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.


Routinely Smooth

It now takes me about 10-15 minutes to shave, but in return I have gained the right to move one space closer to “manhood” in the game of life.  Like most things in life the tasks that you take the time to do right seem to reward you the best, and this seemingly small part of my routine (especially since I don’t actually grow facial hair) has forced me to slow down and actually pay attention to something I have often over looked.  There is something about ritualizing a simple task that can elevate it from mundane inconvenience to something that uplifts the spirits.  I never thought that shaving would actually brighten my day, but when you slow down and do it right without skipping any steps you feel better and fresher by the end of it.  So go out and get yourself a badger hair brush, some pre-shave oil, a good cream, and a safety razor (not a mach 1000, but something that holds real blades) and go to town.   On that same note, keep your Scotch in a decanter with its own tumblers, it makes pouring and enjoying your drink special.  It can be a $10 dollar bottle or a $1000 dollar bottle, but it elevates them both to something they couldn’t be without the ritual of pouring them out of a beautiful decanter.

I was cruising around NYC the other day in Moonshine Metro (the distilleries trusty little Geo-Metro) delivering moonshine to the masses when it hit me like a hammer, Ive been trapped in the East Village.  Driving through the mountain range of buildings in the financial district, cruising across the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, down the tree lined streets of Park Slope, by Prospect Park, along the banks of the East River, outside of the sea-port, and the list goes on and on… in only 5 square miles it was made completely apparent to me that I had fenced myself in.  Matthew who was making the rounds with me made comment to how that was a real problem for all New Yorkers, that everything is so accessible within your own neighborhood that you never have to leave a 4 block radius.  We are constantly surprised to find places we never knew existed within a stones throw of our front door, and to think about how much there is to discover just a 10 minute walk away is almost frustrating.  As we have settled into our normal routine of work and school here in the city it has been too easy to push aside exploring for the comfort of our couch and the promise of an easy day.  With so much available to us, and none at almost no cost, I hope to find the motivation to get out into the world again during our very limited free time.  Fortunately moving day is coming up and once we have relocated into Brooklyn we will have already taken a new step to exploring a new area.

Shannon and I are officially making the move to the new place next Tuesday.  So after that time, please find us at our new apartment in Williamsburg.  I haven’t decided how I feel about posting our address on the internet, I am not sure it matters at all, but if you guys need our new mailing address please let me know and I will either put it up or send it to you.

Finally, our good friend Tanner Walle is working on his next album and is preparing for some studio time.  As you know he has been amazing here during our first year of living in New York, and has made numerous appearances on this very blog.  You can find some video from his concerts in previous posts: click here.  We met Tanner bar tending at our favorite wine bar, aka our second home, where he makes a living, but while Tanner can poor a mean bottle of Bordeaux his true talent lies in his music.  In order to get our good friend into the studio to produce his album he is making use of a funding website called kickstarter.  Check it out, check him out, and if it perks your interests, help him out!  See it all here: Tanner Walle’s Kickstarter Project.

Snowy Weather, Story of Our Lives


Two Cents.

Just some mental meanderings on a lot of stuff.  Let’s talk about scotch, cars, and TV’s.

One thing I believe Manhattan is slowly taking from me is my boyish love of amazing cars.  Now, I don’t believe the world could ever take from me my pure passion for automobiles, but I actually walked right out of my doorway today into a 2010 Porsche Turbo, skimmed over it with my eyes, and then walked right on by without a flutter of my heart.  There are just too many Aston Martins, Bentleys, Maybachs, Porsches, Lambos, Ferraris, etc… all over the streets!  I am beginning to become numb to them.  Which upsets me.  This place is saturated with everything of excess.

Scotch: I went out and invested once more in a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 12 year Scotch.  I love scotch.  I love the tastes and smells; the complexities.  What really fascinates me with Scotch is the history of every single bottle.  Whenever I drink a wee dram of it I have visions of a gray haired old man bent over a wooden cask in a damp and dreary Scottish barn, 15 years earlier.  I think then in some sort of time lapse sequence of everything that occurs around that bottle until finally its contents end up in my glass.  It’s incredible.  All of that work for a small moment of joy.  It sure makes you savor every single sip.  I really want to someday try a classic bottle, something like an old Macallan 40+ year old Single Malt.  Something ancient and priceless.  Is there a positive difference between a 12 or 18 year old bottle and a 50-60 year old bottle?  Is it worth it?  What about even a 25 year old bottle?  These are all things I want to figure out with first hand experience.

Shannon and I don’t own a TV and I think we finally might break down and get one.  We aren’t planning on getting cable, or even putting on an antenna, but we really miss having the TV to watch DVD’s on.  My question to you guys is this: Has anyone had any experience with internet ready TV’s, or just streaming Netflix though your TV?  I wonder how easy it is and how well it works.  If it actually works well I won’t mind spending a little extra on a netflix ready TV, but if not I can save a ton getting on older model!  So let me know if anyone knows anything about it!

This is the part where if you have any ideas about the above you go to the bottom of the post and click comments!  Let us know what you think.