Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Carousel of Events, Willy Shine, and Appleton Rums

Once upon a time, there was a little blog called Le Mixeur. It was a dusty-headed memoir emanating from a rustic wood table in the dimly lit dining room of a simple house in Greenwood, as the author kept his flame alive through the dismal and tempestuous autumn and winter by exciting the senses with a plethora of new flavors and textures, in the form of spirits, liqueurs, fortified wines, and bitters only recently introduced to the lexicon of his experience.

Beneath all the scrawling and run-on sentences, one true and pure message bleated from every passage of these early bloggings, over and achingly over again: "will you please come to my party?" "will you please come to my party?" "will you please come to my party?"

And beneath these pleas was one even simpler, purer message, one that all of us cry out with every word we speak and action we undertake: "love me."

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

- hafiz

These days, seems most of what gets reported on this blog - what little gets reported at all - is about other people's events, other people wanting you to come to their parties, other people wanting your love. I've reported on Chartreuse events at Rob Roy and Vessel, on Cointreau events at Rob Roy, on Le Mixeur 737 (a little love for me), on Murray Stenson's birthday party at Elemental, and of course Tales of the Cocktail. I've also attended the Great American Distillers Festival in Portland recently, and M.C.'d a Canton Ginger Liqueur event at Vessel (which saw Jay Kuehner of Left Coast Libations and Sambar take the prize in the form of a trip to St. Martin for the worldwide competition).

The past two nights have brought many of the WSBG membership and other cocktail glitterati to Barrio, first on Monday for the WSBG holiday event featuring Mr. Paul Clarke and his flaming clove-studded naranjas (we don't normally do Spanish on Le Mixeur but flaming clove-studded naranjas just sounded way dirtier than flaming clove-studded oranges).

how you like dem naranjas?

Keith Waldbauer loves cupping Paul's red hot naranjas!
Andrew Friedman says "house on fire! house on fire! put it out! put it out!"

All the above nonsense was part of the creation of the Christmas Rum Punch, in which oranges are treated like prisoners at Abu Grahib: first punctured multiple times with cloves, then baked, then submerged in flaming rum, then drowned in cider, then thrown out in a heap in the alley. Paul wrote about this punch on his own blog years ago, back when he was still an intern for Le Mixeur. In the directions for the drink provided at the Holiday Event, Paul tells us to "drizzle flaming booze into the punch bowl." Let me just tell you folks, if you have not seen Paul's flaming booze drizzle technique yet, you are missing out on, dare I say, the finest flaming booze drizzle since prohibition. Paul's even in a punk band called Flaming Booze Drizzle (editor's note: he most certainly is not).

The Christmas Rum Punch was one of five drinks Paul served. 5? Yes 5. Leave it to Paul and the WSBG to serve people 5 stiff drinks 10 feet away from the bar at Barrio on 1/2 price tequila night. Guys, next time, provide a shuttle and a medic.

Yeah. That was fun.

The very next night we found ourselves right back at Barrio (though I have a suspicion some of us never left) for a dinner with the creators and distributors of El Zacatecano Mezcal, a distillery founded in 1910 in Huitzila, Mexico by the Lamas family, who still own and operate it to this day. Apparently the best-selling Mezcal in Mexico, it is now being introduced to the U.S. by La Plaza International, a distribution operation founded by our hosts Mike Sotelo and Rose Marie Ocuaman, and by fellow host and salon guru (and former potato farm worker) Gene Juarez, and by the conspicuously absent baseball legend Edgar Martinez. It's really too bad Edgar couldn't make it, because it turns out Jim Romdall of Vessel does a really good rendition of the "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeddddggaaaaaaaaaaarrrr" chant. At any rate, we ate shrimp tacos and ahi tuna and pork bellies and creme brulee and drank the blanco, reposado, and anejo, and reposado (did I mention reposado?) and made merry and a good time was had by all and I am rooting for the Lamas famiglia (there we go with the Spanish again! I sense a trend!).

And this, at long last in typical Le Mixeur fashion, brings us to the current event at hand:

Appleton Rums and Contemporary Cocktails Inc. Present Willy Shine at The Rob Roy !!!

"Prove That You Love Us"

Monday, November 23rd, 5-7pm.
2332 Second Ave
PH - 206 - 956 - VICE
RSVP to: info (at) contemporarycocktailsinc (dot) com

This event is intended for professional bartenders and RSVP is REQUIRED.

From Contemporary Cocktails Inc.:


Come take a stroll through the (legal!) essence of Jamaican flavors at Rob Roy with Contemporary Cocktails' Willy Shine. While bestowing upon you the mighty bounty of Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Willy and the Rob Roy staff will spark up the evening with some hand-crafted classic creations as well as the "Reserve Luxury Daiquiri," “Appleton Ting" and the "Dub Treo."

Willy Shine is one of the most respected bartenders in this fine land, and co-founder (along with Aisha Sharpe) of Contemporary Cocktails Inc. Their mission:

" raise the cocktail bar to new heights through spirit education, spirit and cocktail history, and identification of innovative ingredients respective of balance and flavor. Contemporary Cocktails takes the approach of bringing the kitchen to the bar, believing a bartender should put the same effort into his or her cocktails that a chef puts into his or her cuisine. Contemporary Cocktails Inc. is BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) certified and is the supervisor of the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) Program, which is the spirits and mixology equivalent of a Master of Wine or Master Sommelier program."

That's all I got folks. Again the address to RSVP is info (at) contemporarycocktailsinc (dot) com, and they are looking for about 30-40 bartenders to come enjoy and learn from one of the masters.

And so we do hereby declare Le Mixeur your premier spot for updates on events and happenings around the Seattle cocktail scene...sort of...if I remember to write about long as people don't ostracize me...again. Sigh. Will you please come to my party?


frederic said...

The Appleton event here in Boston was rather low key but filled with good drinks (4 on the menu and a few classics that were done off the menu). No hard sell or PR message, just good rum and rum cocktails and they let the product speak for itself. I wrote up one of the drinks here:

Paul said...

Five!?! Sir, I take offense -- there were SIX drinks (three punches, three cocktails) served to WSBG guests on Monday. NEVER let it be said that I sent a guest out the door without a medium to severe stagger in their gait....

(BTW, nice photos -- I plan to steal one for my blog, since all I took pictures of was a bloated Tom & Jerry bowl)

T. Mixeur said...

Six? Apparently I had even more fun than I thought. Steal the photo if you like, just be sure to give credit to my photographer alter-ego: Rex Ezperanza.