El Rayo Bartender in GQ

henrysaphireEl Rayo’s Henry Jost participated earlier this year in the Bombay Saphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Jost (2nd from the left in this segment of the image) and the other 45 bartenders from the competition are featured in a 4-page tableau in the December issue of GQ.

Jost’s entry in the competition was the High Port which is made with “fresh honeydew juice, fresh lemonade infused with three botanicals, juniper berry, coriander seed and orris root; Cocchi Americano Apertif; and Bombay Sapphire gin”.

El Rayo’s holding a release party for Jost on Tuesday, 6-8pm at El Rayo Cantina.

New England Distilling Tour

ned_logooPeter Peter Portland Eater has posted a report on his recent experience touring New England Distilling.

I enjoyed learning about the grains, molasses, and yeast that contribute to the culmination of great spirits, but after staring at the beautiful barrels of unbottled booze, I was definitely ready to try the products. New England Distilling has two products currently – Ingenium Dry Gin and Eight Bells Rum – with an as-of-yet-unnamed rye whiskey on the way this month. We proceeded to the front counter ready to try a couple sips of the rum and gin but were told we could also try the new rye before it came out in stores.

BDN: Portland Hunt & Alpine

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club.

The sleek cocktail lounge on Market Street has been shaking up the downtown drink scene since September. With craft spirits from across the country and state, owner Andrew Volk said he hopes to do for cocktails what the Port City has done for beer and food.

“We want to focus on one thing we do well and give local distilleries a stage,” said Volk, who has bartended his way across the country, including a high-profile gig at Clyde Common in Portland, Ore.

Craft Distilling in Maine

Mainebiz has published an article about Maine’s small but growing spirits industry.

Luke Davidson sounds like a man whose head is spinning, a product of learning a lot about business in a little time. When Davidson opened the doors to Maine Craft Distilling in Portland this July, he didn’t expect the large crowds that flocked to his East Bayside business to taste the distillery’s craft batches of rum and vodka. The crowd surge created a number of logistical challenges, and it was all he could do to keep a supply of clean glasses and purchase bags handy.

Shrub Cocktails & Casco Bay Organics

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about shrubs and shrub-based cocktails (see article for recipes),

Shrubs an old-fashioned drinks that date to Colonial times, but they are on their way back, thanks to the folks behind the bar who are discovering that a shrub’s bright, slightly tart, complex flavors make for a stand-out cocktail. Bartenders are doing lots of experimenting by replacing the fruit in the shrub with vegetables and herbs, trying out different kinds of vinegar, and otherwise tweaking the classic shrub formula.

and an article about Casco Bay Organics.

Time-crunched healthy eaters have a new way to get their hands on fresh fruits and vegetables. In April, Casco Bay Organics, a southern Maine grocery home delivery service, launched with a full array of organic and locally-sourced produce.

Mixonymics with Trey Hughes, John Myers and Nathaniel Meiklejohn

Three Portland bartenders—Trey Hughes, John Myers, Nathaniel Meiklejohn—were interviewed for an article in The Morning News about how bartenders go about naming the cocktails they invent.

This sort of creative referentiality runs rampant in mixonymics. Perhaps because, for many bartenders, the name comes at the end of the mixing—and the sipping, sipping, sipping. Many cocktail menus contain a fascinating, nearly Joycean sediment of in-jokes, failed poems, portmanteau words, geographical and historical reference, hat-tips, thumb-bites, and general alcoholic homage. Bartenders don’t need lawyers, they need lexicographers.

Tequila & Mezcal at Zapoteca

Dispatch magazine sat down with Zapoteca co-owner Tom Bard to learn more about tequila, mezcal and the restaurant’s extensive selection of both liquors.

Tom with his business partner Sergio Ramos have gone to great lengths to take the tequila and mezcal program at Zapoteca above and beyond any in the area. In fact, Sergio holds the title of Level One Mezcalier, one of only four in the United States to hold this prestigious accolade. Tom explains that Sergio is instrumental in sourcing their products. The two have even started the process of getting their own mezcal from Mexico to distribute in Maine and New Hampshire.

Hush Hush #4: Diep 9 Genever


Map & Menu and Delicious Musings have both posted reports from Hush Hush #4, the well-curated cocktail and food event run by Andrew and Briana Volk from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (website, facebook, twitter). This month’s Hush Hush featured drinks made with the Diep 9 Genever (see their photos) line of spirits and some very interesting food by chef David Levi of Vinland.

Implying “normal” when a Hush, Hush event is anything but is almost an affront, but you need to believe me when I say that Andrew Volk is redefining the norm when it comes to the way he approaches his craft cocktails and the impeccable taste that Portland Hunt & Alpine is exhibiting in its selection of chefs and spirits for these events. [Map & Menu]

Photo Credit: Map & Menu