the outside but it leaves me level-headed and ready to continue cranking.

“Finally, I remember that humor is the best medicine, and when I wonder what people have come into my bar for, I remember that my job is to make them smile.”

Thomas Spaeth, Bar Sardine, New York, NY; Bar Uni, Brooklyn, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Bringing Mindfulness into Play Is Enriching”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

“Reflecting back on the mindfulness seminar I have found that it is easier for me to put people at ease than for myself. I have suffered with anxiety most of my life and putting this tactic to use is a lot harder than I thought.

“Even though my anxiety has cost me, I can tell you what I’ve done before hand in order to put mindfulness into action. I have been leaving my home earlier than usual. I sit on a bench and watch people walk by. I try not to think about outside forces that fog my thoughts.

“When I’m at work I’m extremely focused. Most of the time it relaxes me. I don’t normally have difficulty with guests and If I do I let them know that whatever I’ve done to accommodate or make up for their dissatisfaction is something I don’t normally do. They quickly change their dynamic and become extremely thankful. The air gets cleared and we both win.

“I’ve also been more assertive and honest. Mindfulness is something that we all do subconsciously but bringing into play consciously is rather enriching, people notice how suave and easy going you are.”

Penelope Roussetzki, The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Thank You for Reminding Me Why I Became a Bartender”

Monday, April 16th, 2018

“Well, it has been almost a month since I attended CITC and learned some valuable lessons. Something that sticks in my mind the most and has helped my attitude behind the bar most is remembering your friend who passed away (I am sorry but I cannot recall his name). You spoke of him in such a way that made me feel like I missed out on something wonderful because I never had the pleasure of being served by him. You spoke of how he was behind the bar, how his service and friendly attitude was something that will always be remembered, so much so that people came from all around the world to attend his funeral. The thing that struck me the most was when you said that his drinks were just ‘so-so’.

“Although I have been bartending for 16 years, I am new to craft bartending and something that has always been a struggle for me is keeping up and being competitive in this industry. The culture of craft bartending can be something that is hard to deal with, so much emphasis is placed on where you work, who you work with and what accolades you have achieved thru competitions, media and so on. It has gotten to be so that bartending has become about the bartender himself, and not the guest experience.

“Thank you for reminding me of why I became a bartender 16 years ago. I became a bartender because I love people, I love to be helpful and to be of service to people. I love to create bonds with people and be there to facilitate their good time. Bartending is a job in which we wear many hats, and I do believe I am good at it. Being able to feel that again is something that I thank you for. It’s not about the drink, it’s not about where you work, it’s not about what you know, who you know or how many competitions you win. It is about how you make people feel when they are sitting at your bar.

“It is about being a character in a story that someone will recall as the greatest night of their life.

“Since returning from your class my job feels less stressful. I have more fun and enjoy each shift behind the stick. I am less focused on being impressive and more focused on having fun and making my guests have fun.

“It has been a noticeable change in me, I have received many compliments from my guests and from my employers. I have people who come into the restaurant and ask for me by name now. And whenever I feel any negative feelings brewing inside me, I take a little break and close my eyes for a few minutes and meditate. I am easily able to reset my mind and change my perspective on a negative situation and turn it around.

“Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your stories and your wisdom with us. It means so much to have people like you in our industry.”

Renee Griego, Vaca, Costa Mesa, CA

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “I Try to Only Respond in a Positive Way”

Friday, April 13th, 2018

“There are many things that I have taken away from the Cocktails in the Country course.  One thing I have taken away is the ability to deal with difficult people, both customers and coworkers.  You taught us that no one is better than anyone else and that you shouldn’t treat anyone, or treat ourselves, as they are.  When you treat customers with a level of respect and show them through actions that they are important, they leave with a better taste in their mouths.

“It is important to look someone in the eyes when talking to them because it makes them feel that you are more genuine.  It is also important that when you ask a question such as “how are you today,” that to wait for them to answer you.  It makes it appear that you truly care and are not just using it as a greeting or pleasantry.

“I also have learned how to better interact with my coworkers.  I have a coworker that always comes in with a negative attitude and talks bad about fellow employees as well as some customers.  This breeds negativity around her that does not go unnoticed.  It is easy to fall into that trap and show similar attitude sometimes.

“In the class, we were taught to never talk bad about anyone else, EVER!  I have taken a step back and looked at how her attitude can affect my performance and mood.  A bad mood is contagious but a good mood is also contagious.  I have decided to try to only respond to how she acts in a positive way.  This has proven to be successful as her bad attitude has subsided some, at least when I am around her.

“These are just a few of the tools I have taken away from the Cocktails in the Country experience.  I look forward to continuing to learn and better my abilities.”

Anne Donovan, Christopher’s Bistro, Chester, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Thank You for a Great Class!”

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

“When I returned home to the bar from your class many of the lessons learned were immediately applied to my service.

“I never used to run the water over my martini glass when chilling and now that it’s something that has been shown to me it has been overflowing water in martini glasses since! I’m making a mess on my bar mats but it’s well worth it to have a much more chilled glass.

“In addition to that I have been expressing the oils from my citrus to the exterior of the glass to have the lingering scent on their fingers as you also told us that you learned from another bartender. I also do this now with my tincture spritzes. It has made a difference in the way the cocktail is enjoyed as well as the just curious looks from my guests as to what in the hell I am doing. Always keep ‘em guessing and asking questions!

“I love when my guests get curious and I get to nerd out about the techniques I am using and why. Thank you for a great class!”

Melissa Ray, Argosy Cafe, Baltimore, MD

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Thank You for Making Me Step Up My Game”

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

“For the longest time I felt my energy, bar mechanics and overall work ethic had been under sold and over shadowed by bigger egos, bigger booties, and poor excuses of half ass show boating by coworkers claiming to be bartenders.

“At the same time, all guests I had the pleasure to connect with always enjoyed my charisma, presentation, entertainment, hospitality, and of course cocktails.

“Guests would wait for me to serve them. Smile, laugh, post pictures and rave on their experience, libations, and the one who brought it all together for them.

“What a trip it is to receive hugs, kisses, ‘Oh My God I’m so glad I found you’, and ‘I brought my family back to meet you! Make them what you made me!’ . . .

“Cocktails in the Country not only gave me the challenge and pleasure of mixing with my counterparts; Gaz, you gave me the validation that yes, I have been doing right.

“The energy and presentation I exude IS the way a bartender Should be. Not only have I stuck to carrying out my passion behind the stick, I am sharing it with coworkers.

“There is no need to explain or ask for their attention, they gravitate towards my actions and the responses they see me attract! I’d like to say I played a part in that; although I’m certain your approach and energy gave me the insight to project even more.

“Thank you for restoring and replenishing confidence that damn near disappeared in me. Thank you for making me step up my game in this game called life, and this industry of hospitality. Thank you for the validation; thank you for you.

“Best regards sent with all the love, respect, gratitude, and blessings to you! Stay Golden.”

Carrie Medina, WAHI Oyster Bar, New York, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “I’m Going to Remember This Forever”

Monday, April 9th, 2018

“Good afternoon gaz, in regards to my application of your training I’ve definitely had the opportunity to use what you’ve taught us behind the stick. I never really thought about it but I do meditate before a shift, it usually doesn’t last long but just a few moments of silence to myself goes a long way & thank you for the meditating stone I’m sure it will help me in future meditations.

“As far as mindfulness behind the bar it becomes more and more relevant what you said ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they won’t forget how you made them feel’ I keep that in mind constantly when I’m bartending simply because people feed off your energy and if you put out bad vibes and make people feel uncomfortable or unwanted then that’s gonna reflect on their experience, but if you put out positive energy, good vibes, and start a shift with a good mentality then that will result in happier guests, more tips, and getting tail more often.

“I’ve always had a hard time asking people for help simply because I have that ‘Do it yourself’ mentality but I can see how saying ‘I Need your help’ can be applied in a time of need, I will definitely be using that technique to get out of situations.

“As far as Changing my reality, I feel I can apply this to my co-workers simply because I’ve had tumultuous relationships with some of my co-workers and by changing my mental state and interacting with those co-workers in a positive fashion I’m slowly but surely improving my working relationships with those people, now my work doesn’t seem too much of a burden.

“Thanks again for everything Gary I learned a lot and had an amazing experience, I’m going to remember this forever…”

Ralf Ramirez, The Exhibition Room, Long Beach, CA

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “My Top Takeaways”

Friday, April 6th, 2018

“My top takeaways from the Cocktails in the Country experience are:

1) I have become more aware of the negative energy I allow to affect me at home due to the contrast I experienced while at the class.  With that awareness, I can begin to make different decisions about how I allow myself to react and live with the negative energy in city’s industry.  This is an ongoing process, and at times I feel like I am alone on this journey here, but it has led to me feeling as if change is possible.

2) Energetically preparing for my shift behind the bar makes a real difference in how much business I get and how I interact with my guests.  And, I believe it has made a positive monetary difference for me.

3) There are some absolutely amazing bartenders around the country, and we are all dealing with the same things.  Each of us approaches them with his or her own life experiences, which leads to creative and vastly different (yet equally valid) solutions.

4) It is amazing how many different ways bartenders can put together the exact same spirits into vastly different cocktails! ; Thank you for bringing this program back, and for sharing your time and energy with us in this way.  I am honored to have spent the time with you, learned from you, and to call you friend.”

Carol Donovan, Intoxicatingly Fun Cocktails and Burton Place, Chicago, IL

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “I Take More Time to Hear the Guest”

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

“Of course I took everything into consideration when I got back to the bar.   I take more time to hear the guest and their needs.

“I seemed to be good at before but meditating and getting in the zone before shift seems to help me so much more.

“Also building cocktail recipes has helped me put a book together of 35-40 cocktails that I will be selling at the lodge.

“The experience of hearing your story makes me believe that I can do something to turn the industry around and had people enjoy the drink and furthermore their total experience.

“So I thank you for the time you put into our class and being in touch with us.”

Zachary Robert Blair, KANU, The Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Mindful Bartending Has Become a Way of Life”

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

“Mindful bartending has become a way of life. Noticing where my mind is at all times has given me the advantage over many people such as my customers.

“For instance, it has allowed me to really create the ultimate experience for them so that not only they stay but feel as they are extremely important.

“Gaz has really enhanced my craft and has taught me that being mindful is far more than just liquid in a glass it has everything to do with the ultimate experience for them.

“I have applied mindfulness to all of my shifts and have noticed that my tips are increasing as well as my clientele.

“As of recently more people has mentioned to me that they will come back just for me. And that is the most beautiful thing I have taken from Cocktails in the Country.”

Christopher Figueroa, Sixty5 on Main & Brickhouse, Nyack, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Gaz’s Suggestions Have Been Effective for Being Compassionate”

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

 “I’ve been to orientations and seminars and even an EBT (Food stamps) ‘how to fill in an application and go to an interview’ class and always left like it was some basic shit.   But CitC was not like that.

“It was hosted by a Barman that has really figured life out, and has distilled it down to what’s important, while being well spoken and humble about it all.

“I went back to work and have already used some of his suggestions which have been effective for being compassionate with a clientele that often doesn’t acknowledge the bartender’s existence.  Thanks Gaz,”

Joshua James, Middle Branch, New York, NY

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: Hector Sam-Roman, The Shepherd and the Knucklehead, Hoboken NJ

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

“Your class changed my life.  Your teachings helped shape me as a beverage director and also as a better bartender and I thank you for this class and also helping me with the ability to make better cocktails. Thank You” Hector Sam-Roman, The Shepherd and the Knucklehead, Hoboken NJ

Think You’re Tough Enough for This Workshop?


gaz regan Negroni Finger Stirrer for all Bartenders attending April 9/10 Workshop

Courtesy of Campari America

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Posted in CitC, CitC Marketing, Uncategorized |

Cocktails in the Country: “The Experience Was Tremendous”

Friday, March 30th, 2018

“Thanks for including me in Cocktails in the Country. The experience was tremendous as were the other students.  Long-lasting bonds have been formed and new perspectives developed.

“Cocktails in the Country provided the framework for understanding Mindful Bartending. The idea is that people will remember how you’ve made them feel. It’s the steps that a bartender takes that directly result in that sentiment, or its unfortunate antithesis.

“I’ve attempted to exist in a state of total awareness while encouraging my coworkers to echo the same level of engagement. This engagement is tempered with a light-hearted attitude; we can’t be too serious behind the bar.

“I’ve been mindful in prepping for my shift. Taking time to relax my mind allows for clear focus. This has allowed for my intuition to become sharper. The sharper intuition leads to more mindful communication. Allowing the guest to express themselves. They could have stayed home for a drink; they came out to have an experience.

“We help guide that experience. We make them laugh, smile and enjoy themselves. While we change their reality through their experience, so do we change our own.”

Alex Taylor, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Alexandria, VA

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Campari America Offers Free gaz regan Negroni Finger Stirrers.

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Thanks to Campari America, every Bartender Attending the

April 9/10 Session of Cocktails in the Country

will Receive a Free Finger-Stirrer* in their Goody Bag

We’ve all sorts of other goodies for you too, courtesy of these fine companies

whose products you’ll get to play with at the workshop.

Space is Limited

Apply Now

*Also available from Cocktail Kingdom, click HERE for details

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Posted in CitC, CitC Marketing |

Cocktails in the Country: “Your Class Changed My Life”

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

“There is no other way to put this but your class changed my life and helped me to help others to change their perception of work and their reality.

“I attribute this to when you discussed being mindful and how it pertains to helping others as well. I started showing my staff the techniques you taught me about being mad at a customer and being happy with a customer and the results were night and day.

“Also through your teaching of changing your reality I was able to help my staff get through not just a hard time at work but also in life, your teachings helped shape me as a beverage director and also as a better bartender.

“I thank you for this class and also helping me with the ability to make better cocktails.”

Hector Sam-Roman, The Shepherd and the Knucklehead, Hoboken, NJ

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Cocktails in the Country: “Your Approach Is Simple, Easy to Follow and Incredibly Effective”

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

“When I began working as a bartender close to 20 years ago, it started as an endeavor chosen based on flexibility of schedule not as a career path. I was a young mom looking to make a decent income working part time hours.

“Over the years, however, it’s become a passion, hobby, and thriving career-something I never expected to happen. Always wanting to learn and improve, I decided to take your class in hopes I could incorporate your practice of mindfulness into my routine.

“I have always felt I was an attentive bartender-anticipating customer need, carefully gauging the space I was working-yet after taking your class I have a new and more concise focus on how to build and expand on those skills.

“Your approach is simple, easy to follow and incredibly effective and the benefits of being mindful transition perfectly in to all areas of daily life. I would recommend your class to anyone in the industry and feel very fortunate to have taken it. Thank you, and it was great meeting you.”

Jennifer Abare, Amici Italian Grill, Avon, CT

For more Information about Cocktails in the Country, Click HERE

For an Application to Attend Cocktails in the Country, write to

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Posted in CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials |

Bartender Spring Break in the Hudson Valley

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Wanna Spend a Couple of Days with a Bunch of Like-Minded Bartenders?

“Thank you for restoring and replenishing confidence that damn near disappeared in me. Thank you for the validation; thank you for you.; Best regards sent with all the love, respect, gratitude, and blessings to you!  Stay Golden.”

Carrie Medina, WAHI Oyster Bar, New York, NY.

Apply Now, and Bring a Friend for Free*

*Available for the April 9/10 and the April 16/17 Retreats only




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Posted in CitC 2018 |

Cocktails in the Country Sponsors, 2018

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Organized Chaos: The CitC Challenge

What happens when you throw 10 top-class bartenders behind a 12-seater bar for 30 minutes and let them go wild?

When you have ingredients like the products listed below, a little magic happens.

Wanna Join us this year?  CLICK HERE

Cocktails in the Country Sponsors, 2018


















Chase Flavored Vodkas


English Oak Smoked

































































Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur

Bauchant Orange-Cognac Liqueur


Chase Elderflower Liqueur

Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur


Lazzaroni Amaretto

Luxardo Bitter Bianco

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Marie Brizard Parfait Amour

Marie Brizard Yuzu

PAMA Liqueur

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Stroma Liqueur


Byrrh Grand Quinquina

La Quintinye Vermouth Royal (Dry et Rouge)

Dolin Vermouth, Rouge, (Blanc et Dry)


Don Zoilo 12 Year-Old Pedro Ximénez

Pando Fino Sherry

Canasta Cream Sherry


Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki® Bitters

Boker’s Bitters from The Bitter Truth

Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters

Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters

Fee Brothers Lime Bitters

Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6


The American Juice Company



Wanna Join us this year?  CLICK HERE

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Posted in CitC 2018 |

Having a Whale of a Time, Wish You Were Here

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Negronis by Osvaldo Vazquez were the Icing on the Cake!

For Valentines day this year we went out into the ocean in Los Cabos, and petted whales as they swam next to our boat.  What an experience, huh?  Didn’t happen quite like that . . .

We did see whales, though. Two of them to be precise.  And although they didn’t come close enough to our boat for us to touch them, they swam pretty close by for about half-an-hour.  It was unforgettable.

What follows, then, and the pics we took of Frida and Pancho, our new Whaley friends!  Thanks to Chileno Bay Resorts for their fabulous hospitality!

And we ended the afternoon with a few oysters and a song or two


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Posted in bartenders, Travels and Adventures |

Discover Bols Genever 100% Malt Spirit

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Feb 6, 6 – 8.30 PM

21 W 46th Street, 11th Floor, NYC

Discover a 17th century style from the Bols family. Bols Genever 100% Malt Spirit with our Master distiller, Piet Van Leijenhorst.

All the way from Amsterdam to share this special occasion with us and would love for you to join!

We will be featuring specialty cocktails created by:
Butter and Scotch
Bathtub Gin
Along with our Red Light Negroni!

There is limited space for the event and RSVPS are required.

RSVP to today to save your spot at this special occasion!


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Posted in Uncategorized |


Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

HOOD RIVER, Ore (January 16, 2018)– The United States Bartenders’ Guild today announced a national cocktail contest, sponsored by Lucid Absinthe Supérieure, to find the next Cocktail Classique Champion.

Open to any working mixologist across the country, the contest seeks to find the talent behind the most creative cocktails using Lucid Absinthe.  The winning mixologist will be awarded a trip to the Combier Distillery in the Loire Valley, France, where Lucid Absinthe is made according to traditional French methods.

Once a core ingredient in most classic cocktails, absinthe was banned in the United States for 95 years. Following efforts by research scientist turned distiller T.A. Breaux, the ban was repealed in 2007, and Lucid Absinthe Supérieure became the first authentic absinthe to be legally sold in the US.

“It’s been more than 10 years since the repeal of the ban, yet many mixologists are still exploring the best ways to use absinthe beyond a rinse,” said Keri Meuret, Brand Manager, Lucid Absinthe.  “We’re thrilled to partner with the USBG to educate their members and the US mixology community as a whole about authentic absinthes and to encourage them to experiment and find innovative ways to accent the botanicals at the core of this wildly versatile spirit.”

Interested applicants should create a unique recipe using at least ½ ounce of Lucid Absinthe and submit the recipe to Entries will be accepted January 15 through February 23 at 11:59pm PDT. The field of entries will be evaluated by a panel of USBG experts.

Cocktails will be judged on appearance, aroma, creativity, taste and ability to enhance, not overwhelm, the botanicals used in Lucid.

Ten semi-finalists will be selected in each of five regions (Western, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast) and compete in a live shake-off in each of the regions to be held in March – July, with specific dates to be announced. The winner of each semi-final will be invited to compete in the Cocktail Classique Finals in New Orleans in August.

Additional information is available on Lucid’s Facebook page, the Lucid Website and the USBG website.

Samples and hi-res images are available. Contact Laura Peet, PeetCom Inc.;

(917) 860-6285.

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Posted in Bartender Bulletin |

JE Doherty & Co: A Liquor Dealer’s Pamphlet, circa 1900

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

JE Doherty & Co: A Liquor Dealer’s Pamphlet, circa 1900

Here’s a promotional pamphlet, circa late 1890s or early 1900s*, published by J. E. Doherty, a liquor dealer in Boston .  Old Crow whiskey was going for $3 a gallon at the time, and for $5.50, you could nab a gallon of 1872 Hennessy cognac.  How we yearn for those good old days.

On the inside of the cover of this document was a letter from the company about one of their products, Early Dawn whiskey.  Here’s how it’s described:

“We are the proprietors of Early Dawn Whiskey.  It is very seldom that one finds a twelve-year-old whiskey passing over the bar of a drinking house, but the writer had that pleasure a few days ago.  It was the famous Early Dawn brand.

We have some of that whiskey on our sideboard, and we only speak the truth when we say that we approach that venerable spirit with reverence and a due appreciation of its worth and elegance.  With Bob Ingersoll, we can grow enthusiastic and say, “Such whiskey is a wonder of the distiller’s art.  Inhale it, and you have the bouquet of a thousand flowers, rich, full and enchanting.  Drink it, and you are filled with the spirit of contentment and joy; you breathe the balmy air of the fragrant, billowy grain fields of the Great West; you hear the sweet, clear song of the lark as he springs heavenward at the break of day; the robin’s melodious tune; the music of the soft summer breeze through the wavering corn; the harvest song and the cricket’s merry chirp.  It can bring joy to the sorrowing, hope to those in dispair [sic]–make them feel that there is still something left in life to live for.  It is a friend without enemies, and a liquid delight which chance gives to a few men.”  In short, it is an all around, royal good whiskey, and we would like to be condemned to drink as good the remainder of our days.”

* Boston Post from Boston, Massachusetts on March 20, 1897: Notice is hereby given, under Chapter 100 of the Public Statutes, that Joseph F.. and Mary J. Doherty, as J. E. Doherty & Co., have applied for a license to sell Intoxicating liquors as Victuallers of the First Class and Wholesale Dealers of the Fourth Class B, at Nos. 1855 and 1857 Washington street.

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Posted in gaz regan's library |

An Anthology of Cocktails together with Selected Observations by a Distinguished Gathering and Diverse Thoughts for Great Occasions

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

An Anthology of Cocktails together with Selected Observations by a Distinguished Gathering and Diverse Thoughts for Great Occasions.  (No author credited)  London: Booth’s Distilleries, Ltd.  (No date—probably 1940s)


Here’s a promotional booklet printed by Booth’s Distilleries, LTD, that showcases drinks attributed to people who were celebrities at the time—probably the 1940s—of publication.  Dame Sybil Thorndike, a British actress (1882 – 1976) is the only name I recognize, but the Earl of Westmorland, The Countess of Oxford and Asquith, a certain Professor Low, and 15 more people are pictured within.




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Posted in gaz regan's library |

A Very Important Book

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Robert Simonson’s book, 3-Ingredient Cocktails, is one of the World’s Most Important New Cocktail Books.

Let me explain

I frequently witness bartenders today make incredible new cocktails using accents, mists, foams, dashes,and a tapestry of ingredients that, when they come together in harmony, show artistry and a deep understanding of the craft of mixology.

Yet many bartenders today forget that not all masterpieces call for a patchwork quilt to display their mastery.  Often, just three ingredients do the trick. And these, when it comes down to it, are usually my favorite tipples.

At a recent Cocktails in the Country Retreat in the Hudson Valley, as the bartenders were busy creating some new drinks, I wandered behind the bar and made myself a 3-ingredient cocktail–don’t ask what was in it, I often just see if “these 3” ingredients work well together, and I vary ingredients every time.  A very accomplished Manhattan bartender asked for a sip of my drink, then asked what was in it. I told her which 3 ingredients I’d used to make the drink, and she looked puzzled, “But it’s so complex,” she said. That one remark set off an alarm in my head. Something must be done, I thought.  Well Robert Simonson just did it.

It’s very important, I believe, that this classic style of cocktail is taught to all bartenders new to the craft, and it’s just as important that accomplished mixologists remind themselves on a regular basis just how vital it is to grasp how these cocktails, so seemingly simple in structure, become so very complex when the ingredients meet in harmony.

Robert has assembled the best of the bunch of 3-ingredient cocktails in this tome, and as usual, he’s done it with style.  If you’re lucky, someone will think enough of you to buy you a copy of this book over the December Holidays. If not, get yer hand in yer pocket and buy it for your own self.

Buy 3-Ingredient Cocktails HERE.

Buy A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World HERE

And find other great works by Robert Simonson HERE

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Posted in Bartender Books |

The Five Most Popular Modern-Day Cocktails of 2017

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Every year, Drinks International, a trade mag for the booze biz, gathers data on the top bars around the world, resulting in a list of the 50 most popular drinks in the world. See the whole list HERE

What interested me most about this list was the fact that, if you don’t count the Aperol Spritz (and I don’t count the Aperol Spritz), just 10-percent of these drinks were created in the late 20th- or early 21st-centuries.

Let’s take a look at who is responsible for these true new classic cocktails

Coming in at number 46 is Audrey Saunders’ Old Cuban.  A fabulous drink that can be found on lots of menus of the best bars on the planet. (As a side note I need to mention that, at this point, Audrey has more drinks in my new edition of Joy of Mixology than anyone else.  By quite a long chalk, too)

Dick Bradsell’s Bramble, a fine drink if ever there was one (though I prefer his Treacle personally), comes in at number 37.  Mure is more, as they say . . .

The Cosmopolitan, of course, rears its head at number 31 on the list.  See the whole story behind the creation of this drink HERE, or simply tip your hat to Cheryl Cook, Dale DeGroff, and Toby Cecchini.

Sam Ross’ Penicillin comes in at number 19, and deservedly so. I gotta say, too, that having a scotch-based drink so high in the charts makes my little heart glad.

Dick Bradsel’s Espresso Martini is the highest of the modern day cocktails on this list, coming in at number 15.  And let’s face it, this drink is a doozy.  Sorry that you’re not here to see this, Dick, but know that your name will never be forgotten in the cocktail world.

That just about wraps it up, folks.  Whose drinks will shine on through next year?  Who the hell knows?

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Posted in cocktailian |

Things Wot I Have Learned

Monday, October 9th, 2017

I learned an important lesson recently, and it’s  lesson I’ve learned over and over again at various points in my life.  I sure as hell hope I never have to learn it again, though I’m pretty sure I will . . .

Every single time I say negative things about any person, or any situation, even if I believe that I’m justified in saying what I say, within a very short time I find myself regretting opening my fuckjin’ mouth again.

It’s the way in which our glorious universe works I think: Put negative vibes out there and they’ll boomerang right back atcha. Happens every fuckin’ time.

Here’s hopin’ then, that you’ll learn this lesson better than I have thus far.

I’ve had 66 years to get this right and I still fuck it up at time.

Namaste, then, my friends. God be with you. Peace on Earth. All that liberal crap applies here.

And please know that I love each and every one of you. Yep, that includes you.  And him.  No exceptions.

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Posted in Mindful Bartending |

Jim Meehan’s Bartender Manual

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

This book just landed on my doorstep, including the luverly little note that Jim wrote  Thanks so much, Jim.

Here’s a pic of Jim at Cocktails in the Country 10 years ago

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’ve done a great deal of skimming through it’s pages, and, as expected, I’m thinking that this is the definitive guide for bartenders in the 21st Century.

Jim’s the Ultimate Wise Guy in the Cocktailian World.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this, and I think I’m right in predicting ing that, 100 years from now, when bartenders look to the past, the names they’ll cite as their main influencers will be Jerry Thomas, Harry Johnson, David Embury, and JIM MEEHAN

You Done Good, Kid!

Buy the Book HERE

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Posted in Bartender Books |

I Need Your Help

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Have you tried my Salted Espresso Martini Syrup yet?  Did You Like It?

I need reviews on Amazon, so could I ask you to follow THIS LINK  and leave a few words–words like excellent, fabulous, stunning, incredible, you get the picture–in a new customer review, please?

If you haven’t tried my Salted Espresso Martini Syrup yet . . .

You might as well pick a bottle up while you’re on Amazon, right?  A 4-ounce bottle will make you a couple of excellent Martinis with the addition of a little vodka, gin, tequila, or mezcal.  Get it HERE

Thanks for all help!

You’ll be rewarded a thousand-fold when your guests get hooked on my syrup!

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Posted in Salted Espresso Martini Syrup |

BARTENDERS! Wanna Win a Trip to Visit Luxardo in Italy Next Year?

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Bartenders Invited: Join Us For A Chance to Win a Trip to Visit Luxardo in Italy Next Year

Join Matteo & Nicolò Luxardo, as well as International Brand Ambassador Gareth Franklin as we cheers to Luxardo’s newest innovation Bitter Bianco

  • Liqueur Education: More than Modifiers
  • Cocktail Competition: Sip on signature Bitter Bianco cocktails by six of the city’s favorite bartenders
  • Lunch

*While assisting in selecting the winning recipe, all trade attendees will be entered to win a chance to visit Luxardo in Italy next year.

Tuesday, September 19 (That’s Tomorrow!)

12:00- 3:00 pm

The Dead Rabbit

30 Water St

New York, NY

Please RSVP to

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Posted in Competition |

Bartenders’ Bookshelf

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

A few new books have come my way recently, so here’s a look at the tomes that strike me as being well worth the price of admission.

B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S. by Brian F. Rea   

(Bars And Saloons, Taverns And Random Drink Stories)

A 175 page, 150+ images entertaining, funny irreverent memoir from the loungasaurus of the bar/drink trade. Stories of strange bartenders (Draino, Suck ‘em up Sam, Drink Magician Jason, etc.), weird cocktails, latrine bars, authors DUI on a bicycle, bar staff and customer complaints about each other, and church and bar similarities. Plus the testicle festival, classic cocktails and variations, dark ages of bartending, hangover helpers (good and God awful), Forbidden Fruit/Chambord and chastity belts, and Cock-Ale (the beginning of mixed drinks). Followed by whine tales, Stink to Drink (authors entry to the bar/drink trade), brief drink book reviews, Shampain, Mickey Finns, etc., as well as bar/drink cartoons, images and stories, together with interesting historical aspects, and observations of drink and drinking establishments. And….this is just Volume I!. You should be 21 (LDA) to read this book.



Spirit of the Cane

Nine years after they first published their first history of Cuban rum, authors Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown have finished scouring libraries, archives, and databases gleaning as much of the truth about the origins of Cuban rum. Their findings include some rather eye-opening discoveries about the contributions made by Spanish, French, British, and Dutch sources that positioned this seductive spirit ahead of other Caribbean spirits by seeking and adapting new technologies and techniques to its production which is appreciated around the globe.



The Cocktail Competition Handbook

So you want to win a global cocktail championship or for that matter even a local one. Whether you‘re a first-timer or a grizzled veteran of the cocktail competition circuit, it never hurts to hone your skills to a sharp edge thanks to the tips and tricks in The Cocktail Competition Handbook by Andy Ives. Editor of the BarLifeUK website and an active competition judge, Ives offers up sound advice selecting the right competition to enter, creating a drink, devising a presentation, and then delivering it to a judging panel.



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Posted in Bartender Books |


Saturday, July 15th, 2017

On Saturday July 22 I’ll be behind the stick serving my newly formulated Jägermeister Cocktails at Bourbon Vieux, 501 Bourbon Street, New Awlins!

Meanwhile, my Brother from another Mother, Mix Meister Nils Boese will be behind the German Tiki Bar doing his own durned thang!

Doors Open @ 8PM

Hope you can join us!

RSVP, please, to

With Lotsa Love from

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Posted in Jagermeister |

Going to BAR17 in Chicago Next Week?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Please stop by Booth 11233 and visit my friends at the

American Juice Company  

I’ve been serving AJC’s products at Cocktails in the Country for the past two years, and the bartenders who used them were all mighty impressed.  And I mean ALL.

Now I’m partnering with this fine company to release Gaz Regan’s Salted Espresso syrup, and it’s being debuted next week at BAR17, so pop by their booth and insist on a sample if this sounds like it might be a fit for your bar.

The Espresso Martini, of course, was the brainchild of the late, great, Dick Bradsell–the Dale DeGroff of London–and I worked with the flavor-meisters at AJC to create something a little different, but still with that strong Espresso flavor.

Gaz Regan’s Salted Espresso syrup boasts three different coffee styles (Arabica, Robusta, and Dark Roast), and in addition to the pinch of salt, we’ve also added a little vanilla, star anise, Chinese anise, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom,  and a touch of citrus zests to the mix.  I think you’re gonna like it.

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Posted in Bar Bulletin |

Two Legendary Bastards from St. Louis

Sunday, May 14th, 2017


Two Legendary Bastards from St. Louis,

Ted Kilgore and Matt Seiter by Name

have talked me into flying to St. Louis for what they assure me is a good cause, and they’ve promised me a good time, too. We’ll see how big their Bastard status if after it’s all over . . .

Anyway, if you’re going to be anywhere near St. Louis, MO, on June 10, this might be a good way to kill some time.




Here are the details:

The Ideal Cocktail Party, celebrating the 100th anniversary of “The Ideal Bartender” book by St. Louis’s own Tom Bullock.

June 10th, 6 pm till 10 pm at Planter’s House $65 Sponsored by William Grant & Sons

Featuring Book author, Celebrity Bartender, gaz regan, 18 new cocktails from 9 St. Louis cocktail bars, and the local St. Louis Bartenders Guild. Planter’s House food, live music featuring Miss Jubilee and Steve Ewing. Partial proceeds will go to St. Louis Metro Market.

The line up of spirits used for cocktails includes:  Hendricks Gin, Reyka Vodka, Milagro Tequilia, Balvinie Scotch, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, Hudson Whiskey, Flor de Cana Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and more.

Participating bars:  Planter’s House, BC’s Kitchen, Frazer’s, Taste, Randolfi’s, Retreat, Mission, The Preston, Eclipse and the St.Louis Bartenders Guild.

Date and Time: Sat, June 10, 2017; 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM CDT

Location: Planter’s House, 1000 Mississippi Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104

Click HERE to purchase tickets

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Posted in Bartender Bulletin |

New Trou Normand from Carter Wilsford, Analogue, NYC

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Carter Wilsford of Analogue, NYC

Carves a Chip off the Old Block

Chip Off The Old Block

Carter Wilsford, Analogue, New York, NY

1.5 oz Calvados Boulard VSOP

.5 oz Baker’s Bourbon

.5 oz Luxardo Apricot Liqueur

.5 oz Cynar

.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Build all ingredients in a shaker.  Add ice, shake hard.  Double strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass.

Garnish with a slice of dehydrated apple and a mint sprig.

Consume while contemplating your relationship with your father.

Trou Normand Service Idea from gaz: Divide the contents of the shaker between two small wine glasses, and invite a friend to join you for Trou Normand Shooters!

gaz sez: Once again we’re seeing a gorgeous balancing act here wherein the bourbon dries out the calvados a little, the Cynar and the apricot liqueur dance a mean Tango, and the lemon juice adds just enough sour notes to make you sit up and take notice.  Strong contender here.

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Posted in Boulard |

Doug Brickel of Cork & Kerry, NY Enters the Boulard Calvados Trou Normand Competition

Thursday, May 11th, 2017


Doug Brickel of Cork & Kerry, NY

Asks that we Stay Trou!

Stay Trou

Doug Brickel, Cork & Kerry, Floral Park, NY

“The Boulard Calvados is beautifully dry but has aromas of subtle fruits including apples, passionfruit and pineapple. The pineau des charentes has a similar fruit-forward nose, but lends a bit of sugar to balance the alcohol in the Calvados. The proportionally tiny bit of Cynar 70 in the mix gives the drink a bit of heft and provides a “bass note” for the sip.” Doug Brickel

3/4oz (45ml) Boulard Calvados

3/4oz (45ml) Pierre Ferrand Pineau des Charentes

1/4oz (15ml) Cynar 70-Proof

Add ingredients to a stirring vessel and add cracked ice. Stir quickly to chill and dilute a bit, approximately ten seconds in total. Strain into a teacup, express a lemon twist over the top, and discard twist.

gaz sez:  This drink falls right into the BOLD THINKING category, mainly because of the use of Pineau des Charentes, but the balance in this baby is very finely tuned, too. Nicely done, Doug Brickel!




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Posted in Boulard |

The Trou Normand Becomes a New Bartender’s Handshake

Saturday, April 29th, 2017


New York City’s Dave Bletsch Takes a New Look at the Trou Normand


Adapted from a recipe by Dave Bletsch, Cork & Kerry, New York

“When reading the description of the Trou Normand, I immediately thought of a Bartender’s Handshake – a gesture from one barkeep to another that is usually something strong and bitter. I have a few of these in my back pocket to offer to other industry folk who come and sit at the bar with me. None of them really worked when I tried them with the calvados instead of the other base spirits I’ve used.

“The Bouldard VSOP Calvados has a distinct passionfruit aroma which is wonderful but fragile. I wanted to highlight this flavor without covering it up. So instead of adding other tropical fruit flavors, I decided to go with a familiar citrus – orange. It’s a flavor that goes well with breakfast or with dessert, and works and plays nicely with both sweet and bitter flavors.

“The Gran Classico from Tempus Fugit has all of that wonderul candied orange bitterness – reminiscent of my (Irish) grandmother’s marmalade. But to balance some of the sweetness and highlight that refreshing bitterness, Regans No. 6 rounds things out nicely.

“As for building this cocktail, it should be a shooter. We can class it up a bit by serving it in a chilled old fashioned glass, but only if the moment required it. It is also painfully simple to duplicate and build multiples at the same time. No garnish necessary.” Dave Bletsch

1 oz. Calvados Boulard VSOP

.5 oz. Tempus Fugit Gran Classico Bitter

2 dashes Regans Orange Bitters No. 6

Add all the ingredients to an ice-filled shaker tin and swirl briefly, just to chill the contents – no dilution necessary. Strain into a chilled rocks/old fashioned glass and consume in a single quaff.

“Why would I stir/swirl in a shaker tin? Because it’s quick and accessible, it fits multiples of this cocktail, and it’s way easier (than most stir vessels) to pour into a shot glass as you’re saying goodnight to friends who may have indulged at dinner, and need to clear a small space in their bellies in order to have a good night’s sleep.” Dave Bletsch

gaz sez: Dave Bletsch obviously gets the message of the new Trou Normand concept, and I’ll bet he gets plenty of bartenders in his joint for one of his special handshakes. The Grand Classico is a heavenly match for the Calvados Boulard here, and the bitters just make the drink pop.  Thanks, Dave!




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Posted in Boulard |

Calvados Cocktail from New York Joins the Trou Normand Competition

Saturday, April 29th, 2017


Try this Trou Normand Variation from New York City!

Benito Juarez

Adapted from a recipe by Flynn Thomas, Trademark Taste & Grind, New York

.75 oz Calvados Boulard

.75 oz Ilegal Mezcal

.5 oz Martini and Rossi Bianco vermouth

.25 oz Benedictine

4 dashes Peychauds bitters

3 dashes Orange Cream Citrate bitters

1 orange twist, as garnish

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass.  Add the garnish.

gaz sez: Who would have thunk that Calvados Boulard would cuddle so graciously with mezcal?  But she does, indeed, and the Benedictine battles Peychaud’s bitters here until they both relax in harmony.  Fab drink, Flynn!  Thanks for sending.




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Posted in Boulard |

Trou Normand Cocktail from Toronto!

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017


Here’s a Fabulous take on the Trou Normand from Toronto, Canada!


Created by Japhet Bower, Bar Hop, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“I named this after a nearly extinct Norman dialect of Pays d’Auge,” Japhet Bower

1 oz Calvados Boulard

.25 oz Amontillado sherry

.25 oz honey

Shake over ice and double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.

gaz sez: The sherry and the honey snuggle up tight in this well-knit Calvados Boulard Cocktail. Nicely done, Japhet!




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Posted in Boulard |

Calvados Boulard Trou Normand Challenge!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017




“In the midst of the feast, Monsieur Villieu poured stiff shots of his award-winning Calvados. ‘For le trou Normand, yes?’

‘The Norman hole?” Mallory translated dubviously.

‘Oui,’ he beamed. ‘We Normans have the long tradition. We drink Calvados in the middle of a meal such as this. It makes the hole, you understand, for more food to follow.’

. . . The Calvados slid down her throat like buttery apple cider. She tasted a hint of vanilla and rum raisin and started to smack her lips. Then the brandy hit her belly.

‘Whoa!’ Breathing fire, she fanned the air and regarded her empty shot glass with awe. ‘That is some potent stuff!’”

Stranded with a Spy by Merline Lovelace, 2007.

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Posted in Boulard |

Hanna Lee Communications Offers Bartender Scholarships

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Giving Back to the Bartending Community for their Fabulous Support for the past 13 Years, Hanna Lee Communications, an award winning PR and Social Media agency is offering


to Cocktails in the Country, 2017


USE CODE: HannaLee in the comments box of the application form for a chance to receive a scholarship.

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Posted in CitC, HannaLee |


Friday, March 24th, 2017

Ten Free Scholarships for Cocktails in the Country are available from Lucas Bols

These will be released gradually. Apply for one NOW if you can make it to next week’s Bartender Retreat (March 27/28)


Details HERE

For an application write to

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Posted in CitC, draft |

Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Guide, 1934

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

I have a collection of different editions of this book that stretch from 1934 to 1958.  Here’s a pictures of my earliest copy, and a few quotes and observances:

Duffy Official Mixers Manual 1940 copy

One of the first new bartending guides to hit the shelves after Repeal was Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixing Guide (1934), and Duffy’s recipe for “Martini Cocktail (dry)” called for two parts gin, one part French (dry) vermouth, and one dash of orange bitters.

Patrick Gavin Duffy, head bartender at New York’s Ashland House for 12 years prior to Prohibition, and the man who claimed to have “first brought the highball to America, in 1895,” wrote, “With very few exceptions, cocktails should be stirred and not shaken.”

One of the first new bartending guides to hit the shelves after Repeal was Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixing Guide (1934), and Duffy’s recipe for “Martini Cocktail (dry)” called for two parts gin, one part French (dry) vermouth, and one dash of orange bitters.

New York bartender Patrick Gavin Duffy introduced the Monkey Gland to America in a 1934 book, The Official Mixer’s Manual., Duffy inexplicably chose Bénédictine, a honeyed herbal liqueur said to have been developed in 1510 by the Bénédictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli, to use as an accent in the drink instead of absinthe. As a result, two versions of the cocktail, both with merit but very different from each other, are recognized as being authentic. Thus the English Monkey Gland takes an absinthe substitute, and the American version calls for Bénédictine.

There are two legitimate Monkey Gland Cocktails, one of which takes absinthe as an accent and was detailed in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930.  The other, which calls for Benedictine instead of absinthe, is found in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Official Mixer’s Guide, 1934.  Craddock, based in London, had access to absinthe, but Duffy changed the recipe to make it easier on American bartenders since absinthe was banned at the time in the U.S.A.  Both versions are well worth trying.

Apart from the fact that Duffy categorized his recipes by the base liquor, whereas Craddock used the alphabetical approach, there are many instances that point to Duffy using Craddock’s work, at least as a guide, but the one major difference lies in the use of absinthe which was, and still is, legal in England, but had been outlawed in the U.S.A. prior to prohibition.  Duffy simply substituted Benedictine in drinks such as The Monkey Gland Cocktail, and since that time various books have detailed one or the other recipe, depending on which book has been used for reference.

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Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Buffalo Trace Stand Strong - Copy


FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Sept. 7, 2016) It’s the best time of the year for whiskey fans, as Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2016 Antique Collection. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what ardent fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at a hefty 144.1 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2001. This batch contained 142 barrels, but not as many bottles as expected, due to some very greedy angels!  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses M, N, H, L and K.  Finding a bottle this fall will be difficult due to the low yield.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition. The 2016 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the third and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 135.4 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include plum, figs and vanilla.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2015 edition was named “Best American Rye Whiskey” at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2010; aged on the fourth, fifth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as toffee and cinnamon.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2016 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses H and K.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of leather, vanilla, tobacco and toffee.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the Best Rye Whiskey 11 Years and Older by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition.  This 2016 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of smoke, clove and all-spice with a dry finish.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in April of 1998, making them the first “new” batch in years not drawn from the stainless steel tank as the previous past few editions have been.  From this year onward, this whiskey will be drawn directly from barrels put away for 18 years, versus using any tanked whiskey.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2016 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $90 each.  For more information visit

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