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They're Talkin' 'Bout Us!

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The Las Vegas Nightclub & Bar Show Turns 25

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     The first time I attended the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas was in 1987. I had just started writing for the magazine, which at that point was only two years old and still very much evolving and finding its voice, so to speak.

     If memory serves the convention that year was held at the Tropicana in an adjacent building at the back of the property. Despite being a fraction of the size of what it is today, I needed a minute or two to take in what I found. The smallish hall was rocking. Its walls reverberated from the hard driving music. Laser lights circled the room, strobes flashed and confetti cannons occasionally filled the air with streamers.

The Caipirinha ala Leblon Cachaça and Finest Call

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I've never blogged about a retail limited time offers (LTO) before today. Frankly, there hasn't been a reason to before today. The product that grabbed my attention is the recently introduced Ultimate Caipirinha Kit, an inspired co-pack consisting of award-winning Leblon Cachaça and Finest Call Caipirinha Mix. I'm an ardent fan of both products, so when I saw that someone had the epiphanic notion of piggybacking the two brands together as way Americans can create the legendary Caipirinha, I knew right then and there that I had to offer kudos.

Recession Management -- Driving Profits in a Slow Economy


    Managing a bar during tough economic times changes how you approach every aspect of the business. Things you used to take for granted, like cash flow and a steady revenue stream, assume greater importance. Looking after every dollar and every ounce of profit becomes second nature, a survival instinct.

"Your Martini, Mr. Bond"


    These are heady times for the Martini. The American born libation is once again the undisputed king of cocktails, atop the list of drinks that every bar and aspiring mixologist must excel at making. Ones trademark Martini needn't be elaborate, just well conceived and skillfully executed.

Mixing it up With the Best in Business


    Grand Marnier and Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur will be hosting the 3rd annual Mixology Summit in Vail, Colorado from Sunday, April 5-7, 2009. Akin to the Olympics of mixology, 100 professional mixologists from around the United States will be hired as consultants for the event and help develop cocktails for use in national marketing programs. During the three-day event, participants will also have an opportunity to learn about the latest techniques and beverage trends from the most celebrated practitioners in American mixology.

Courvoisier Launches Invaluable On-Premise Program


    Brandy is the most prestigious spirit on the shelf. Few products immediately conjure aspirational images of prosperity and sophistication, or so ably illustrate the concept of affordable luxury as do as these traditional heavyweights. Their appeal transcends age and demographics, and although belt-tightening has reduced our discretionary income, cognacs and brandies offer people a lot of indulgence for the buck.

Absinthe -- Forbidden No Longer

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    If you haven't heard already, absinthe is once again available in the U.S. It's the stuff of legends, and after 93 years, mixologists coast to coast are ecstatic to finally get their hands on this dazzling, emerald green spirit.

    Few spirits are as intriguing to me as handcrafted tequila. So you can imagine my good fortunate being invited to participate in the 2nd annual Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition in Old Town San Diego. Spirits guru Jack Robertiello of Drink Ink and I again served as co-hosts of the formal judging portion of the event, which this year featured nearly 80 labels of tequilas and mezcals.

How Will They React With The Chips On The Line?


     Expect the unexpected. It's a common enough saying, but one I think that's especially true in this business. 

     Take for example an incident that occurred not too long ago at a high-profile sports bar in Florida. A young man seated at the bar was beginning to show signs of impairment, so one of the two bartenders on duty refused the man further service. He became suddenly enraged, withdrew a knife from his pocket; and with all deliberate force, impaled his own hand to the bar top.

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