Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Palm's new cocktails

April 21

After my meeting with Dita Von Teese, I took a jaunt down to West 50th to attend the launch party of The Palm's new Hand Crafted Cocktails menu created by Aisha Sharpe and Willy Shine.

I found Leo DeGroff outside The Palm and he introduced me to his fellow bartender for the evening, Tim Cooper. I talked about the interview I just concluded and we got into a bit of a discussion about alcohol brands and famous face attached to them. Somehow, the conversation ended up talking quite a bit about Mr. P. Diddy's promotion of Ciroc; and call it coincidence, but once inside I ran into someone who was planning on attending a Ciroc event that P. Diddy was supposed to be at. Shirea L. Carroll, a blogger for Vibe magazine and executive assistant to Vibe's editor in chief, told me she was going to be there to blog about the event. I asked her what her blog was about and she said it was a blog that gave readers a glimpse into what insider parties and events usually are like. I said that was a pretty interesting blog considering how industry events probably aren't the wild party centrals that some people would like to think they are. As I put it, "Yea, a lot of times it's a lot of suits."

The crowd hung out at the front bar for a while as Willy and Aisha mixed the new cocktails. Then the party moved to the back room to continue enjoying cocktails as well as some pretty tasty bite-sized foods. Though the roast beef slider was NOT bite-sized at all and I sort of had to gulp it down like a pelican or a penguin or something downing a large fish. As unappetizing an image as that is, I mean it when I say it was delicious. Also, I could eat Kobe beef frank pigs in a blanket all day.

The new hand-crafted cocktail menu was something that The Palm's executive vice president Bruce Bozzi Jr. wanted as part of his spearheading efforts to better the beverage selection for the steakhouse chain.

The menu features five new drinks, all created by Willy and Aisha, and are a call back to old-fashioned drinks in an homage to The Palm's history.

I saw Mr. Dale DeGroff again (I don't know why, but I have to add a "Mr." and refer to him by his full name). I also got to speak with Andy Seymour (check out his bio at I'd seen him onstage during a demonstration he did with Leo during the seminar at Grand Marnier's Mixology Summit in Vail, Colo., but I didn't really get a chance to meet him there, so it was great getting to finally talk to him.

Willy said that new cocktails would be seasonally added to the menu, but it hasn't been decided yet which of the hand-crafted cocktails currently on the menu will stay or go.

The Palm's Hand Crafted Cocktails

The Cat's Meow
Absolut Citron Vodka and St. Germaine muddled with lemon juice and fresh mint. Served on the rocks with a splash of soda.

The Vixen
Belvedere Pomarancza Vodka and Mathilde Peches Peach Liqueur shaken with a blend of fresh orange, lemon juice and apricot preserves. Topped with a flamed orange peel.

Hendrick's Gin shaken with fresh lemon and grapefruit juice. Tonic, and honey, served on the rocks.

Screaming Mimi
Grey Goose Vodka and Cointreau Orange Liqueur blended with strawberry puree, lemon juice and served in a strawberry-topped flute with champagne.

The Gentle Palm
Muddled black berry and strawberry with Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, pomegranate juice and black tea, served on the rocks.

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