Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Product Review-- Given Liqueur

I had the opportunity to visit the New York Bar & Wine show a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, it was a experience. Met some fantastic cocktail people, and gained  more thorough knowledge about this industry that we all love. This weeks blog post is a review of a brand new Liqueur---> Given <---

Given was one of the first booths i encountered when i walked in to the show. The colors and Layout of the booth immediately drew me in(Red and Black are my favorite color combination). So i ventured over to see what this company was all about. Needless to say i was pleasantly surprised. It is a wonderful blend of  Tequila and Lime Juice. So its a liqueur used for mixing but also can be enjoyed alone. Here's a little background on Given.....

 In tribute to its French roots, grace of fashion and instincts of humanity, GIVEN was born.

GIVEN (pronounced Jee-Vahn) is the ideal balance between a spirit and liqueur. It is a unique blend of premium agave tequila (imported from Jalisco, Mexico) and all natural lime juice(using whole limes in the maceration process), handcrafted through an infusion process in the Cognac region of France. By incorporating the rich heritage of wine and cognac producing techniques we created a new way of enjoying tequila. GIVEN is best served neat chilled in a martini glass or on the rocks for a refreshingly smooth taste".

Given has also won a few awards and is very highly regarded in the cocktail community. Here;s a few achievements....

• Gold Medal Winner – The Prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2010

• Mentioned in BlackBook Magazine's online article “Given Tequila, if you haven’t already, you should definitely try” (

• The bottle design has received several accolades and will be featured in an Italian luxury packaging magazine

• Mentioned in “may be the best tequila I’ve ever tasted”

Personal opinion

I loved this brand. Very smooth, and very easy on the palate. Being a Cognac lover this liqueur caught my attention as an alternative, and something that can be used with high end Cognac's(Hennessey, Remy Martin, Conjure, Seraphin etc). I even tried the Given Signature cocktail---> 


3 parts GIVEN, fresh mint leaves, 1 part champagne, maraschino cherry, served in an elegant black champagne flute to match the bottle.

Needless to say, when Given comes to your city, be on the way to pick it up ASAP!! This is an excellent Liqueur. Something new and something very fresh. Check out Given on these social networks...

Until next time,


Monday, June 14, 2010

Drink Measurements and Glassware

Hello all!!!

One of my bars i work is at a nightclub. If you're ever in the Chi some see me at Krush nightclub(shameless plug). In this club when we make drinks, we don't use traditional glassware. We have to use plastic cups. Why you might ask? Because if anything happens in the club(fight, altercation, accident,etc) having traditional Glasses can prove to be a hazard to myself, the other bartenders, and patrons all throughout the venue.

So,  You're probably wondering, why the hell is he telling us this? Well the #1 question I get posed while I'm at this spot is, "Is this the cup the drink comes in?" or "Can you make the drink stronger, since it comes in that cup?"

Now we use a standard 8oz. cup. So its a little shorter than a 12oz glass. The alcohol measurements don't change,just because its in a shorter cup!!! For example, I made a Long Island this weekend in a glass and a cup just to show someone that the size of the glass doesn't matter, its all about the measurements. A Long Island is a 1/2oz of Vodka,Gin,Rum,Tequila, and Triple Sec no matter what you put it in. The bigger the glass doesn't equate a stronger drink. Actually the bigger the glass is the more ice and juice!! The alcohol levels remain constant no matter what.

Also patrons, please stop asking for a "Strong Drink" or "Can you make my drink strong"? There is no such thing. Any respectable Mixologist/bartender is going to measure out the drink properly. My rule is this.. YOU WANT A STRONG DRINK, ORDER A DOUBLE!!!!

Every business has costs. In our business, alcohol is very expensive. So drinks need to be measured to keep costs down and be able to provide all you guys with new drinks and different brands when they come on to the market.

So the moral of today's post is, Trust your bartender! If i make you a drink, I know what I'm doing. The size of your glass and the drink measurements will even out. Who wants to be drunk from one drink because your bartender made it "Strong". You want to have a great cocktail, and be able to drink throughout your evening. And I want you to come back to the bar and continue to order drinks, and most importantly,.... TIP.

Sorry for the rant, but i got these question's asked to me all weekend. Next post will be much more fun and positive.

Until next time

Follow me on Twitter @MrMixologist
Add me on