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MONDAY, September 27th

Lewd & Crude
[A Gulf Recovery Cocktail Benefit ]


When:  Monday, September 27  |  7pm – 12am

Where:  Walnut Room |  1709 Walnut St.  [b/w 17th & 18th]

Who:  You and several hundred of our closest friends.  A Philly’s finest lineup of US Bartenders’ Guild
members behind the stick [and some friends from out of town] donating time and tips.

Why: All proceeds go to the Gulf Relief Fund, a reliable and efficient distributor of monies to victims of
the spill (and Katrina) as well as wetland recovery efforts.

What:  an array of $7 classic New Orleans cocktails and contemporary favorites, CASH ONLY!
Oh, and did I mention, CASH ONLY at the cocktail stations!! Thanks.

LIVE JAZZ by the Kam Markworth Trio and DJ Juanderful in between sets!
How: Joe Beckham and Leah Matoney of Walnut Room have very generously donated their space and support for this event.  You can say thanks by popping downstairs to visit E.B. and buy eats at Alfa, cuz there ain’t gonna be no grub upstairs.  There will be four cocktail stations upstairs, each serving a different cocktail with product sponsored by some of our favorite brands:

Thanks to  Chris Coyle at the Sazerac Company, we will be featuring Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bour- bon juleps.  Need I say more?  Special thanks for the mint (and all the other produce) to DrinkPhilly.com.

HURRICANES! Thanks to Mark Monaco’s Palateur Imports and El Dorado Demarara Rum for providing the rum for this passion-fruity NoLa twist on the Daiquiri.

ST. GERMAIN COCKTAILS! Not exactly a NoLa classic, but pretty damned French, refreshing, and certainly a contemporary classic.   Thanks to Rob Cooper and Phil Pepperdine at Cooper Spirits for spotting us the bottles of St. G.  Thanks for the bubbly, Mark!

RAMOS GIN FIZZES! That’s right, Plymouth Gin Ramos Gin Fizzes, thanks to Sarah Sercia from Pernod-Ricard USA for the Plymouth, and just to sweeten the pot, her colleague Beau Hodges is throwing in an early-bird Sazerac cocktail hour featuring Martell Cognac starting at 7pm and going ‘til the ‘gnac dries up!

Special thanks to Sazerac Co. for the Peychaud’s Bitters and to Rob Castel and Meredith Maciolec at Philadelphia Distilling Co. for their Vieux Carre Absinthe!  Sazeracs and jazz…be there or be late!

Additionally, Lauren will be working it at the main bar upstairs, where you can purchase your faves like you always do, if you feel like a break from the abovementioned cocktails, or if you just feel like breaking Walnut Room off a piece of that bankroll (read: shots!)


ph.  215.751.0201     |     1709 walnut street     |     philadelphia, pa 19103

Wouldn’t this be SeriousDrinks???

Posted on 16 Sep 2010 In: Press

Laren, you are a sweetheart…


Promotion. At what price?

Posted on 12 May 2010 In: Bitching and Moaning

As far as editorial integrity goes, how far is too far when working with brands?

I was recently offered an opportunity to work with an awesome chef in DC to pair cocktails for a five-course meal, on-camera, for a relatively high-profile online magazine. Now, the deal was (so I thought) that as an editorial piece it meant I can make whatever I want; for better or for worse.

This is where things get sticky. Turns out the entire video is sponsored by a brand. Can something deemed ‘editorial’ be sponsored by a brand? Yes. Apparently it can. At least according to the brand. And this on-line magazine.

Now, this brand isn’t something I would readily attach my name to (for free), but it also isn’t so repulsive that I’d refuse to use it. My real conundrum is that I’m getting not subtle nudging from the magazine to not only use this product in my cocktails, but that I actually have to be seen holding the bottle AND I’ll be expected to use this particular product (and its variations) in the cocktails…all of them.

Me, being a right, upstanding gentleman, said, “Fine. I will incorporate this brand and we’ll all laugh and have a good time, but you can’t have the recipes.” My logic behind this was that sure, we can inch towards exposing my intellectual property, but you can’t have it without a reasonable fee. After all, I’m a professional cocktail maker, not an actor waiting for a callback.

This was agreed on temporarily and we booked travel arrangements and everything was cool. THEN I get an email giving me more rigid guidelines on what they would like on the menu and how they would like BRAND X served; including one of the courses being paired with the sponsor spirit neat. NEAT!!?? Whaaaaat?

My questions were many. Among them were: 1. Why do you need me to pour your bottle into a glass (the answer is I’m cheaper than someone they have to pay). 2. How is this consistent with our agreement to keep my name (and my bar’s name) distinctly separate from your brand? This is where I start to say “hmmmm, I’m in a pickle.”

I had already agreed to the shoot (and to do it for cheap) and have dedicated already a considerable amount of time planning INCLUDING having to be gone three days DURING Rum Renaissance in Miami. So I ask myself, should I just shut my trap and fall in line? Should I be paid as a consultant and not worry about editorial integrity, or is it my responsibility to myself, the brand, the chef and the viewers to raise the question of editorial integrity and transparency before I raise the first bottle in front of the camera?

Posted via InsideFandB.com

This is not really that complex(.com)

Posted on 30 Apr 2010 In: Press

I don’t know about you clowns, but I’m starting to get REALLY excited about the Manhattan Cocktail Classic.

As most of you know a lot of us are getting heavily involved with events, panels, and seminars.  This is one of the seminars I hope to see you at.  Francine Cohen (editor of http://www.insidefandb.com), has put together a panel of experts to discuss the responsibility of bar owners and managers after the doors have long opened.  This is going to be a really cool, live-forum discussion with people who REALLY know what they’re talking about.  If you’ve ever been curious about how things operate after the grand opening, you may find this pretty interesting.  Gimlets and martinis will be provided by Bombay Sapphire.

For tickets, go to the MCC site.  Also, use the ticket code “MCCFan” for an additional 25% off.  I really hope to see you there.

Moderator: Francine Cohen – Editor in Chief, INSIDE F&B www.insidefandb.com.  The Authority on Food and Beverage

Panelists: Jason Littrell – Death & Company, Louis 649, Cain Luxe; James Moreland, Barman, Bombay Sapphire; Gianfranco Verga – Manager, Louis 649; Dushan Zaric – Employees Only, Macao Trading Company; Additional industry professionals TBA

Booze Biz 2.0 is for industry professionals and aspiring bar owners who want to raise the bar on their own success.

We’re talking about putting butts in seats, getting the right bottles on the shelves and keeping enthusiastic bartenders behind the bar. All while challenging the standard business model, and introducing creative new ways to engage the customers and staff alike.

Panelists Jason Littrell, James Moreland, Gianfranco Verga, and Dushan Zaric will offer a thorough explanation of progressive approaches to the bar business and talk about profitability margins while maintaining high quality standards, both for product and service, as they discuss fundamental operational tasks such as managing capital and inventory, menu concept and design, distributor relations, and staff management.

Signing up for this session connotes a dedication to service. Joining us at Booze Biz 2.0 – Beyond Slinging Drinks is the next logical step for career hospitality professionals in order to gain a greater understanding of management operations.

Monday, May 17th, 11:30am – 1:00pm
The Gallery at Astor Center, 399 Lafayette at East 4th Street
Limited to 50 attendees

Brooklyn Air

Posted on 25 Apr 2010 In: Bitching and Moaning

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own airline? If I did, I think I’d call it Brooklyn Air.

My airline would feature hot flight attendants from Bushwick with super thick Brooklyn accents who smell like Cheetos. They occasionally call you “papi” and not really care about your safety as they are too busy talking on one phone, and texting on another. That takes a lot of concentration if you have inch-long acrylic nails like they do on Brooklyn Air.

The seats would be made out of metal and plastic in long benches that would be oriented along the fuselage rather than rows so passengers could stand during rush hour. If you were on ,say, flight #7, the in-flight entertainment could be anything from a mariachi band to acrobatic tumblers. Also, from time to time, as Brooklyn Air’s wisdom will dictate, you could get an unsolicited and completely inappropriate rejoinder from whomever happens to be living on that plane at that particular time. The fee for this service is whatever change you have in your pocket.

Initially, the flights would be limited to the four real boroughs. Sorry Staten Island, you’ll have to wait, but we’re thinking about ya! Our commitment to service and quality would be unparalleled. We would promise to hose off our jets at least once a month, and staff the ports with someone, most of the time (coffee breaks notwithstanding). We would let you know (at our convenience) when flights were delayed or cancelled, but we wouldn’t anticipate that happening except for nights, weekends, holidays, when you need it most. Also, we will need the occasional mulligan.

To make this all happen and to make this service all possible, I’d probably think about contacting the mayor of New York. I would say “Hey Mr. Mayor, this city needs this service, and would you please add $0.50 cents to every cab ride so I can run this airline efficiently?”

He would say “Yes.”

My Andy Rooney Impression.

Posted on 24 Apr 2010 In: Bitching and Moaning
"And another thing..."

"Hi, I'm 60 and this is 91 Minutes"

There’s something about a picture of Andy Rooney that really pisses me off.  It’s not him personally, it’s just pictures of him.  I like that he stands up for really really old people and really really young people.  I like 60 minutes for keeping the old coot on probably out of fear that he’ll have a heart attack if they finally gave him the boot.  Way to go 60 minutes.  When you’re 91, we won’t kick you out either, though you should probably get younger, hotter staff, like my local news station.  They really dig deep.

Oh, and to quote you “And another thing…”.  We know you can’t use that computer back there.  We’ll do the tweeting.

The Intergalactic Kegger

Posted on 24 Apr 2010 In: Events

Too many bartenders…too few livers.

Awesome cocktails, questionable company, and high quality toilet paper for the ladies (and the surliest of gentlemen).

It’s high time we introduce all of you tarts to Dram. Come witness the magic with your hosts:

Thomas “Two Livers” Chadwick (Proprietor)
Frankie “Whiskers” Cisneros,
Tonia “Jigger What?” Guffey
Nick “Jigger Please.” Jarrett
Jessica “Speedy” Gonzalez, Introducing
Nico”Freedom” De Soto, and yours truly,
Jason “Hot Dice” Littrell.

Special out of town guests to be announced shortly…

The aforementioned will be either drinking or serving the Dram Handshake ($6) which consists of a shot of Weller, and a Pork Slap. Trust me, there will be all kinds of slapping going on. Also available, fancy cocktails on fancy ice, in fancy glasses.

All you have to do is take the J train to Marcy, and follow the ruckus. It’s right across the bridge, you won’t turn to dust I promise.

Open late.

177 South 4th b/w Roebling and Driggs

Presented by The Tippling Point with 10 Cane Rum, Ardbeg Scotch, Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy Cognac, and Grand Marnier

On Sunday, May 16th, set sail into the sunset on the Royal Princess Cruise Liner and slowly drift away to distant lands of luxury. Let the warm breeze take you around the world, admiring breathtaking views of New York City as you indulge in delicious cocktails made by some of the country’s most talented bartenders: Jacqueline Patterson of Heaven’s Dog (San Francisco), Thomas Waugh of Death & Co. (New York City), John Lermayer of The Florida Room (Miami), Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills & Pain Killer (New York City), and Danny Valdez of Cure (New Orleans). Pause on this majestic journey and use your passport to enter some of the world’s most intriguing ports: sip authentic 10 Cane Rum in tropical Trinidad, Ardbeg Scotch in mythical Islay, Belvedere Vodka on the banks of the Baltic Sea, and indulge in Hennessy Privilege in the sunny South of France and Grand Marnier in lively Paris. Act fast, space is EXTREMELY limited.

Sunday, May 16th, 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Chelsea Piers: Pier 60 (subject to change), 62 Chelsea Piers at 20th Street and 11th Avenue

Must be of legal drinking age. Includes complimentary admission to the Official Bar of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (plus one drink ticket) on Sunday.

Sponsored by 10 Cane Rum, Ardbeg Scotch, Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy Cognac, and Grand Marnier

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