Bit by a Fox Interview on Love & Victory Blog

As part of our week-long mutual admiration love-fest, Meg Moorhouse from Love & Victory and I have both interviewed each other for our blogs. You can read ALL about what I’m excited about working on right now, what my dream project is, and what is the most challenging part of what I do…here!

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In honor of summer coming to an an end (say it isn’t soooo!) I also did an outdoor bar roundup in our home borough, Brooklyn! Hurry up and check out the article to see why these are my picks to hit before it gets too cool to imbibe al fresco!

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Foxy Friends: Love & Victory’s Meg Moorhouse

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Over these last few years, Bit by a Fox has given me the opportunity to connect with so many creative and inspiring people, many of them entrepreneurs themselves. For this new series on the blog, Foxy Friends, I’ll be profiling the dynamos (and their creations) that I think everyone else should know, if they don’t already! For my very first Foxy Friends feature, I present to you the powerhouse designer, talented artist, boss lady and, most importantly, cocktail fan Meg Moorhouse from (my new obsession) Love & Victory!

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Raised in New Jersey, Meg somehow escaped without mall hair. She did, however, retain her Italian American family’s love for long, drawn out meals and plenty of drink.

Since moving to Brooklyn in 2000 (we’re nearly neighbors!), Meg has worn a LOT of creative hats through the years. From long-term collaborations with artists such as Glenn Ligon and Robert Gober at Dieu Donné Papermill to a designer gig for New York handbag label M Z WALLACE. From 2002-2006, Meg co-founded and -designed the quirky accessories label La Voleuse, known for its hand-painted ballet slippers emblazoned with tattoo designs and song lyrics from favorites like Dolly Party and The Smiths. How could you not love that?! Her designs have been featured in publications such as WWD Accessories Guide, Lucky, and The New York Times Magazine.

And then there’s Love & Victory, her one stop shop for personalized gifts that are equal parts beautiful, whimsical and classic. Like these custom designed Bit by a Fox engraved rocks glasses! I’m so in loooove. Stay tuned to see how YOU can win a pair of your very own custom designed glass set…

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Meg seeks to create the perfect gift, a gift that you’re excited to give… even if it’s to yourself. She loves a great cocktail and relishes the opportunity to create beautiful, personal barware that’s both new- and old-school and encourages her favorite sport: Imbibing!

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You’re so multi-talented from graphic and product design to creating jewelry, original art and web sites, what has drawn you to engraving in particular?

Thank you! I’ve done all sorts of art & design, it’s true—branding, products, web. I feel happiest when I’m solving design problems, and I enjoy doing that in all media. I don’t like feeling hemmed into one realm and think that if you think with a designer-ly brain, you can learn to design anything!

In terms of products, sometimes I start with an idea and figure out the production to support it. Other times, I know of a craftsperson or trade I want to work with and design a product to fit. For my engraved glassware, I first had an idea for the His/Hers/Ours decanter set—sort of something that I felt like you should be able to get a vintage version of, but I hadn’t seen one quite like it, so I found some folks who could do the engraving for me. I love that it’s a slightly more modern take on a vintage style. Pretty much sums up my taste to a T.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I am just a voracious viewer, always looking at things, vintage and new. I grew up in New Jersey, going to thrift stores and estate sales weekly, and I’ve never lost my thirst for the hunt. I’m like a freakish competitor. It’s not pretty. Totally elbows out, trying to beat the next guy out for the good stuff.

In terms of styles that I find inspiring, I love Victorian mourning jewelry and sweetheart jewelry. Old engraved glass souvenirs. Tattoos. Vintage typography, lettering, penmanship.

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You make so many beautiful pieces, I’d want to keep everything! Do you ever have a hard time letting them go?

No, it’s how I made a living, so I’m glad to sell them! Kidding, not kidding. Really I’m just happy each and every time someone makes a purchase, because it means that they like what I design which is truly the greatest compliment. Truth be told, I probably own a version of everything I design, so I do hoard plenty of the wares.

How has being a mom influenced your work? Has there been a change in your aesthetic?

When I was pregnant with Louella, I designed our custom engraved rings, which I suppose were done with myself and all of my friends who were becoming mothers in mind. I would say that it’s changed my working style more than my aesthetic. I have to squeeze things into less time, so I’m more efficient!

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Do you have any favorite glassware pieces that you’ve created at the moment?

I love our Everyday & The Good Stuff Decanter Set. It started as a joke, with the Everyday one being gigantic and The Good Stuff much smaller. I love an element of humor always. But the Ours Decanter Set is still my favorite. It’s just the best gift. People literally sometimes buy them by the half-dozen to stock up for a summer of weddings. And now we have a Mine set for single folks. Or people who don’t like to share.

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What’s your go-to drink right now?

This summer I’ve been drinking a hell of a lot of caipirinhas. My favorite cocktail to make for friends is probably an Aviation. I got my recipe from my friend, Kathryn Weatherup, because she makes a damn good one. Their lavender color is so gorgeous, and I feel like it pleases even the folks who think they don’t like gin. It’s just my mission to get all of my pals to be gin drinkers.

Is there any way to see your pieces in person? What stores are you currently selling out of?

Absolutely. We sell at a few dozen stores around the country. In New York City, you can find our glassware at Catbird and In God We Trust.

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Any future projects you’re working on that you’re excited about?

Yes! We are working on a “deck of cards” that is a collection of 52 classic cocktails. Working our way them has been SUCH. A. TOUGH. JOB. Just kidding—best job ever! Designing them is a big job, but we’re so excited about how they’re coming together!

Meg lives and works in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn with her graphic designer husband, Willy, their 5-year-old daughter Louella, and their not-so-friendly cat, Beatrice


GIVEAWAY THROUGH INSTAGRAM! Love & Victory and Bit by a Fox are doing a giveaway exclusively through Instagram all week! Deadline is next Thursday, 8/3. You can win your very own #FoxLoveVictory Cocktail Kit: Love & Victory custom designed rocks glasses, Bit by a Fox Pink Peppercorn Cocktail Syrup and a custom designed cocktail recipe created just for you! Go to the Bit by a Fox Instagram page or the Love and Victory Instagram page this afternoon for more details!

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Boozy Babes in “All About That Mix” 5 pm (EST) Tonight at Mother of Pearl…on Periscope!

Hey guys! You know Al Roker? Yes THAT Al Roker of “Today” show fame and highly optimistic weather updates and everyone’s favorite morning jokester uncle…well, he has a multimedia production company, Al Roker Entertainment that he’s been running for the last 20 years!!! Not just a weather man, guys!

Roker Labs is their digital media incubator of sorts and they are dipping their toes in the live streaming content game, with much success. And, guess who’s going to be doing some cocktail segments with them?!

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All About That Mix

Fellow boozy babe, Emily Arden Wells from Gastronomista and I are partnering with @RokerLabs for this exciting new cocktail series that will stream live 5pm (EST) on Periscope for the next couple of Tuesdays starting TONIGHT! For our first segment “All About That Mix”, we are heading to Polynesian oasis, Mother of Pearl in New York’s east village. Our bartender for the evening will be industry vet, bartender extraordinaire and total babe, Jane Danger, pictured below (with a shock of blue in her blonde locks) from our Bartender Style shoot at Mother of Pearl last month:

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I know what you’re thinking…what is this Periscope hooha? Why do I have to get another weird app on my phone? Is that the only way I can watch it? Listen, grandma, I totally understand. I was pretty intimidated by this new technology too, until LAST NIGHT, in fact. Up until I tried a test run with Emily I really couldn’t wrap my brain around it. But it is SO easy, and pretty fun, in fact. It’s like live chatting, face timing and youtubing all at the same time, if that means anything to you! And IF you just can’t be bothered with watching us in real time, this will be saved and posted on our sites. But, just know this, Al Roker is probably more tech savvy than you. So just upload that Periscope App, follow @RokerLabs (and @BitByaFox, of course!) and prepare to get your tiki on tonight. Welcome to the future!

The Gwynnie Bee Spritz

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Hey, all you curvaceous ladiez out there! Do you know about Gwynnie Bee? It is a monthly fashion subscription service (think Netflix for designer clothes!) that is dedicated exclusively to women size 10 and above. Pretty brilliant, right? Not surprisingly, they’ve amassed a lot of fans since launching a few years back, and they totally recognize that their members’ community is a major part of their success. So, a few weeks ago, Gwynnie Bee kicked off a multi-city tour celebrating their devoted members and community influencers called GB Inspired By You Tour.

a monthly subscription box, full of the latest plus size trends for women sizes 10-32

Of course New York City is the first stop on @gwynniebee’s nationwide “Inspired By You Tour”! Check out the signature #BitByaFox cocktail for the blogger happy hour tonight! You know I love my summer spritzes! 🍸🍸🍸🍸🐝🐝🐝 #ShareMeGB

A photo posted by Prairie Rose (@bitbyafox) on

In each city on the tour, Gwynnie Bee will have people preview and try on apparel that is just about to launch, including this adorable giraffe print Leota dress that I got to wear to their Happy Hour event for their New York City kick-off – just one of the perks of designing the signature cocktail for the night – The Gwynnie Bee Spritz!

GBpr The cocktail was such a hit, that I thought I’d share it with you guys! It’s actually one of those drinks that you can batch out ahead of time for group events, so you can actually enjoy your guests and not be tending bar for them all night! It’s also major crowd pleaser. I loved looking around the room and seeing so many lovely ladies with this drink in their hands!

GB SpritzGwynnie Bee Spritz – single serving
2 oz Aperol
1 oz Vodka
3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Pink Peppercorn Syrup
3 oz of Prosecco

Directions: In a chilled, ice-filled wine glass add the Aperol, vodka, juice and syrup. Stir well, top with Prosecco.

Large Batch – makes 12
3 cups Aperol
1 1/2 cups Vodka
4 1/2 cups Grapefruit Juice
3/4 cup Pink Peppercorn Syrup
2 bottles Prosecco

Add all ingredients except Prosecco to a large canister that can hold at least 1/2 a liter. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. When serving: In a chilled, ice-filled wine glass add the spritz mixture 3/4 of the way full. Top with 2-3 oz of Prosecco.

Tales of the Cocktail 2015 Recap

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Tales of the Cocktail is the largest cocktail conference in the world, so it makes sense that it takes place in the booziest town in the world, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Tales (as it’s affectionately referred to by those in-the-know) attracts the top bartenders, brands, industry leaders, media and influencers – a collection of who’s who of the cocktail world – as well as enthusiasts, from as far away as Spain, Australia and Peru. So, it’s basically 25,000 international booze nerds crammed into the French Quarter for 5 days straight, during the steamiest, sweatiest, and stinkiest time of year in the deep south – smack dab in the middle of July. I’ve been equally terrified and desperate to go to Tales ever since I got involved in this spirited industry. This past July marked the 13th year for the cocktail fest and it marked my lucky 1st! It was pretty special, you guys. Want to hear about it? Oh, good, because it’s been almost exactly a month and I’m DYING to tell you!

Did I mention that it was hot? Like, HOTTT. Think about the hottest you’ve ever been in the elements and then double that and then add a few more degrees of HOT, subtract half the oxygen in the air, and then add a permanent veneer of sweat over everything. Oh, and Nola just happened to be going through a heat wave during Tales week, so it was even more of a human crawfish boil than normal! Luckily, we were staying in a lovely ice box, high above the chaos of Bourbon Street!

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Ok, now try to imagine driiinking in that atmosphere. There are bottles of water everywhere, branded fans are given out alongside marketing materials and whenever and wherever possible, the AC is cranking. A lot of effort goes into keeping the crowds hydrated and chilled. Despite all that, you’re still sweating 100% of the time. Luckily there are cocktails to distract you from all of this. Soooo many cocktails.

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There are seminars starting at 9am that come equipped with generous samplings, brand luncheons with multiple cocktail pairings served by noon at the latest, and floor upon floor of tasting rooms occupying much of the official Tales headquarters at the Hotel Monteleone, home of the famed Carousel Bar, happening ALL DAY LONG.

ZT4A1593-Edit_watermarked for social mediaNot to mention, there are huge, conceptual brand parties that cap off each day, stretching into the wee hours, and as you can imagine, drinking is encouraged!

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Snapshots from the William Grant & Sons Yonderyear Party

Despite everyone’s enthusiasm to try errrrthang, it’s just not physically possible. Frequent attendees and Tales workers are fond of telling you to pace yourself. You’ll hear a variation of “Tales of the Cocktail is a marathon, not a sprint” multiple times before the week is out. But, it’s a great reminder because 1. you want to TRY to remember everything you’re tasting 2. you don’t want to be THAT PERSON and 3. you do not, repeat DO NOT want to be hungover in that heat. It’s probably the meanest thing you can do to yourself.

Despite the insane heat, the struggle to stay sober, and the constant FOMO because I couldn’t be everywhere at once, I had an amazing time! I brought some foxy friends along with me for the journey who also helped document the experience. Here are my highlights!

This band in Jackson Square.

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This view over coffee every morning:

lafitte guest houseThis wise ass at The Grill who was kind enough to let me have grits past noon:

thegrillThis sunset taken right before our flawless backyard dinner at Bacchanal:

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And, this – the magical Beam Suntory Jul(e)p Hour House…

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Imagine, it’s a 95+ degree day in Nola, and you walk into the most genteel French Colonial home, where you are greeted with a cool, damp cloth for your forehead, live ragtime music coming from a dapper gentleman at the baby grand, and all the whisk(e)ys in the world served to you in ice cold julep form. Well, all the whiskys in the Beam Suntory portfolio, that is. Which is quite impressive. It is NOT a dream. You have arrived at Jul(e)p Hour and you may never want to leave. At least I didn’t! 

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Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky made one of my favorite juleps!

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The impressive Beam Suntory whisky line-up.

With Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador for Laphroaig

With Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador for Laphroaig

Every room in this French Quarter oasis was dedicated to a different whisky and their own signature juleps for the occasion. We also had the advantage of having the ambassadors and master experts on hand to answer any questions and taste the good stuff on its own. From sampling traditional juleps made with Maker’s Mark to sipping on a pineapple and peat version made with Laphroaig, and a top shelf julep with newly launched Japanese whisky, Hibiki Japanese Harmony, we were able to get our julep on, and then some!

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The House of Suntory Whisky introduced a new expression from the Hibiki Range: Hibiki Japanese Harmony.

The very first tasting I attended when I arrived to Tales was actually one of my favorites. It was held at “Café Torino”, a beautiful, very Italian pop up installation from Martini & Rossi. The tasting was a kick off to a week of them hosting a (much appreciated) coffee shop during the day with vermouth cocktails at night. At the tasting, I was able to try two new expressions in their Martini Riserva Speciale line – Ambrato and Rubino (amber and ruby).

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Martini’s Master Herbalist, Ivano Tonutti and Master Blender, Beppe Musso led the tasting

The Ambrato, made from Moscato d’Asti and golden in color is floral and aromatic, slightly bitter, with a touch of honey. In other words, totally my jam. The Rubino is true to its name and is a stunning ruby red color. The addition of full bodied Nebbiolo and Central African Red Sandalwood makes for a rich and complex vermouth that is really wonderful on its own but I could also see it making a spectacular Manhattan. At the end of the tasting Giuseppe Gallo, Martini’s Global Brand Ambassador asked us which expression was our favorite. And it was truly difficult to pick! All I know is vermouth is having a major moment right now. And it’s exciting that a classic brand like Martini & Rossi is continuing to be innovative, pushing superior products to the forefront. Speaking of which, I was also able to taste their limited edition Gran Lusso Vermouth, released for the company’s 150th anniversary a few years ago, but not yet sampled by me! Holy smokes, that’s a vermouth! A Barbera base that is then fortified with oak-aged Moscato must extract and a botanical blend based on a recipe from 1904, this is truly a sipping vermouth, meant to be appreciated neat or with a few cubes of ice.

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Another highlight of the week was getting my very own TinType portrait taken by Legendary photographer Victoria Will for StGermain Elderflower Liqueur’s French Embassy Cocktail Party. TinTypes, popular at fairs and festivals in the 19th century, are created by having the photographer shoot a picture and then develop it quickly by hand onto a thin sheet of lacquered metal. As you can imagine, it was also VERY popular at this festival! I felt extremely lucky to have been able to squeeze into this shoot!

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My Victoria Will TinType portrait:

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I was also excited to meet Camille Vidal, StGermain Global Brand Ambassador, aka Madam St-Germain in person finally! This French beauty is such a perfect representation of the brand and I’ve admired everything she’s been doing to get this wonderful product out to the masses. She lives and breathes the French aperitif life!

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What’s so wonderful about Tales of the Cocktail is that there are experts on hand at every tasting and event. Everywhere you look there is a legend in the spirits industry. From an intimate, exclusive sneak peek and tasting of Wild Turkey Master’s Keep and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye (both to be released later this year!) with Jimmy and Eddie Russell, themselves…

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Three generations of Wild Turkey: Jimmy Russell, Eddie Russell and Bruce Russell

…to a personal tasting and bonding sesh over all things gin related with Beefeater Master Distiller, Desmond Payne – Tales is a booze nerd’s fantasy.

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If you haven’t yet had a chance to try Burrough’s Reserve Barrel Finished Gin, do yourself a favor and treat yourself. Distilled in small batches and rested in French oak Lillet aperitif wine barrels, the result is less gin-like and more…like an aperitif, actually! It’s on the slightly sweeter side, with floral hints, is incredibly smooth and the botanicals are subtle. One of my favorite products I tried at Tales.

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Another fantastic thing about Tales is that you have the opportunity to connect with so many of the other writers, bloggers, influencers and cocktail geeks out there that you only really know from their work online. I’ve developed a lot of amazing virtual relationships these last couple of years and it was amazing to finally be able to put real life faces to names and websites. I had the great pleasure of meeting Greg Mays and his wife Lisa Mays, the dynamic duo behind Simple Cocktails out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not only do they run a really solid website, but they do a fun boozy podcast as well! On my fourth day into Tales, we sat next to each other at a fantastic Jägermeister luncheon and then, afterwards shared a car back to the Hotel Monteleone. In between that, I participated in one of their podcasts! I was so honored that they asked me to be a part of it and psyched to be among such top cocktail talent. Check out this special Tales Podcast that also features Camper English, Tanya Cohn, Ivy Mix (this year’s American Bartender of the Year!), Dale Degroff (King Cocktail!), and Philip Dobard.

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Lisa and Greg Mays from Simple Cocktails

So, these are just SOME of the highlights of Tales of the Cocktail 2015 for me. While this is an epic post, I could go even more in depth on almost ALL of these experiences, New Orleans and the incredible people I was able to meet and spend time with last month. But I will save your scrolling finger for now and wrap it up right here!

However, you will hear more from me on Tales. Some posts in particular will detail two Spirited Dinners I was lucky enough to participate in – one with Maker’s Mark at the legendary Commander’s Palace with some truly spectacular company, and the other with the founder of Tres Agave Tequila at Nola hot spot Johnny Sanchez. Look out for more Tales recaps to come!

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Special thanks to my foxy friend entourage who accompanied me on this sweaty, boozy journey and helped document the amazingness along the way! In particular, the very talented Shannon Carpenter from This Aperture.

Bartender Style – Marlo Gamora at Mother of Pearl

Bartender Style is a collaboration between Bit by a Fox and photographer Rose Callahan. This monthly series, exclusively on the Bit by a Fox blog, will explore and document the personal style of some of the best bartenders in New York City and beyond. This month, we’ve featured the skilled and always smartly dressed bartender about town, Marlo Gamora in his new home, the freshly opened tropical oasis in the east village,  Mother of Pearl.

You know how when you meet a bartender who fits so well into his or her environment, you can’t quite tell if it was the bar or the bartender that came up with the look first? Did this swanky venue birth this stylish fellow or is he just making everything around him look damn good? Well, that’s what it’s like meeting Marlo Gamora in Mother of Pearl for the first time.

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The tropical Polynesian vibe at the newly opened Mother of Pearl is the perfect backdrop to Marlo’s colorful, mid-century leaning aesthetic.

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While Mother of Pearl doesn’t bill itself as strictly a tiki bar, the menu and design is heavily influenced by tiki culture. For Marlo, that’s all good. Because tiki is his jam.

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Marlo started getting into Tiki cocktails and culture early in his bartending career, around 6 years ago. Having already been involved in a few other retro subcultures like the rockabilly, punk, burlesque and swing dancing scenes, his discovery and subsequent obsession with the tiki world (he has collected 200 tiki mugs at last count!) seemed like a natural evolution. He was easily able to apply his pre-existing fanboy and collector sensibilities to an exciting and re-emerging culture, that included cocktails, of course, and also a sort of lifestyle as well.

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Tiki culture dates back to the 1930s, when Don the Beachcomber, a Polynesian themed bar and restaurant opened up in Hollywood, hosting an array of movie stars over the years. Trader Vic, a Tiki themed venue in Oakland opened soon after, and eventually became an international chain. But it wasn’t until after World War II, when American servicemen returned from the South Pacific with mementos and a nostalgia for the area they had just been stationed in, that tiki culture really started taking off in the states. Its peak in popularity was in the late 1950s when knockoffs of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic started popping up around the country. The tiki craze lasted well into the 1960s, but by the late 70s and 80s, tiki drinks and the kitschy culture around it was looked at as frivolous, overdone and out of fashion.

Marlo’s tiki studies relied heavily on books written by tiki cocktail historian, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, often credited for having helped usher in this next phase of tiki enthusiasm. When he came across Sippin’ Safari, Berry’s fourth book, he discovered that Don the Beachcomber had staffed his restaurants primarily with bartenders from the Philippines, and for years, a Filipino tiki community existed because of this. It was the first time that the history of Filipino tiki bartenders was documented to this extent. After finding this out, as a Filipino himself, Marlo’s connection to all things tiki was sealed. After a few bartending gigs around town, (including a stint at Middle Branch with our last Bartender Style subject, Lucinda Sterling!) Marlo landed at Filipino gastropub, Jeepney in the East Village. It was there that he really had the creative freedom to explore, experiment, and hone his tiki cocktail making skills, all the while embracing his cultural connection to that world.

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When rumor had it that the creative team behind Death & Company, Cienfuegos and Amor Y Amargo, among others, was about to open a new Polynesian inspired restaurant and cocktail bar, replacing the East Village’s Gin Palace, Marlo was quick to throw his hat into ring.

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Marlo’s bar tools even have a special Tiki flair! His bartender kit includes a Jeff Berry Skull Bar Spoon, a gold-plated jigger from Cocktail Kingdom, and a custom-made Tiki Diablo muddler.

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While Marlo looks at home in the bright floral shirts and light linen pants that he wears behind the Mother of Pearl bar, he’s also attracted to a variety of other styles – for instance, classic, early American work wear. Marlo likes the patina of used, aged pieces that are well-worn and well-loved. For cocktail competitions, he often wears a late 1960s vintage apron that he’s found and replaced the strings on.

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And when he’s off duty, he looks to style icons Steve McQueen and Cary Grant as inspirations.

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On the day of our shoot, Marlo was able to share with us a few cocktails on and off the menu. They were all so beautiful…and delicious!

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But the recipe we just had to go with was the incredibly gorgeous “Tide is High”, a tropical tequila and mezcal concoction with cashew milk!

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Tide is High
1 1/2 oz Cashew Milk
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 Lime
3/4 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Mezcal

Directions: Whip all ingredients, pour over crushed ice, garnish with flower & cashews

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When we came into Mother of Pearl to shoot Marlo’s Bartender Style piece, they had only been open a total of three days at that point. We were so grateful for the patience of the entire staff still working out their prep routines as we infiltrated their space and monopolized the time of one of their key bartenders. A deep, heartfelt thanks to those pictured here: Max Green, Oscar Carbonell, Paul Peffer, Jane Danger, Christina Thurston & Marlo Gamora, of course. And thanks to Austin Hennelly, Assistant General Manager, not pictured here but cool as a cucumber while trying to open the doors amidst multiple photo shoots!

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A Mojito, The Magic of Camu Camu & The Body Shop

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This summer, The Body Shop has released a limited edition line of body care products that all smell like a delicious Mojito cocktail. It’s true. I’ve shoved my nose in each and every one of these products, and they really do smell like a mixture of crushed mint and fresh lime. And, even though they’re calling the range of products “Virgin Mojito”, I swear there’s a hint of sweet white rum in there. Don’t worry, I haven’t attempted to consume these goodies since I received them a few weeks back. They ARE virgin after all.

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If you’re gonna slather something resembling a cocktail on your body, a Mojito seems to be a pretty nice choice, especially for summer – minty and fresh with bright citrus notes. I was pleasantly surprised how much I really liked smelling like a Cuban highball!

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Working with some of the folks at The Body Shop to create an ACTUAL Mojito recipe to be included in their press release, I found out that their vitamin C packed facial products had a secret ingredient that they wanted included in the cocktail recipe as well, camu camu.

Camu camu is a berry that grows in South America and is one of those Amazonian super fruits that seems to be unmatched in nutrient density and health benefits. There are lots of claims around this powerful berry including its mood and immune boosting properties and even cancer prevention. The camu camu berry, apparently has the most concentrated amount of vitamin C in the world. And this is where it derives much of its powerful healing properties. So, yeah! Let’s put that magic Amazonian berry dust in a cocktail!

Mojito Body Shop5Camu Camu-jito – Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup white rum
1/2 cup club soda
2 Tbsp Camu Camu Powder
12 mint leaves

4-5 ice cubes

Garnish: 4 Mint sprigs, 4 lime wheels
Glass: Highball

Directions:
In a blender add rum, lime juice, syrup and Camu Camu Powder and blend until well mixed. Add ice, mint leaves and club soda and puree until well blended. Pour mixture into chilled highball glasses. Garnish each glass with mint and lime wheel.

For a more traditional, single serving Mojito recipe:

Mojito

Ingredients:
1 oz agave syrup
1 oz Fresh lime juice
2 oz White rum
1.5 oz Club soda
6 Mint leaves

Garnish: 1-2 Mint sprig, lime wheel
Glass: Highball

Directions:
In a shaker, lightly muddle the mint. Add the agave syrup, lime juice and rum, and fill with ice. Shake well and pour (unstrained) into a highball glass. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

Summer Cocktails for FreshDirect

If you live in the New York metropolitan area, including parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia, you know ALL about FreshDirect, an online grocer that delivers fresh and prepared food to your door. It’s pretty much a godsend for anyone entertaining, cooking for a group or planning an event, because no one, and I mean NO ONE wants to lug gigantic cheese platters home on the subway. I’ve used them for years for my regular grocery needs, as well as for BBQs and cocktail events that I’ve produced – where they’d deliver fresh fruit, mixers, beer and wine. Guess what ELSE they are now delivering? BOOZE! That’s right, this game-changing move has turned FreshDirect into a one-stop online shop for all of your entertaining needs. Even if you’re just entertaining your own mouth! This is pretty exciting, you guys. Do you know how I was informed of this glorious news? Each season FreshDirect includes a brochure/insert in 50,000 of their boxes that go out over a two-week period, and they wanted me to create a few summer cocktail recipes to be included in their summer brochure! And to be posted on their blog. Of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to contribute to this very New York institution. Check out the recipes below, as well as their growing list of boozy bottles

Watermelon Mint Margs

Frozen Watermelon Mint Margaritas
Makes 4

Ingredients:
2 cups cubed watermelon
10 sprigs of mint
1 cup Cimarron Blanco Tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup Cointreau
2-3 cups of ice
1 ounce turbinado sugar
Pinch of salt

Directions:
In a blender, combine the watermelon, mint leaves from 6 of the sprigs, tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, sugar, ice, and salt. Blend until pureed. Divide into 4 glasses. Garnish with mint sprig.

montauk palmer

The Montauk Palmer
Makes 1

Ingredients:
4 ounces unsweetened iced tea
2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces Montauk Black Sail Rum
1 1/2 ounces maple syrup
FreshDirect Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
Lemon wedge for garnish

Directions:
In a shaker, combine the iced tea, lemon juice, rum, and maple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with FreshDirect soda. Give it a stir and garnish with a lemon wheel.

bittersweet collins

Bittersweet Collins
Makes 1

Ingredients:
2 ounces FAIR Quinoa Vodka
2 ounces grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Pink peppercorns
Basil
FreshDirect Italian Sparkling Mineral Water

Directions:
At the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 sprigs of basil with half a tablespoon of pink peppercorns. Add the vodka, grapefruit juice, Campari and agave, and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with soda. Garnish with basil.

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All of the beautiful images courtesy of FreshDirect

Habañero Hemingway Daiquiri

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Surprise! It’s another “national holiday” celebrating something you thought was a normal everyday celebration! This Sunday is National Daiquiri Day and I don’t know about you, but I can actually get behind this one. All hail the daiquiri!

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The Hemingway Daiquiri has to be one of my absolute favorites. The addition of fresh grapefruit juice as well as swapping out simple syrup for Maraschino Liqueur just elevates this already perfect summer cocktail. It also adds a little complexity to a fairly simple concoction. You know what makes it even better? Using an award-winning, premium dark golden rum from Venezuela, such as – Diplomatico’s Reserva Exclusiva.

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And then adding a dash or two of Habañero Tabasco Sauce to this refreshing tipple…ups the ante even more, to dangerously delicious territory. Tabasco’s hottest sauce deserves a special cooling summer cocktail. Forget Fireball, this is the real spicy deal.

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So, celebrate National Daiquiri Day this year in style and heat.You still have a few days to perfect this festive drink.

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Habañero Hemingway Daiquiri
2 oz Diplomatico’s Reserva Exclusiva
1/2 fresh grapefruit (juice)
1/2 ounce Maraschino Liquer
3/4 ounce lime
2 dashes Habañero Tabasco

Place all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a well chilled coupe glass.

Salud (more…)

The Guinness & Jäger Chocolate Float

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, this is a chocolate ice cream float made with Jägermeister and Guinness beer. And, yes it is AMAHZINGLY BONKERS DELICIOUS.

Sorry for shouting, but I’m really just trying to convey the fact that this combination is crushing it on so many levels. #LoveWins you guys! It’s almost like after I consumed this boozy ice cream concoction, I forgot what life was like before I had it. The world is just a better place with the Guinness & Jäger Chocolate Float in it. Believe.

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When I was asked to participate in a roundup of ice cream cocktails for the lifestyle site ClintonKelly.com, I thought about using some of my go-tos, featured almost exactly a year ago on this blog. But then I realized it was a great opportunity to play around with some flavors I’d been wanting to combine for a while now. I love rich chocolate and creamy stout together, and thought an herbaceous punch in the mouth like Jägermeister could elevate this combo to the next level. I was not incorrect. The beer and chocolate tempers the liqueur, but only slightly. The flavors, when combined, really just ridiculously compliment each other.

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For more ideas to booze up your ice cream or frost up your cocktails, check out the Clinton Kelly site!

The Guinness & Jäger Chocolate Float
1-2 scoops chocolate ice cream
1 ounce chocolate syrup
1 1/2 ounces Jägermeister
4 ounces Guinness Stout

Scoop the ice cream into a chilled glass mug or tall ice cream glass and pour syrup and Jägermeister over it. Slowly pour the Guinness to the top. Serve with straw and long spoon!

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