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Everything posted by Dangermonkey

  1. Yes , they hate minis - cost and PITA factors for bottling -but as you said in your note - it gets people to try things. New Amsterdam is a good example - even though it is cheap - about $20 or so (but good for the money these days) I think most of us risked the $1-3 for a 50ml rather than pay more and get stuck with a 750 of paint remover. A $5-10 mini would get a lot more people to try a new (to them) brand. It would also allow retailers to take a risk on more new brands without the financial risks of full size bottles. And yes they are great and convenient for traveling
  2. Another marketing idea would be smaller bottles or more organized tastings of different brands (such as what Drink Up New York is doing April 30th). Most consumers are hesitant to pony up $50 plus dollars per bottle for any spirit, especially one they don't know - and lets face it - with most spirits at least you can mix it and make cocktails to use it up (scotch,tequila,etc.,). Most people wouldn't think of that for absinthe. Unless someone can try different absinthes in small quantities for a reasonable cost they will not want to .It's pretty financially punishing to develop a absinthe education by the 750ml or 1 liter bottle. Yes, single servings at bars are helpful, but they can be noisy and hard to evaluate a sample.Plus of course again we suffer from most bars thinking 1-3 absinthes are all they need and they will of course be the usual suspects. What would really be helpful would be 50,100 or even 200ml bottles (for roughly 1,2 and 4 samples/people respectively) available for people to try. Given bar pricing , they would be cheaper and more attractive to consumers. Also it would allow them to buy samples with a low entry fee as it were. This model has long been in use especially in whiskies, but curiously absent ( for the most part) in absinthe. We also do not see many organized tastings (outside the Society) in liquor stores or restaurants/bars especially for more than one brand at a time. (As a sidebar we also need smaller/better glasses for just small samples - with 1/4 oz sample laws a puddle at the bottom of a glass doesn't work visually or from a bouquet standpoint ) . Unless the brands can be sampled and appreciated for their uniqueness to each other we run the risk of losing any wider acceptance of Absinthe and the category dwindling (as I have stated before of course)
  3. Rochester's subway shut down in 1950 or so. Before that the tunnels were part of the Erie Canal system . Which is why you can drown in the barge turning pool or get swept into the Genesee River if you make a misstep (happened to a friend of mine - didn't think it was funny) Now used by the homeless especially in winter as steam pipes still run through there. Also used to dump bodies from time to time. If you get seriously bored you can walk from the Dinosaur (aka the Biker Petting Zoo) to Nick Tahou's home of the Garbage Plate via the subway tunnel and go hang with all the straight razor carrying prostitutes at 4 AM assuming you make it out of the tunnels. Like a said, for the seriously bored.
  4. It's near the river and War Memorial : <h3 class="r">Dinosaur Bar-B-Que </h3>www.dinosaurbarbque.com 99 Court St Rochester, NY 14604 (585) 325-7090 Get directions Haven't been there in a while. Have to try to find the bartender and turn him on to some other brands too. Personally I would go to Good Luck on South Goodman (better food and drinks). <h3 class="r">Good Luck </h3>www.restaurantgoodluck.com 50 Anderson St Rochester, NY 14607 (585) 340-6161 Get directions They do have St George and working on expanding their offerings. Sardonix - I thought I was the only one in Western New York too. Anyone who wants to can PM me - happy to run into fellow enthusiasts if you are headed this way.
  5. It's near the river and War Memorial : <h3 class="r">Dinosaur Bar-B-Que<a href="java script:void(0)" id="LXPLSS_955652318U1">
  6. Actually it is a measuring device for making a drink. Various names for them You can still get modern versions of them today. Ezra Brooks was giving them away a season or two ago in gift packs with bourbon. You place the device across the mouth of a glass and pour whatever into the cup area (most are marked for size/portion American ones usually 1/2, 1, and/or 1 1/2 oz ). You fill it to where you need it then flip/pour the contents into a glass. There is another non measuring version people used for chilling a shot by using much as above except across a glass full of ice.When it got cold enough you poured it in and drank it. As to whether it was used for absinthe ? Possibly if you were making a cocktail using absinthe where you measured it like any other ingredient. As to specialized for absinthe only - no - it's a general use bar tool. You could of course you it to drop your measured absinthe in water if you wanted to also. As to the other remarks - other people covered that pretty well.
  7. I think absinthe parallels Gin in England. It was cheap alcohol base with a variety of herbs to make it tolerable. Like any other cheap form of alcohol it was demonized - kind of like blaming the bulldog on the hood of the Mack truck for the accident.
  8. Depends on the size of your niche. I originally meant a small niche or maybe more to the point - shelf space and general availability. We need to convince people in the supply chain that one does not a absinthe choice make , either in a distributors portfolio or on a store shelf. How many different rums, tequila,scotches (or dare I mention? ) vodkas, do they carry? My poster child for this is of course Mezcal, how many years did Mezcal aficionados have to suffer only being able to buy Monte Alban or just one or two other just this side of poisonous crap brands because of all the rumors and lack of knowledge? As to Absinthe not being raped by commercialism - czechzinth, flaming, green moon, do it yourself kits, need I go on? O.K., It's not the big potential abusers of taste , that have come up with mass marketed bad ideas (yet) but it's happened already by smaller player. The fact that the big boys on the block haven't tried also (unfortunate in some ways) reinforces my point- they don't see it going anywhere either - not even enough to exploit it. Sad but true.
  9. Also if you want to simple syrup make your own - cheaper and better than those sugar and corn syrup mixes most stores peddle.
  10. There are a number of types of sucrose sugars both in their basic source (beets,cane, palm, just to name a few) and the level of refinement (most brown or white ) then onto size of grains and in the case of cubes level of compression/meltability. I won't get into the other types of sugar - that is faaar too much overthinking... I fool around with the various types a lot as a mixologist. Here's an analogy for you: rice. Personally I think the most taste difference is between the brown and white because with the brown you have more flavor components (in the case of sugar molasses) the more refined the less to work with flavor wise - but less impact on the absinthe too - your choice. As to individual variations from the different sources- very little and not worth fooling with unless you are getting OCD about a period drink (colonial loaf type sugar as an example). Only people who analyze a drink to death (such as distillers) would notice much difference. I have found though that comparing similar box size to weight might be useful. I usually get a few boxes of sugar at a French supermarket when I go there, and the last time I went I learned that the hard way when I got back - the cubes I got last time are hard enough to pave my driveway with. Almost brown sugar tiles rather than cubes.
  11. Well said. There only seem to be three responses to absinthe among the general public 1. I thought it was illegal, or that stuff they're selling isn't the real stuff and/or/because, 2. It makes you hallucinate, cut your ear off etc., 3. Tried it, usually flamed, with water (not in a cocktail type drink) didn't hallucinate and didn't care for it. The beer analogy was a very good one, and I'll take it a little further... "I don't like beer", Which ones have you tried? "Budweiser, Miller, Michelob" (not that I am comparing extant absinthe brands to that!) People don't know (and in some cases don't care ) that there are huge differences in style, taste,quality etc., - they try a couple (maybe) and rapidly lose interest. I am referring to both consumers and sellers both. O.K. we are probably not going to get a PBS series (The Absinthe Hunter ? I don't think so ) but the beer analogy is a good analogy. There are some stores that embrace the diversity in Absinthe - such as Balade en Provence in Antibes among others - but unless we educate and grow the category (and the publics awareness) we risk the shutdown of many brands except the most bankrolled.Unless the catagory gets more traction and more brands out there soon we run the risk of a systemic indifference and collapse. Who wants to go back to ordering anything decent online because we can't get it here ? Not from illegallity but indifference and lack of sales here?
  12. If it's any help at all my use of the word niche and specifically niche market meant something that is not going to become widely known or used beyond a small following , I don't care who makes it or its quality - that was not the definition or use of the word I meant ( althought I do agree there are a lot of 'niche' products that remain niche because they are godawful crap. ) It is more about growing the category or spirit so it does not become or stay niche. Unless and until the general public learn that there is a lot of variety in absinthe and it is worth exploring (like all the different types of rum,whisk(e)y, gin, tequila, etc., etc.,) and importers, distributors and retailers (both shops and bars), recognize there is diversity and they should stock more and different absinthes for people to try and explore, it could rapidly devolve into a few (yes, heavily bankrolled most likely) brands being the only ones really left ( on a national or regional basis.) Absinthe need to be popularized with education and appreciation to the masses as it were. Also - as a sidebar - I support small producers on my site (spiritsreview.com) a lot and seek them out to do reviews of their products (it would be a lot simpler to just stick to the mainstream stuff that PR people are trying to foist off on me). I don't give extra points or lie in my reviews for them - I will gladly savage a bad product if it deserves it- but try to give them some much needed exposure.
  13. I'll keep you guys updated and start calling on you when we get it started. Will start a new thread just for the book. My first thought is a a book of historical,documented cocktails for the first part (after history/origins etc.,) and then a what is happening today/where it's going now (or whatever we call it) for the second part of new cocktails and trends.
  14. Much mo' betta, and a late January event would soften the post-holiday letdown. That's what I'm talking about! Joe and I are of one mind on this question: host Tales in January, when it's not so friggin' hot! I'd love it in January too but it is probably a lot more expensive to hold it then. Just like Florida. At least Florida in July is as hot or sticky ( if you are anywhere new the ocean). But like Florida in summer I make a real effort not to go outside during the day unless I run out of ice.
  15. I think we can get a Absinthe cocktail book together in about 1 months time. Also can do smaller booklets or whatever else. Is there any serious interest out there in these projects?
  16. Certainly not the only answer, but one way to increase consumption and awareness to keep things going. Remember that Single Malts ( in recent history) only emerged as people became more educated and were looking for more different and diverse types/styles/expressions. One of the problems with the public's perceptions of absinthe is they (for the most part) don't know the vast differences of style,taste, nuance etc., this is also the case with many importers and distributors. Am example of what we could have is gin or rum. It used to be you had only a few of either and now there are 100's ( trust me I know - I had to work through 150 rums in 3 days at a judging and have at least 100 very different gins in my collection). We need to spark interest in trying new absinthes and highlighting that each one is at least somewhat different and unique - getting sellers ( at whatever level) to stock many different ones and be able to speak about them and get people to explore them. We want to avoid it becoming a small niche and grow the catagory.
  17. Just talking to someone who may be able to solve the problem(s) of recipe books/booklets and hangers/on package. He runs a vintage cocktail reprint/publishing company and has a large number of all out treasured vintage cocktail books in a computerized/digital format (as opposed to my analog format i.e. books on shelves ). He is in a good position to do any or all of the above depending upon interest. My suggestion would be all of the above, tags and booklets for bottles and casual handouts for consumers, a real book or compendium for enthusiasts and for distributors to give out to bartenders so they can mix drinks with it. He can certainly pull the research/recipes together and come up with some ideas. Certainly would address some of the cocktail problem! Will keep everyone posted! (No pun intended)
  18. I've been working on gathering older recipes for quite a bit but it hasn't gotten to the writing stage, just compilation. Was thinking about a booklet for months now but I'm not that handy with layout. I'm going to contact someone I know who has most of the classic cocktails of all kinds on a database and see if he can run a search by ingredient.Failing that I'm going to do a search by name to try to avoid typing each one in manually. Someone else can then make a booklet and make it pretty.
  19. Just wanted to also add/amplify that a lot of bars and bartenders seem to have gotten a supply of well, some sort of absinthe, but were never taught what it was, or what to make with it. It just sat on the shelf or worse they would try to set it on fire. Education needs to be done . What did the Fabians used to say ? Educate, Agitate , Organize?
  20. If you are in New Orleans check out the Alibi bar nearby the Old Absinthe House. MUCH Better: http://www.yelp.com/biz/alibi-lounge-new-orleans Yes, for whatever reason a lot of people from Tales go there but I always try to get them to go to Alibi instead. I'd much rather give them my money
  21. We can only hope it has a similar effect on the people who actually do that to themselves- maybe they might eventually die out - but I doubt it.
  22. Hello Everyone, Guess I should make a couple points clear(er) than in my blog piece. First I hope history proves me wrong in the long run. This was written as wake up call and and to lay out some of the problems I see. I do seminars and education about various spirits and was reflecting on the state of Absinthe knowledge in the general public and trade. Yes, we should educate everyone, not just individuals (but they are sometimes the easiest) I think that we need to have Absinthe Ambassadors for the spirit itself rather than just Absinthe Professors who teach people one at a time. I loathe the word usually but the term evangelize springs to mind. The "just a product" comment meant they don't have a love or understanding of absinthe, absinthe culture, or anything else about it -they just sell it like anything else there is no attempt to learn or enjoy it. Most liquor store owners ( and distributors too) fiqure if they have one or two absinthes that's all they will ever need. We need to educate them that more is better, there is diversity, and we need to encourage it. Too many of them are already saying "Yeah we got one" and they think that is all they will ever need. I worry that a lot of good absinthe won't come to market with that mindset, and we need to do something about that while absinthe still holds the general publics interest. As to cocktails, the Absinthe producers/importers/ etc., need to gather and publish the absinthe cocktail recipes that are out there ( most in vintage cocktail books). A lot of popular newer cocktail books don't have recipes and a lot of people won't go digging for one. A recipe /cocktail book or just 6 -12 pages distributed with absinthe would be a wonderful thing in my mind and boost (responsible) consumption greatly as people worked their way through the guide. Numerous companies such as St Germain, and a number of cachaca brands have done this so people don't think their spirit is a one cocktail wonder. Why haven't more of the absinthe brands done this yet ? As a side bar on the bar items, Why hasn't anyone come with a collar for absinthe fountains yet? Maybe 2 1/2 moon pieces of metal or woodthat would fit around the base to secure it to the bar or at least a larger base so they are less likely to fall over or harder to steal? Also look at a Pernod pastis glass - looks like a small beer glass, has dose lines for spirit and water, cheap, durable,easy to understand. Plus all the old heavy duty glasses we see from the period, why aren't there more reproductions of those for the bar trade? - That's the kind of glassware the commercial bars need, yes I love my fine glassware but it just doesn't work in bars.