Lev1tr@, V1@gr@, and now, L3 Tormen7 V3r7. I’ve received quite a bit of spam in my time on the internet, but none so… well, painful. I’d like to think that my time here does not go to waste. That the countless hours I’ve spent grinding my fingers to the bone over some CSS change, or the amount of toxification my liver has taken trying bad drinks so you don’t have to, actually count for something in the world. That some modicum of respect comes from those imbibers, professionals and distillers who might stumble across this site. In time, I’ve seen flashes of this, and felt nourished, improved, and enamored by it, driving me to do bigger and better things. Then came this comment in my TDN Live post (recipe changed, subtly):
i™ve never been a fan of mixed drinks until i came into the poison apple martini POISON APPLE MARTINI
Easily batched for the mini carafe bottles
1oz Le Tourment “Absinthe” (substitute Scope Wintergreen)
1/2oz Donkey Piss
1/2oz Curried Sewage Water
Splash Cranberry Juice
- Shake well and strain into rocks glass
This was followed up with about 20+ other comments, ranging from the inane to the blatant “Buy this shit now.” This does not fill me with joy. This only frustrates me, as I spam filter the comments, and reach for my Akismet settings to stop the torrent of torment coming through to my inbox.
First off, numbnuts, I put a lot of time and effort into this site. Perhaps not quite so much recently, but my time != your adspace. This is my house, bitches! Take your shoes off at the front door, and don’t shit on my lawn, not necessarily in that order. This is not a forum, this is my podium, so trying to make it like there’s a discussion going on just don’t work.
Second, I MAKE THE DRINKS HERE. You want to talk recipes? Let’s talk, collaborate, commiserate, it’s one of the things I enjoy about this thing we call blog. Posting recipes hawking your warez though? No, no, and a thousand times more NO. I do not post recipes submitted from PR Firms (for the most part), and I damned well ain’t going to accept one posted in the comments through some hackery considered to be “Viral Social Marketing.” You want recipes? Send me an email, send me some samples, and I’ll give you something. Hell, send cash and I’ll even give some adspace and a name drop or two.
Third… man. If this were a decent product, I’d have other things to say, MAYBE, but… Le Tourment Vert “Absinthe” is just horrible. Just… an awful product. Not just as an absinthe, but as just something on the market, it’s bad. The best recipe I’ve seen for it so far is to use the bottle as a paperweight. Adding shit like spamming blogs onto this shitpile of a product just makes it a touch shittier, no?
So now you’re thinking, “well, this guy’s just a dick, and a pompous dick at that.” All true, but let me at least put some nugget out there of how best to work with bloggers (we are a strange, hat-wearing bunch). Like any relationship, a little respect in the beginning pays forward in multitudes. You put a touch of time and effort into a personal email, letter, or something else, and you will be respected in turn. We LOVE samples. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Besides, how do I know you’ve got the best snake oil unless I’ve tried it myself? Recipes… well, we tend to stick to the classics, or develop our own. If you send a recipe that’s from a noted or available source, that’ll garner a lot more possibility of posting (ie – Jeffrey’s Boca Loca recipes) than giving us your standard Crappletini.
Need an example of who’s doing it right? Check out Brand Action Team or the Baddish Group. For PR Agencies, these folks are top notch. A bit heavy on the emails at times, but forgiveable since they’re always willing to work with bloggers the way we want to be worked with, which is, as though were were real people.
So to larry, gloria, luv2drink, wwwhhhaaaa, comedyman21, tipsy, Brett, drinktomeethotchicks, and all others at IP Addresses 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, I hope your Communications degrees from University of Phoenix comfort you during this backlash, bitches.
Update: Since being solicited, Cashmere Agency, the PR firm representing LTV, sent me a care package containing the product, and a few other “goodies”. This is a step in the right direction, and at the same time… man, Red Bull and Sour Apple Pucker? We got to get you hooked up with some professional mixologists. I have to give credit for the cocktail recipes + the mixers to make them with, but still… new recipes folks. The Appletini has been declared dead.
Update the second: In the time between the date this was posted, and now, 9:30 on Friday, both Cashmere Agency and Vinet Ege have been contrite in their apologies. It is my understanding that Vinet Ege may no longer be using Cashmere Agency for their online marketing. Vinet Ege has offered an apology to the Cocktailing Community at large, and wishes to start again at day 1, hoping to regain some image for their “unconventional product”. I appreciate and respect their approach, and look forward to a new beginning and a third chance for their product. Cocktailnerd has the full text of the apology.
With the upcoming gift giving season, I thought I’d throw out this little gift guide. Consider this your shopping list for the Tikiphile or Mixologist in your life. Hell, just give yourself a little something this hoilday season, you deserve it. The following items are tried and true, tested, touched and tamed and approved by me personally.
|Waring Ice Crusher Pro
Coming in around $80, this sucker’s just the right thing for throwing a tiki-drink party or two. Not great for the day to day one round evenings, but this sucker saves hours and a few wrists before full-fledged events. We used this at Teardrop for a few Tiki Tuesdays, so it can take whatever abuse you’ve got for it.
|Rhum ClÃ©ment XO
Possibly the best high-end Rhum I’ve ever had. Coming in around $150, this would be a gift for someone REALLY special in your life, and hopefully someone with a strong inclination for sharing. Seriously, liquid gold.
|St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
One of the most useful substances known to bartenders, this Allspice Dram carries plenty of funk and a lot of allspice punch to whatever it touches. One quarter ounce goes a long way, so it’s the gift that will keep on giving. Used in classics, classic tiki cocktails, and even a few new drinks, this is definitely one for everyone’s liquor cabinet. Priced around $30.
|Orange Bitters Collection
Love a Martini, but not sure that Regan’s is the right Orange Bitters for you? This collection gives you a thorough sampling of Orange Bitters currently on the market. Angostura just came out with their product earlier this year, and it’s already quite the sensation. Sells for $21.95 through Kegworks.com.
|Anchor Hocking Ypsilon Acqua
Used by the fine folks at Teardrop, the improvements over the traditional cocktail glass are VAST. Let me tell you, when carrying a big tray of glasses, this is a drastic improvement over the easily spillable traditional cocktail glass. Doesn’t look that great with a rim, but they’re quite durable. They’re priced anywhere from $72 to $130, depending on where you go. Best to find them at a local restaurant supplier.
|Trader Vic’s Glassware
I’ll have to admit, these are not the sturdiest pieces of glassware, and they’re a bit pricey, but damned if they don’t add a touch of the debonair to any drink that fills them. A Mai Tai just don’t look right without one. Don’t forget to enter “MaiTai” at checkout for a 10% discount.
|Vintage Barkcloth shirt
My closet is filled with these suckers, and I don’t mind sharing the look. Originally developed to imitate Tapa, barkcloth is a sturdy material with a unique woven texture. You’ll usually find these in your local mid-century modern store, or vintage clothing store. Goodwill or Salvation army can be a tough find, though there’s always a large selection of SOME kind of Hawaiian shirt there. The bonus feature on these shirts? Shiny gold buttons. Dig it!
|Bon Vivant’s Companion from MudPuddle Books
Someone somewhere at sometime ago decided he could just reprint some out of copyright material off of PDFs from google books, rewrap it in plastic and make a mint. These are not they. The classic cocktail book selection from MudPuddle Books are extreme quality reproductions, down to the typeface, binding, and cover. Reading these online is fine, holding a real quality reproduction in your hand can be down-right breathtaking.
|Fugu Sipper from Munktiki
Strong ceramic, lovely coloring, and a bit of whimsy. These are what I’ve come to expect from Munktiki over the years. These Fugu Sippers are the perfect addition to a mug collection, or way to start a new one. Besides, how else are you going to hold your Fugu for Two?
Well, there’s what I’d get for myself if I didn’t already have most of the stuff above already. If none of these are quite floating your boat, you can always check out the Forbidden Island 2008 gift guide, the Tiki Talk Holiday Gift Guide, and of course, interesting reads on the Library page.
if you haven’t noticed, it’s been a bit quieter around these parts lately. Nothing but the internet version of tumbleweeds rolling across the screen. Well, my apologies for that, it’s been quite a bit busy here at Trader Tiki headquarters. So I’m sure you’re wondering, in your dreams and during the day, just WHAT have I been up to? (and seriously, if you’ve had any Trader Tiki related dreams, don’t blame me, blame the Rum!)
Lately, I’ve been working on a cocktail consulting project, where I was able to assist my friend David with menu and ingredient development for a new restaurant location. After many weeks of work, today, I’m beyond pleased to announce the Grand Opening of Tommy O’s in Camas, WA on Friday, December 5th!
If you’ve ever been to Tommy O’s in downtown Vancouver, you know the quality of the food and service to be barnone. The cocktail menu though, maybe not so much. The drinks were decent, but a bit behind the times. Well, times have changed, and the cocktail menu for the Camas restaurant is now robust with cocktail classics, and bold new drinks, and a few seasonal delights. Beyond the standard cocktail menu, the bar staff is armed with 30 classic and modern drinks to please any palate. If you thought that was enough, the bartenders are also being trained in classic technique, stirring and shaking and jiggering, taught by one of the best bartenders I know, David Shenaut of Teardrop Lounge.
Here’s a look at the new cocktail menu.
Rum, Lime, and Gomme Syrup
Vodka, St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, Lemon and Egg White, garnished with a Housemade Hibiscus Tincture
Tequila, Chambord, Passion Fruit, Freshly made sour mix, and a Li Hing Mui rim
Rye, Sweet Vermouth, and Housemade Macadamia Bitters
Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Orange Bitters, garnished with Lemon Zest
Dry Fly Gin, Chartreuse, Sweet Vermouth and Campari. Misted with a Flamed Housemade Old Wood bitters
A Housemade Tonic made for winter weather, served with your choice of base spirit.
Tommy O’s Mai Tai
A blend of aged rums, Lime, Curacao, Orgeat, and Falernum.
Hot Buttered Rum
Cider, Rum, and Housemade Hot Buttered Rum Batter
Lime, Lemon, Pineapple, Passionfruit, Bitters, and a blend of three aged rums.
You may be able to point out a few particular points of influence I had there. Yes, the Mai Tai is branded. Changing the name of a classic to suit a recipe tweak is fine by me. Feel absolutely free to order it Trader Vic style.
The new Tommy O’s is located in Camas, Washington, at SE 34th and SE 192nd. Hope to see you there sometime!
For those of you looking for a few gifts for the Tikiphile in your life (even if it’s just yourself), Trader Vic’s Online Store is now offering $10.00 off Orders $50.00 or more (excluding shipping). Just enter promo code “MaiTai” at checkout.
I’m not too hip on the drink mixes anymore, but the spices and condiment offerings are always great. What I really like (and have around a dozen of) are the Trader Vic Mai Tai Glasses. They’re 15 oz. biggies, and you’ll see them all over my site here. Sadly, two have already made their way with Trader Vic, but the survivors live on to hold my Mai Tais, Aku Akus, and Navy Grogs.
And of course, if you’re looking for a gift for your favorite internet Tiki Aficianado (*A-hem*), a set of Tiki Cufflinks or a Rum Barrel or two could get you free admission for life to the Galley, all the Nui Nuis you can suck down.