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

Pumpkin Spice Recipes on Middays With Michelle Dawn Mooney

Photo by Tjololo Photo

Photo by Tjololo Photo

Today I’m a guest on Middays With Michelle Dawn Mooney — talking about pumpkin cocktails for Thanksgiving. Below are the recipes I talked about, plus a few extra ideas for you. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Bring the sugar and water to a boil and then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Add a tablespoon of vodka, if desired, to increase the shelf life. Continue reading

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

DIY Sugar Cubes

diysugarcubesSugar cubes are simply that–cubes made out of sugar. They’re not hard to make, and if you DIY then you can make your cubes in fun shapes, flavors and colors.

For example, you could make rich cubes with demerara or turbinado sugar or grind up some vanilla beans for a flavored cube. Make cubes with absinthe or bitters for use in Champagne cocktails. A few drops of food coloring, and you have a party right there.

To make the sugar cubes (or hearts or stars or …), I used one teaspoon candy molds. But you could also use ice cube molds or spread the mixture 1/4 inch thick into a small cake pan and make quarter-inch squares.

DIY Sugar Cubes

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon water Continue reading