Cocktails and Mixology

Summer Rosé,

The first day of summer is tomorrow, so keeping up with this weeks build up to summer theme I have created a poster of 10 rosés that you can drink now. None of them will break the bank and all of them are good choices for a hot summer afternoon. The list of wines is from Guyot’s rosé picks for 2013.

Prices range from 10 bucks to around 28. The rating scale from Guyot is pretty simple. 13-14/20 is a Good wine, 15-16/20 is a very good wine, 17-18/20 is excellent, anything above is outstanding.

In years past rosés have gotten a bad wrap, especially in the United States. These 10 will change any perception you have about the quality of rosé wines, and hopefully get you drinking rosés if you haven’t started already.

Summer-rose

Growler, A City Bike With a Purpose… Beer.

Would you look at that, a city bike designed with a dual purpose. Transportation, and transporting beer.

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Designed by Joey Ruiter, the bike makes a statement with it’s rugged inverted J frame, monarch spring loaded front fork, oversized beer holder (hence the name Growler), matte black finish and two speed internal kick back hub. The bike concept is a working sketch prototype according to the designer, but I personally hope they make this into a production bike soon.

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The bike has such a unique profile that separates it from all other city and commuter bikes. The frame is heavy duty, but the shape lends an air of lightness to the profile. Placement of the seat low, and inline with the top cross bar add a feeling of toughness and an old school bike aesthetic. The oversized 29 inch wheels can take on what ever city streets have to offer. The disc brakes and other features let you know that this is a modern bike.

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Then there is the holder for the “Growler” a one gallon bottle of cold hoppy goodness. Not a required feature for a city or commuter bike, but definitely a feature that puts a smile on my face.

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“The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails” from Hardie Grant Books.

As we roll forward toward February I am beginning to have “Mad Men” withdrawal symptoms. I know the 2013 season is just a few more months away, but…

To help me get through it all I have been checking out “The Gentlemen’s Guide to Cocktails” from Hardie Grant Books, written by Alfred Tong and illustrated by Jack Hughes. The illustrations really make the book. They draw from a retro period that feels like it crawled off the set of Mad Men, yet they have an updated and contemporary air to them.

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Hughes work seems to be influenced by illustrators like Joe Bowler, Howard Terpning, Al Parker, Bernie Fuchs and so many other masters from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I love the muted tones, soft color palet, the simplification of detail, and the layouts of each frame. There is a machine like precision to the pieces, and yet they create a feeling of familiarity. Like you have seen them somewhere before, which is a possible nod to illustration styles of the mid 1980’s featuring props and styling a decade or more earlier.

Now I need to go make a Manhattan, or two.

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For New Year’s, the Ritz Old Fashioned.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and that calls for cocktails. Tasty tasty cocktails made with fine spirits, and the delicate touch of a well trained mixologist. For this years New Year’s cocktail endeavor, I’ve decided to try a new take on an old standard. The Ritz Old Fashioned. This is really a basic Old Fashioned with a few extra ingredients to give it some extra snap. As always, the better the booze, the better the taste. You can substitute any of the brands here, but I’m sticking with the good stuff.

2 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey
2/3 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1 tsp Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp egg white
1 large sugar cube
1 dash Fee Brothers Orange bitters
1 oz soda water
2 Griottenes Brandy Infused Cherries
1 Orange slice
1 Lemon Slice
Sugar in a saucer for the glass rim.

Rim an old-fashioned glass with lemon juice and sugar.
Place a teaspoon-sized sugar cube into the glass, and saturate with Fee Brother’s Orange bitters.
Fill the glass three-quarters of the way with chipped ice. (Medium sized cubes will work)
Shake other ingredients (except soda) and strain into the glass.
Top with a small amount of soda water if desired.
Add two Griottenes Brandy Infused Cherries on a cocktail skewer, with half slices of orange and lemon.
Drink.

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Bombay Sapphire Maps the Battersea Power Station.

Projection mapping events rely on the space in which they are held. The space is as important as the mapped images and audio itself. I have seen a ton of this stuff in the last year, and seems to be gaining even more ground as we roll through 2011. The thing is, in many cases, the venue that is chosen doesn’t do justice to the video, audio, or brand image of the product or service being promoted.

Last night Bombay Sapphire got it right when they illuminated the Battersea Power Station in London. The shape of the building mirrors the iconic Bombay Sapphire bottles, the imagery, color pallet, and audio are all reflective of the brand and the target audience they are trying to reach. Designed and created by Drive Productions, an independent company that specialise in live events, they brought to life  the  Battersea Power Station for the first time since 1975.

A side note here. I am always curious about how long these things run. I can’t imagine this is a one time event. The development cost alone is huge, and any marketing director worth their weight would want to use this kind of thing more than once. If anyone knows how long this is actually going to run would you post a comment and let us know.

iAd’s for Guinness.

I’m still not sure about the viability of iAds yet. In practice they sound great, but people are always resistant to more advertising, feeling that they are already being bombarded 24 hours a day with the stuff. Guinness however is leveraging iAds as part of a much larger multi-platform integrated campaign tilted “There’s More Life After Dark”.

The campaign is designed to inspire Guinness drinkers and night life seekers to take advantage of all things after dark and enjoy a night out on the town. The iAd is being introduced by a video directed by Tullo Marshall Warren, showing how to use the iAd application. (yes it feels more like an app than an ad which is the whole point)

The iAd starts with a narrator promising to show you where the most fun can be had after dark. The iAd  then splits into four sections pubs, gigs, comedy and sports, each encouraging users to find nearby events and venues using the iPhone’s location based services. The iAd even helps you overcome the problem of ordering a Guinness at a noisy venue. Using a volume dial in the iAd you can choose how many friends you need to buy a drink for, then you show the image to the bartender to place your order. “4 Guinness’ kind sir.” Frankly this might be the most useful part of the iAd.

The iAd campaign, designed by Tullo Marshall Warren  and built by the Apple iAd team.This is a pretty fun concept, with engaging interactivity, and it feels less like an ad and more like an application. As iAds continue to build momentum, it’ll be interesting to see how this new medium shakes out, and what other companies begin to do with them as well.