Mai Tai Styles: Hawaii vs. California (with orgeat recipe)

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The Mercury News compares the Hawaiian and Californian versions of the Mai Tai … and comes to the conclusion they’re both delicious. I agree. The article includes the orgeat recipe from the DIY Cocktails book. Making your own orgeat (almond syrup) is easy, and it tastes great in coffee and other drinks, too.

Here’s my Mai Tai recipe. As a California native, I guess it’s no surprise it’s California-style. (Although I’ve had my share of Mai Tais at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki … and those are amazing.)

DIY Bottled Cocktails

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Lots of bars have jumped on the trend of serving housemade cocktails that they’ve bottled. You can do this at home. (I haven’t, but it’s on my to-do list!)

Tales of the Cocktail has a great photo tutorial about how to bottle a cocktail (with recipes, of course). If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes!

Is Banning Cell Phones at Bars Bad for Business?

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My latest for Tales of the Cocktail goes into the question of whether or not bars should (and could) ban customers from using cell phones.

Bartenders see it all the time: a customer who spends more time with their phone than with their friends. Social media has become such an integral part of life — and a marketing strategy — that most bars are hesitant to ban smartphones altogether.

Is Banning Cell Phones at Bars Bad for Business

Buried at the Bar: From Favorite Watering Hole to Final Resting Place

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Ever talk to someone who wants their ashes to be secretly stashed all over a restaurant dining room after they die? I did! My latest at Tales of the Cocktail is about people who wanted their ashes stashed at their favorite bar after they die.

“My idea was to be embalmed with the remoulade sauce from Galatoire’s, and then be cremated… and designate someone to deposit my ashes in a couple of secret spaces that I know there,” says Lutz. “But they sort of changed the remoulade, so I dropped that from my plan.”

Buried at the Bar: From Favorite Watering Hole to Final Resting Place – at Tales of the Cocktail

The Art of the Menu at Trick Dog

Trick Dog's first menu, inspired by Pantone swatches.

Trick Dog’s first menu, inspired by Pantone swatches.

I have a piece up at Tales of the Cocktail about the awesome and inventive cocktail menu designs at Trick Dog in San Francisco.

Thanks to Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of the Bon Vivants for talking to me about the hows and whys of their fun menu concepts!

Ordering a cocktail at Trick Dog is almost as much fun as drinking one. You could find yourself navigating a tourist map of San Francisco or rotating a horoscope wheel with a different drink for each Zodiac sign. But there’s a method behind the playful menu concepts.

Tales of the Cocktail: The Art of the Menu at Trick Dog, by Marcia Simmons