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July 2015

50 States Walk Into A Bar ........

Lately an amusing Reddit post has been flying around the Internet faster than I would go after free bottles of my favorite liquors, e.g. Faberge vodka, Willett Pot Still bourbon, etc.

Click here to see how the 50 states (and other jurisdictions) of the United States of America would act if they were people in a bar.  Some of these descriptions are absolutely spot on. American members of the Den might find this more amusing than non-American members, but I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.

Now go have a drink .....


Tales From Tales

This year's Tales of the Cocktail conference (my second) in New Orleans was a glorious success.  Hung out at familiar places (such as the Carousel Bar, Hermes Bar, Killer Po' Boys), became acquainted with new places (such as the Sazerac Bar, 3 Muses, and Latitude 29), saw old friends (where y'at Top 5 Spirits?)heard some great music (wonderful to see you again Linnzi Zaorski), and met all sorts of great and fascinating people (too many to name .... you know who you are).

Now that I'm a Tales Veteran instead of a Tales Virgin, here are some observations:

1.  Tales really is a marathon, not a sprint.  Pacing during the day is critical.  If you drink everything that's available you either won't make it to noon, or you need a massive intervention.  Just so we're clear, I was fine during the day.

NOLA2.  Nights are a whole different ball game if you want them to be.  My only lapse started with a great party at One Eyed Jacks (High West whiskey, barbecue, and burlesque), moved to drinking High West from the bottle with Texans, then crashed the U.S. Bartenders Guild toast outside of the Old Absinthe House, and ended with my wife convincing me that one last drink at the Carousel Bar was a colossally bad idea.  And I still made it to my seminar the next morning.

3.  People attending Tales are friendly and welcoming.  I cannot thank certain people enough for speaking with me even though I made it clear that I am not in the cocktail industry.

4.  The pure dollar value of Tales is amazing.  If you buy $100 worth of seminar tickets, you can get access to tasting rooms for four days and learn all sorts of things from industry professionals.  Compare that to your usual bar bill, and keep in mind you're getting booze that is new to the market and/or cocktails being mixed by some of the finest bartenders in the world.

So will I see you at Tales next year?

Old Meets New -- The Vieux Nouveau Sazerac

If you want a great Sazerac or any other cocktail, go to Richard Fiske's and ask for Bri.
If you want a great Sazerac or any other cocktail, go to Richard Fiske's and ask for Bri.

Great experiences, meeting old friends, and making new ones -- that's how I describe the recent Tales of the Cocktail conference that my wife and I attended in New Orleans.  The trip inspired me to recreate a twist on a classic.  The Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans (seriously).  It originated in the mid 19th century and was named for the brand of cognac it used.  By the end of the same century rye replaced cognac as the base spirit.  To get the best of both worlds .....

1 ounce cognac or brandy
1 ounce rye whiskey
Teaspoon of absinthe
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1/4 to 1/2 ounce super simple syrup

Put absinthe in a chilled glass and swirl it around so you coat the inside of the glass.  Discard the remaining absinthe.  Add the other ingredients, stir with the cool grace of a proper New Orleans gentleman or lady, and garnish with a lemon twist.

The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel.
The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel.  This picture does not do justice to the bar.

Use whatever type of brandy or cognac you want (click here for a quick overview of the classifications).  Just remember -- all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.  It's the same with bourbon and whiskey in that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

So why the name "Vieux Nouveau?"  Because these French words sound better than the literal English translation of "old new," and a hell of a lot better than "half and half."

Many thanks to our friends Chris and Gail (who we met at Tales in 2014) for introducing us to the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel.  The atmosphere is gorgeous and historic, and the cocktails are sublime.

Now go a little old school with your Sazerac!

Tales of the Cocktail -- Welcome to the Den!

Here's a multiple choice question -- if you're reading this it means you:

(a) met me and/or my supersmart and lovely wife
(b) saw a Society of Unrepentant Drinkers shirt
(c) found a business card for the Wulf Cocktail Den

while you were

(d) at the Tales of the Cocktail conference
(e) on the streets of, or in a bar in, the great city of New Orleans
(f) in a holding cell (just kidding ...... right?)

I'm honored that you decided to come into the Wulf Cocktail Den.  The Den evolves along with my  interest in the wonderful world of cocktails.  I post about various cocktails, cocktail related topics, and even some of my original creations.  You can click on the categories or archives on the right if you don't know where to start.  You might see some recurring themes that do not appear as a category, e.g. my passion for the James Bond franchise and my visceral hatred of Maraschino cherries.

So raise a glass of your favorite cocktail, and welcome to the Wulf Cocktail Den!


The Society of Unrepentant Drinkers

Do you like to drink alcohol?  Do you appreciate a good cocktail?  Can you hold your liquor, wine or beer?  You're reading this post, so my guess is you can answer "yes" to one or more of these questions.

WCD frontThe name of this proud and global society originated in 2014 at the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans.  I had a cocktail induced epiphany, and my wife astutely suggested that we could create a symbol of our allegiance to this particular type of unrepentance.

WCD backWant to be a member of Society?  Click here for my store of custom shirts and other clothing items.  I know the prices may seem a little steep.  There's no markup, so I'm not trying to make a profit.  Think of it this way -- a shirt costs about the same as a round or two of cocktails (or a bottle of quality booze), but it will last a lot longer.

A member of the Society has fun, drinks responsibly (and won't drive if he or she doesn't), and is never a bad drunk.  Every society has to have rules in order to survive and thrive, and this Society is no different.

A Cocktail For Independence -- The RWB

In honor of the Fourth of July (note to my foreign readers -- this is Independence Day in the United States), it's time to create a cocktail that celebrates the Red, White & Blue.  And rye whiskey and bourbon.  Either way you get the acronym RWB.  Just as the 13 colonies joined together to form the United States of America, here's how to join rye and bourbon:

RWB1 ounce rye
1 ounce bourbon
.75 ounces Cointreau or Grand Marnier
.5 ounces lemon juice (1/4 lemon)
.25 ounces super simple syrup (optional)

Combine in a shaker with ice, shake as if you're vigorously signing the Declaration of Independence, and strain into a chilled glass.  Sugar rimmed glass optional.

The RWB is very similar to a Sidecar in that it replaces the brandy or cognac with rye and bourbon.  Bourbon is a classic and legally American spirit, and rye was a popular spirit when the United States fought for its freedom. 

You might wonder why there is a French liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier) in a cocktail that celebrates American history. There are two reasons.  First, I like the flavor and it enhances the RWB.  Second, it acknowledges France's role as an ally of the United States during its fight for survival.  The United States returned the favor in the 20th century -- twice.

So declare your independence from the tyranny of weak cocktails, and have a RWB!