Digging In

I am digging my claws in and not budging an inch.  Finally I seem to have gained a permanent home in a good neighborhood, a good schedule, and a healthy disposition.  Addie and I have taken up residence in the highly sought after, cooler than you but not trying to be, tree lined, Italian flag painted, vinyl sided, overly caffeinated, booze saturated, neighborhood of Williamsburg.  We have found ourselves in a two family home on a quiet street which most importantly has its own stoop.  The apartment itself is normal in such a way that you have already seen it, two bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, some hardwood floors, enough windows to keep it light… you have seen it a hundred times in your life, it is to a T, an apartment.  Outside though… outside is another story all together.  Stairs.  Big wonderful stairs that perch above our street and below our trees and happen to be the ideal spot to drink a beer, eat a baguette, read a book, talk to friends, and people watch.  Summer evenings and mornings should always be based around a fine stoop, and it’s nice to find that friends flock to stoops (and beer) like moths to a flame.  What’s even better is Jack the Terrier who graces us occasionally with his regal self lounging across our bottom step, it’s nice to once again have a good dog around, even better when you don’t have to walk, feed, or clean up after him.  Swing by sometime and grab a beer, there are plenty of steps to pull up and take a load off.  Soon enough Addie will have finished her Stair Chair creation, a chair with the back two legs chopped to the level of the stairs so you can sit it on the stoop anywhere and sit properly.  Diagrams and instructions to follow some day.

I am going to attempt to shorten my posts in order to make them more frequent.  While a novel length post summarizing all of the previous months is more convenient, I don’t think it is able to strike the finer points of a story.  So for tomorrow: the distillery, and a cognac tasting at Daniel.

Pictures to come as soon as I gather them from my herd of electronic companions which are apparently frying my brain with radio waves.  Until then, please enjoy this song from Wye Oak, my current obsession.  You need this album.

Kick It Into Gear

And we’re back…  Chaos reigns supreme over these last few weeks, but it brought with it a rush of  exciting new adventures!  Finally finding a stride in my working life between the distillery and the new bar I have been able to focus in on some new projects that are long over due, and at the same time build in a little tiny bit of leisure time.  In spite of a looming transition to a new location the distillery seems to be flying along with some really neat new things.  You can now finally find our bourbon on shelves around the city for sale at liquor stores and bars!  Last Friday I jumped into our ever steadfast Metro Moonshine Mobile, Lisa to friends, and zipped through the bridges delivering our first round of the brown stuff to our awaiting accounts.  As it turned out it was actually quite a nerve wracking moment for me as I realized we were finally submitting to the public what we had been working on since the beginning, it was now subject to very wide scrutiny.  That being said it is now out in the world for all to enjoy, and I am anxiously awaiting feedback.  While you can find our Bourbon and Moonshine most everywhere now it is time for me to start working on some other projects.  Recently we began new partnerships with friends to begin working on some cool new releases, which won’t be available for quite some time, but none the less are fun to begin tinkering with.  It is a hard thing to wrap my head around creating some really cool new things to know that they won’t be available to the world for at least 1-2 years, damn the aging process!

Amor Y Amargo is finding its place in the New York bar scene.  Our new little tiny bar is beginning to truly carve out a niche for itself and has found its way onto quite a few publication pages.  Every Saturday night my good friend Chris Elford and I post ourselves behind the bar playing random eclectic music including, but of course not limited to, Tears for Fears, Grizzly Bear, Kanye, Bon Iver, Decemberists, Naked and Famous, Beatles… the list is weird and long.  To the beat of many different songs we pour bitter and amaro based drinks out to friends, family, and customers in what usually escalates to what can only be described as a crowded neighborhood house party.  Our little bar fortunately seems to draw an unusual crowd of nice, interested, and respectful people!  You can’t help but talk to everyone in the bar due to its small size and intimate setting, and that you may or may night be plied with very strong drinks.  It really does amount to being a great time from start to finish, so come find us on Saturdays!

Scotch.  I have talked much about Single Malt Whisky hailing from Scotland.  Scotch is my drink of choice, I drink it regularly and it brought me into my profession, I love Scotch.  Last week I was fortunate to be invited along to a tasting held in the West Village featuring 12+ single malts from every region and style in Scotland.  Hosted by Macallan and Highland Park, both favorites of mine, we enjoyed a non biased (not brand specific at least) tasting of some of the worlds greatest drams.  At 12:30 on a Thursday afternoon I met up with some good friends to be ushered around the world of scotch one taste at a time.  We all sat down to an awesome spread of food, and then were instructed on proper tasting techniques.  After wrapping our heads around being presented with 12 cups of whisky, we dove in.  From Balvenie to Springbank to Highland Park 25… we nosed, chewed, sipped, and drank our way from Lowlands to Highlands.  If you are interested in the actual tasting notes please let me know.  After stepping away from our tables somewhat carefully we then all gathered around the keystone of the day: Highland Park 30 year, and proceeded to pass around the bottle.   All in all, a day to be remembered.

I have lately struck up some new projects through the distillery that have put me in contact with some cool new people around Brooklyn.  Our new friends at Brooklyn Winery in heart of Williamsburg just recently released their first wine, which include an awesome Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot, and in their honor through a gala at their beautiful facilities.  Drinking wonderful wines and mingling a night away with fun people who like to make booze, not a bad way to spend an evening.  I’m really excited to work with these guys on some new stuff coming up soon!  If you haven’t been over to their wine bar or to see their wine making facility it is definitely worth the trip.

Finally summer is upon us!  The heat has been coming and going with the rains but on the occasional clear and warm day we are attempting to take full advantage of the season.  Our park adventures have already taken us up to Central Park with a thermos (or 3) filled with cocktails, alongside a spread cheeses, baguettes, and fruit needed to sustain us for some of the best people watching anywhere in the city!  It truly is nice to have a large area of green to escape from the concrete heat, it is so easy to forget that you are locked in the center of a huge metropolis.  If we can’t make the trip up to the park at least we can always find a cold beer on the block and enjoy a Williamsburg fashion show from open windows.

Much much more to come… Tonight we are off to see the Decemberists play at Prospect Park, a concert that I have waited years to see!  Be on the lookout for our bottles of booze, just yesterday picked us out in Maxim Magazine, things are on the way up.