Welcome to Our B(ooze) Log
Trailblazers... Trend setters. A handful of names you could sling at us. Why you say?
I sat down with Paul Martin,
Napa Valley Distillery’s charming Brand Ambassador who’s a trend-tracker to discuss the future of craft spirits and the cocktail industry and he pointed out several things to look forward to where the industry is headed this bright and cheery year of 2016.
- "Look forward to the revival of rum cocktails." The initial interest in Rum will come from Cuba, because they have some incredible Rum we haven't been able to enjoy here in the USofA due to decades old trade embargo. This year, that trade embargo is coming down and their Rum will be available for our consumption. Arthur, Tiki Tim and Rum Runner Ian are HUGE rum fans and have been for years. They, along with the rest of us, are chomping on the bit and are more than ready to get their hands on it. With an influx of that rum, in general, tiki drinks will boom and rum cocktails will be all the rage! Where does this leave NVD? We currently are aging our own batches of rum, including a spiced rum and a bottled rum cocktail to be released in 2016. Exciting? Yes!!
- "Bars are now working on in-house syrups, shrubs, and bitters for truly unique and fun palette experiences." In fact, the lounges in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas have a team that's hired from Monday thru Friday to make syrups and shrubs and bitters for the weekend rush. That's their job! Pretty awesome. Here at NVD, with over 500 different products, we have been trailblazing this by selling a wide variety of unique and small batch shrubs, syrups and bitters, all available for your home bar.
- "Something has been rapidly been gaining popularity, is premixing cocktails and aging them in barrels." More and more cocktail lounges have been doing this behind their own bars, Negronis and Manhattans take on the toasted characteristics. We've been way ahead of the curve on this, as we have not one, not two but 8 cocktails that we rotate throughout the year, including the Sidecar, Mint Julep, and our own Old Hollywood Cocktail.
So that wraps up the industry predictions and we are quite thrilled to have been setting trends all along.
Does this Spirit world fascinate you enough to stay current on the latest events? Good!
The best way for anyone to keep up along with us is to join our club, where we make sure to have the latest and greatest included every quarter, so you can keep up to date with the cutting-edge cocktails! Doesn’t that sound fun?*
*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.
Hello folks! We have been in the throes of moving, but setting up in our new place has been awesome! We can't wait to show it off to y'all. Here’s a sneak peak of our office, we have a noir/gumshoe theme going on right now.
This post is a little more technical than feeling the wind in your hair from the seat of a scooter racing through SF. Nonetheless, technical is often necessary. So here we go!
What does it take to have a minimalist bar? *
If you are like me, which is just starting out with a home bar and have limited storage space, it's a tricky deal to get the most out of your bar without sacrificing that much shelf space. I currently tuck my bar away on a shelf in my butcher block. The dishes that were housed there are trying to find a new home as we speak. Therefore, I have to keep it simple and this is something vital for me to figure out now before I have no more room for dishes...
During my research, I discovered it can get quite opinionated and sometimes even heated in differing ideas. There are books written on it, blog posts spewing ideas with arguments in the comments. Even when I was talking to some of my colleagues, they had their own different ideas. The nitty gritty of it all is that our palate will dictate what we enjoy, or don't enjoy.
I have narrowed down that the decision stems from: is a personal bar or an entertaining bar? I'm currently leaning toward a personal bar with the option for a handful of well-known drinks for a handful of close friends. We will see how this evolves.
I decided to follow my bartending friend's advice. She said, “Always be able to make a long island at any given time and have a form of whiskey.” It consolidated all the advice I was receiving. What spirits are in a long island you ask? Easy!
Two things not included in a traditional long island I want to keep on hand:
Whiskey, I was told to keep Bourbon,
To have a bit more flexibility, add dry and sweet vermouth. I read that you should buy small bottles and keep it in the fridge if you won't go through it quickly.
Something else I have been told is mandatory for a versatile bar is bitters. If you have ever been in the NVD bar shop, it's great if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, it’s overwhelming for beginners. I didn’t even know where to start! After talking to Paul, our tasting room manager, he gave me a list to always have on hand.
I grabbed a travel pack of Berg & Haucks bitters set, it has all of the above.
Next up is Mixers: Simple syrup, lemons, lime, sugar, and salt. Cherries and oranges if you like
old fashioned’s, manhattans, etc. I always have lemons around, but the other stuff I only have raw cane sugar which doesn’t dissolve well. I want to make my own simple syrup, but for now I bought a bottle. I also will be looking for some flavored syrups and shrubs with fun tastes. The Bang Candy Peach Basil that was included In the June Bar Club shipment is awesome, I’ve had it in a mojito and margarita, and will definitely keep that around.
Shaker, pint glass, hawthorn strainer, bar spoon, muddler (I have yet to buy a muddler. I use an ice cream scoop or wooden tart molder)
Rocks, tumbler, martini, and champagne flute. This is what I have on hand.
Also anything that you know you love, for example, I love scotch. I can drink it neat. I make sure to keep a bottle of that around, especially for when my dad comes to visit.
As you might have noticed, I don't have everything on that has been recommended to keep on hand. I now have my shopping list. Well this wraps up what I’ve learned so far. What have you found you like to keep on hand? Feel free to comment!
Until next time,
*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.
Friday Fun Time Listening
Tasting Room Manager Paul here. Our Resident Mixologist Aaron and I did a radio show with Steven Andrews and Sally James for Slow Living, a coast to coast broadcast! It was a ton of fun talking about what we do and all things spirited. Lots of great ideas and information to be had here. Give it a listen, preferably while drinking one of our Napa Valley Distillery liquid creativity boosters.