Farewell Summer; Hello Fall!
Things have been busy, busy here at the Food Studios & Liquid Kitchen! It’s been non-stop action with things like huge recipe development (pizzas and cupcakes and burgers – oh my!). And when I wasn’t up to the gills in pizza toppings and dough, I was traveling from Miami to New Orleans to Newport Beach!
Happy 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail!
Can you believe that it’s been 10 years since the first Tales? Neither can I! Towards the last week of July, cocktail professionals and enthusiasts of all levels flocked towards New Orleans for the booziest week ever. Full of libatious parties, informative seminars and lots of tastings, it is the place to be in late July!
Remy Cointreau USA’s Karlyn Monroe, myself and Speed Rack co-founder Lynnette Marrero out on the town in between industry parties doing some tequila shooters!
After days filled with seminars and tastings, it was time for party central! First off, I headed to the fun-filled first-ever Macallan Ice Ball Plunge! Bartenders from the world over came for this fundraiser to support the Museum of the American Cocktail. Party attendees got to watch industry leaders take a bone chilling plunge into an icy pool, inspired by the Macallan Ice Ball. Don’t worry…everyone got to warm up and stay toasty afterwards with a fun drink to sip on!
(Photo courtesy of Drink of the Week)
Then it was off to the Employees Only (an international renowned cocktail bar in New York) party in New Orleans where
they took over New Orleans’ One Eyed Jacks. The gang behind Employees Only made it a night to remember, especially with in-party fun like an EO Tattoo Bar – industry professionals who received an EO tattoo were guaranteed a first drink for free
for life when visiting the New York Bar! Yowza!
The Employees Only gang holdin’ it down!
Then there were special tastings like “Brunch with an Italian Twist.” Lead by fellow mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, this
particular brunch featured amazing Italian liqueurs, amaros, and aperitifs to try, in-between delectable bites. Two of the most memorable tastes were of Zabov Liqueur (an egg yolk liqueur) similar in style/texture to a zabaione and Toschi’s Fragoli Wild Strawberry Liqueur, which I am totally in love with now.
(Photo from The Tasting Panel magazine)
One of the seminar tastings that I attended on liquors…that was a lot to sip!
In between the wild parties and tastings, I got to sneak away for a special lunch at Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant & Lounge – which by the way, the hotel has totally redone their bar and restaurant and it is fantastic! Open for breakfast and lunch, they just recently added a dinner menu! Led by Chef de Cuisine Joseph Maynard and Executive Chef Randolph Buck, Criollo’s (Spanish for “Creole”) dishes are infused with traditional Creole flavors and spices.
A Softshell Crab BLT…one of the many tasty dishes served at Criollo!
Tales is also about celebrating the rich and vibrant cocktail culture worldwide and awarding those who should be best recognized for their excellence. During the Spirited Awards, I was more than happy to cheer for all the winners whom I am all big fans of: Liquor.com for Best Cocktail Writing – Non-Book, David Wondrich for Best Cocktail Writing – Author, Jim Meehan for his The PDT Cocktail Book for Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book, and so many more. And congrats to the always fabulous Gaz Regan for receiving the Helen Davis Lifetime Achievement Award. It was definitely a great Tales and I am looking forward to next year’s!
The Ultimate Flavor Experience in Newport Beach
Every year at the Flavor Experience, culinary experts, corporate taste makers and restaurant owners come together to discuss and taste the emerging flavor trends and ideas in the culinary world. Hosted in Newport Beach, California, associates Heather Jones, Danny Ronen and I presented during opening night the Monin BYOC (Build Your Own Cocktail) bar where we featured my Honey Lemon Collins and my Agave Lime Margarita! BYOC attendees could add in any sorts of flavors like Citrus Blood Orange, Bella (red and yellow bell peppers, Ginger Syrup, and a Habanero Lime Syrup), and so on!
The Monin Build-Your-Own-Cocktail Bar at Flavor!
The second night we shook up drinks at our Flowers & Herbs Bar – featuring Garden Inspired Cocktails! From cocktails like my Rose Tequila Sage, Picking Flowers Champagne Cocktail, Zen Blossom and Strawberry Lavender Shag, tasters had a garden variety of drinks to sample.
Gardening for my bar display!
The Liquid Kitchen team keeping things HOT in Newport Beach!
(Our silly chili pepper photo!)
Then I headed home…
…to judge the 3rd Annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Competition – Washington Regional Finals held at my Food Studios. Out of thousands of Washington entrée recipes, contest organizers narrowed it down to the 5 lucky contestants to battle it out at my Food Studios. It was a tight competition – all the dishes were super tasty – but only two could be picked to move on to the next round. So congratulations to Washington’s own Sandra Gray and Rebecca Cameron! They move on to the grand finale held in Napa Valley for the grand prize of $10,000 and a year’s worth of fresh Foster Farms’ chicken! Good luck, we’ll be rooting for you both! Make sure to visit Foster Farms’ website for the final winning recipe. Check out blogger Traca Savadogo’s fantastic recap of the event of the Washington finals.
Guest Judges Jamie Peha, myself and Cynthia Nims… and a lil’ Foster Farm’s Chicken!
Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid KitchenTM
Season 3 of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen is airing weekly. This season started off with great summer cocktail videos and recipes like my Bloody Good Balsamic Mary (perfect for using that garden produce) and Housemade Bitter Lemon with Gin as well as cocktails for a crowd like Metaxa Sangria. Upcoming episodes like Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned (bourbon, REAL maple syrup, and bitters) and Fair Isle (scotch, Cocchi aperitif, fresh grapefruit juice and bitters) will be great to toast the fall weather. And if you’re an oyster lover then stay tuned for my video on Citrus Splashed Taylor Shellfish Oysters on the Half Shell served alongside an aquavit-based Citrus Scandi cocktail. New episodes air every Tuesday on Small Screen Network or catch them on YouTube.
Bloody Good Balsamic Mary
Get creative with your garnishes for brunch in a glass.
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 – 2 ounces Bloody Good Vodka (recipe follows) or your favorite vodka
4 ounces Balsamic Mary Mix (recipe follows)
Garnish ideas: assorted olives, sliced salumi, cheese, fun pickled veggies, rosemary sprigs
Fill a large Old Fashioned or tall glass with ice. Measure in the infused vodka and Mary mix. Stir. Garnish with an assortment of tasty garnishes on a pick.
Bloody Good Vodka
Makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for about 8 drinks
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 small sprig fresh basil
1 small sprig fresh thyme
5 peppercorns crushed
1 small dried red chili (if you like it hot)
2 cloves garlic
Combine all ingredients in a 4-cup glass jar. Cover and let infuse at room temperature for 24 – 36 hours. Strain the vodka, pressing out as much liquid as possible, and discard the solids. Store in a bottle, tightly capped, for up to 6 months.
Balsamic Mary Mix
Makes about 4 cups, enough for about 8 drinks
1 vine ripe tomato
1/2 ea red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/4 ea English cucumber
1 cloves garlic
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (or use fresh grated done on a micro plainer)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground or coarse black pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. celery seed
Combine all ingredients in a Vita Mix Bar Boss Advance blender cup. Blend on setting #3. Mixture should be almost smooth – but a few particulates are remaining for texture. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid KitchenTM
Tasty & Libatious Reads
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, make sure you pick up the latest issue of Sip Northwest Magazine! The fall Harvest Issue covers posh tailgating, farmer’s markets, d’lish pumpkin ales and more. Make sure to check out my column Shake Swizzle & Stir where I share a quick recap of who represented the Northwest at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, as well as share some of my tasty cocktail recipes. How about a P-Town Martini (Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth and Aviation Gin) to whet your whistle?
UrbanSpoon recently launched their Urban Guides, a fun new way of finding all the hotspots in town. When they approached me for my fave eateries and bars, I was more than happy to share! I cover some of my d’lish destinations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. Make sure to check it out!
Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History
Ever wondered why absinthe was banned in several countries? Or how gin almost ruined the British empire? Author, wine and spirits guru, and NPR radio host Mark Spivak answers those questions and more in his new book Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History. Writing about the elusive history of the cocktail culture, he guides readers in a fun adventure covering twelve iconic
spirits. To top it all off, he shares lots of d’lish cocktail recipes, including my Rye’Invention and Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle! You can pre-order now so make sure you save yourself a copy!
Food & Wine Cocktails 2012
For all you cocktail enthusiasts, make sure you pick up the annual Food & Wine Cocktails 2012! This book covers all the classic cocktails, including inspired sips. I contributed this year with my take on the classic French 75! Make sure you pick up a copy today.
New Restaurant Hot Spot and New Cocktails!
Good friends Michelle Quisenberry and Chef Don Curtiss have opened their 2nd location of the popular Ballard’s Volterra Restaurant, featuring Tuscan-inspired cuisine in Kirkland, Washington! I was more than honored to be part of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
(Photo courtesy of the Seattle PI blog)
Volterra Kirkland is open nightly for dinner service from 5:00 – 11:00pm and beginning in October 1st, will be available for lunch service and happy hour as well as their famous Sunday Brunches! Don’t forget to check out Kirkland’s new cocktail menu, featuring Italian-inspired sipping like my Asti Cucumber Collins (vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple, Cocchi Americano and soda bubbles, topped with cucumber foam)!
Sip for SIFF
Earlier this month my team and I were thrilled to make the signature cocktail for the annual Sip for SIFF event, supporting Seattle International Film Festival. Attendees sipped on my Liquid Kitchen Ultimate Champagne Cocktail with Honey Lemon Cointreau Foam.! This year the event raised over $90,000! Way to go!
Jason, Heather, Me and Erwin at Sip for SIFF
Come see me at – Battle of the Chefs
Thursday, October 11th from 6:00 – 9:00pm @ Bradlee Distributors
Luxe Interiors + Design & Bradlee Distributors in Seattle is hosting the second annual Battle of the Chefs event. This “Iron Chef” style competition will pit six teams against each other in a one-hour cook-off! I’ve been asked to be a celebrity judge and am looking forward to tasting all the dishes. Make sure you buy your tickets for this fun event!
I’m a model at – Ruby Room’s Annual Fashion Show
Saturday, October 13th at 5:30pm @ Seattle Center Fisher Pavillion
The Ruby Room is a wonderful nonprofit organization that helps provide formal gowns to high school girls who are unable to purchase their own dance attire. Their Annual Fashion Show & Auction is an exciting evening where local designers create and show-off some fun designs. There’ll be a DJ to spin fun music, tasty food and more. Yours truly will be modeling Not Your Mama’s Aprons down the runway! Make sure you get your tickets soon!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading our summer adventures and here’s wishing you a delicious Fall! – Cheers, Kathy
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