Monday, August 15, 2011

Manly Cocktails with Oro Pisco, Bourbon and Branch Beverage Academy, SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay, and here comes Tiki Oasis!

Someone make me a cocktail, quick - I've got so much to talk about!

On July 31, a gorgeous, sunny Sunday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of visiting the home base of Oro Pisco, who held a cocktail competition in their beautiful creative space on Treasure Island. The theme of the contest was "Manly" cocktails - no pink drinks, no sweet, fruity, or tropical drinks - but something a man would be proud to hold in his hand and drink. A fun theme, to be certain! My entry was the Proper English, with the Oro Pisco Quebranta, Montenegro, and a bit of Peychaud's bitters in a glass smoked with a pipe tobacco blend (Latakia, Virginias and Orientals), and finished with an oak ice cube made from water barrel aged in virgin American oak for 9 months.

Here are a few photos of me in the contest, courtesy of Dg Blackburn (of the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts):

Lighting the tobacco to smoke the glasses:

Barrel aged water, in solid form!

The well deserving winner of the contest was none other than Tony Devencenzi, who brought in Susan Eggett and myself last month to Bourbon and Branch's Beverage Academy, where we taught our Rumbellion, Rumbustion, and Flaming Cocktails - a Concise Rum Soaked History of Tiki Seminar, which was a total blast. We were honored to bring our presentation to Bourbon and Branch, and it was a pleasure to meet such wonderful people and to have the opportunity to stand behind the beautiful bar in the Wilson Room, and share a little of our aloha with others. Here are a few choice photos of the class, taken by Paul McMillan of Zero Coordinate, Inc.:

Susan and I prep for the class in the beautiful Wilson and Wilson room:

Decor from Forbidden Island, bringing a little tiki to the speakeasy:

Tony, myself and Susan:

Our communal bowl experience, presenting the Makalani bowl aflame:

Me, professing the glory of the history of Tiki, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber:

Tony and I behind the bar as class participants, including Forbidden Island owner Michael Thanos, craft their own original tropical cocktails:

It was a treat. Thank you, Tony, and Bourbon and Branch! We look forward to the next class!

This year has indeed been one of honors for Forbidden Island, and our most exciting came just recently from the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay edition, where we were voted "Best Overall Bar" in the entire Bay Area by the Guardian readers. We couldn't possibly be more excited or proud! Michael and I attended the VIP party for all the winners last week, and it was quite something to be in a room full of that many winners, for so many things! The San Francisco Bay Area is rich with talented and wonderful people, and being there with many of them in one room was certainly a treat. Here is a photo of Michael and I with the plaque from the Guardian, and the winning issue of the paper:

This is the official photo of all the winners, published by the Guardian in this week's paper:

In all this excitement, I nearly forgot about my birthday, which was last week. Thanks, everyone who wrote, called, said hello on Facebook, and who showed up for my little shindig on Monday night. I had a blast.

Next up on the schedule is none other than Tiki Oasis! Forbidden Island is hosting two (count 'em, TWO!) exciting room parties on Friday and Saturday night this week down in San Diego at the Crown Plaza Hanalei. We're really excited for both - Friday night is our Fun in Acapulco Beach party, sponsored by Cruzan Rum, and Saturday is One Night in Havana, sponsored by Mt Gay Rum. I will be behind the stick for both parties serving up rummy goodness! If you're at Oasis, don't miss out on the best parties of the year. Also, Friday afternoon during the Sip and Shop at Tiki Oasis, I will be featuring a new cocktail with Appleton Rum and vanilla... not to be missed, for sure.

I'll see YOU there!


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