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OVER THE PAST decade, the phenomenal resurgence of the cocktail has caused the ranks of mixologists to swell. Today closely knit groups of dedicated, highly talented bartenders have formed in nearly every city in America. They keep in touch largely through social media and gather at popular watering holes where they swap war stories and trade professional secrets.

Other than a few national confabs, cadres in one area don’t get much opportunity to interact with likeminded counterparts in other regions of the country. That has, in part, contributed to the schism between San Francisco bartending and New York bartending.

Well, two industry notables are shaking up the status quo. LA mixologists Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello star in and direct in a continuing series of events called Red Rovers, in which high profile bartenders in different parts of the country swap stages and play command performances at the other’s bar. The evenings are sponsored by various spirit brands and feature live entertainment, extravagant cocktails and lavish food spreads. All the while the guest bartender works the stick and entertains the crowd.

Red Rover events have drawn large crowds and have been deemed overwhelming successes. Says Aidan Demarest of Liquid Assets, “Our ultimate goal is to afford mixologists the opportunity to spend time with other passionate cocktail professionals. Red Rovers are fun outings and the host bars and clubs have been extremely pleased with tremendous outpouring of support from the local food and beverage community.”

Past events have showcased the inimitable talents of such industry heavyweights as Tony Abou-Ganim, Simon Ford, Charlotte Voissey, Audrey Saunders, Tad Carducci, Brian Miller, John Lermayer, Alex Day, Eric Castro and Misty Kalkofen.

The next scheduled event is an all-female exchange being billed as a Red Hot Rover. It’ll be held on July 12th in Santa Monica at the Rooftop at Shangri-La. After that it’s off to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. From July 21st through the 25th Red Rover will be at The Beinville House Penthouse Suite hosting the “Recovery Room.”

Further information about upcoming Red Rover events can be found at

Victoria's Forbidden Cocktail Sachets



VICTORIA D'AMATO-MORAN has really outdone herself this time. Considered one of the country’s leading mixologists, she’s developed an innovative line of drink ingredients called Victoria’s Forbidden Cocktail Sachets. Each paper sachet is formulated with the precise mix of organic fruit powders, spices and aromatic botanicals needed to create one of D'amato-Moran’s   ultra-sophisticated   cocktails.   Just   pour

the recipe ingredients into an iced mixing glass, drop in the appropriate sachet and shake the contents vigorously. Viola!

The all-natural, caffeine-free sachets come with easy to follow drink recipes and contain, in part, hibiscus, rose petals, chamomile and elder flowers, açai powder and granulated honey. At present the line includes sachets for making four signature cocktails — the tequila-based Sachet Ole, the Vodka Kicker, the Gin & Grin and the Night Cap, which calls for either rye or bourbon whiskey.

Victoria’s Forbidden Cocktail Sachets are an effortless way to craft sensational drinks. They’re made fresh to order and can be purchased at You’ll be amazed at what they help you create. end


Victoria's Forbidden Cocktail Sachets



SOME COMPANIES UNDERSTAND human nature better than others. For example, the Cholive Company of Milwaukee appreciates that what we need more of in our lives is chocolate. Thanks to their efforts, we no longer need limit ourselves to gnawing on candy bars or popping bon bons, we can now also enjoy life-sustaining chocolate with a glass of fine wine or an exquisitely crafted cocktail. The dining experience has just taken a turn for the better.

Cholives are olive-shaped truffles created as embellishments for specialty cocktails. Made from imported Swiss dark chocolate and filled with Vermont whole cream ganache, these singular treats come with their own skewers so they can hang from the rim of the cocktail glass. It’s hard to imagine a more divine way to garnish a drink.

But why stop there? The company also markets a line of 16 different dark chocolate and ganache-filled Chruffles, individually flavored truffles designed as the perfect complement to a glass of Champagne or fine varietal wine. Created with the help of a sommelier, the slow melting chocolate helps accentuate the lingering nuances in the wine.

For red wines they recommend the Black Forest, Toasted Coconut, Hazelnut or Coffee Chruffles. To accompany white wines their sommelier suggests the Amaretto, Butter Pecan, Raspberry or Orange Chruffles, while the Caramel, Chocolate, Champagne or Raspberry are deemed the ideal companion for Champagne.

Cholives and Chruffles are genuinely remarkable and guaranteed to make a lasting impression on every guest who receives one. They can be purchased in quantity and are available at

Cholive garnished Drink DEBUTS

WITH THE RENAISSANCE of the cocktail in full swing, the good folks at BarMedia have launched a new website——right when it’s needed most.

Designed to appeal to seasoned mixologists and working bartenders, the website features extensive information regarding the major drink categories, drink preparation, garnishing, bar terminology, glassware and reviews of leading spirits and liqueurs. Equally noteworthy, all of the material on is free and accessible to everyone on the Internet. There’s no registration required; no membership fees, pop-up ads or gimmicks. is dedicated to the proposition that life’s too short to drink bad cocktails and that committing top-shelf spirits and liqueurs to mixed drinks isn’t sacrilege—it’s an act of creative genius,” says BarMedia’s Robert Plotkin, drinks author, trade writer and spirits judge. “We’ve been developing the site for the past 3 years and I assure you that there’s nothing on the Internet remotely like it.”

The site currently features over 2500 creative, field-tested recipes with new drinks added weekly. In addition, there’s a section devoted to alcohol-awareness and responsible serving guidelines.

In a manner of speaking, BarMedia started working on 25 years ago when we published our first drink guide. Observes Plotkin, “Since then we’ve reviewed more than a thousand spirits and liqueurs and taste-tested countless recipes. The Internet and have created an opportunity never imagined back then.”end