Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | June 23, 2009

About That Neon Blue Cocktail…

For the various P.R. reps and advocates for various spirits who contact me via email with information about your products, I want to pass along a list of things that will almost certainly guarantee that I will not take interest in what you’re sending me.

Generally speaking, I like getting recipe ideas from brands. I hope that good brands are spending times with their brand ambassador bartenders to come up with recipes that are both interesting and profile the spirit in question well. However, I can say with a high degree of certainty that I will not post on your product or really even take it terribly seriously if the recipes you send me include any of the following ingredients:

  • Sour mix
  • Blue curacao
  • Flavored vodka
  • Any type of hyper-sweet schnapps-like thing (Rumpelmintz, Aftershock, 99 Bananas etc)

Here’s what I like:

  • Bitters
  • Freshly squeezed fruit juice
  • Herbs
  • Falernum, orgeat, or other specialty syrups

Now I get that my tastes don’t really fit in with the usual “specialty” cocktails that are used at TGI Fridays during the summer time to promote major brands. But this is more about knowing my audience. I’ve never had someone comment on this blog or email directly and say, “Hey Matt, I love what you’re doing, but why don’t you have more electric blue cocktails on your blog? Or why haven’t you showed my how to best use my neon green sour mix in a classy cocktail?” Unless I’m really off, my audience just doesn’t care about these sorts of cocktails.

I get to work with a lot of great PR folks for spirit companies. I don’t hold this against them and I’m certainly not calling anyone out in particular. I’ve just noticed that with the arrival of summer, the incidence of these god-awful recipes landing in my inbox has greatly increased. I love margaritas and I love the Fourth of July, but I don’t think those two loves justify posting neon blue concoctions that would likely put a diabetic into a coma.

</ rant>


What’s nice about getting in a foul mood about the bad recipes being sent out from liquor company PR reps is that when I get a good one, it gives me faith that the spirit industry isn’t devoid of promoting halfway decent cocktails. I just got this in my inbox from the fine folks at Combier triple sec.

“Jubilee Sangrita”
Created by Mixologist Darryl Robinson

2 oz Silver tequila
1 oz Combier triple sec
2 oz Pinot Grigio
Fill with equal parts of White Cranberry and White Grape juices
Splash with Ginger Ale
Dash of Orange Bitters
Add Strawberries, Blueberries for the red, white and blue effect

This sounds pretty tasty. I’m going to the beach for the 4th and this looks exactly like something I’d like to make for the friends I’m staying with.


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