Inventory for November 6th, 2016
Hello and welcome back to this week’s inventory! Let’s take a look at the Athens Bar Show which will take place in Athens (where else?) on November 8th and 9th, the downside of mezcal’s sudden increase in popularity, how we’ve all been believing a lie when it comes to the Seelbach cocktail, and Elephant Gin’s newest limited edition bottles that are decorated with hand-crafted beads. Cheers!
Are you a good bar customer? If not, right this way, Lucky Peach has the how-to guide for you. Tips include “listen more than you speak, don’t pimp out your status as a regular (favorite one), and pitch in”. Agreed. Find the complete article here.
Athens Bar Show
Athen isn’t just home to the Akropolis, no no – it’s also home to Greece’s largest bar fair. For the seventh time this year, the Athens Bar Show will showcase products for bartenders and bars, introduce new spirits such as beer, rum, whisky, and more, and play host to over 10.000 visitors. This year, the Athens Bar Show will be held at the historic site of Technopolis City of Athens on November 8th and 9th. Come see some of Greece’s most renowned bartenders in action, listen to seminars and lectures by highly distinguished professionals, and be inspired. More information here.
The Woes and Worries Behind Mezcal’s Meteoric Rise
Most of our readers will have seen the increase in Mezcal-focused bars in the past few years and the Mexican agave spirit has been popping up on many a bar card (our editorial department particularly favors a mezcal negroni). This isn’t just good news for the producers though. Last week The Guardian published an article that shed some light on the woes and worries behind mezcal’s meteoric rise. In it, they explain that “mezcal’s sudden popularity is fueling mass production that threatens to damage its reputation. Worse still the humble rural communities that produce the drink are left to deal with the resultant ecological damage while the newcomers leave with a greater share of the profits.” Mezcal is, unlike its tequila counterpart, produced using artisanal methods which differ across the country.
The Guardian notes that “Increased production has led to agave shortages and inflated prices, encouraging farmers to sell entire fields of crops before they are fully matured” This results in a drink of inferior quality and more and more mezcal producers are lowering their standards in order to produce in greater volume. A frightening (and often occurrence) is the fact that as their product gains in popularity, most distillers have seen absolutely no improvement in their standard of living and continue to work without health insurance or benefits “while savvy businessmen from outside their communities enjoy the lion’s share of profits from the mezcal boom”. The Guardian finished its piece with a warning, that mass production has already caused a shortage of wild agave, deforestation, a loss of biodiversity, and the discharge of liquid waste on a damaging scale. Mezcal producers are imploring producers to set annual production limits. Sooo … drink up kids, nothing is great.
The Seelbach is a Lie
In 1995 Adam Seger “discovered” a recipe for a pre-Prohibition cocktail that was once heralded as the Seelbach Hotel’s signature drink. And from that point on, a cocktail legend was born. Turns out though, it’s aaaall a lie. Twenty years after the fact, Seger came clean about the fact that he made up the story to make a name for himself within the industry. The New York Times spoke to him and quotes him as saying “I was nobody. I had no previous accolades in the bar world. I knew I could make a great drink. I wanted it to be this promotion for the hotel, and I felt the hotel needed a signature cocktail. How could you have a place that F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out in that doesn’t have a damn cocktail?”
Fair enough? He fooled many people but his secret has been weighing heavier on him in the past few years. Seger recently confessed to Gaz Regan (who’s included the recipe in his book ‘New Classic Cocktails’): “To be honest,” Mr. Regan said, “I always suspected that Adam had created the drink, but I really, really loved it, his story was almost plausible, and I needed recipes for ‘New Classic Cocktails.’” And there we have it. Still a good story though and we’re certain that the Seelbach was ordered many time this past weekend.
Elephant Gin launches Maasai-beaded Bottles
“Since its launch in 2013, the independent gin brand has donated 15% of all its proceeds to two African elephant foundations in Kenya and South Africa to support the preservation of African wildlife – and the 2016 batch of Elephant Sloe Gin is no exception.” And now, they’re taking it one step further. New, limited edition bottles are decorated with handmade bead jewellery that’s crafted by the Kenyan Maasai tribe. The Spirits Business reports that “The Maasai beaded bottle edition retails from £35 per bottle at various retailers across London, including Selfridges”.