Whew! That went fast, didn’t it? 2017 was a challenging year on many levels. I think the two most commonly used words in the English language were “breaking” and “news” as on a near daily basis, world events moved and changed faster than you can say “Awamori.”
It was another breakneck year at Alcohol Professor too. There was an unforgettable trip to Tequila country visiting the distilleries La Fortaleza, La Tequileña (where Don Fulano, Fuenteseca, Selección ArteNOM, Cimarrón and a few others are produced) and El Llano, home of Tequila Arette. After tasting new Irish whiskey in March, April brought more visits to new bars and another year at WSWA, which saw the rise of ready-to-drink and portable cocktail beverages. Then somehow it was already summer, Memorial Day, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Kiwi and Matt’s vacation to Copenhagen as well as other fond sipping memories to look back on.
However, it’s possible the way we spend our mid-summers may have forever changed. As we reported here a couple of months ago, that big cocktail convention in New Orleans kind of fell into its own poisoned punch bowl over the course of the year. As of press time there might be new ownership for year 2018, but it remains to be seen what could take place and how its baggage will be unpacked.
But that’s not the only meeting of the boozy minds by a long shot. I was thrilled to attend Bar Convent Berlin for my second time (and am very much looking forward to Bar Convent Brooklyn in June)! And along the way, we drank new cocktails, sipped premium Prosecco and Cognac and even explored what the deal is with cork taint. With climate change causing the temps to plunge and soar again, we dealt with this trampolene-like weather with summer beers or alternately made more chili, and we remembered to give back with charity brews. Of course, we also made time for mezcal, received some old fashioned drinking tips from Ed McMahon and got our tiki on – all before another holiday season of rum, more whisky, nerdy experiments with authentically kosher cocktails, more punch and another round of retro holiday booze ads!
Undoubtedly the biggest sockdollager in 2017 was the publication of New York Cocktails, which was written during the first two months of the year (and most of those nights) and published in September. It’s a book Florence Fabricant recently referred to as “fat” in the New York Times and Camper English named as “…one of the recipe-focused cocktail books to be released in 2017” on Alcademics. But kidding aside, this was an opportunity for which I am eternally grateful. There is no way this massive labor of love could have been accomplished without the hard work of the Alcohol Professor writing team, who kept the bibulous bon mots flowing during those couple of months I couldn’t contribute my own articles. I am also massively thankful to AP and International Beverage Competitions founder Adam Levy, who allowed me to take part in this project and still hold my position as Editor-in-Chief. As hard as it was to manage, I owe a lot to Cider Mill Press for entrusting me with this important component to their cocktail book series.
We’re looking forward to bringing you new things to sip and discover in 2018, which will be our sixth year in publication!!!! Until then, it’s time to imbibe in this dirty old town we call home with some Manhattans and other libations. But don’t worry, we know what do if we stay out till last call.
Cheers and happy new year!