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Martini Groove

Updated: 2017-09-07T16:54:30.181-07:00


Stoli and Hef!


Stoli's new marketing campaign is tied to another icon in the Bad Decisions industry, that's right, Playboy. They're rolling out a year's worth of promotions with Playboy with everything from changing their logo on one of their flavors to the Playboy Bunny logo to these commercials with Hef himself.

It's a great concept. Would you have a drink with you?

Check it out.

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Absolut Brooklyn


I've been a pretty big fan of the Absolut city series since the first one out of New Orleans.  Now, Absolut has teamed with Spike Lee to bring you Absolut Brooklyn.  Let's hope they do Brooklyn better than Domino's did.

They've gone all out on gimmick for this whole series but most of the flavors have done a pretty good job of backing it up.  For Brooklyn they even changed the usual seal on the bottle and added some spikes to it.  Now that's fancy!

Spike Lee did the design on the bottle and tried to match the feel of the red apple and ginger flavor inside.  On the heals of the launch, Absolut is donating US$50,000 to Habitat for Humanity in NYC.

Look for it starting in June.

Absolut Brooklyn

Best vodka in the world ever in the world?


Chase Vodka won the best of the best at the 2010 SF World Spirits Competition and it's rather surprising.  Now, this isn't the kind of vodka you want to drink through your eye, it's the good stuff.  It's special because it's not from Poland, Russia, or the US and it's not a grain vodka.  It's made from taters and comes from Jolly Olde England.

The vodka isn't made by one of the big guys but from a guy who was a big guy in the snack food industry.  William Chase was the founder of Tyrrell's, a company that makes potato chips (they call them "crisps!") and he chucked it all in 2008 to go and make vodka.  Apparently, he's one of those "over-achievers" we hear so much about. 

He says he didn't do it with gimmicks (like a fire extuingisher for a bottle, which is freakin' cool!!) or with tons of marketing.  He just became the brand and pushed his stuff until he got it to 1,000 bottles a week.  Next year, Chase plans to get to 3,000 bottles per year.

Check out Chase Vodka and let me know what you think in comments!

Chase Vodka

8 Tips to increase your cocktail IQ.


Tony Abou-Ganim has done more to advance the art of cocktails than Tonya Harding did for sex tapes.  Vanity Fair is covering the wildly popular Manhattan Cocktail Classic and one of the writers went and hung out with Tony and got some great tips from him about making drinks as well as going out drinking.

My favorite tip?  Ask for a Negroni.  If they don't know how to make it or tell you that Negroni isn't working tonight, then get a beer.  Now, not everyone likes Negroni's so maybe think of a cocktail you love and know how it's supposed to taste.  No, not Sex on the Beach.  Maybe an Aviation or a Sazerac, something with some culture.

Tony's obviously biased when it comes to East Coast vs. West Coast and, though he's done work in Las Vegas, hasn't spent enough time in our West Coast cities to make a valid argument.  If you think it's San Francisco vs. New York, then you're not even close. 

Check out his other tips on Vanity Fair's site.

Eight Tips for Improving Your Cocktail IQ - Vanity Fair

More Absolut What The Hell


You probably remember when Tim & Eric & Zach all made the commercial(s) for Absolut a couple of years ago. Absolut had one rule: Do whatever you want, but the product has to be in there somewhere.

Jump forward to 2010 (or whatever year it is right now, I've kind of stopped thinking about it) and they did the same thing for Spike Jonze. Jonze's take is a robot love story (You know, like in The Notebook) called "I'm Here."

The series of shorts aren't out yet but here's the gorgeous and intriguing looking trailer.

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Swig and Jig Singing Liquor Cabinet


Looking for a liquor cabinet that plays songs depending on which bottle you take out? How about one that may kick off a seizure for all unmedicated epileptics? The Swig and Jig may be for you! Check it out below:

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Swig & Jig from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

Book! Cocktails at Home: Vodka


I contributed to a book about Vodka.  What?  Vodka's cool!  VODKA'S COOL!!

Some other people are in there too.  I don't exactly remember their names but I think it's Kevin Moleskin, and Jeff Emmentaler, and President Gary Reagan, and the guy from O'Neil Surfwear.

Anyway, it's free and in .pdf format. If you want it on paper, you can hit "Print" and kill trees and stuff.

Check it out here. It's free but you can send me money if you want.

IKEA Home Bar


A lot of people are sure to have the problem of building a home bar without having to spend $5000 on a home bar unit.  Here's a solution using IKEA gear.

Hey, you're not going to be able to put it together correctly anyway thanks to instructions that are completely vague and have no words whatsoever.  It's like a mime trying to tell you how to do build an atomic bomb.

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Indy Spirits Expo - SF


Last Thursday I got to meet up with Courtney Cochran (of Hip Tastes fame) and head over to Mighty in San Francisco to taste some of the latest and greatest spirits that are out there at the Indy Spirits Expo.  The event had some great tastes and a few that I'd rather not taste and lots of mediocre stuff that I won't even mention. There were some great gins but absinthe was the star of the night. The GoodOne of the first spirits I ever reviewed, Orange V Vodka, was there and I was reminded of why I gave it a great review.  Great orange taste without being syrupy or overpowering.  Still a go to flavored vodka even though so many other ones have come out since then.Heavy Water vodka had ACTUAL HOT SWEDISH GIRLS at their booth!  The Swedish vodka was a nice change from a lot of the other vodkas that have been launching lately.  It has all of The Smooth you're looking for in vodka but actually has a finish that pushes a little flavor your way.  The slight fennel taste makes it perfect for your vodka martini.  North Shore Distillery came out to San Francisco from Chicago with a whole bunch of perfection.  Everything that they were offering was absolutely perfect.  They had two gins including Distiller's Gin No. 6 and No. 11.  No. 6 is what I call a "crossover gin" meaning that people that don't think they like gin can try this one and have a great chance at liking it.  It's light, fruity, and perfect for mixing.  Distiller's Gin No. 11 was for gin-lovers only and packs a huge wallop of Juniper.  It's called No. 11 because the Juniper "goes to 11."  North Shore also brought out their absinthe which is the first one of note for the night.  Their Sirène absinthe made me think of sitting with a friend on a late night and enjoying a glass of green fairy.  It was smooth, full of flavor, and made my mouth water.  Easily one of the best of the night. Craft Distillers (of Hangar One and St. George's fame) was pouring a wide variety of spirits but the real standout was the Germain-Robin Absinthe Superieure.  Far and away my favorite spirit of the night it was absolutely delicious and made me realize why people go absolutely insane drinking this stuff so much.  Not from the Wormwood but from the sheer amount of alcohol that goes down without any realization of how strong it is.  Perfect flavors and what I consider to be the world's most perfect absinthe.  There, I said it.Square One's Botanical was gin without the gin in it.  Plenty of the spices and flowers that you get in gin but without any of the Juniper.  A great spirit for mixing without worrying about anything being overpowered.  Square One spends times on their spirits and does them right.  Lastly, is the Ransom Old Tom Gin.  This amazing gin that is made in the old style is then aged in oak barrels where it gets its gorgeous colors.  One site I read says that it carries hints of lavender (which I got) and mango custard.  Mango custard?  Who the hell writes this stuff and how the hell am I supposed to relate to that?  However, Ransom's complexities don't cease to amaze and it was one of the few spirits I went back and asked for another tasting of.  Absolutely amazing.  I'm not sure how I missed this one as it launched but I'm sad I did.Of course, Veev, 44 North, and Bols Genever were great but you already expected that one. The BadThere were only a few things that I thought "I never want to drink this again, ever, with anyone."  One of them was Vieux Carre which made me want to learn the French phrase for "This tastes like it has been drunk before."  It comes in an ultra-cool sherry bottle which I'm glad to take off your hands if you've had the misfortune of buying this stuff.  If you want to[...]

Whisky Bottle Has a Graphic Equalizer


Ballantine's is probably one of the world's best selling whiskeys but doesn't get much play when it comes to whiskey lovers who prefer a Scotch that tastes like you're licking a large stick that was recently encompassed in snails.  However, they sell a LOT of their stuff and they seem to be happy doing just that.

Their newest bottle is one that even the most outrageous of vodka companies are going to be angry at themselves for not thinking of first.  The bottle uses a power source and has an electroluminescent technology to make it look like a graphic equalizer that is reacting to the sound.  Contrary to reports, it's not actually reacting to the sound but moves the lights at random.

It would be cool to travel back in time and show this bottle to a T-Rex or something.  They would FREAK THE HELL OUT!  Okay, that might be too far back in time but it's a nice thought.  Maybe Abe Lincoln or something.

This stuff is shipping all over the freakin' world but there's no date set for it hitting the U.S. shores.  That's just weird because you KNOW that U.S. Americans would go crazy psycho for it.

Checkout the link to see a full line-up of these kind of bottles in action.

Dieline Package Design

All natural Nyquil with Southern Comfort


Nyquil is great for dealing with things like a cold, jet lag, or boredom, but did you know that it tastes like ass?  Actually, if your ass had an ass and you put paprika on it, then licked it, that's what Nyquil tastes like.

If only there was some way to make an all-natural version of Nyquil that didn't taste like the ass of an ass with paprika.  Now there is!

The good folks over at Hot Knives have put together a lively concoction that starts with Southern Comfort and only gets better from there. You'll need stuff like mint, green chili, ginger, and other goodies. Did I mention the Southern Comfort?

This one is all natural and even has a better commercial.  Follow the link below for the full recipe.

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KniQuil from Hot Knivez on Vimeo.

All natural NyQuil - Hot Knives

Girl Drink Drunk


Yeah, I'm mostly phoning it in at this point. My buddy Dan found this one and I wanted to share.

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Mixing a cocktail while Schumacher drives


Schumacher's brief return to Formula One was only the beginning! Now he's got a guy mixing cocktails in the car as he tears around a closed course.

Getting Democratic on The Democrat


I've had my share of days bartending and even more than my share of days of weeding through the crap that companies publish about their products in the name of "breaking news."  I mean, really, do we NEED a tequila recipe that commemorates Columbus Day? 

My solution lately?  I've been hitting the classic cocktails hard, buying the old books, and bugging all the people I know that are good at this on how to do something.  Thus cometh The Democrat.

Now, The Democrat is one of those cocktails that I call a "Crossover Cocktail."  Why?  Because it's one of those drinks that has something in it that people will say they hate, something like bourbon, and it will win them over and get them started on path to righteousness.  Other cocktails I include in this are a Cucumber Gimlet, an Aviation, and a few others. 

So, here's the old recipe for The Democrat

2oz Bulleit Bourbon
1oz Democrat Syrup
3/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice

The Democrat Syrup is really the key here.  It's one part warm water, one part honey, and two parts peach liqueur all mixed together.  Then you let the syrup get to room temperature (or chilled) before you use it in the cocktail.  Combine the ingredients in a Collin's glass and then stuff the glass full of crushed ice.  Tasty. 

I wanted to mix it up a bit and see what I could do to change up the flavors.  So, I made what became The Ted Kennedy

2oz Rye Whisky (I used Hirsch)
1oz Kennedy Syrup
3/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice

For the Kennedy Syrup, I wanted to use a pear liqueur so I lowered the ratio of the honey so it wouldn't get overpowered.  So, it was one part warm water, one part honey, and 2 parts pear liqueur.  Using the rye whisky really brought out the flavors of the pear as well.  A nice mellow blend. 

The beauty of this one?  You can try it for yourself very easily.  So, you know, you might want to get on that. 

Whisky Connosr Launches


(image) The nice thing about web developers is that, sooner or later, they're going to build a website based on their interests and make it pretty nice.

Jean-Luc Thiébaut did just that with Connosr, the social networking site for whisky lovers. Now, because whisky snobs are, well, snobs, having their own site to talk about the vagaries of pungency and mouthfeel will keep Them off the backs of the gin drinkers. One can only hope.

The site allows you to setup your own profile and then works in a lot of the same ways that the wine cataloging sites work. You can write notes on spirits you've tasted, put in ones you'd like to taste, see what your friends are saying about their experiences, and be called a "Rookie" by those that disagree with you.

Check it out via the Web or iPhone.


Yoga seems to be every bit as good as alcohol!


Looking to get the peace and comfort that only Yoga can give?  Well, head on over to your nearest watering hole and get the flexibility you've always wanted!

See more great moves here!

Review: Absolut Boston


Flavored vodkas are so hit or miss.  I've found very few to be mediocre in nature, most of them are completely awful or pretty tasty and unique.  Luckily, Absolut Boston falls in to the latter category.  Absolut Boston is a black tea and elderflower flavored vodka that shows a bit of tongue-in-cheek, unlike some of the other flavors in their city category.

On The Eyes
The bottle is pretty straightforward and looks like your regular Absolut bottle but has "Boston" on it.  Easy enough.

On The Nose
This is kind of crazy:  It looks like vodka but smells like black tea. There's absolutely no scent of the alcohol or elderflower in there and it's that same refreshing smell that you get when you take a whiff of a cold, sun-made, iced tea.  Every person trying it had a response of "It smells gooooood."  'Nuff said.

On The Tongue
Well, it tastes like black tea.  Unfortunately, there's almost no hint of elderflower in there.  I'm an elderflower lovin' brutha thanks to St. Germain but I just couldn't find it in here and I tried.  Now, there is a bit of sweetness that could probably be attributed to the elderflower but that's about it.  If you get past this part of the vodka then you're going to be very pleased.  It has a lot of potential for some great cocktails using the black tea flavor.

On The Chest
It felt like most other vodkas do when I poured it on my chest.  However, I believe the black tea flavor may help with the removal of skunk scent should you need it.

On The Brain
How about a Long Island Iced Tea that actually tastes like iced tea?

Strong Island Iced Tea
2 oz Absolut Boston
1 oz Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
Splash of orange juice
Squeeze of fresh lemon

Assemble all ingredients in a tall glass with ice.

I just made that up!  I tried it!  It tasted good!  You should try it too!

Absolut Boston

Bartending School?


Bottom line:  Don't go to bartending school.

Why?  Well, Darcy over at Art of the Drink has some pretty good reasons and even got in to some back-and-forth with a PR Moron at National Bartending Schools.  Morgenthaler has some good reasons too (and a way to get a bartending job without that experience).  Joe Bartender went to a school and wrote about his experience (including a conversation with an instructor at a school who though the curriculum was crappy too).

I did attend National Bartending School and did get a very cool little bag with a cocktail shaker, a recipe book, a jigger, and a strainer in it for my troubles.  That's pretty much the only thing I came away with of any real use.

Do you doubt?  Go talk to the head bartender at your favorite bar (No, not at TGI Fridays) and see how they got in the business.  You'll be hard pressed to find someone who did it via bartending school and if they did, they'll be embarrassed to admit it because they know it was a waste of $500.

Normally, I wouldn't pipe in on something like this, but National Bartending School's response to Darcy was just ridiculous.

Jagermeister's 6-Pack Cooler


Jägermeister's got the hook-up for toting all those cumbersome bottles of Jägermeister around.

Buy six bottles of Jäger and you get this sweeeeeet cooler that holds those babies and has the Jäger Tap Machine Technology built right in. It even comes loaded with Jäger shot cups! This is the stuff that DRIVES Girls Gone Wild [sic]!

Hey, if you're going to get alcohol poisoning, you might as well go with Jäger, you're going to hate it later anyway and this will just make the transition easier.

Six bottles of Jäger run about US$120.

Say It With Flowers (And Booze)


I <3 Camper! 

Check it out.

Absolut's New Bottles


Absolut's been busy over the last month. 

The next city flavor up?  Boston!  Of course, it's green tea flavored (because Baked Beans would have been just weird) and it throws in a hint of Elderflower (Yup, just like St. Germain).  I've been drinking a bit of the bottle over the past few weeks and it's absolutely gorgeous, even though the flavors don't seem like they'd fit, it's a nice concoction.  A full review is to come.

(image) Absolut Naked is a bottle without much on it.  It has no label and it's out there as a statement against labels.  The bottle's "stark naked" and it's about going against prejudice and stereotypes.  Look for it in your favorite Duty-Free store. 

(image) Finally, there's Absolut Rock.  It's in celebration of Woodstock all-those-years-ago.  You know, the concert with crappy sanitation, STD's, and a bunch of people who wish they could bring it all back again.  Absolut Rock looks more like a bottle doing a bit of S&M but maybe those two things are synonymous?  This one should be widely available starting in late September. 


Disney and Tequila: Finally Together!


Disney's had their fair share of alcohol attractions in their Downtown Disney areas but now they're doing the exact right thing for the average park goer:  They're opening up a tequila bar inside of Epcot Center.

La Cava del Tequila is going to offer up 70+ types of tequila and small plates to help you try to not get absolutely hammered as you go sipping through the menu.  They'll even have a "Tequila Ambassador" on hand to teach you about tequila.  For an extra Fiver he'll pour some tequila straight in your mouth, blow a whistle, and shake the hell out of your head.  Just don't blame him when you wake up next to a co-ed who's singing "I'm Like A Bird" and crying about how you passed out.

Check it out in Epcot Center starting August 28.

Three-O Vodka's Slip-O-The-PR-Person's Press Release


Update!: Three-O vodka did NOT include Kiefer on their list. They sent me the original press release and it looks like the Winnipeg Sun added Kiefer on their own.

This is awesome.

Hey, Three-O, I know you want to tell us about what Kiefer Sutherland drinks and make sure that you put "Three-O" in the vodka parts, but a guy who just got busted for headbutting a FASHION DESIGNER and has a history of DUI may not be the exact right image.

Seriously though, who headbutts a fashion designer??? Like fashion designers are super aggressive and Kiefer couldn't help but CRUSH HIS SKULL!!

Let's NOT celebrate the guy just because he saves the world every year in one day.

I'll let the Paris Hilton one slide because she's insane.

Megan Fox's Cocktail


Second Hottest Girl Ever (Right Now)!

This is her drink:

First Class Punch

Ingredients: 1 and one-quarter ounces of Vodka, 1 ounce of Domaine Canton , 1/2 ounce of agave nectar, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice, 1 strawberry, 4 basil leaves.

Directions: In a mixing tin, muddle the strawberry, basil, and Agave nectar. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake very well with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a strawberry.

Rotgutonix Makes Sure That Your Alcohol Is Pure


The same guy that brought you a way to tell penis size simply by putting on a condom is bringing you an indicator that tells you if your alcohol is the real thing or not:  Rotgutonix.

Okay, not a huge problem for us in the U.S., but there are myriad stories in Europe of people making designer imposters using very low-quality grain alcohols.  At best, this stuff will make you sick, at worst it'll cause blindness and death OR WORSE! 

This little gadget is in concept phase but can  test if you have the real Johnny Walker, JB, DYC, Pampero, Brugal and Havana.  More alcohols are to come and it will cover mostly the clear ones and some whisk(e)ys.