I am giving three talks at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York on May 14th. I hope if you're in town you'll come hear them.
First sign up for the Industry Invitational (all bar industry and media are welcome). These seminars require an rsvp and you can do that on the schedule page. It's all free.
Filtration In Spirits
We don’t often speak about filtration in spirits, yet it is the defining factor in Tennessee whisky, makes vodka vodka, turns aged rum clear, and has allowed for the creation of a new category of tequila. In this seminar we'll talk about various forms of filtration used in spirits: charcoal/paper/screens/membranes and other filters, chill-filtration, and more. We’ll also discuss the purpose of filtration: to remove particulates, color, cloudiness, or flavor. We'll demonstrate some tabletop science experiments, find out if you can improve vodka with a Britta filter, and learn what spirits taste like before and after filtration.
"Ice Capades" looks at new frontiers in cocktail ice. The hour will consist of a brief overview of the history of cocktail ice, from its first appearance to the invention of the ice machine in 1850 to the development of fast-freezing technology and ice delivery- and what this has meant for cocktail development. Then the presentation will turn to exotic ices that have appeared of late. These will include a) flavored ice (coconut water, bitters, fruit, etc) that allow the cocktail to deepen and morph as it’s sipped; b) shaped ice and ice vessels like the hollow, liquor-filled spheres that have been brought to wider attention by Aviary in Chicago.; and c) other exotic ice including smoked ice created by Evan Zimmerman in Portland, Oregon, machine-carved ice spheres, 10,000 year-old glacial ice imported from Greenland filled with microscopic bubbles of ancient air that snap like Rice Krispies as it melts, and a few cool uses for dry ice.
Tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirits categories in America, with nearly two hundred new brands hitting store shelves each year. But is tequila becoming the new vodka: over-saturated with expensive designer bottles, celebrity sponsorships, and flavorless imitation brands that are all made at the same few distilleries? Or is the 100-percent agave category more like scotch whisky, showcasing innovation in ingredient sourcing and processing, barrel finishing, and distillation technology while working within the rigid framework of government regulations? In this lively and likely controversial talk by journalist Camper English we’ll discuss the rapidly-changing tequila category and all the hope and hype that comes with growth.