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Vol. 50 Winter 2016




Tylor Field, III Divisional VP of Wine and Spirits Landry’s, Inc. Morton’s The Steakhouse/ Oceanaire Seafood Room/Mastro’s

Winter 2016 •


THE GLUTEN-FREE STANDARD HAS BEEN SET. Meet the gluten-free addition to our Stoli® Vodka family. Stoli® Gluten Free is made with different ingredients than our classic vodka. A unique recipe of 88% corn and 12% buckwheat harvested from our own fertile fields. The result is an exceptional taste and finish, setting THE new standard for gluten-free vodkas.

92 POINTS Beverage Testing Institute Rating

SAVOR STOLI® RESPONSIBLY. Stolichnaya® Gluten Free Premium Vodka. 40% Alc/Vol. (80 proof). Distilled from Corn and Buckwheat. Stoli Group USA, LLC, New York, NY ©2016. All rights reserved. ® - registered trademarks of ZHS IP Americas Sàrl or Spirits International B.V.


in the Mix Magazine

PUBLISHER’S LETTER How Important is the Alcoholic Beverage Industry to the U.S. Economy? Let’s review how important our business is to the economy, which is part of the consumer staples sector and has a significant impact on the overall U.S. economy. According to the American Beverage Licensees (ABL), its impact is approximately $250 billion.

ECONOMIC IMPACT Alcoholic Beverage Retail Industry


Economic Impact

80 70 60


$ (Billions)

A couple of other interesting facts are that direct retail alcohol sales generated more than 1.77 million jobs. These jobs are alcohol-related only. And again, according to ABL, the retail alcohol beverage industry paid approximately $20 billion in federal taxes and $17 billion in state and local taxes.

40 30 20 10 0

On-Premise Retailers

Off-Premise Retailers

Supplier Impact

Induced Impact

DISCUS uses a broader set of statistics to show beverage alcohol industry impact: Direct jobs at 2.1 million and 4.4 million total Economic activity direct at $192 billion and $455 billion total State and local taxes direct at $24 billion and $47 billion total

Please note these are the latest statistics I could find and they are approximately three years old.

The bottom line: The economic contribution of alcohol industry is significant.

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – ALBERT EINSTEIN

Winter 2016 •



in the Mix Magazine

Winter 2016 •



INNOVATE 54 40. Legal Journal – Binary Treachery: Defending Yourself from Attacks Coming at the Speed of Light by David Denney, Denney Law Group 54. Cover Story – An Interview with Tylor Field, III, Divisional Vice President, Wine and Spirits, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Oceanaire Seafood Room and Mastro’s – Landry’s Inc. 76. Is Your Social Media Keeping Up With Standards? by Rebecca Wilkie, Cuvée Marketing


80.  Private Assets – A look at private label wine. by Jack Robertiello 84. Technology – Partender Bar Inventory System Inventory in as little as 15 minutes. 86. TipS – Promoting Responsibility This Holiday Season 92.

The New Mr. Boston Website

94. CORE Chronicles – Wonder Woman Charlotte 98. Crossword Puzzle by Barry Wiss, CWE, CSS, of Trinchero Family Estates


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V 11

At The Winebow Group, we import and distribute unique and diverse portfolios of fine wine, spirits and sake. Our passion is in sharing the authentic culture, history and hard work behind every bottle.

People, Passion & Knowledge IMPORT COMPANIES

Craft+Estate Leonardo LoCascio Selections MundoVino DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES

Grape Beginnings Martin Scott Wines Noble Wines Purple Feet Wines Quality Wine & Spirits Stacole Fine Wines The Country Vintner The Henry Wine Group Vintage Wines Winebow Winebow Boston


Winter 2016 •





Riffing on the Classics by Maggie Hoffman


My Favorite Holiday Cocktail


Six Essential New Cocktail Books by Maggie Hoffman

44. Bundle Up With Hot Takes on Wintery Cocktails by Renee Lee 46. Bordeaux – A Cutting-Edge, ForwardThinking and Affordable Wine Region by Edward M. Korry, CHE, CSS, CWE 96.


Wine Quiz by The Society of Wine Educators

in the Mix Magazine

44 36

Winter 2016 •




EXPLORE 18. The Moscow Mule by Tony Abou-Ganim 30. Tony Abou-Ganim Creates Cocktail Program for Mandalay Bay’s Libertine Social


42. Making the Rounds With Helen Benefield Billings – It’s Always Summer in Miami 72.

St. Helena: Napa Valley’s Holy Grail by Igor Sill

88. Biz Mix – Motivate. Mentor. Move. Hospitality Executive Exchange East Coast Focuses on Conversations, Cocktails and Connections



in the Mix Magazine


Winter 2016 •



An American Company Representing Best in Class Vodkas and Heritage Brands BLOOD ORANGE MOSCOW MULE 2 parts ½ part ½ part 3 parts

Russian Standard Vodka Blood orange syrup Lime juice Ginger beer

Russian Standard Original is the standard for world class Vodka. It is created by combining state-of-the-art distillation techniques with time-honored traditions.

Build into an iced Russian Standard copper mug, and enjoy a unique citrus twist on the Classic Moscow Mule.

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PLATINUM WHITE RUSSIAN 2 parts 1 part 1 part 2 dashes

Russian Standard Platinum Premium coffee liqueur Fresh cream Chocolate bitters

Pour coffee liqueur, Russian Standard Vodka and bitters into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Float fresh cream on top and let your guests swirl the ingredients to their taste.

For more information on ROUST products please contact Linda Lofstom.


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E |




Żubrówka Vodka, or “ZU” as it is called, has over 600 years of tradition and history, and is infused with bison grass from UNESCO-protected Polish forests. One taste and you will discover the Elixir revered by mixologists worldwide.

ELIXIR DAIQUIRI 2 parts 1 part ½ part ½ part 1

BI SOME THYME 2 parts ½ part ½ part ½ part 4 2 drops 1 sprig

ZU Bison Grass Fresh lime juice Simple syrup Vanilla syrup Lemon twist for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice until ice cold, strain into coupe glass. Enjoy the best daiquiri, with the intriguing aromas and flavor of UNESCO protected Bison Grass.

ZU Bison Grass Crème de Violette liqueur Fresh lemon juice Simple Syrup Fresh raspberries Orange bitters Fresh thyme

Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. You will want to buy more time enjoying another!

Winter 2016 •




TONYA RAINS Creative Services Manager

Mike Raven, Managing Editor, in the Mix Media

It was my pleasure to interview one of the icons of the business, Tylor Field, III, for this issue. I have known Tylor a long time and it was nice to catch up with him. I hope you find the interview interesting. We have some great cocktail pieces in this issue, including “Bundle Up with Hot Takes on Wintry Cocktails” by Renee Lee of Datassential, “Riffing on the Classics” by Maggie Hoffman, and Tony Abou-Ganim’s character, George, going in search of the Moscow Mule. Our wine articles include an in-depth look at Bordeaux by Ed Korry, and a look at the beautiful area of St. Helena by Igor Sills. Our cover shot for this issue was taken at Morton’s The Steakhouse in downtown Atlanta. Enjoy. Mike Raven Managing Editor, in the Mix Media


in the Mix Magazine

Tonya Rains is a native of Washington, D.C., and like many in our nation’s capital, she started her career with the government. After nine years of working at the Pentagon for the Defense Intelligence Agency, she made a huge leap into advertising and marketing, Tonya Rains and family. working at top agencies in D.C. and Virginia. After meeting her future husband, Bruce, she relocated to Orlando and within six months landed a job in Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group as a Senior Traffic Manager. She and her family now reside in Kennesaw, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Tonya has been with IMI for more than two years.

What are your responsibilities with IMI? I like to consider myself a “master juggler.” I manage the timelines of every project that comes into IMI’s Creative Services Division (CSD). That involves brainstorming, assigning the designer, setting up the kick-off meetings and staying in daily communication with each account manager (or client, in some instances), estimating each project and billing after completion. Essentially, I’m the only one in the entire company who knows where every CSD project is at all times. What do you like best about working with IMI’s Creative Services? The accounts we have are just the best. How cool is it to work on creative for many of the food and beverage industry’s biggest and best brands? Pretty cool, I think! Where do you live? I live in Kennesaw, Georgia. We recently moved there from Dallas, Georgia and are impressed with the school system and the neighborly feel. What is your favorite travel destination? Being the nature lover that I am, I would have to say the Smoky Mountains around Gatlinburg, Tennessee. What hobbies do you enjoy? I have four children, between the ages of 8 and 13. When is there time for hobbies? Actually, I’m a puzzle geek – jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, you name it. I also enjoy hiking, and I miss crabbing for Maryland blue crabs back home. What is your favorite adult beverage? Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The original is still the best, in my opinion.

Winter 2016 •



Media Print


Tony Abou-Ganim, known as “The Modern Mixologist,” is an accomplished bar chef, speaker and consultant who has created several original cocktail recipes, including the Cable Car, Sunsplash and Starlight. He has recently authored his second book, Vodka Distilled (Agate Surrey, publisher).

PUBLISHER Don Billings

Edward Korry is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Beverage & Dining Service Department in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I. Edward carries many certifications as well as being President of the Society of Wine Educators and an executive board member of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild Master Accreditation program.


Maggie Hoffman is the cocktail columnist and former Managing Editor at the James Beard Awardwinning website, Serious Eats. She writes about drinking and eating for the websites of Saveur and Esquire, the San Francisco Chronicle and others. Her go-to cocktail order is “something sour and bitter.”



EDITORIAL AND DESIGN Editor – Michael Raven Designed by – Connie Guess, ThinkWorks Creative Copy Editor & Proofreader – Christine Neal Associate Editor – Celeste Dinos Associate Editor – Helen Benefield Billings

EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICE 1196 Buckhead Crossing, Woodstock, GA 30189 PHONE 770-928-1980 | FAX 770-517- 8849 EMAIL WEB

in the Mix magazine is published quarterly by IMI Agency. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

in the Mix is exclusively operated and owned by Incentive Marketing Inc. Hospitality and travel writer, Helen Benefield Billings has been with in the Mix since its inception in 2004. Helen lives in her native childhood home of Sea Island, Ga. when not traveling or attending industry functions with her husband, Don.

SUBMISSIONS Incentive Marketing Inc. assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.Visit our website,, for guidelines on how to submit inquiries or contact our editors.

Rebecca Wilkie, owner of Cuvée Marketing, has been in the beverage industry for over 15 years, providing marketing, social media and advertising expertise to companies such as Robert Mondavi Winery, Constellation, DIAGEO, Trellis Wine Group and Folio Fine Wine Partners, as well as numerous local wineries, breweries and restaurants.

Renee Lee is a senior publications specialist at Datassential, which is a supplier of trends, analysis and concept testing for the food industry. Renee has a background in journalism and enjoys reporting on the latest happenings in everything from alcoholic beverages to breakfast and global cuisines.


in the Mix Magazine

Larry McGinn, Partner Celeste Dinos, Partner Don Billings, Founding Partner

Winter 2016 •


By Tony Abou-Ganim

“The nicest thing about the Mule is that it doesn’t make you noisy and argumentative, or quiet and sullen, but congenial and in love with the world. One wag of its tail and life grows rosy.” – CLEMENTINE PADDLEFORD


in the Mix Magazine

George arrived in Las Vegas for a convention at Mandalay Bay and was anxious to get checked in, as he was famished and in great need of liquid stimulation. “What do you recommend for dinner and cocktails?” he asked the young lady working the front desk. “Well, if you’re in the mood for a steak, then I would suggest Strip Steak. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, Chef Shawn McClain just opened Libertine Social and the food and drinks are great, not to mention it’s a lot of fun,” she replied.

George thanked her for the recommendation, checked into his room, dropped off his bags and headed to Libertine Social. He found a seat at the end of the long bar and was presented a menu by a very friendly bartender. “Welcome. My name is Shawn. What can I get you?” the bartender inquired. “What do you recommend?” George asked. “I usually have a Negroni.” “We do a barrel-aged Boulevardier, which is like a Negroni but made with Baker’s Bourbon in place of gin,” the bartender suggested.

“Sounds great, and I’ll also be having dinner.”

Shawn served George his Boulevardier, took his dinner order and began preparing drinks for some other guests at the bar, in copper mugs. “What did you just make in those copper mugs?” George asked. “Made them some Moscow Mules with Tito’s Vodka,” Shawn answered. “It’s a drink dating back to the 1940s, made from vodka, ginger beer and fresh lime juice. It was created at a joint in Los Angeles called the Cock ‘n’ Bull.” “I’ve never heard of it,” George said, finishing his Boulevardier. “As the story goes, a guy by the name of John G. Martin, an executive at Heublein, bought Smirnoff in 1939, long before anyone in America was drinking much vodka. He had a buddy named Jack Morgan who not only owned the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant but was also trying to sell some British ginger beer that, at the time, no one wanted to drink.” Shawn continued, “Anyway, they started fooling around with their respective ingredients until they settled on a hefty shot of vodka, a few ounces of ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. So the drink would have originally been made with Smirnoff but here, they’re drinking Tito’s. Also, we use Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, not Cock ‘n’ Bull.”

“I’d love to try one,” George requested. He found his Moscow Mule to have a sharp note of ginger with the sweetness balanced by fresh lime juice, supported by the presence of vodka – all in all, a very refreshing quaff indeed. “So what’s the deal with the copper mug?” George inquired. “Funny that you happened in at this very moment. The gentleman I just made that Moscow Mule for is JJ Resnick and his great-grandmother made the first copper mugs for the original Moscow Mule,” Shawn explained. “I’ll introduce you.” Shawn made the introductions, and it turned out that JJ’s great-grandma, Sophie Berezinski, immigrated to the U.S. from Russia with a couple thousand copper mugs from her family’s copper factory, hoping to sell them. According to family lore, she walked into the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant in Hollywood where she met John Martin and Jack Morgan. The three experimented that day, so the story goes, eventually coming up with the recipe for the Moscow Mule. It was a mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime, served in one of Sophie’s copper mugs, which maintained the temperature of the drink and also enhanced the flavor. “So, after watching the resurgence of the Moscow Mule over the past several years, I decided to bring back Grandma Sophie’s original copper mugs; and in 2015, I launched the Moscow Copper Co. so people could serve their Mules in the genuine article,” JJ explained.

After watching the resurgence of the Moscow Mule over the past several years, I decided to bring back Grandma Sophie’s original copper mugs; and in 2015, I launched the Moscow Copper Co. so people could serve their Mules in the genuine article.

Winter 2016 •


“So, why Tito’s Vodka?” George probed.

“Well, he makes a great corn-based vodka that works beautifully with the sharpness of the ginger beer,” JJ replied. “Also, I love his story of being made in America and being the first legal distillery in Texas.”

“Wait – so, you’re telling me there is a real Tito?”

“Yes. His name is Tito Beveridge and he makes his vodka in Austin,” he replied. To show his appreciation for sharing this fantastic story, George had one more Mule with JJ, thanked Shawn for his wonderful hospitality, paid his check and left Libertine Social, determined to learn more about the Moscow Mule and meet this guy Tito. The first thing the next morning, after a little Google surfing, George discovered that Tito’s is made in Austin by Tito at the Mockingbird Distillery he established in 1996. George also tracked down their phone number. “I’m looking for a Mr. Tito Beveridge,” George said, when his call was answered. “You’ve got Tito,” the voice on the other end of the line responded. George introduced himself to Tito, explained that he was in Las Vegas and had just tried a Tito’s Moscow Mule, loved it and would love an opportunity to visit the distillery and learn more about his vodka. “I love Las Vegas,” Tito replied. “I really don’t do distillery visits but next time you’re in Austin, let me know and we’ll meet for a drink.”

“How’s tomorrow afternoon sound?” George asked.

“Well, that would work,” Tito responded, sounding somewhat surprised. “Let’s meet at the bar at the Four Seasons at 5:00.”

“Perfect. See you then and I’m very much looking

forward to meeting you.”


in the Mix Magazine

George needed to attend the conference that day but booked the first flight out for Austin the following morning, made a reservation at the Four Seasons and anticipated his meeting with the man responsible for Tito’s Vodka. Arriving at the Four Seasons just before 4:00, he checked into his room and made his way to the Lobby Lounge, which was nearly empty so he easily found seats at the bar. He ordered a Tito’s Mule and a plate of Cochinita Pibil Pork tacos while he anxiously awaited Mr. Beveridge’s arrival. “So, you’re a Tito’s fan! Are you from Austin?” the barman inquired. “I’m a fan now,” George answered. “I’m just visiting; going to have a drink with the man himself.” Just as he was finishing his tacos and his second Moscow Mule, he felt a tap on his shoulder. “You must be George,” the gentleman greeted him. “Sorry I’m a little late; traffic was terrible.” “Tito – it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please have a seat,” George invited. “Can I get you a drink?” “Sure. I’ll have what you’re drinking,” he replied, motioning to George’s empty Mule mug. George ordered two more Moscow Mules, handed one to Tito and asked, “So, how did you decide to open a distillery in Austin and make your own vodka?”

“Well, it’s a long story but I’ll try and give you the short version,” Tito answered. “I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in geology and geophysics. I got into the oil and gas business, and did that in Texas before moving down to Venezuela and Colombia; I ran heli-portable dynamite seismic crews down there. I got tired of chasing the buck and decided to move back to Austin, where I got into the mortgage business.” He explained that this was back in 1993, and he used to make infused vodkas as Christmas gifts for his friends and family. “It was at a party that someone came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you’re the vodka guy!’ So that’s when I started to take the idea seriously. I built my first pot still and started experimenting until I got a vodka that my friends really liked.”

I was working with great people in the industry. I love the people who work in the hospitality industry; it truly is a great business to be in!” With that, Tito excused himself, explained he had a meeting to get to, and insisted on paying the check. But before he left, he gave George a signed bottle of Tito’s. “Think of me next time you make yourself a Moscow Mule, and I thank you very much for your support of my vodka.” George sat there finishing his Mule, when the bartender approached him. “That Tito is a solid cat!” he said. George returned to his room and immediately got online and ordered himself a set of copper Moscow Mule mugs, as he knew this newly discovered classic would become a regular offering for his friends and family.

“It was at a party that someone came up to me [Tito] and said, ‘Hey, you’re the vodka guy!’ So that’s when I started to take the idea seriously. I built my first pot still and started experimenting until I got a vodka that my friends really liked.”

He went on to say that he could not find anyone interested in financing his vodka project so he did it all himself, with the help of 19 credit cards. He registered the first legal distillery in Texas in 1996; and he sold the first bottle in 1997, and a total of 1,000 cases made from that single still. “And that’s it in a nutshell. I stuck with it, had a lot of help along the way, got a lot of good word of mouth and people seemed to like the vodka I was making.” He went on to say, “It was not easy at first, but I think one of the main things that kept me going was the fact that

Winter 2016 •


2 oz Tito’s Vodka Juice of half a lime, hand extracted Chilled Fever-Tree Ginger Beer Fill a copper Moscow Mule mug with cracked ice; add lime juice, vodka and ginger beer. Stir and garnish with spent lime shell.


Editor’s note: The Mule made with Tito’s Vodka is commonly called an American Mule!

Tony Abou-Ganim’s bar tools and Mule mugs can be found on his website,


in the Mix Magazine


My American vodka beats the giant imports every day. Try American! It’s better.

Winter 2016 •


“I once read somewhere that there will never again be a completely original new cocktail created. Everything can be traced back to a classic cocktail recipe.” – TONY ABOU-GANIM, Author of The Modern Mixologist

By Maggie Hoffman

Lead bartender Phil Clark of BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, in Alexandria, puts it this way, “I used to build bicycles. I would rebuild existing parts, buy new ones, purchase a skinnier set of tires or a different colored brake line. At the end of the day, though, you could swap out as many parts as you wanted, but as long as it had two wheels, pedals and handlebars, it was still a bicycle.” Cocktails, says Clark, are just like that, too. “Once you learn their structures, their form and what makes them essential, you can customize their flavors to the season, to your own themes, mood and palate, while still maintaining core recognition for your guests.”

Phil Clark of BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier.

Bob Peters of The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte affirms that riffing on classics is a great way to connect to your guests. When you reimagine a classic drink, he explains, “They will recognize the name or the similarity to the classic recipe and feel comfortable ordering it, even if they don’t know what every single one of your ingredients are.” Enjoying your clever rendition of a drink they love will help you build trust. “Classic cocktails are the comfort food of the booze world,” Peters says, noting that once trust is established, it “will allow you to start to nudge them out of their comfort zone, little by little. This is a huge step in the fledgling patron-bartender relationship.”


in the Mix Magazine

So how do bar pros execute these riffs? I asked a few for their tips.

Peters notes that sometimes a small change can go a long way. After you’ve identified your classic drink of choice and pinpointed all of the elements that you could vary, “you should consider editing all of your possible ideas. Instead of changing all ingredients and techniques of the cocktail, maybe just do half of the things possible.” Less is more, he contends. “As you are looking at your new creation, you need to keep an honest, editing eye on it. Is there a reason for everything? If you are using an alternate technique, why? Now be honest with yourself: Is the final product good?”

Bob Peters of The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte.

FILLING THE GAPS It all starts, of course, by identifying the proper drink to begin with. “I start with a need for my menu,” explains Clark. “Let’s suppose my menu is lacking a long, refreshing drink, and I want to make a Tom Collins – a simple mixture of gin, lemon, sugar and soda water. To make it my own and provide something new and exciting for our guests, I’ll make a few tweaks to the original.” Clark first looks at the sweetener, either experimenting with a different syrup such as honey or agave, or subbing in a sweet liqueur like St. Germain. Sometimes this requires a little adjustment to the citrus element in the drink. “I may also want to incorporate another flavor at this point. Maybe something tart and jammy, like a blackberry; or cool and bright, like a cucumber. The next step is to find the right gin to work with the rest of your ingredients. You know the flavors you’ve established (lemon, cucumber, elderflower) and you need to choose a spirit that will exist in symbiosis with them, neither taking over the cocktail nor shrinking into the background.”

Head bartender Mike Jones of Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago. Photo by Collin Beckett.

THE KING Let’s start with what seems simple – how to riff on an Old Fashioned. First, be careful. “The Old Fashioned isn’t something to be messed with too much. It’s perfect the way it is and should be enjoyed year round,” says head bartender Mike Jones of Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago. “The Old Fashioned will always be king,” argues Benjamin Harris, head bartender at Pennyroyal in Seattle. “Its simplicity is elegant: spirit, bitters, sugar and water.” Harris is partial to a variation made with Mezcal. Jones says he pairs the agave spirit with agave, and adds mole bitters to the mix.

Winter 2016 •


“The Old Fashioned, for me, lends itself to one of my favorite spirit categories and that’s aged rums,” says Abou-Ganim. When someone wants rum, Mike Jones says he likes to use chocolate bitters. “They just seem to play with the rum and help highlight all the beauty of it.” Joey Scorza of Toro-Toro in the InterContinental Hotel Miami, goes for chocolate too, and also adds a few dashes of plum bitters. For an autumnal twist, Phil Clark splits the spirit in his Apples to Apples (recipe below) between rum and applejack, and sweetening with a little bittersweet Cynar as well as Demerara syrup.

SOME LIKE IT HOT In colder months, riffs on hot drinks like the toddy and the hot buttered rum are essential soothers. “A hot toddy is thought of as a medicinal elixir,” notes Peters, “so adding fresh herbs like mint would be a great start.” Try cognac instead of whiskey, try earthy dark honey, or consider a splash of Drambuie. Clark uses tea instead of hot water; Ivan Ramirez, lead bartender at Brandon’s Palm Beach, sweetens his with chamomile/chardonnay syrup. “This syrup gives it a floral and calming attitude, making it a great option for a cold snowy day,” he says. “I really like to make hot toddies with a skunky rum, adding Caribbean flavors like allspice and Falernum,” says Harris.

PERFECTLY BITTER Perhaps the Negroni is the most riffed-upon of them all. “Since the ingredients are traditionally in equal measures,” says Clark, “the only limit to experimentation is the bartenders’ imagination, provided they keep that core bitter/sweet/strong motif in mind.” (He cites a Mezcal-based version as a favorite.)

Tony Abou-Ganim, the Modern Mixologist.


in the Mix Magazine

Joey Scorza of Toro-Toro in the InterContinental Hotel Miami.

“Any spirit that will provide a punch and then be balanced by anything that will serve up the bittersweet harmony is good,” says Peters, who makes a variation with barrel-aged genever, Fernet Branca, Cynar and Carpano Antica. “It has a ton of flavors bouncing around your taste buds that pull your mouth in every wonderful direction – bitter, malty, herby, sweet.”


InterContinental Hotels, Miami

2 oz dark rum, such as Ron Zacapa 23 ½ oz simple syrup

“Any spirit that will provide a punch and then be balanced by anything that will serve up bittersweet harmony is good.” – BOB PETERS, The Punchline Room

2 Dashes chocolate bitters 2 Dashes plum bitters Garnish: lemon peel, Bordeaux cherry

Add rum, simple syrup and bitters to a mixing glass and stir with ice until well chilled. Strain into rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish and serve.

Winter 2016 •



Pennyroyal , Seattle


The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

1 oz Campo de Encanto Pisco

2 oz Bols Barrel Aged Genever

1 oz Salers Gentiane Aperitif

½ oz Fernet Branca

1 oz Carpano Bianco Vermouth

½ oz Cynar

4-5 drops

½ oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

Black pepper-green cardamom tincture

Garnish: lemon twist

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Pour over large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Garnish: orange twist

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Serve on fresh rocks, garnished with an orange twist.



Macerate 1 teaspoon black peppercorn and 1 teaspoon whole green cardamom in 8 ounces high proof neutral grain spirit for two weeks. Fine strain before using.


BRABO, Alexandria

1½ oz Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum 1 oz Laird’s Applejack ½ oz Cynar ½ oz Demerara syrup 4 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters Garnish: orange twist, cinnamon stick

Combine rum, applejack, Cynar, Demerara syrup and bitters in mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Serve on fresh rocks, garnished with an orange twist and a cinnamon stick. 28

in the Mix Magazine

Introducing Monin Cookie Butter™ Syrup The natural flavors of indulgent cookie and warming spices are perfect for crafting craveable winter specialty coffees, cocktails, milkshakes, and more.

Visit for more information and hundreds of signature recipes Winter 2016 •



Queen’s Park Swizzle


Abou-Ganim’s Libertine Fizz

Tony Abou-Ganim Creates Cocktail Program for

The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, takes his passion for unique and fresh cocktails to Mandalay Bay’s soon-to-be hotspot, Libertine Social. AbouGanim created a duel-faceted cocktail program to match Chef Shawn McClain’s new American bar fare. Cocktails include the signature swizzles, frozen shots, draft cocktails, barrel-aged cocktails, fizzes and bottled cocktails. Guests are able to experience the unique ambiances across the restaurant’s many sections, which include the Voyeur Lounge and Main Bar, Main Dining Room, Patio, Arcade Bar, Chef’s Table and To-Go Window. James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain challenges diners to free their minds from preconceived notions about bar restaurants and get ready to eat, drink and liberate at Libertine Social.


in the Mix Magazine

The Sunsplash, an Abou-Ganim original

The Lounge at Libertine Social.

Modern Mixologist BAR TOOLS Cocktail Art, Empowered Tony Abou-Ganim has turned cocktail making into an art form. Moving beyond the simple “how-to” of mixed drinks, he has inspired bar professionals across the globe to become more daring in their creations. Steelite International is proud to announce a partnership with Tony that introduces the tools every artist needs to create a masterpiece. Tony has taken classic barware and given it a modern, streamlined feel. These tools are designed to not mode only work perfectly together but also complement each other’s look and feel. These are tools for the professional bartender, and crafting great cocktails begins with the right tools. The Modern Mixologist barware line has everything the professional bartender needs to artfully prepare virtually any handcrafted libation. To begin with, the Boston shaker set is flawlessly sculpted for preparing any cocktail that is crafted by either shaking or stirring. The strainers (Hawthorne and julep) are designed with the perfect fit to work seamlessly with the Boston tin and mixing glass. The versatile, tightly crafted hand citrus juicer extracts juice with precision. The martini beaker, paired with the twisted long handled bar spoon, is an elegant and sexy way to prepare any stirred cocktail. All around, these tools liberate creativity and empower the mixologist to become an artist.

Andrea Day • 702-218-1989 Cell Website: Facebook @ THE MODERN MIXOLOGIST OFFICIAL FAN PAGE Follow us on Facebook TAG BAR TOOLS Follow us on Twiier: @MdrnMixologist In Instagram: @MdrnMixologist

Winter 2016 •


My Favorite Holiday Cocktail in the Mix asked a sampling of IMI Agency customers to tell us about their favorite holiday cocktail. Here are some of the fun drinks they came up with.

Peter Zilper Vice President, Food & Beverage, Operational Excellence, Aramark Sports and Entertainment “A classic in Philly – The Fish House Punch! You can make large batches for your holiday crowd. It’s a potent holiday punch that will keep the chill away during your holidays. The warm tones from the dark rum and brandy, a hint of peach and lemon with strong brewed black tea make this an annual treat at home.”

Lawrence Kobesky Beverage Director, Gibson’s Restaurant Group “The Young Grasshopper is a classic that we have made a little more relevant with the use of some boutique spirits – Remy VSOP Cognac, Giffard Crème de Menthe, cacao, mint and cream. This is a rich comforting cocktail, perfect for sweater-wearing weather as there is a bit of delicious dairy fat in this beauty.”

Luis Jimenex Director, Beverage Portfolio, Delta Sky Clubs “Cream drinks are always fashionable during the holidays.”


Baileys Irish Cream Apricot brandy

Mix in a shaker and then pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a white and chocolate stripe edible stick.

Mustafa Suer Corporate Manager Food & Beverage – Upscale and Life Style Brands, InterContinental Hotels Group “Almonds, apples and cinnamon – does that sound like holiday season to you?”

AMARETTO CIDER 1½ oz Amaretto 1 oz Triple Sec Top with apple cider. Garnish with slice of red apple and cinnamon stick.


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Adam M. Smock

Mike Ryan

Corporate Manager, Food & Beverage – Upscale Brands, InterContinental Hotels Group

Director of Bars, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

“This drink reminds me of Christmas – a drink fit for snuggling up to the fireplace.”

THE SNUGGLER ¾ oz Peppermint schnapps ½ oz Hot cocoa 1 Tbs Whipped cream or a thicker, cake cream 1 tsp Sugar Pour peppermint schnapps and cocoa into an Irish coffee cup and sweeten to taste. Gently float cream on top, sprinkle with grated chocolate and serve.

Kevin Bratt Beverage Director, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

“ Glühwein reminds me of growing up. My mom is German and a great cook, and the smell of the heated wine with the spices pulls me right back into childhood. Red wine spiced with clove, allspice, nutmeg and mace, and spiked with a dash or two of good German brandy.”

GLÜHWEIN 1 btl Red wine 3 Tbs Whole cloves 2 tsp Ground nutmeg 2 tsp Ground mace 2 3-inch strips of orange peel 1 tsp Ground allspice ¼ cup Dark brown sugar Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer – don’t boil it! Just let the sugar dissolve. Remove from heat; add 6 ounces Asbach Uralt German Brandy. Serve in a festive mug garnished with an orange slice studded with cloves. Sip while singing carols, wandering around the Christkindlmarkt, or sitting around a fire watching the snow fall.

“ I’m not a year-round whiskey drinker, but the cooler temperatures around the holiday season call for it. This cocktail is super easy to make and even easier to drink. As for the flavor, the cocktail is all lemon and bourbon up front, but evolves with notes of orange and holiday spice on the finish (courtesy of the amaro).”

Kylie Negron


“The best flavors of the holidays all combined!!! Delicious martini!”

1 oz 1 oz 1 oz ¾ oz

Elijah Craig 12 Year Aperol Lucano Amaro Lemon juice

Build ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake and double strain into chilled coupe.

Mon Ami Gabi-Oakbrook

GABI NOG Eggnog, amaretto, brandy and nutmeg shaken and served over vanilla ice cream in a martini glass.

Winter 2016 •


Tylor Field, III

Brian Jaymont

Divisional Vice President of Wine and Spirits, Landry’s Inc.

Beverage Manager, Global Operations, Marriott International “The perfect cocktail to enjoy before a filling holiday meal.”

“ My wife and I have a tradition on Christmas Eve where we splurge on an expensive bottle of Champagne and caviar. When I think of the holidays, I look forward to this the most. All other days would be a Hendrick’s Negroni on the rocks.”

NEGRONI Gin, Campari and Carpano Antica Vermouth in equal amounts, on the rocks.

Eric Brown POL ROGER SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE WITH CAVIAR Pour Champagne with someone you love and drink between bites of caviar.

Director of Beverage, HGI-Mellow Mushroom “ This cocktail brings together my favorite holiday flavors: pumpkin spice, cinnamon and, of course, rum. It is the perfect blend of Sailor Jerry Rum and Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup with our own Mellow Meringue and house-made agave sour, served with a cinnamon sugar rim.”

Gary Gruver Beverage Manager, Global Operations, Marriott International Global Operations “I typically love a well-crafted Negroni, but in the colder months of the holidays I find myself diverging to the Negroni’s cousin, the Boulevardier – a bittersweet cocktail, typically. I like to make mine with a rye whiskey, which leads to a fantastic balance of spice, bitterness and sweet.”

CALL ME PUMPKIN 1 oz 1 oz ½ oz 1½ oz

Agave sour Mellow Meringue Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup Sailor Jerry Rum

Rim half of the glass with cinnamon sugar. Combine ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled coupe glass.

Jeff Darby Vice President, Ted’s Montana Grill

THE BOULEVARDIER 1 oz 1 oz 1 oz

Rye whiskey 100+ proof Campari Torino-style vermouth

“It just seems during the holidays there are always family and friends drinking bourbon and Old Fashioneds, sitting around a fireplace.”

Garnish with an orange swath. OLD FASHIONED Maker’s Mark, Four Roses Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve and George Dickel are my favorites!


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Matthew Bensch Corporate Food & Beverage Manager, Loews Hotels “I can never pass up a hot cup of mulled wine. It brings back such fond memories of Christmastime in Europe, walking around the markets seeing the beautiful lights with smells of fresh baked pastries, noble firs and that familiar mix of orange and spice.”


Matt Stuhl Vice President of Restaurants, Events & Bars, Two Roads Hospitality “My own variation on the classic British mulled wine. This is just so warming and it fills just about any room or office with the smells of winter comfort. Warm, spiced wine has been around since Roman times. The recipe has evolved over time, but the basics are still there: wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and citrus. I, of course, Iike my booze so I like to spike mine with Calvados (you should, too).”

BRITISH MULLED WINE Servings: 6 20 Whole cloves 6 Clementines 2 750-ml btls Primativo 1 cup Calvados 1 cup Fresh apple cider 2 Cinnamon sticks, plus 8 for garnish 2 Green cardamom pods 2 cups Tawny port 1 Vanilla bean Press stem (pointed) end of 3-4 cloves into each clementine, piercing through the skin. Place clementines, wine, cider, Calvados, vanilla bean, 2 cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; cook gently for 20 minutes. Stir in port. Place one clementine in a heavy bucket glass. Strain wine over citrus and garnish each with a cinnamon stick. For a heavier spike, stir in Calvados after port, right before serving.

Mulled wine starts with a good robust red wine. I typically go with a French Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Using a sachet, add your favorite blend of spices. I typically go with cloves, grated nutmeg, cinnamon and a little star anise. Sweeten it up with some honey and orange slices, for a cup of joy.

Krista Joiner Ted’s Montana Grill “Both cocktails feature bourbon that warms your soul during the holidays, and the organic agave nectar is a healthier twist that sweetens the intensity of the bourbon for a smooth blend. The Bison Delmonico paired with the Uptown Manhattan creates a sophisticated duo, while the savory flavors of the Bison Cheeseburger and the Newly Fashioned please the palate.”

UPTOWN MANHATTAN AND NEWLY FASHIONED Uptown Manhattan – Knob Creek Rye, chocolate bitters, organic agave nectar, orange twist. Newly Fashioned – Woodford Reserve, organic agave nectar, Angostura bitters, black cherry.

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New Cocktail Books By Maggie Hoffman

We’ve been in a cocktail book boom for a while now, but 2016 just might be the biggest year yet when it comes to new titles that everyone in the bar industry should read. Some of these books are sources for recipe inspiration and advice on technique, some dig deep into the history of drinking, some demystify an increasingly confusing world of spirits, and some excel at all of the above. Here are six new essentials to add to your bar shelf and your bedside table.

Smuggler’s Cove Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki If this book from Martin Cate and his wife, Rebecca Cate, had simply shared the finely tuned recipes from their acclaimed San Francisco tiki haven, it would have been enough. (I’d buy this book for the mai tai alone.) And if they’d just offered their game-changing classification system for rum, it would have been worth a hearty recommendation. But this impressive tome also lays out the most fascinating, well-written history of the golden era of exotic cocktails – as well as the generation that rejected tiki and the movement’s recent resurgence – that I’ve ever read.

Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography by Dylan + Jeni © 2016

Smuggler’s Cove’s 3 Dots and a Dash tiki cocktail.


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A Proper Drink The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World

A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson.

Robert Simonson’s writing on cocktails in The New York Times is among our nation’s best, so it’s no surprise that his tale of the modern cocktail revival is skillful, thorough and a little bit snarky. He traces 25 years of what, at first, appeared to be a mixed-drink fad, interviewing 200 key players along the way. While it would have been possible to tell a New York City-centric version of this story, Simonson loops in the influences of bartenders across the country as well as around the world. Not everyone comes across as a hero, and the story is all the more entertaining because no one is spared.

Regarding Cocktails Perhaps the most important player in Simonson’s book above (and in the recent cocktail renaissance in real life) was Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey, who died in 2015 of a heart attack. He was just forty-two. “Without Petraske,” Simonson quotes bar owner Matt Piacentini as saying, “today’s bartenders wouldn’t know how to make a proper Manhattan.” Moreover, “Many of us wouldn’t be bartenders, and most of our bars wouldn’t exist.”

Regarding Cocktails by the late Sasha Petraske.

Petraske was drafting Regarding Cocktails at the time of his death. While his wife, Georgette Moger-Petraske, explains that it certainly wasn’t finished, she did us all a favor by publishing it anyway. Regarding Cocktails is meant to be a guide for the gracious cocktail party host, but it’s full of gems for professionals too, and quotes to live by, if you’re the sort looking for pithy wisdom about drink garnishes and train travel. The book is filled out with essays and recipe headnotes from the likes of David Wondrich, Sam Ross, Eric Alperin and Theo Lieberman.

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Amaro The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas

Amaro:The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs by Brad Thomas Parsons.

There was a time when knowing your Cynar from your Lucano was adequate, but these days, bar pros should be familiar with more: Segesta and Sibona, Amaro D’Erbe Nina and Foro Amaro Speciale. Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters, describes a broad range of Italian amari, aperitivo bitters, fernets, plus bittersweet liqueurs from around the world in this new guide, then shares enticingly bracing cocktail recipes from bars across the country. Since amari offer complex flavor in every bottle, many of the drinks are remarkably simple to make – like the Brunch Box, which pairs Montenegro with fresh grapefruit juice and lager; and the Ice-Berg, a frozen margarita variation made with tequila, orgeat, lemon and Underberg, garnished with the adorable empty bottle.

1210 More Very Good Cocktails A Renaissance Compendium There are many books that retread the familiar territory of classic cocktails to make at home, and surprisingly few that give an accurate picture of what America’s best bartenders are serving today. This book, the second by Stew Ellington, is decidedly not pretty, but it makes up for clunky design with a treasure trove of recipes for every taste. Indexes by season, style and classical inspiration help you find what you’re looking for, or go by ingredient (there are seven drinks with balsamic vinegar, 12 with Salers and 24 with salt.). 1210 More Very Good Cocktails: A Renaissance Compendium by Stew Ellington.


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The Canon Cocktail Book Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar

The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau and James O. Fraioli.

Most drink books are aimed at consumers: folks who want to make a bar’s signature cocktails in their own kitchens. But Jamie Boudreau and James O. Fraioli have advice for those in the industry too, dedicating a section to tips for those opening a new spot. They flag things to keep in mind when choosing a bar name and location, and share notes on designing a bar’s workspace, securing insurance and keeping your staff happy. They get into drink technique, too, discussing equipment and methods for carbonating bottled cocktails and sharing their “golden ratio” for off-the-cuff, choose-your-spirit drinks. They offer a method for aging cocktails for ideal interaction with oxygen and illustrate how to use ingredients like ascorbic acid to offset the sweetness of liqueurs, without making a cocktail taste citrusy.

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security standards. From there, you will determine where payment card data resides in your business, how to protect it and what options are available to ensure data security in transactions, e.g., encryption or tokenization of card data.

Adopt EMV “chip card” technology at your point-of-sale. seems these days that not a month goes by when one does not hear about a major company’s network infrastructure being hacked. Major retailers (including bars and restaurants), insurance companies, payment systems and even Experian, the credit reporting agency, have been victims of cyber attacks resulting in the theft of the personal information of millions. Bars and restaurants have historically been vulnerable to cyber attack due to an inherent lack of security infrastructure industry-wide. Most independents and small companies with whom I speak believe that since they are not substantial multi-unit organizations, they are more likely to fly under hackers’ radar. But that belief presupposes that hackers are not tempted by low-hanging fruit. Various studies and surveys indicate that 80 percent or more of the point-of-sale transactions in bars and restaurants are made with debit and credit cards. With some operators considering doing away with cash altogether, the need for data security in our industry is greater than ever. Even when they want to protect their guests’ private information, many operators simply do not know how to determine whether they are secure. The “payment card industry” (that is, the card companies acting together) has developed a set of “data security standards” to be used by businesses that accept payment cards. First, select a secure credit card processor and enlist their help in moving forward. You can hire a qualified security assessor who will determine your “classification level” for compliance – larger companies with more transactions have higher


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 estrict personnel with access to payment transaction R data to a minimum (no more shoeboxes of receipts in the office).  nsure your Wi-Fi network is secure, firewalled, and E that there are no foreign devices plugged into the USB or other ports of your computers. The computer at the host stand is a tempting target for evildoers who would plug a thumb drive into your machine.  eparate free guest Wi-Fi from the network where S your business data resides. Consider data breach or “card compromise” insurance.

Losses from a data breach – even a small one – can be severe. Examples are cardholder damages, costs of credit monitoring services, lawsuits, fines and fees (card replacement fees, bank’s attorney’s fees, etc.) and, perhaps most damaging, the loss of reputation and guest confidence. PCI compliance can seem daunting, but with a few steps you can obtain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are safe from the ever-increasing threat of cyber attack in your business. The threat is very real and is not going away. David Denney is a Dallas-based attorney and founder of the Denney Law Group, a Nose-to-Tail-Law Practice®, which counsels its many restaurant and bar clients in practice areas including business formation and private equity funding, intellectual property, employment, beverage alcohol licensing and business litigation.

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MAKING THE ROUNDS With Helen Benefield Billings

IT’S ALWAYS SUMMER IN MIAMI As temperatures continue to fall in most areas of the country and we anticipate the upcoming holiday season and winter conditions, Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida remains sunny and balmy year round, making it an ideal long weekend or conference destination. The Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne Miami, have concocted a most dreamy, phenomenal formula for that extraordinary getaway. It starts with bubbly Prosecco and a friendly greeting at check-in, and continues while settling in to a recently renovated one-bedroom suite overlooking lush grounds,


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with sparkling Atlantic Ocean and beach views. A color palette of cool blues, gray and tan welcomes guests to this uniquely picturesque, hospitable beach resort, literally enveloping them with an irresistible Latin flair. Nestled just off the Lobby Lounge is RUMBAR, Key Biscayne’s Cuban-inspired watering hole designed to impress even the most discerning clientele. Warm woods, burgundy leather and perfect lighting, along with live Latin music, transport one back to 1940s’ Havana.

RUMBAR is a must for those with an appreciation of Old World charms. Showcasing some 85 rums, piscos and cachaças from around the world, mixologists meticulously create and present libations from a fabulous cocktail menu, using only the freshest ingredients. Signature drink Black and Blue Mojito consists of light and dark rums, blackberries and blueberries, presented in a highball glass artfully garnished with sugar cane, citrus and, of course, mint. Black and Blue is the perfect tonic after a long day of travel. And what better way to acclimate to the endless summer and tropical vibe that exists at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne Miami, than with a mojito?


Mint leaves


Lime wedges

2 Blackberries 6-8 Blueberries 3 dashes

Angostura Bitters

½ oz

Simple syrup

1 ½ oz

White rum

½ oz

Dark rum


Club soda

Muddle mint leaves, lime wedges, blackberries and blueberries. Add Angostura Bitters, simple syrup, white rum and dark rum. Add ice and shake hard. Pour into highball glass. Add splash of club soda and garnish with mint leaf.

Winter 2016 •


By Renee Lee It’s a frigid winter day, which means there’s nothing better than sitting down to a frosty, bone-chilling, ice-cold drink – just kidding! With diving temperatures and Old Man Winter making his rounds, it’s time to bundle up those beverage menus with hot cocktails and warming liqueurs. Just as summer is associated with drinks like fruity margaritas, sangrias and spiked iced teas, and everything goes pumpkin-flavored in the fall, certain ingredients and flavors also pop up more frequently on winter beverage menus. In the winter, it’s all about how flavors like cocoa, chocolate, peppermint and crème de menthe start trending (Datassential’s MenuTrends Keynote Report: Alcoholic Beverages). But if you want to go beyond traditional cold-


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weather flavors and tried-and-true hot cocktails like Irish coffee and hot toddies, there are plenty of opportunities for innovation.

ELEVATE THE CLASSICS WITH HOT NEW RENDITIONS Put a trendy spin on cold-weather cocktails by experimenting with drinks that are already proven consumer favorites. Hot chocolate, available at two out of three restaurants in the U.S. (MenuTrends Keynote: Non-Alcoholic Beverages), easily translates from the regular beverage menu to the hot cocktail menu. Even though hot chocolate may seem more like a cold-weather drink, the cozy beverage is actually enjoyed by consumers throughout the year – about a tenth of people report

having it on any given day, more than smoothies or energy drinks. You’ll find creative takes on creamy hot cocoa at bars across the country. For example, People’s Last Stand in Dallas has offered a Blueberry Yum Yum, a hot cocktail made with house-infused blueberry Jameson, white chocolate liqueur, hot chocolate and crème de cacao, with toasted marshmallows on top. At the Chicago staple Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, you’ll find several varieties of hot chocolate along with alcoholic versions like the Hot Chocolate Grog, which combines brandy, chai and orange liqueur, topped with a campfire s’mores-esque skewer of a toasted homemade marshmallow. Take hot chocolate one step further with the Mexican version, which allows operators to add uniqueness to traditional hot chocolate with cinnamon, spices and warming chili pepper. According to our beverage report, a third of consumers are interested in trying it. The hot toddy, or hot tea traditionally spiked with whiskey, rum or brandy, is both a classic cold-weather cocktail and a familiar drink to many consumers because it’s often touted as a home remedy for a cold or flu. Hot toddies are only found on about one percent of alcoholic beverage menus, according to Datassential MenuTrends, but one of its common core ingredients, brandy, is a common spirit in bars, found on a quarter of alcoholic beverage menus, and “loved” by more than a tenth of consumers, according to our Alcohol Keynote. That means it has a higher ranking than gin or Mezcal. Use brandy to add a familiar warmth to cocktails, even those served cold like the Pity and Pears at Sycamore Den in San Diego, where pear brandy is combined with wintry flavors such as Douglas fir liqueur (BroVO Spirits in Woodinville, Wash., makes a version). Try putting a twist on the classic hot toddy by taking inspiration from global flavors – at Portland’s Pok Pok, the hot toddy takes on a Korean glow with the Yuzu-Honey Whiskey Hot Toddy made with a base of yuzu-infused honey tea.

in some areas outside of its Midwest roots. The cocktail, made by spiking eggnog with brandy and serving it in a mug or punch bowl (the beverage is sometimes referred to as a “broth”), offers operators the opportunity to serve something unique with a nostalgic background.

INNOVATE BY PIGGYBACKING ON ALREADY-TRENDING INGREDIENTS Ride the wave of any trend by learning how to translate industry trends to various parts of the menu, including seasonal beverage offerings. Sriracha, a spicy condiment that has made its mark on virtually every food or beverage imaginable (sriracha ice cream, sriracha spice rub, sriracha-infused tea – the list goes on), can add a trendy layer of warming spice to any cocktail. Now-closed Chicago restaurant Meat had offered a Sriracha Ginger Hot Toddy with powdered browned butter on the side. Sriracha-flavored spirits like UV Sriracha vodka (which, by the way, stars in a UV recipe for Sriracha Fried Ice Cream) can cut down on any extra back-of-house prep, making it an easy addition to wintry cocktails. Pumpkin spice, the quintessential fall flavor that appeared in onefifth of new menu items and LTOs from top chains this past September, can also translate directly into toasty winter cocktails. Create a spin on mulled wine by complementing traditional spices with those used in pumpkin spice mixes, like nutmeg and ginger, or turn an Irish coffee into a hot pumpkin spice latte to carry a fall favorite into the winter. Cider, which appears on 17 percent of all beverage menus and has trended in past years, serves as another base for warming cocktails. At The Olympic Tavern in Rockford, Ill., you’ll find a hot drinks section of the cocktail menu with options like Pineapple Cider made with pineapple vodka, hot spiced apple cider, cinnamon and lemon. This is just a glimpse into the wonderful wintry world of hot cocktails. Contact Datassential for full insights on all things food and beverage.

Eggnog, a classic holiday beverage, can also take on a next-level iteration with cocktails like the Tom and Jerry, a Christmastime specialty that The New York Times calls “a regional oddball” resurrected

This article has been provided by Renee Lee, Senior Publications Specialist at Datassential, a leading consulting firm and supplier of trends analysis and concept testing for the food industry.

Winter 2016 •


Bordeaux A Cutting-Edge, Forward-Thinking and Affordable Wine Region By Edward Korry CHE, CSS, CWE, Department Chairman at Johnson & Wales University

This past June, I travelled to Bordeaux with colleagues from Johnson & Wales University, to become recertified as a Bordeaux Wine Educator by l’Ecole du Vin of Bordeaux’s official organization of the CIVB. It’s a great program that wine professionals might be able to take advantage of. Bordeaux has now become a tourism destination, which is a big change over the past two decades. The beauty of the city and its vibrancy were on full display, and nothing epitomizes that more than the newly-opened, extraordinary and modern Cité du Vin experiential cultural facility.


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I have a number of takeaways from this trip that reflect what is transpiring in the Bordeaux appellation. First, the quality level has been enormously enhanced across the board but especially at the affordable price level, due to a number of factors. These include improved knowledge of soils on a plot-byplot basis; improved technology, whether derived from international or domestic research; a changing of the guard with young winemakers, whether men or, increasingly, women who have had international experience; a changed AOP quality control system requiring greater accountability and transparency; far greater sensitivity and enactment of eco-friendly, sustainable, organic and even biodynamic practices; greater technical support for small producers (there are over 12,500 producers); and a realization that to compete in the global market, wines have to appeal to a broad swath of the world’s wine drinking public.

10 or 15 years ago). Fourth, there is a willingness to experiment to an unprecedented degree. And lastly, there is more of a desire for wine tourism than just an acceptance of it. Producers are better prepared to host wine travellers or local wine drinkers and offer them an experience. Tasting rooms at small producers 10 years ago were the exception to the rule, but not anymore.

Secondly, good Bordeaux wines are very affordable. Third, all the producers we encountered were so transparent and willing to speak of both their challenges and successes (that never happened

both deep color and aromatic intensity. The wines were fresh, elegant and very well priced for a fourth growth cru classé.

Médoc and Graves While many in the on-premise world focus on the big-named chateaux, it’s the others that are worth exploring. Among those we visited was Chateau Branaire Ducru, where there is a realization based on analyses of individual plots, that Cabernet Franc shouldn’t be planted where it was, and more emphasis should be placed on Petit Verdot, especially as the warmer climate enables it to ripen. Petit Verdot offers

Winter 2016 •


Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe.


We had a delightful tour of the Cru Bourgeois property Ch. Larose Trintaudon, which is the largest property in Haut-Médoc, abutting St. Julien and Ch. Beychevelle. There we learned how they used microoxygenation, resulting in less need for racking while aging in-barrel. Since wood chips are now allowed – and are advantageous from a flavor perspective, especially when employing micro-oxygenation – you can deduce how much attitudes have changed in Bordeaux. The judicious use of American oak barrels, at no more than 10 percent of the over 3,600 barrels, lent additional complexity of flavor. The wines were approachable and provided great

Barrel room at Château Branaire, Saint-Julien.

value. One notable factor apparent to us in our many daily tastings was that, despite having suffered very challenging vintages in 2012 and 2013, the wines were good. They had good fruit expression and were balanced for what critics initially panned. These vintages are “winemaker vintages” where those who have been well trained can still make very good wines. We tasted six Cru Bourgeois wines from the region while there, which included Chateau d’Arsac from Margaux, Chateau Liounier from Listrac, Chateau Branas Grand Poujeaux from Moulis, Chateau Tour des Termes from St. Estephe, and lastly a Chateau Arnaud, Haut Médoc 2010 as a contrast. They were all very approachable and drank well.

Other trends were revealed in our tour of Chateau Lafon-Rochet, a fourth growth chateau located in the St. Estèphe appellation and featuring warm, deep yellow Mediterranean walls. They were employing organic and even biodynamic practices. Their new winery was one of the most modern and aesthetic wineries I had ever visited. There was, as in many other wineries we visited, much greater use of concrete fermentation vats that are neither glass nor epoxy-lined. Tartaric acid is sprayed on the walls, enabling the winery to use less water in cleaning. The CO2, a byproduct of fermentation, is captured and injected into the water being used for cleaning, thereby reducing the amount of water used.

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The Libournais – The Right Bank

Inside the winery at Lafon-Rochet.

The biggest advantages of using concrete vats are the concrete’s thermal dynamic properties and its capability of having greater even fermentation temperatures. There was a meticulousness to this winery’s practices that accompanied its beautiful aesthetics, and the wines reflected the care employed in producing them. Our Graves visit included Chateau LaGarde in Pessac-Léognan, which is part of the Dourthe properties. They have done a lot of deep soil analyses and found the most appropriate plots to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They have become almost organic, using no pesticides. They also use barley, wheat and oats for competing grasses, to keep the soil less compact and provide competition for the vines. Another change that we were to encounter here, as at the many other properties we visited, was the change in selection of rootstocks being used.

If change was almost startling on the Left Bank, it was no less so on the Right Bank. Our visits included Pomerol, Saint-Emilion and its satellites, and other appellations. Taking a bus ride to Côtes de Castillon enabled us to get a better understanding of Saint-Emilion and its satellites – Lussac, Montagne, Saint-Georges and Puisseguin – and how the undulating landscape provides different terroirs to differentiate each of their wines. The higher plateaux have more exposed limestone, versus the lower ones with sandy and clay soils. Ch. Aiguilhe is a property that is organic and is transforming to biodynamic. They use a massale selection and have been looking at rootstock selections, as have others. They have three clones of Merlot and have decided to move from the omega form of grafting to an “English” system where the graft is to the side of the wood. They are concerned about the space in the graft allowing for esca and eutypa viruses, which are quite prevalent. They, like many others, do all their own composting.

Winter 2016 •


They have a newly redone winery, which also had new concrete and stainless steel vats. They also use “pigéage,” or “punch down,” to limit the extraction of tannins, which we found quite prevalent and, again, a big change from 10+ years ago. They also use “natural” yeasts and experiment with different barrels, such as the 228-liter Burgundy barrel, rather than barrique. We tasted a number of wines from the increasingly commercially important Côtes de Bordeaux appellation.

Ch. Goudichaud Graves-de-Vayres 2013, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Seigneur d’Aiguilhe Côtes de Bordeaux Castillon 2013 Ch. d’Aiguilhe Côtes de Bordeaux Castillon 2012 Ch. Laulan Francs Côtes de Bordeaux 2012 Chateau Haut-Coulon – Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux 2011 Ch. Grevettes-Samonac – Côtes de Bourg 2010 Ch. Lacaussade-Saint-Martin – Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2009 Ch. Trois Fonds 2013 Sainte-Foye-Côtes de Bordeaux

We also visited Chateau La Dauphine, one of the most important producers in Fronsac, with 53 hectares. We were guided by Bernard Lamore, the technical director. The vineyard sits on a limestone plateau with clay and sand. They are a biodynamic property, which again is pretty amazing given the humidity causing fungal pressures. Another unusual development was the use of peristaltic pumps (like heart pumps), which are much more gentle, for their pump overs. We could discern the vintage variations in a vertical tasting but again all, including the dismal 2012, were aromatic and fresh. We also could determine from this and other samples, how good the 2014 vintage is.

Our next stop was at Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol, which had undergone quite the renovation. We were given history about it, which we hadn’t previously known. It was a peach and pear fruit-growing region until the 17th century; “Pomerol” means “the place we grow apples” in old French. Pomerol has 800 hectares and 120 chateaux. Ch. Beauregard has 17.5 hectares, with the north end having a concentration of gravel while the southern end has sandy soil. The property intends to grub up 50 percent over the next 10 years and replant it, so that vine density is increased from 6,000 to 9,000 vines per hectare. They also are returning to using horses instead of mechanical means, to cause less soil compaction. Their second wine, Le Benjamin de Beauregard, has only 30 percent new oak and is aged 12 to 14 months in oak, while Ch. Beauregard is aged in 60 percent new oak for 18 to 20 months. They rack every three months for 20 months. The winery is aesthetically spectacular with its almost alien-shaped concrete vats. The next property we visited, which abuts Pomerol, is Ch. Corbin Despagne, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé. This was one of the best presentations we had; it was by the owner and manager, Francois Despagne, who is a microbiologist, oenologist and businessman. He spoke of how Merlot doesn’t like hot dry soil. Chateau Figeac and Cheval Blanc both have gravelly soils, favoring Cabernet Sauvignon. Figeac has one-third of all of Pomerol’s Cabernet Sauvignon. He spoke of how Cabernet Franc has been increasing in Saint-Emilion and how he likes its potential.

Chateau D’Aiguilhe in Cotes de Castillon.


in the Mix Magazine

He has conducted deep soil analysis in 50 different plots, with the probes going one to three meters deep because that’s the extent of the depth of the roots. He spoke of how hydric stress was key to ripening Merlot. His wines were delicious but we also had a tasting of Saint-Emilion and its satellites. They included:

Chateau Montaiguillon Montagne Saint-Emilion 2012 – fresh and delicious both on the nose and palate. Chateau de Carlmagnus Fronsac 2011 Chateau Lanbersac from Puisseguin Saint-Emilion 2010 Chateau Carteau Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 Chateau La Couspaude Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2008 Chateau Les Grands Sillons Pomerol 2011

Another winery we visited, Chateau Thieuley, is also run by women, sisters Marie and Sylvie Courselle. They are producing white wines that are Semillon-based and yet distinctly reflective of Bordeaux. We also saw techniques employed I hadn’t previously encountered anywhere, including the use of roto-fermenters for controlled low-temperature white wine maceration, and a parachute-looking contraption that captured nitrogen being used to prevent oxidation so it wouldn’t be released into the atmosphere and could be subsequently reused. They are so forward thinking, especially since climate change is evident based on data, that they make both a Chardonnay and Syrah that are sold under the Vin de France appellation but which are varietally identifiable and of very good quality. Their Merlot-based reds were also superb and very well priced.

Sauternes and Sweet Wines of Bordeaux The Entre-Deux-Mers This appellation can only be used for whites, though there is plenty of red wine being made in the region and sold under Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur or Côtes de Bordeaux. Again, we encountered mostly Sauvignon Blanc-based wines for whites. Fresh and zesty with floral and grapefruit notes, the wines were consistently delicious and beautiful food accompaniments. (Nothing like slurping morning-harvested oysters from the region’s Arcachon Bay accompanied by Chateau Lestrille EntreDeux-Mers.) The property is run by a woman, Estelle Roumage, who employs techniques she learned from working in New Zealand. But don’t let me mislead you – the wines are definitely Bordeaux in flavor and style. She is also symptomatic of other commercial changes taking place whereby grower/producers are creating the connections needed to sell their own wines rather than going through negoçiants. The award-winning Sauvignon Blanc whites and Merlot-based reds, sold as Côtes de Bordeaux, are priced very competitively and available in the U.S. market like many others.

It should come as no surprise that the Sauternes and sweet wine appellations of Bordeaux are suffering. The main reason is the drop off in sales to an increasingly aware consumer who is worried about DUI and doesn’t want a dessert wine or after-dinner drink. I am a big proponent of such wines and feel that innovative dessert programs should be accompanied by a small two- or three-ounce pour to enrich the customer’s experience. Since Sauternes sales are way down, they now make more dry wine than sweet wine, but the dry wine has to be sold as Bordeaux Blanc. However, there is a local effort to add an appellation (to the already existing 65 appellations of Bordeaux) of Sauternes Sec, which is opposed by big and notable producers. Our tour took us to Ch. Sigalas-Rabaud, a family estate in Sauternes dating back to 1863. It is the smallest cru classé property in Sauternes. Its vineyards are oriented south on one of the three hills of the best growing region. The three hills include Rabaud, Yquem and Vigneau. The benefit of the hills is that the cool breezes prevent the development of botrytis at inopportune times and the development of the wrong types of fungi. The soils are particularly gravelly and have the clay type of soils as found in Ch. d’Yquem, which is just a few hundred yards away.

Winter 2016 •


They grow 85 percent Semillon and 15 percent Sauvignon Blanc, which is typical for the appellation. We were informed about the critical importance of the harvesters’ role, who are needed for consistency, and they have had the same families of harvesting teams for 40 years. They use a massale system of replanting and, while they had traditionally planted Muscadelle, they have discontinued its use because the ripening window/period is precariously short. We had delightful tastings of sweet wines also paired with savory dishes, which demonstrated how well they can be utilized and sold. We tasted their second label called Le Lieutenant de Sigalas, which was more of a “moelleux,” or “soft”

The Cité du Vin, located in Bordeaux, France, is a museum as well as a place of exhibitions, shows, movie projections and academic seminars on the theme of wine.

style but still well balanced. They allow the fermentation to last one to two weeks and stop it with SO2. It is then aged for 18 months in new oak barrels from six different coopered barrels. Blending in Sauternes is more of a three dimensional prospect because of the different “tries” or “harvests.” They can have as many as seven harvests per vintage. We tasted wines reflecting the sweet wines category of Bordeaux including Sauternes, Barsac (which can use the Sauternes appellation and, according to our host, has more botrytis), Loupiac, Cadillac, Sainte Croix du Mont and Premiers Côtes de Bordeaux.

Chateau Larialle – Premiers Côtes de Bordeaux 2011

Associate Professor Linda Pettine and Ed Korry, in front of the gate Porte de Cailhau in the city of Bordeaux.

Chateau Valentin – Sainte-Croix-du-Mont 2011 Chateau du Cros – Loupiac 2011 Chateau les Tourelles – Cadillac 2011 Lieutenant de Sigalas – Sauternes 2011 Chateau Ludon – Sauternes 2011 Chateau Doisy Verdrines – Sauternes 2008 Chateau Sigalas Rabaud – Sauternes 2006

They had a chef create small bites/tapas to go with each wine, some of which were very interesting and included a “risotto” of celeriac and baked oysters with a ginger cream, among several. It just proved how well these sweet wines can be paired with savory dishes.


in the Mix Magazine

Conclusions This is the current face of Bordeaux – small familyoperated wineries and producers who are transforming the face of Bordeaux by being forward thinking, staying affordable in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, and consistently offering quality wines year in and year out. They are doing it by being very innovative and technologically cutting edge, while focusing more on sustainable practices to preserve their heritage for future generations. So, when you think of Bordeaux, think of the diversity of wine styles, their food pairing adaptability and extending the pleasure of France to your guests while saving them cost of a trip. It also might just entice them to take one.








Winter 2016 •


TYLOR FIELD, III Divisional Vice President, Wine & Spirits, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Oceanaire Seafood Room and Mastro’s – Landry’s, Inc.

By Mike Raven

By Line


in the Mix Magazine

Tylor Field is an internationally recognized expert on wine and spirits, and winner of the highest honor from the Guild of Master Sommeliers




Distinguished Service Award – for his outstanding contributions to wine education and wine service, which is one of only eight given in the world. As Vice President, Wine & Spirits since 2005, Field has guided Morton’s leadership in developing and providing a diverse, world-class selection of fine wines and spirits to complement and enhance the fine dining experience of our guests at Morton’s steakhouses around the world. In 2012, Morton’s was purchased by Landry’s, Inc. Field now oversees all purchasing, marketing, training and development, globally, of the wine, spirits, and beverage programs for all 98 locations of Morton’s The Steakhouse, Oceanaire Seafood Room and Mastro’s.

As the national spokesperson for his wine &

spirits program, Field has been featured in many print and broadcast media interviews, including “The Early Show” on CBS and “Fox and Friends.” Working in partnership with Foster’s Wine Estates, Field also assisted in developing the World’s Largest Wine Bottle for Morton’s, as certified by Guinness Book of World Records in June 2005. He has also been instrumental in developing Morton’s Bar 12-21 bar concept, as well as the new Morton’s Grille Concept. In the spring of 2009, he contributed to Morton’s The Cookbook: 100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen. Field scribed wine, spirits and ale accompaniments for each recipe in the book, as well as in the 2006 cookbook, Morton’s Steak Bible.

Field holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree

from New York University. He resides in the North Carolina mountains with his wife Tammy.

Mike: What got you into the hospitality business in the first place? Tylor: Well, I went to school to be an actor at NYU and I wasn’t making very much money and restaurants seemed like a place you could at least get something to eat everyday. [Laughs] So I went in and started working as a busboy in a restaurant, and then became a server to help pay for college. It was also an environment filled with a lot of like-minded people: actors, musicians and folks like that. I felt very at home in that environment, plus I was able to get a meal and save a little money. That was the beginning of when I started in the restaurant business. However, looking back over my career even before college, when I was growing up and spending summers in Rhode Island, one of my jobs was actually working in vineyards. I never knew it was going to come to anything and here I am in the wine industry. So it was a couple of different things: a) I needed a job; and b) I was really hungry, so it worked out. M: After that, it obviously led up to Morton’s. Was that a kind of a natural progression or how did that happen? T: I was working in a fine dining restaurant in Boston called Locke-Ober Cafe. At that time, it was one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in the country; I was a wine captain and my job was to sell wine and I got paid by what I sold. Somebody mentioned there was a job opening at this place called Morton’s, and it was dinner only and closed on Sundays. That was back when, as a manager, you worked 90 hours a week, Sundays and so on. I thought this could be a good quality of life change. So I went and applied. I was there the day the Chairman and founder of Morton’s happened to be there. I got the interview and I got the job – which was a great thing! I started working at Morton’s in Boston in 1990 as an assistant manager. One of the roles of the assistant manager was running the wine program, which was very large within Morton’s. So during the interview, I led with my wine service knowledge in order to get the job. Once I got the job, I knew I needed to truly up my game to make sure I would be the best I could be in this new world of wine.

Winter 2016 •


The American wine industry was really coming into its own. I started studying and working with the Court of Master Sommeliers, which was just getting strong legs in the U.S. at that time. I started taking that angle of the business very seriously. Also, at that time, the salary you were paid – actually a lot of it – was based on a percentage of wine sales. It was a sales job with management responsibilities. The restaurant business has changed now; everyone in management is on a salary. But back in the day, I was paid to sell.

“The key ... is to find those key people who have that brand personality and have them on your team. I have a team of incredibly talented people working on the Mastro’s, Oceanaire and Morton’s brands, to make sure we are keeping them separate and flourishing in their own brand identity.”

M: You worked for Morton’s The Steakhouse for many years. T: Twenty-six years. M: Was that 26 years before working for Landry’s Inc.? T: No, they purchased our company over four years ago, so I had been with Morton’s 22 years before that. I was one of a few folks that joined Landry’s in what I call “the trade.” I did okay in the trade and they kept me around, for which I’m very blessed because I have tremendous affinity for Morton’s and Landry’s as an organization. With that, I have also been given responsibility for some new, really fantastic brands like Oceanaire Seafood Room and Mastro’s. M: That leads to my next question. Being not only responsible for Morton’s but also for Oceanaire and Mastro’s, what do you see as some of the challenges of maintaining the three different personalities? T: The first thing you have to do is recognize just what you said: They are different. No matter when you look at it as a business person would, you would say, “Wouldn’t it be easier if we did just one program for all three of these properties?” You really can’t do that. It’s not really a challenge but it’s seeing what has already been successful within the three different dynamics and then trying to accentuate those facts. You never want to make them one cohesive program that fits all three because it will never work. They each have a brand identity that you need to spend a lot of time figuring out, purchasing for and buying for; and the consumers are different. The analytics are all different also so you can’t just do one. And the key to that, when you are in a senior


in the Mix Magazine

management role, is to find those key people who have that brand personality and have them on your team. I have a team of incredibly talented people working on the Mastro’s, Oceanaire and Morton’s brands, to make sure we are keeping them separate and flourishing in their own brand identity. M: What are some of the differences in the three wine programs? T: Really what you need to look at, for instance, is that Morton’s is the atypical American steakhouse. What does a guest expect when he walks into the high-end luxury steakhouse brand in America? It’s generally going to be predominantly American-based Cabernets, predominantly Napa Valley. When looking at a seafood house, what are people going to be walking into? They’re going to want more alternative whites – different types of experiences that go well with the cuisine. Then, within Mastro’s, a super-elevated steak and seafood concept mixed into one, it’s more about elegance and finding those smaller niche and boutique wines available to the guests. The big thing is the footprint, too. When you’re buying for a Morton’s property that has 70 restaurants, it’s very different from buying for a Mastro’s or Oceanaire property, with 12 or 13 restaurants. There’s a lot more available when you are smaller, to create a much more, I want to say, intimate experience. Now, with that said, there’s a very big difference in how you purchase based on regionality. In America, for instance, in Morton’s, most of the sales are going to American reds from the Pacific Northwest or California; however, that totally flips when you move into our eight restaurants in Asia.

There, it’s primarily French and Spanish wines, Old World wines that community has grown up with. Then regionality within America: At Morton’s in Miami, we’re going to have many more Spanish wines on our list; in Portland, Oregon we’re going to have a lot more wines from the Willamette Valley. So even the demographics of where you are will be reflected in what wine selections you have, in any of the three concepts. M: Are you responsible for the Morton’s that are in Canada, Mexico and overseas?

Tylor, far right, leading a Morton’s Wine Flight in South Africa in 2014.

T: Absolutely – yes.

“bevtain” (Beverage Entertainment) and retain loyalty with the highly mobile Millennial-age guest.

M: Are all the American Morton’s wine lists different, or is there a core list with flexibility?

M:: Do you work with the spirit programs? Are you involved as much as you are with the wine programs?

T: Morton’s has an 80 percent core program and then 20 percent is given for regionalization. The same goes for Mastro’s and Oceanaire. Some have captain’s lists and different ways to have that 20 percent presented to guests, but there’s going to be regionality in them.

T: I do all the spirits, all the beer, I do all the water, all the non-alcohol beverage – anything that is beverage I have my stamp on it as far as what I’m in charge of, the profitability and so on. Spirits are on a tear right now in our restaurants, taking share from wine – beer has never been that strong in the restaurants that I am responsible for – all driven by the magic of mixology.

M: You used to do a lot of work with wine companies formulating wines that were exclusive. Do you still do that? T: Yes, both with wine companies and wineries. We call it the private label, or control label part of our business and it is growing exponentially versus other parts of our business. With the advancements of winemaking all around the globe, the growth in number of wine varietals and the consumer passion for experience and experimentation – this is a very good time for custom winemaking and wine in general. Landry’s has allowed

“ Our future successes in the restaurant industry will be told in our abilities to attract ‘bevtain’ (Beverage Entertainment) and retain loyalty with the highly mobile Millennial-age guest.”

me the privilege of working with the best wine companies and the best and innovative winemakers to create labels that resonate with our guests. Our future successes in the restaurant industry will be told in our abilities to attract

Winter 2016 •


M: So that takes a little bite out of the wine sales? T: It takes a bite out of the wine sales, but what you find is that the liquor sales are making up for it as far as a percentage of sales. But people are still drinking in this country – that’s a good thing to see. They also want to drink well, just in smaller amounts. So that’s one of the nice things – just like a craft beer. You can have a small amount of luxury in a $14 cocktail or an $11 great craft beer instead of, like before 2008, when it just didn’t matter in this country, everyone would come in and drop a hundred dollars on a bottle of wine. That’s just not the reality right now because of the reduced expense account dollars, the different ways conventions work and corporate America after Sarbanes-Oxley – it’s changed the model of how high-end business consumers drink. Now, it’s more about smaller packages like wines bythe-glass, where we use Coravin to be able to pour great wines by-the-glass, great spirits to great beer and so on. It’s still exciting; it’s just changing very, very rapidly.

Tylor, center, leading a Morton’s Wine Flight in Oregon.


in the Mix Magazine

M: Speaking of that, my next question was what is your wine preservation method of choice? T: Coravin. That’s it, dialed in. It does two things. The great thing about Coravin for restaurants is there is technology out there to preserve wine in the same method that Coravin does, but what Coravin allows you to do is bring it right to the table. So there’s a whole service piece to it and an elegance, because someone is coming and actually doing something for you at your table, which is important in fine dining – instead of putting your credit card into a machine, picking the ounces and watching the wine come out of the machine. I think those machines have their place but in a formal dining room setting, the Coravin is more experiential. It causes a conversation. M: You pour it right out of the tool, right? T: Yes, it’s a manager function. So the bottle comes to the table and you pour it in front of the guest, into their glass.

“Excellent choice.”

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Winter 2016 •


M: Going back to the spirits – we are doing a story in this issue about the popularity of riffs on classic cocktails. Are classic cocktails a big part of your sales? And do you riff on them? T: We don’t do too many riffs. Sometimes I think we get a little diluted; maybe it’s because we spend too much time with salespeople. I like riffs but I don’t want to make a Tuaca Manhattan. It’s not a Manhattan; it needs to be bourbon or whiskey. I don’t want a Cuba Libre to be made with bourbon or tequila; that’s not a Cuba Libre. So I think sometimes folks take a little to much latitude. The classic cocktails are a backbone. I think you can accentuate them with different types of bitters and presentations, but they’re classic recipes for a reason, because they work from a flavor profile. So we stay very, very true to what those classics are but we have a lot of different whiskies to use now. We used to only have four choices (in the past). We generally use the high-end, “what’s trending” and that’s how we will make a Manhattan. M: I’d like to talk about the types of trends you look for, or in your case, the trends you are creating in the luxury market. T: It used to be I would study the TGI Fridays of the world or Chili’s, those types of concepts, because in 10 years, those people are going to be my guests. I had to study what they were doing. There was a time when I think the casual theme segment was the most creative cocktail ideation, in the ‘80s. Then this whole mixology thing happened in the 2000s. In the luxury brands, we could afford to make cocktails that were more expensive using the better ingredients because we could sell a $14 or $15 cocktail, no problem, I think the way we innovate now is we are able to take something, say a Manhattan, and then put it on steroids. We just came out with the State Street Manhattan. It’s in honor of our original Morton’s location on State Street. We have this giant infusion system – it’s actually a cold drip coffee maker – and we infuse the vermouth and the bourbon through it. We have a special ice cube for this drink and we have a special glass just for it that’s heavy cut crystal. We have a special pick; we are actually using a steak garnish. We create things that are just over the top, voluptuous and we also know that we can charge for it. So that’s a good luxury.


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In other concepts within Landry’s, you can go someplace and have a great cocktail – then you hit the cup and it lights up and sparkles, and you can take the cup home. It’s just a different way of doing it. In the luxury segment, you just have to do it a little bit differently and just make sure it’s more elevated for your core guest. That’s what we endeavor to do, and we’re pretty successful at it. M: You just sit around all day and think up things to try? [Laughing] You must get a lot of input from suppliers and distributors and whatnot. T: I also solicit best in class, and yes, the supplier and sales community bring valuable information. But really what you want to do is find that mixologist who doesn’t have the tie to any specific supplier. I work with Francesco Lafranconi and Tony Abou-Ganim, for instance. They are part of this community but I find they are actually working behind the bars, they actually know how to make things that will work in a chain environment. They’re also being sent the newest ingredients that might not be here in the U.S. The conversation starts with them – I’m certainly not a master mixologist and I don’t pretend to be, but I make sure I have three or four people on my team that I am talking to all the time, to make sure I’m up to speed on innovation like that.

“I make sure I have three or four people on my team that I am talking to all the time, to make sure I’m up to speed on innovation like that.”

M: Throughout the years, you can even say recently, is there any one varietal that you thought would completely go over with customers, but just hasn’t gone anywhere? In other words, using a Riesling as an example, maybe you think it’s going to be a great seller and all of a sudden, it just flops. T: I’ve given up. You can talk to most any sommelier in the world and they will say, “All we want the world to do is drink Riesling.” It’s not going to happen. M: So, I just said that because I figured that might be one of them. T: No, that is one of them. The best white wine in the world to me is well-made Riesling – German, Austrian, all this – but it hasn’t translated yet. Hopefully it does. But still you need one or two on your list. I work in the steak world, so it’s a little bit different but even in the seafood world, Chardonnay is really kind of the ruse.

Tammy and Tylor Field

T: We carry a Grüner at Oceanaire; it sells all right.

M: Are there any others – maybe Grüner Veltliner or, say, Albariño or something like that – you’ve tried but it never really gave you the sales you were hoping for?

I think in the alternative white category, Sancerre seems to be having a real uptick right now. I’m not sure how much the consumer knows that it’s Sauvignon Blanc; but they know Sancerre, it’s different and it’s elevated. That’s a different flavor profile, too, than the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and things like that, so we’re seeing an uptick in that. Again, one of the things that’s surprised me too, is everyone is on the Rosé bandwagon.

T: Syrah from Washington State, especially Walla Walla.

M: Absolutely.

M: I wouldn’t have expected that.

T: We sell some Rosés within Mastro’s at brunch; we sell some Rosé at Oceanaire; can’t give it away at Morton’s. In the steakhouse environment, before you walk in you’ve already decided you are going to have a glass of great red wine with your steak, so we never saw that great Rosé charge within my concepts at this point. But I know it’s popular.

M: Even Oceanaire? T: Not a giant Riesling house. We have them and we have more there than we do in other places.

T: It’s amazing Syrah, and so I thought that was going to happen more and more when there were a lot of vineyards who planted Syrah after the Shiraz craze from Australia. But it never latched on in America in large volume. That’s another grape that hopefully will come into fruition because I think it’s amazing, but we just haven’t seen real growth in that yet. M: I’m a big Grüner fan. T: Grüner is great. M: If the dish is right, I like to order a good Grüner. Have you seen any traction there?

M: It seems you have a love for large format bottles. I don’t know, but every Morton’s I’ve ever been into has about fifty of them hanging on the shelves and I was a collector of large formats myself. I read when you created the world’s largest wine bottle in 2005 with what then was called Foster’s Wine Estate, that the bottle was recognized by Guinness World Book of Records as the largest ever. Does it still hold the record?

Winter 2016 •


Two generations of Mondavis, prior to the Morton’s Make-a-Wish Foundation auction of the history-making 27-liter bottle produced by three generations of the Mondavi family, and made specifically for that event.

T: No, someone beat it about two years later [laughing], but it was a great form of flattery; it was awesome. What I did learn from it was that nothing’s easy and the big challenge from a physics and engineering point was to find the right glass blower. We actually found one in the Czech Republic who could, in fact, make something to hold the weight of the liquid that’s inside. It’s extremely difficult – we had things blowing up. We had to travel the world to find the right manufacturer. M: I never thought about the weight and pressure of the liquid. T: It’s extremely, extremely hard. It took about a year to find the right glass person and then get a commission to make one, but we made three just in case the first one blew up. So there was a lot of stuff that went into it but it was a very cool marketing endeavor. We also hired two people just to live in a truck that carried it around the U.S. with it painted on the side. We had a really good marketing campaign where you could go on the website and follow the bottle around the country, so that was a very fun time. It was back when the head winemaker at Beringer, which at the time was owned by Foster’s, was


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Ed Sbragia, so he made the wine and he’s obviously a big shot in the wine community. So it was pretty neat. M: And the wine was pretty good, I imagine. T: Yes. M: Where’s the bottle now? Did you drink it at a big occasion? T: No, we sold it at Sotheby’s. It was bought by a wine merchant from New Jersey and the profits went to the charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation. M: I wonder if the bottle is still intact? T: I don’t know; I hope it didn’t blow up [laughing cautiously]. And also with that, we needed a name for it and I remember calling the President of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Fred Dame, and we named it Maximus. M: You’re the recipient of the highest honor from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, the Distinguished Service Award, for outstanding contributions to wine education and wine service. How does that rank in your lifelong experiences?

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Winter 2016 •


T: Besides my marriage to my beautiful wife and the birth of my son, that’s probably one of my most cherished accolades. It’s just a little pin but I’m so proud of it.

of moving the bar forward – if we’re just regurgitating information but not moving our business forward – we’re not creating more jobs for the people behind us. It’s a beautiful business; it’s a beautiful honor that we’ve been given. Thirty years ago when I got into this business, my job now didn’t exist. The whole American wine industry exploded on the backs of great winemakers in America and then also the educators who came in behind them. We’ve created this beautiful place where we can all work so I’m very in tune with that and still want to push it forward everyday.

M: There are not many given out, right?

M: It was a real nice honor to bestow on you.

T: No, there are eight and I’m the eighth. And so my nickname within our company is “Ocho” – they thought that was funny because I’m the eighth. I still have managers who call me Ocho at work. I’m very proud of it, very humbled by it but it also inspires me to keep moving forward with training and moving the wine industry forward. You know, it’s my goal. I think sometimes as agents of the wine industry or master sommeliers, or things like that, we have so much knowledge, but if we’re not kind

T: But what I’m most proud of about this award is that it is not based on passing the master sommelier exam. It is based on is your body of work in our industry, and that’s what is critical for me. There are certainly people who are smarter within my company who can tell me the different chemical properties of a rock in Austria that I wouldn’t know, but I can drive wine and educate about wine to a vast number of people and create a great environment.

“ It’s a beautiful business; it’s a beautiful honor that we’ve been given. Thirty years ago when I got into this business, my job now didn’t exist.”

Tylor Field hosting the Mondavi Make-A-Wish Foundation event.


in the Mix Magazine

M: I didn’t really realize you were one of the co-writers of Morton’s The Cookbook: 100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen back in 2009. And you did all the wine pairings for that book. T: And the cocktails. M: And the cocktails, okay. How were those – fun? Was it a fun project? T: It was was an honor because I got to work with the founder of Morton’s, a gentleman named Klaus Fritsch, who is also a close friend. We had such a good time and the book sold so well we penned a second book right after that. M: Do you like to cook? T: I love to cook. M: So you’re pretty much a foodie at home with your family and wife? T: I enjoy staying at home, making glorious meals, having people over and drinking great wine. M: When you’re not traveling, right? Do you travel a lot?

Tylor taking a “selfie” with a koala.

T: I spent 250 days in hotel rooms last year. M: That’s a lot. T: It’s a lot; it’s a lot. M: Is it hard to be away from home that much? T: Yes. Well, my son is out of the house now. My wife understands it and on some of the larger trips that we do, I bring her so we can share time together. But it’s what I have to do to reach all the places that we’re at globally. And then we also do what are called Morton’s Wine Flights, in which we take guests on different trips around the world. They pay for their airfare and their hotel, and then I lead them through different wineries that we have relationships with. They tend to get a much greater experience than if they went by themselves. We just got back from Australia and the year before, South Africa.

T: Yes. I had 40 of our best VIP guests and I took them to Australia and New Zealand for two weeks, so that’s the type of trip where my wife would come. And then we do some domestic trips, too. M: Well, that’s fun traveling there, isn’t it? No – it’s a lot of work, huh? Because you’re constantly “on,” right? T: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. It is fun travel but you have to remember I’m in charge. We went to Napa this past October. M: You can do that with your eyes closed. T: Right, exactly, it’s easier on your home turf. It engages the guest outside of our four walls. You’ll find when you do these, they spend four times as much within your four walls, and so it is an interesting lesson in marketing.

M: So that trip you were on recently was one of those?

Winter 2016 •


M: Right – it’s a customer for life.

M: Yes, it makes a world of difference.

I want to touch on a big subject, and that’s training – how important it is, the right ways, the wrong ways, and what your philosophy is on training people. It’s a very time consuming thing and it has to be done intelligently, or they don’t want to do it. So, what are your thoughts on that? What can you tell us?

T: World of difference. And then one of the things Mastro’s is very successful with is they actually have quarterly trainings where the whole staff is required to attend, and it’s just for liquor, beer and wine. You can see the results in their check averages. Obviously, it worked for large corporations and so the issue with training is, is the spend worth the ROI? And every single time where you do have that spend, you can see the return on the investment. But I still think at many companies, especially public companies where people are trying to hit the number, they’ll try to do it via telephone calls or they’ll try to do it in different ways. And really, most of the people who work for us are young people so they respond very well to the electronic mediums, be it websites or videos – different platforms are really the only way to grab their attention right now. So, we’re seeing great success in this venue.

T: Well, first of all training is the most important aspect of the food and beverage industry in order for it to move forward, period. Period. There’s nothing more important. You can have great food, you can have great wine, you can have great whatever, but if someone comes up to you and their presentation is all off and they put you off as a person, then that’s not good. We’re human beings, so it’s all about being taken care of and having someone who knows what they’re talking about, that you’re paying, who hopefully will take you through this experience. So, with that said, within Morton’s, Mastro’s and Oceanaire, the training for liquor, beer and wine is where we spend a tremendous amount of time making sure our staff understands everything we serve. With your company, Mike, I’m doing videos tomorrow of all the new wines by-the-glass. Talking to someone in video communication, especially for Millennials, making sure they have something they can watch, is much more powerful than sending them a piece of paper and putting it on a bulletin board.

And then it’s also important, too, when you’re training in wine and spirits to be aware of this: You look at some of these tech sheets sometimes and it says “this was aged in French barrels and it tastes like blackberries and cranberries.” That doesn’t mean anything to a 24 year-old or to a guest. We always want to try to train the stories – like “this was made by a kick-ass winemaker named Aaron Pott, who found this lot of grapes in this cool vineyard called Vineyard X and “Training is the most important aspect of the food he only made 500 bottles of this. and beverage industry in order for it to move forward, And it’s just for our guest.” You period. Period. There’s nothing more important.” need to create a story because people want to learn stories – they want to learn something interesting. We’ve done a really good job in the beverage industry of coming up with these obscure scoring systems and reviews like “this tastes like bramble wood cat pee.” It doesn’t translate into a great guest experience. Nothing sells better than a smile and a great story – it still works.


in the Mix Magazine

Winter 2016 •


M: Instead of rattling off a bunch of statistics that nobody cares about. How many people know what stone fruit tastes like? T: And this had 7.0 brix when it was harvested – I don’t care. M: Some of the things they say it tastes like – I mean, I’ve been in business 30 years but what does flint taste like? I’ve never chewed on flint. Do you test them (the employees)? T: You have to follow up. M: You have to go to a computer terminal at the restaurant or at home? T: No, they’re tested at the restaurant. So if I’m coming out with a new cocktail program and before all the new drinks were rolled out, Tylor and his son, Zach. they’ve seen them on video and they have M: I have a couple of personal questions for you: What do you like training tools, pictures and recipes, all within best about your job? the restaurant, that they can study. All this beforehand and then, before you roll, before you’re allowed to be on T: I get up every morning and think about ways the wine the floor selling these drinks, there is a written test. It has and spirits business can be better in America and around questions about what the ingredients are of the Morton’s the world, and I’ve been given the tools to be able to do Negroni or of other drinks, just to make sure that they that. So in my job, I like the entrepreneurial aspect. What know what they’re doing. That’s really important because we do in our industry, if you really look at it, is something we live in a world now where young people take pictures that’s been going on the last twenty years. Before that, it of everything. I just did a drink rollout and a vendor was was kind of the same for a very, very long period of time. in, with one of the drinks. He sent me a picture of it and And now we’re coming into an age of great mixology and it wasn’t right. That’s embarrassing; you know what I we’re coming into an age of great wines from all parts of mean? So you’re going to hear about it. the world. Now we are also coming into an age where M: Nothing is secret these days. T: You have to know the flavor profile, what food items might go well with this, and all that information. But you also have to be very cognizant of the fact we’re in a chain environment. We still have specialness but we’re operating on such a large scale that we’re never going to have that employee come in, who’s from Please Don’t Tell, and all they’re doing is just drinks. There are a lot of things in our image that we’re selling, so we just need to make sure we have professionals who care. We’re not necessarily looking for master mixologists all over Morton’s; we’re trying to create consistency, so it’s a little bit different.


in the Mix Magazine

there wasn’t such a thing as a chain called Morton’s 50 years ago; you wouldn’t even think about it – it was McDonald’s. A lot of things like that are changing and it takes different ways of looking at it to try to make it better. So, I wake up everyday thinking, okay, how do we move the needle now? The business is still pretty much in its infancy, so you’re really creating history in programming for what’s going to happen for the next generation. Does that make any sense? M: Yeah.

T: I get to innovate. M: You took the word right out of my mouth – innovate. T: And my favorite thing in the world, too, is – whether you’re religious or not, is not the point – the reason Jesus turned water into wine was not to loosen up the crowd for his sermon, it was to give the event a state of grace. And I really believe that the responsible service of beverage alcohol really enhances life and makes people extremely happy. If you do it in the right way, you can go to bed and feel really good, because 20 people may have gotten engaged with this beautiful bottle of Champagne that night, that you put there. However you want to think about it – but nothing makes me happier than walking in and seeing people enjoying beverages, forgetting about life, to a Billy Joel song and all of that stuff; and that I can heighten the whole experience to make people happy. I think that’s a kick-ass job. You probably feel the same way. M: I do, I do. I was blessed to be in the business. Once you start, there is nothing else. T: Yeah – I would be horrible at sitting at computers or selling cars.

M: What do you do when you’re not working? What do you like to do? T: Ah, let’s see. I’m a tennis player; I like to golf but I don’t play enough to be any good. I play guitar; I play piano. I’m constantly reading. It’s so funny – five years ago, I would’ve said raising kids, but now I’m an empty nester, so all the stuff’s coming back. It does get better for the parents. So now, again, I’m finding things that I enjoy – family, friends and keeping active. M: You recently moved up into the mountains of North Carolina. How is that new experience, being from Palm Beach, Florida the majority of your life? Are there some new things up there you like to do? T: It’s awesome. There’s hiking and fishing and just sitting out on your patio. In Florida, we didn’t have bears coming to hang out, but sometimes you have those in North Carolina. As I tell my wife, we’re buying our retirement home about 10 years early; and because I travel so much, I really want to be off the grid when I’m home, to decompress a little bit more. As I was driving to your office today, swearing in traffic for two hours here in Atlanta, all I wanted to do was go back home to my little cabin in the woods. M: It’s nice to have four seasons also.

“I really believe that the responsible service of beverage alcohol really enhances life and makes people extremely happy.”

T: The leaves are changing right now; it’s remarkably brilliant. It’s a lifestyle change that makes me more effective in my job. So, it’s been awesome. M: What advice can you give to the newbies in the business who would like to emulate your success? I’m sure there are tons of young kids at Morton’s who look at you and say, wow, I’d love to do what he does. T: Yes, I get asked all the time. There’s a couple of different ways to look at it. One is, in this business integrity is the number one thing you have to have, especially when you’re purchasing large volumes of items. People are giving you a lot of responsibility to spend money that’s not yours, and you have to do that in a most professional way. The biggest mistake I see out there are folks that might not have the integrity needed to do this. Your word needs to be your bond.

Winter 2016 •


“In this business integrity is the number one thing you have to have, especially when you’re purchasing large volumes of items. ... Your word needs to be your bond.” Now, that said, even when you have a ton of integrity, you also have to look at your talent set and figure out what’s going to make you indispensable within your organization. Being a bartender is great: I know all the drinks, I know all the systems on the computer, my uniform looks great, so that means I’m going to be the next great bartender of the world. No – not at all. You have to continually educate yourself on everything that you serve. You need to have a personality so engaging that guests want to come and see you. You have to create yourself as indispensable and one of a kind within your own environment, and with everybody else. And it goes back to Darwin – the survival of the fittest.

Tylor, working one of his other hobbies – fishing.

So, if you’re stronger, better and work harder, all those axioms are very, very true. You will succeed and you will move forward, and if you can, add in a great idea or two at any time. Also if you can, go beyond the level of service and do something to create an experience. For instance, let’s say you’re working in our environment and there’s someone who’s had too much to drink – are you the guy who drives them home or are you the person who calls them a cab? What separates you? And what I find is that if you lead with kindness, intelligence and integrity, it comes back to you in spades. That would be what I would tell somebody.


in the Mix Magazine

“If you lead with kindness, intelligence and integrity, it comes back to you in spades.”

M: Who would you say was your mentor or had the most influence on you, in the wine business? In other words, who did you want to emulate? Did you have a certain person or persons that you looked up to? T: One would be Fred Dame. I never knew what an amazing world this wine world was and what an honor it was to be professional within that industry. I didn’t know that subgroup existed, in my early twenties and late teens. It was a different thing. And so that was very honorable to me, and it was kind of a great path. I grew up in the military so that offered me structure, which I could look at. So from the wine side in this business, he certainly was a mentor of mine. And then the founder of Morton’s, a gentleman named Klaus Fritsch, was another mentor. He gave me this wonderful job at this company that was just starting out. We had three or four restaurants and I got to work through the dynamic of growing it to 70 restaurants, and going public and going private. During that whole time, he was a great mentor, taking me through the ups and downs. But there are countless other people, from servers to managers to bartenders, who have been kind of these angels along the way – too many to mention. M: In our last magazine issue, I interviewed Wolfgang Lindlbauer from the Marriott. You know, he’s an old-school guy – he started off as a busboy and so on, and worked his way up through the ranks with old-school methods, and it sounds like you’ve basically done the same thing.

T: And let me tell you another thing I think is for the younger generation, and I felt this as an actor, too: It doesn’t come overnight and so don’t expect it to. To your point, they think if they go take a bartending class, then all of sudden, they’re going to be making $150,000 tending bar in the hottest joint in town – it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s great that you want to be a mixologist and I think it’s great that you want to get your wine pin, or whatever it is you want to do. That’s good, that’s learning, but what happens is, it’s the body of work and passion to serve – it’s just not something you do right away. It’s application. And also know during this time, when you’re working so hard and when you’re not making very much money, there are people watching you who could be very influential in your life, so keep it up. Keep the nose to the grindstone and I promise you that things will happen. So, it’s not going to happen overnight – it’s going to be your body of work, and just don’t give up because it’s super hard in the beginning. If you really, really stick to it, you’ll end up just fine – because cream always rises to the top. As the old saying goes, “In business you have three choices: lead, follow or get out of the way.” Go lead!

“It’s the body of work and passion to serve. ... lead, follow or get out of the way.”

T: Same thing. My starting salary at Morton’s when I started was $11,000 a year. M: I just hope that the newer generation – whether they are Millennials or the next wave – don’t just expect things because they went to a trade school or took some beverage classes. It’s what you said earlier: It’s about you, it’s about your personality, and it’s about how you establish yourself in a company. At the end of the day we are here “to serve others.” This is the noblest endeavor and profession in the world and what is most important.

Winter 2016 •




Introduction by Barry Wiss Barry Wiss is recognized as one of the most influential

St. Helena has given me the great fortune of traveling to many great wine regions. They are all amazing places! Try to name a wine region

wine personalities of Napa

that is not a beautiful place. However, when it comes to the heart

Valley. He is a Certified Wine

of Napa Valley (St. Helena), I feel as lucky as a tourist every time I

Educator, Certified Sommelier,

drive to work. Not only is St. Helena a charming small town with

holds the Advanced Level

great people, but also it offers the very best from Mother Nature

Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust


Being a professional wine educator for Trinchero Winery in

to produce some of the world’s most extraordinary wines. It is

and serves on the Board of

the narrow center of the hourglass-shaped Napa Valley with deep,

Directors and Examiners for

loosely compacted soils coupled with a perfect Mediterranean

the Society of Wine Educators.

climate – Napa Valley’s “Holy Grail.”

in the Mix Magazine

No other wine region on the planet draws as much attention or as many visitors as Napa Valley. It is visited by some five million people every year, making it the second most-visited tourist destination in California (Disneyland is #1). Perfect for a day or weekend trip from San Francisco, Napa Valley rewards one with beautiful scenery, exceptional wineries and world-renowned wines.

Napa Valley contains well over 400 wineries, with St. Helena being home to some 174 wineries and vineyards that welcome guests with tours, wine education and tasting rooms. While enticing, the sheer number of winery options can be overwhelming. In this article, I’ve focused on St. Helena’s particular AVA, whose wineries offer exceptional award-winning red wines along with a rich history.

I’m frequently asked which Napa vineyards produce the very best Cabernet Sauvignon wines. This isn’t an easy question to answer, as there are so many exceptional vineyards, talented winemakers and microclimates in Napa. My favorite American Viticulture Area (one of 14 AVAs within Napa Valley) is the treasured St. Helena. Since acquiring my own St. Helena AVA vineyard some 28 years ago, I’ve taken the opportunity to get acquainted with, tour and taste most of the popular wineries and make numerous repeat visits to some of my favorites. So, let’s explore St. Helena’s vineyards as a starting point of this much revered wine region.

On long summer afternoons, the vineyards of St. Helena delight in the California sunshine under the watchful eye of Mount Saint Helena, from which the town drew its name. The source of the name is evident but the identity of the person who named it has been variously defined and, at times, disputed. One authority assigns the honor to Henry Still and William Taylor while they were celebrating a party in Still’s store one evening. A discussion for a town name brought about a consensus by the entire party, with the name St. Helena being bestowed and a subsequent act incorporating the town of St. Helena was approved on March 24, 1876.

Trinchero Napa Valley vineyard.

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St. Helena AVA covers just over 6,800 acres of vineyards, which are situated at the narrowest point between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges, making it the largest planted vineyard area of any of the Napa sub appellations. The town and its vineyards are located where the Napa Valley narrows to approximately a half mile wide, which increases the radiated heat from the valley hillsides. The resulting contracted corridor funnels cool evening bay fog and produces wide temperature swings. As a result, this area is considered to be the pinnacle of high quality red wine viticulture. St. Helena boasts a unique topography quite different from its surrounding regions, which creates an optimal microclimate for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The exceptional drainage of its gravelly volcanic loam soils imparts an environment for Cabernet Sauvignon like nowhere else in Napa Valley. St. Helena’s appellation is considered by many to be one of the very best wine growing regions because its valley floor soils tend to be deeper, much more fertile and produce vigorous growth. The vines are closely managed to produce intensely concentrated grapes. These exceptional valley


in the Mix Magazine

floor vintages receive the perfect combination of “terroir” microclimate, barrel aging and winemaker attention. You might naturally assume that the north is cooler than the south. Actually, the truth is that the valley gets progressively cooler as it moves south from Mount Saint Helena. Thus, St. Helena vineyards are noticeably warmer than those of its southern neighbors. Cool Pacific breezes coming over the Mayacamas ranges from the west, as well as from San Francisco Bay, cool the vines in the evenings quickly and deliver exceptionally intense fruit, given the long warm days. As the breezes and fog move northerly, they gradually surrender their coolness with the increasing distance from the Bay and ocean. The history of winemaking in St. Helena is legendary. David Fulton planted one of the very first St. Helena vineyards in 1858, followed by Charles Krug’s opening of his winery in 1861. Jacob Beringer’s winery opened in 1876, and it now has the distinction of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Spottswoode winery was established in 1882 by George Schonewald. A host of other prestigious wineries are squeezed into

the valley’s funnel; among them are Duckhorn, Joseph Phelps, Markham, Grace Family and V. Sattui. Some of the highest wine critic ratings cite St. Helena wineries as producing the very best wines based on awards at prestigious wine competitions, along with ratings from publications such as The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The area’s wines are discernibly distinctive and continually rank among Napa Valley’s very best. Spottswoode’s 2010 Estate Cabernet received 100 points from Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. V. Sattui’s Paradiso, a perfectly balanced Bordeauxstyle blend, received Wine of the Year, Platinum award, and 97 points from Critics’ Choice. Beringer’s 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon received 97 points from Robert Parker, while David Fulton Winery’s 2008 Petite Sirah garnered a Four Star Gold from California’s largest and most prestigious wine event, Orange County Fair Wine Society Competition.

And, that’s why St. Helena has become the Cabernet Sauvignon social heartbeat of Napa Valley and my absolute “go to” favorite for exceptional wines. Enjoy.

The author, Igor Sill, farms a terraced Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in St. Helena, Napa, California. He’s a passionate wine lover, collector, author and a certified member of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Igor can be reached at

Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Winter 2016 •


Is Your Social Media Keeping Up With Standards? By Rebecca Wilkie, Owner, Cuvée Marketing

Take a second and envision your morning routine, and most importantly, getting dressed. Your mind is literally making hundreds of decisions before you head out the door to face the day. Options include selections of pants, dress, shorts, skirt, long-sleeve, short-sleeve or no-sleeve shirt; followed by sweater, suit jacket, cardigan, blazer, wool coat, pea coat or trench coat; then brown shoes, black shoes, heels, flats, boots, hat or no hat. All that and you haven’t even thought about your accessories! Ultimately, what you wear reflects what personal message is exposed to others. Brands are no different.

A brand is the face of the company. Extreme lengths are taken to ensure that the logo stays consistent, brand colors aren’t compromised, the tagline is correct and the brand mark is placed with perfection.


in the Mix Magazine

A brand is the face of the company. Extreme lengths are taken to ensure that the logo stays consistent, brand colors aren’t compromised, the tagline is correct and the brand mark is placed with perfection. Brand standard or style guide documents are created and referred to like gospel. This guide is circulated internally and externally, including placement on websites for outside vendors, press, advertising agencies and anyone using the logo without direct control. Honestly ask yourself this question: Are you going to such intense lengths with your social media? Back to the closet: Would you trust someone else or a team of people to dress you? What if they have never met you? What if they were located in another state and didn’t check the destination before they packed your suitcase? What if they don’t know the purpose of your trip? You could potentially arrive and end up wearing a suit to a luau, and everyone will notice. You will appear socially awkward. Many times this is how companies are treating their social media. Don’t get me wrong – it is acceptable to have someone else dress you (or handle your social media), as long as they have guidelines, sizes, color preferences and your personality in mind.

A social media standards guide is a must-have for every company that engages on social media, which is 93 percent of businesses currently. It lays out the do’s and don’ts on your subscribed channels. This document, infographic or toolkit is used as a consistency roadmap for your social media, including goals, objectives, frequency of posts, tone, personality, use of hashtags, how to respond to reviews, and rules for anything you want to control. If the organization produces quality graphics at the company level, then include graphics and brand themes in the toolkit so smaller groups can use it as well, including the marketing team, social media team, all the way down to individual units. The guide should be familiar to everyone in your organization, even those who don’t post directly, including employees, general managers, chefs, bartenders and franchisees. Besides building brand awareness, consistency and protecting your overall brand, the benefit of having your employees aware of your social media standards is the front-line employees are your eyes and ears to connect your customers to your brand. If they are mindful of your strategic intentions on social media, many times they can help with creative ideas and suggestions, even real-time or behind-the-scene images to contribute to your social media channels. It also allows for bigger ideas in the strategy that might have seemed like the unthinkable. Envision a guest takeover with the freedom to post as they wish, but with parameters to ensure your brand stays consistent.

When deciding what to wear, the person or group you are meeting with that day is taken into account. Do you have an event to attend? What physical barriers will be faced? How is the weather? What are your transportation options? Will your outfit be suitable for the occasion? If one point comes across loud and clear, this is the equivalent to social media. Not all outfits are appropriate to fit all occasions! Make sure each channel is tailored to a specific audience with identified standards for all social media accounts.

Social media should be valued as much as a brand logo, tagline and colors. The potential to reach more customers is exponentially higher; and if done right, then you will launch your brand into high gear. Done wrong or without a guideline, you risk being socially awkward and you don’t want that to go viral! Take the time to develop a comprehensive social media brand standards guide and watch your brand reach higher goals. Contact IMI today to get started!

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Facebook Statistics

Test your social media icon knowledge!

– 1 .13 billion daily active users on average for June 2016 – 1.03 billion mobile daily active users on average for June 2016 – 1 .71 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2016 – 1 .57 billion mobile monthly active users as of June 30, 2016 –  Approximately 84.5 percent of our daily active users are outside the U.S. and Canada

Instagram Statistics – 500+ million monthly active users – 300+ million daily active users – 8 0 percent+ located outside the United States – 4.2 billion likes daily – 95+ million photos/videos per day – Only launched on October 6, 2010

Twitter Statistics

Answers to “Test your social media icon knowledge!”:

– 313 million monthly active users

Row 2: Twitter, Spotify, About.Me, StumbleUpon

– O n average 6,000 Tweets a second, or 360,000 per minute – 5 00 million tweets per day, or 200 billion per year – 40+ languages supported – 1 billion unique visits to sites with embedded Tweets – 82 percent active users on mobile


in the Mix Magazine

Row 1: Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, FourSquare Row 3: YouTube, Blogger, MySpace, Snapchat Row 4: LinkedIn, Goggle+, Tumblr, Swarm Row 5: What’sApp,Yelp, Facebook,Vimeo

Winter 2016 •


Private Assets By Jack Robertiello

Every operator has had this experience:

You visit a competitor and try a great Cabernet, or attend a reception and love the Chardonnay they serve, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t get that wine to serve in your operation. Welcome to the contemporary world of private label wine, where savvy operators looking to increase profitability




quality wine brands have options superior to any time before.

Every operator has had this experience: You visit a competitor and try a great Cabernet, or attend a reception and love the Chardonnay they serve, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t get that wine to serve in your operation. Welcome to the contemporary world of private label wine, where savvy operators looking to increase profitability through crafting exclusive, quality wine brands have options superior to any time before. The traditional private label business is a simple enough matter on the surface. Middlemen work with wineries that don’t have the volume, finances or interest in selling their wines in the multi-state U.S. market. The middlemen connect the wineries with retailers of all kinds who can buy certain volumes of wines with specific flavor profiles, to sell under their own brand. The market is still relatively small in the U.S. – there are no solid figures, though estimates put it at around five to eight percent – but the field in Europe is said to account for about half the market. There is growth here led by companies like CustomVine, which works closely with operators to find the right wine for the right price; and no doubt, you’ve already seen their wares. One of CustomVine’s clients, the Morton’s Steakhouse and Oceanaire chains owned by Landry’s, has numerous

CustomVine Executive Team. From left: Katie Martin, Operations Manager; Kevin Boyer, President and CEO; and Punky Mahle, Executive Vice President of Procurement 80

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A CustomVine client blending session.

private label wines on their list and is about to introduce the concept at Mastro’s. “This is not a new thing, but it is part of our DNA now,” says Tylor Field III, Divisional Vice President for Wine and Spirits for Landry’s. “Private label accounts for 25 percent of our by-the-glass sales, and we’ve been able to do a couple of bottle-only placements when we find a great lot of something like Cabernet from Rutherford and can bring it to market at an extraordinary price point.” Restaurant chains are important but other venues, including resorts and wine clubs, have turned to private label packagers, too. Philip James, the founder and CEO of Penrose Hill, the company that runs Firstleaf, the Time, Inc. wine club, says the process offers great opportunities for end users who sell a guaranteed volume of wine. “There are many great wineries with great juice that just don’t come into the market very often because they either lack the efficiencies or know-how to effectively serve a broad range of clients. Being able to be active in the blending is quite a plus, more like the European ‘négociant’ model. But the number one thing is you can build your own brand. If you’re selling someone else’s wine, it might have pedigree and ratings, but at the end of the day, it’s someone else’s wine. This method confers better value to customers – they’re not paying for as many people in the supply chain.”

As CustomVine’s President Kevin Boyer puts it, operators who are unclear about how private label works soon realize, after tasting the quality of the wine available, that the wine itself can be superior to many popular brands. While a sea of quality wine exists, not all of it is destined to be sold through traditional methods. Numerous wineries are happy to sell a large lot of wine, often even their best wines, because having a guaranteed home for a vintage before it even goes into bottle is quite attractive, although most prefer to remain anonymous when they do. Boyer points out that companies like his do the heavy lifting in the sourcing and packaging of the wines, leaving operators with only two active areas of participation: deciding on what wine to buy; and branding through the imagery and packaging. All other details – discussions with producers, bottling, production, etc. – are managed by companies like CustomVine. Traditional private label is often considered a winery taking an existing wine and relabeling it for use by one of their customers, says Boyer. Firms like CustomVine, however, are, well … more customized: They go direct to winery sources to create a wine brand that works for both wineries and operators. “We work directly with well over 500 winery and vineyard partners in 14 countries around the world,” says Boyer. “Everything from the most awarded and respected boutique vineyards and winemakers, to some of the largest quality growers and wineries in the world. These are producers that are amazing at growing grapes and making wine, but not ideally set up to deliver on the key aspects needed to provide for national on- and off-premise accounts. They might not have a national sales team, might be missing key distribution partners in each state needed,

Winter 2016 •


“Private label accounts for 25 percent of our by-the-glass sales, and we’ve been able to do a couple of bottle-only placements when we find a great lot of something like Cabernet from Rutherford and can bring it to market at an extraordinary price point.” - TYLOR FIELD III

or quite simply might not be skilled in all of the logistics, marketing and branding efforts required.” CustomVine works with them, providing those skills and matching their wines with eager operators. This process isn’t for everyone. Boyer points out that a minimum order is around 500 cases, making it a difficult sell for restaurants not moving a large volume of one type of wine already. But for chains wanting to reduce costs while branding a particular varietal wine exclusively for their customers, it’s a great opportunity. “What’s important is the quality of what they can source,” says James. “As a wine club, we must control our costs, and so we need someone connected enough to find good enough wine at the right price/quality ratio.” It’s crucial for a firm like Firstleaf, because 80 percent of what they send members is custom created wine. The process is faster than one might imagine. Boyer says a customer can realistically get a wine in 30 to 45 days, although most take about 120 days from production to consumer. “We’ve also had projects that start a year and a half in advance because they have a thought and concept in mind, looking for a specific type of wine, and want to make plans to roll it out.” Of course, these deals typically go far above the minimum. CustomVine’s largest deal has involved 25,000 cases, though the average is about 1,500 cases per each vintage. (Most of the wines CustomVine manages are from the high volume varietals: Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, with some recent activity among red and white blends.) Prices can be quite reasonable. “It all depends,” says Boyer. “If you say ‘I only want 500 cases and want a $5 Napa Cab,’ that’s not possible. Our goal is to find the best 82

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quality at all quantities and price levels within reason.” But in general, prices can range from $5 per bottle wholesale for an international, by-the-glass level wine, to $40 for a prestigious single-vineyard Napa Cabernet. Controlling price is a big boon to national account chains as well, says Field. “It doesn’t already exist in the market so you can target a price within the three tier system.” When an operator decides they want their own brand, Boyer, formerly the Vice President of Beverage for Ruth’s Chris Steak, walks them through the process. He explains what is possible, where they source wine, and what it will take for an operator to get what they want. Then he tries to get an idea of their needs. “Is this just to increase margin? If so, fine. Or is it to increase the qualityto-price ratio, or are they simply looking for an exclusive brand they own? We spend time figuring out what they do and what they’re looking for,” says Boyer. Nailing down the specifics of the wine desired – varietal, region, taste profile, tannic structure, etc. – through a needs assessment is crucial, so firms like Boyer’s can offer buyers a chance to sample a few wines that may fit their needs. Boyer points out that this is more matchmaking than winemaking and many buyers who purchase large volumes, like Field, participate in the final blending. “We are as minimal intervention as we can possibly be. If we’ve done our job right, we’re hopefully close to that finished product the client is looking for when we taste our first round of samples with them. If they want more oak or butter, or find the wine isn’t weighty enough, we don’t just manipulate the wines; instead, we’ll go back and get something different either from the same winery or even a new one based on the client feedback.” Tweaks, though, are possible; another month or so in oak or slight adjustments are no problem, he says. Next, a timeline is created. “We have clients who say, ‘I’m looking for a really good Cabernet for the fourth quarter and I need it in 60 days – what are my options?’ That’s pretty straightforward. But then we have clients who want to build a long term program, who perhaps want to increase the quality of their Pinot Noir and have it be exclusive to them, something they will really put their weight behind and want to find a vineyard they

Tools of the trade for creating your own label.

could work with for the next few years. That could take six months to find the specific vineyard alone.” It’s crucial that private label partners deliver on what they offer, says James. “As soon as we pull the trigger, they are fully operational. The wines come from a variety of places and there are a lot of moving pieces – transportation, bottling, label registration and design. Operationally, there is a huge amount of moving parts and there’s a real need to be buttoned up in terms of efficiency.” And Field points out that managing customer expectations and response is important for potential buyers. “We obviously have 30 years of history bringing great wine to our guests and they have a lot of faith in us. With smaller companies, I’m not sure the response would be the same. But the big thing is the staff really likes that they have some things they can sell that they can say are proprietary. There’s a sense of pride in getting behind a wine that we make.” Boyer got interested in private label while at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the early 2000s. As a national buyer with units in many states, he found that beyond the big brands with massive national support, there was a hole that was hard to fill. “Like most buyers at the time, I frequently gave opportunities to smaller, boutique brands we knew were stretching the bounds of their logistics and distribution capabilities, in order

to add unique and special items to the list. For every one of those wines that succeeded in executing on the program, there were unfortunately three that couldn’t get to every state in our network, had frequent out-ofstock issues and couldn’t support local trainings for our locations.” He tried a few custom wine projects but found it difficult to make the right matches. Lack of communication was a big issue, as was getting good support. So in 2013 he started CustomVine, looking to become a middleman par excellence, connecting great small wine producers with the restaurant and retail groups, essentially letting the producers stick to making wine and the end clients to selling wine, and not bogging down either side with complications like brand design, logistics, distribution management, selecting bottle shape, capsule colors and final design. Many of the private label wines sold in restaurants actually have packages superior in many ways to popular premium wines. Operators can utilize years of information about customer preferences to hone in on the specific wines and imagery that resonate with the consumer base they serve. With CustomVine, operators can either select from a library of already-created labels and brands to use exclusively as their own, or, depending on their creative vision, they can work with a team of designers to incorporate a concept’s logo and color scheme in the design. Private label is likely to loom even larger, as Millennial consumers, known for not developing brand loyalty, keep looking for the new and unique. “That’s a shifting paradigm, and as we have to come with new things to the market, this fits the trend of new and different and exciting brands of wine,” says Field. And when the next new thing is needed, firms like CustomVine are the ones to find just the right wine to fit that paradigm.

Winter 2016 •



How United Airlines, Mellow Mushroom and Marriott are


When Georgetown Marriott’s Director of Hotel Operations, Mike Wilson, signed up his hotel for Partender, he was just trying to find a system to keep over-pouring at his hotel bar in check. Two years later, with the help of Partender, Georgetown Marriott is now leading the way in which inventory, ordering, trend analysis and accounting are done for the Marriott brand. According to Wilson, “It takes us just 15 minutes to do inventory, which we do at least twice a week. We stopped running out of things; and thanks to Partender, we managed to get beverage costs down from 45 percent to 20 percent in a matter of months.” Partender is an effective, efficient, automated advancement to taking inventory. The conception of Partender stems from the need to save time and money, and create transparency within a process that big enterprise business doesn’t have the visibility into today. Currently, the industry counts inventory – its most valuable asset, often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – once a month or maybe once a week, while the till is counted every shift. Unfortunately, because inventory isn’t counted as accurately and as frequently as the cash in the register, 23 percent of liquid cash disappears. One out of every four drinks – 23 percent of profits – walk out the door unaccounted for.


in the Mix Magazine

Anjali and Nik Kundra, co-founders of Partender.

Thus, when inventory is 10 to 50 times more valuable than the cash register, it makes sense to count it as carefully as the till. However, due to the antiquated, painful and inaccurate pen/paper, or 10-point “guesstimation” process, this has been impossible to do. Enter Partender.

Powerful, Simple Technology Partender’s founders, Nik and Anjali Kundra, are determined to make doing inventory as easy as using your iPhone or Android. And their approach of easy, powerful technology seems to be working. The mobilefirst system is in over 15,000 venues worldwide, and it gets rid of inaccurate guessing and data entry. To do inventory and ordering in minutes, all the user does is tap on the image of the bottle to be counted, then swipes to the next bottle on the shelf.

Inventory and Insights from Coast to Coast

This year, United Airlines implemented their largest and most visible change in nearly the last 20 years of operation, with a massive rebranding and remodeling of their Club Lounges. At the focal point of the update was their bar program. United needed a cocktail culture to set them apart from the growing aviation segment and immediately impact the million+ members who travel through their doors annually.

Reduces Inventory to

15 MINUTES WITH UP TO 99.2% ACCURACY. In addition to Marriott, respected brands like Tilted Kilt, Top Golf, Mellow Mushroom, United Airlines and many more have picked up the system to make employees’ lives easier, order just the right amount (so they never run out/over-stock), streamline accounting metrics, and see trend data like never before. With the ability to see exactly what’s moving in near real time, operators and executives can build better beverage programs with suppliers and distributor partners. Mellow Mushroom’s Spring, Texas location went from fluctuating liquor cost (all the way up to 29 percent) down to a consistent 16-18 percent. “For the first time in years, the P&L on the accounting side is actually beginning to match up with the inventory reporting/analytics side,” says Alek Relyea, the location’s former bar manager, who launched Partender at the Spring location. “Partender helped me catch a thief! After a few months of utilizing Partender, I became suspicious of a certain bartender – the same bartender that initially introduced me to Partender – about his individual pour cost. With the help of Partender’s usage report, I was able to pinpoint specific shrinkage and catch my employee over-pouring/stealing on the spot. Our liquor cost dropped a full percentage point the week after he was fired.”

With the assistance of their operating partner, Sodexo, it was evident this heavy lift would require tools and support to update the existing efforts on many levels. “It’s such a unique environment in which products are both complementary and for sale. As you can imagine, the need to actively move process and thinking toward a more aggressive sales philosophy, required incredible visibility into 50+ locations, all in real time,” says Jayne Portnoy. Enlisted by Sodexo to implement this rollout worldwide, Portnoy sees data access, trends and site level support tools as the key benefits of Partender. “When sales and profits aren’t your primary target, inventory management isn’t critical. But United flipped a crucial switch within their brand strategy, and Sodexo had the foresight to access the best tools possible to make the shift a success. With Partender, we have been most immediately impacted by utilizing Par Level forecasting to our benefit, speeding the inventory process and having access to live trend analysis. I look at this polling data monthly to determine promotional activity and assure each location is operating at their most efficient level. We simply could not have achieved this standard of efficacy so quickly without Partender,” said Portnoy. Each United location has management support unique unto its environment. The ease of Partender allows for simple implementation with support staffs from 5 to 50. Each location is on-boarded with a 1-1 WebEx session, role assignments and on-going follow-up to support the most effective use of the Partender tool. “We simply could not have lifted this program into place without the above average commitment by Anjali, Nik and Tara to this partnership,” said Dave Hatcher, Vice President of Operations Sodexo. “This has been a strong partnership for all parties.”

Winter 2016 •


Training for

INTERVENTION PROCEDURES Promoting Responsibility This Holiday Season It is the time of year we all count on to promote our businesses, particularly our spirits, wine and beer sales. As people start feeling more festive, they want to consume and we want to be the first to of fer the drinks. As we prepare for the holiday rush this year, let’s not for get that we want to keep our guests safe and prevent over-service. When you serve alcohol, you know the risks – risk lawsuits if you over-serve; risk lives if you serve a drunk driver; risk your livelihood if you sell to a minor. Here are a few tips that may protect both your patrons and your establishment this holiday season: 1. Request identification from anyone who appears 35 years of age or younger. Guests who cannot present a valid form of ID should not be given any alcohol. *Remember FEAR: • F e e l – C he c k f o r t e a r s , f r a y s o r o t he r d a m a g e . • E x a m i n e – C o m p a r e t he I D w i t h t ho s e l i s t e d i n a n I D C he c k i n g G u i d e . • A s k – C o m m u n i c a t e w i t h t he g u e s t b y a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s t o v e r i f y t ha t t he I D b e l o n g s t o t he g u e s t ( e . g . , y e a r o f b i r t h, y e a r o f hi g h s c ho o l g r a d u a t i o n ) a n d l o o k f o r s i g n s o f he s i t a t i o n . • R e t u r n – R e t u r n t he I D t o t he g u e s t .


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6. Look for behavioral cues to determine if a guest is approaching intoxication or is already intoxicated: • Lowered Inhibitions – Talkativeness or loud behavior; • Impaired Judgment – Inappropriate behavior or increased rate of drinking; • Slowed Reactions – Slurred speech, glassy or unfocused eyes; • Loss of Coordination – Stumbling or swaying.

7. Make sure that anyone who is visibly intoxicated receives no more alcohol and is not left alone. This is important even if the guest is not driving – an impaired guest can be injured or may injure others in ways other than through an automobile collision.

2. Control access to the alcohol you provide. • Use standard size glasses and measure the alcohol in mixed drinks. • Count drinks. • When serving a guest previously served by a co-worker, check with your colleague to find out how many drinks the guest has already been served.

3. Offer soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water and coffee, so that your guests have an alternative to alcohol. 4. Allow guests to have only one drink at a time. Discourage competitive or rapid drinking. 5. Offer appetizers, snacks and other food to slow down the absorption of alcohol, especially if you notice a guest showing signs of intoxication.

When necessary, provide alternate 8. transportation for impaired guests. Either call a cab or enlist the help of sober friends to take the impaired guest home. 9. Get your staff TIPS certified! For more information about TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS), please visit

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------The goal of the TIPS program is to empower servers to follow acceptable standards of practice for serving alcohol beverages. Those acceptable standards also apply to good customer service. That means understanding the difference between people enjoying themselves and those who are getting into trouble with alcohol. It also means providing the highest level of attentiveness to your customers and making su sure they get the service that keeps them coming back time after time.

Trevor Estelle HCI Vice President of Sales & Marketing Contact us: 800-438-8477

Winter 2016 •



Motivate. Mentor. Move.

HEE Focuses on Conversations, Cocktails and Connections

Hospitality Executive Exchange (HEE) wrapped up 2016 with a successful East Coast program that created a one-of-a-kind forum for an exclusive gathering of hospitality food and beverage professionals, in beautiful Key West. HEE continues to resonate and shine in the marketplace as one of the most productive program offerings in the hospitality industry. Stuart Melia, Vice President of Beverage for Craftworks Restaurants and Co-Chairman of the HEE Advisory Board, stated, “HEE has become successful because there is a strategic focus on real conversations in a unique environment where colleagues can exchange ideas, insights, and information, as well as be provided the perfect platform to openly discuss problems and solutions without feeling pulled or pressured to be here or there. It’s the most productive program in the industry with actual take-aways for both multi-unit operators and select suppliers.” Jen Robinson,The Pineapple Group and Celebrity Chef Jeremiah Tower.

Jayne Portnoy, JP Consulting and Stuart Melia, Craftworks Restaurants.


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Roberto Serrallés, Sixth generation distiller of Serrallés USA.


Bonner Paddock of Young’s Market.

HEE hosts two programs a year – one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast – and both provide an opportunity to forego the traditional conference format, with all the participants having to be invited to partake in the face-toface meeting format. HEE East was held at the beautiful Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria property, the perfect backdrop for the theme of the East program, which was “Motivate, Mentor and Move.” HEE balances the right amount of educational topics and networking with some laidback, relaxed outings, to truly create something unique. The conversations and topics in Key West were true to the theme; they inspired and ignited the group with fresh, relevant and renewed energy. The program had an all-star line up of speakers including Bonner Paddock, Young’s Market; Mark Bickford, Sodexo; Joe Smith, Monin USA; Celebrity Chef Jeremiah Tower; Adam Billings, iMi Agency; Jayne Portnoy, JP Consulting; and Roberto Serrallés, sixth generation distiller, Serrallés USA.

Catherine Stanton Schiff, Edrington America and Todd Howell, Darden Restaurants.

Craig Koch, Areas Arena and Adam Flieri,TopGolf pulling the sail on the sunset cruise.

Winter 2016 •



HEE East also celebrated CORE and hosted a CORE family – Claire Davis and her mom, Kristin, and her grandmother. Jen Robinson, CEO of The Pineapple Group that owns and manages HEE, stated, “One of the greatest joys is to see what giving back truly means and being able to include a CORE family for HEE was something that inspired all of us. We were so honored to be able to have a birthday celebration for Claire and to get to know her family. We are so thankful for CORE and the amazing work they do everyday for so many industry families.” HEE is very productive but there is also some relaxed fun that is included with the itinerary. The Key West program included a sunset sail hosted by Breakthru Beverage Group, a Zombie viewing and a conch tour of the island. Following our final dinner, we ended the program with an on-your-own Duval Street experience.

A group unwinding at a Key West nightspot.

HEE is already planning for the West Coast program, which will be held April 2-5, 2017 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage, California. For more information or to join the conversation, please contact Jen Robinson at

Beautiful weather and wonderful meals at HEE Key West.


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A beautiful Key West coastline at sunset.

CORE supports children of food + beverage employees navigating life-altering circumstances/conditions. Learn how you can help at

Winter 2016 •




Comprehensive site contains more than 10,000 recipes


For more than 80 years, the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide has sat on bars across the world, offering not only cocktail recipes but also party planning tips and historical tidbits on drinks. Now the book once called the “Bible of Booze” has entered the digital age, with the launch of the website,, which

The Sazerac Company bought the Mr. Boston brand in 2009 and immediately started working on taking the famous red book into the next century by building this comprehensive website. The company started by rounding up as many of the editions of the Bartender’s Guide as could be found, which was, at last count, 58 out of

contains more than 10,500 drink recipes. Each recipe has been entered into a drinks database, just as it was originally found in the printed books.

the 75 guides published. From there, every single piece of data was entered into a custom-built database, which ended up containing 210,780 points of data and 10,539 recipes (so far!).

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“The Mr. Boston books have covered the evolution of the cocktail in America since Prohibition, but sadly, they were let go over the years,” said Mark Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Sazerac Company. “The ties between our company and that brand are inextricably linked, with not only the Sazerac Cocktail but also our heritage in New Orleans, a city long synonymous with the cocktail culture. It was a natural fit to bring it all together where we are ensuring the future of the brand for at least another 80 years as the ‘go to’ site for professional and amateur mixologists.” Upon entering the site, visitors are greeted with options to look for a specific cocktail, or explore areas such as bar basics, history, spirits and a shop. One can search for drinks by specific ingredients (for example, bourbon, vodka, etc.) or even specific color (for example, if you want to have a green party). There are instructional articles and videos on the site, such as “view types of garnishes” and “learn to make your own grenadine.” If one is feeling nostalgic for the former print editions, 12 of the past editions published between the years 1935 and 2012 have been digitized, providing users the opportunity to view an original cocktail recipe with today’s current recipe, to see how the drink has evolved through the decades. Users can interact with the site as well, by creating their own bar book, which will allow users to mark different recipes as a “favorite” so they can build their book for future use and share the contents of the book with others on social media sites. Users also have the opportunity to review each recipe listed and add commentary about the cocktail, which may be published on the site. Other features to come soon include more instructional videos, a section for rare and esoteric cocktails, seasonal drinks, a guest editorial section and a reservoir of well-written articles on cocktails, to serve as a reference.

Replaces ubiquitous red book found on bars everywhere. Sazerac does plan to obtain the remaining 17 copies of the Official Bartender’s Guide it is missing and incorporate those recipes into the site as well. Future plans also include establishing a physical Mr. Boston Homeplace at a location yet to be determined, as well as developing bartender recognition awards and working with bartender training schools. “We’re very excited to see the culmination of seven years of work come together in this beautiful website,” added Brown. “We want it to be a true resource for those in the spirits industry and those making cocktails at their home bar. We intend to keep adding to this site to make it even more robust than it is now.”

About the Sazerac Company Sazerac is one of New Orleans’ oldest American family-owned, privately held companies and has operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankfort, Bardstown, Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Carson, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Lewiston, Maine; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit WWW.SAZERAC.COM.

Winter 2016 •


n a m o W r e d n Wo

e t t o l r a Ch

In fact, since 2004, CORE has helped almost 200 superkids and their families, as they go through a life-altering circumstance or condition! In mid-2016, Charlotte Schryver joined the CORE family as our newest little Wonder Woman! Charlotte (age 4) lives in Massachusetts with her mom, Wendy, and dad, Michael. Charlotte was born with a rare birth defect called Esophageal Atresia with Tracheoesophageal Fistula, which means that her esophagus ended in a blind pouch at the top and the lower portion grew into her trachea, causing both her esophagus and trachea to not form correctly. This strong girl has been under anesthesia for over 20 surgeries and procedures, and is navigating a variety of other medical conditions as well. Her large group of doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital includes


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gastroenterologists, pulmonary and ear-nose-throat doctors, as well as nutrition specialists. In March 2016, Charlotte had a major surgery, and it has been a battle to get her health back to her normal. She also moved into her first home with her parents, who are busy making sure the house is safe for Charlotte’s various medical needs, especially her pulmonary complexities! Despite her significant health issues, Charlotte is a wonderfully happy little girl! She loves dancing, music, swimming and art, and loves making people smile and meeting new friends. One of her newest friends is Chairman of the Board Joe Smith, who spent time with the family at their new home. We are so happy to have the Schryvers as part of the CORE family! CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) is a nonprofit organization that provides support to the children of food and beverage employees navigating life-altering circumstances or conditions. Since 2004, CORE has raised over $2 million and provided support to over 100 families across the industry and the country! With families supported in 27 states, CORE grants up to $10,000 per family to help food and beverage employees navigate a medical diagnosis or death of a parent, spouse or child, loss of housing due to fire or natural disaster, or other unexpected situation. By helping these families cover expenses for childcare, hospital bills, rent and utilities, groceries and clothing, and much more, CORE fulfills our vision to bring support, joy and a sense of caring to food and beverage families during times of extreme emotional and financial strain.

Do you know a family who could qualify for CORE support? Are you interested in becoming a COREporate sponsor or individual donor, or would like to learn more about CORE? Visit our website at WWW.COREGIVES.ORG or contact Executive Director Lauren LaViola at or 404-655-4690.

Winter 2016 •


Wine Quiz The Society of Wine Educators’ free app, SWE Wine and Spirits Quiz, is available on all platforms. Just look for it in your app store or go to It offers a series of fun, educational quizzes covering the five major categories: red, yellow (white wines), spirits, sparkling and dessert wines. Here are this issue’s sample questions. The answers can be found on our website,

1. What is the term for a single-variety Grappa? a.) Nocino b.) Monovitigno c.) Vinaccia d.) Invecchiata 2. The Castelli di Jesi area produces a DOCG wine using which grape? a.) Albana b.) Vernaccia c.) Verdicchio d.) Garganega 3.

Which vodka is produced in Austria? a.) Winter Palace b.) Pinnacle c.) Emperor d.) Monopolowa

4. What is the main grape variety of Menetou-Salon? a.) Sauvignon Blanc b.) Gamay c.) Chardonnay d.) Merlot 5. What is the largest wine region in Switzerland? a.) Hugelland b.) Valais c.) Vaud d.) Carnuntum


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6. Which is a traditional, oxidative wine produced in Greece? a.) Verdea b.) Dakos c.) Kasseri d.) Mandolato 7. What name is used for grapes descended from Mission grapes? a.) Bosci b.) Bouschet c.) Criolla d.) Mendoza 8. Which is located farthest south? a.) Maipo Valley b.) Claro Valley c.) Teno Valley d.) Malleco Valley 9. What type of wine is produced in El Puerto de Santa Maria? a.) Priorat b.) Sherry c.) Rioja d.) Madeira 10. 10. Where is the Eagle Peak AVA located? a.) Southern Oregon b.) Santa Maria Valley c.) Mendocino County d.) Texas High Plains



Get Certified! BECOME A CERTIFIED SPECIALIST OF SPIRITS (CSS) The CSS program is the fastest growing, self-study Spirits Certification in the US with over 3,000 spirits professionals. –––––– Successful candidates receive the CSS post-nominal. –––––– The 2016 CSS Study Guide and Workbook are the most up-todate and comprehensive reference materials in the industry! –––––– The CSS Study Guide is available in hard copy or as an eBook from iBooks or Amazon. –––––– Delve into every category of spirits on a higher level: spirit production, sensory evaluation, Vodka, Gin, Whiskey, Brandy, Rum, Tequila, Liqueurs, Vermouth, Amari, Bitters, and Mixology.

T ELEVA E your Knowledge of


–––––– Get certified anywhere in the world at PearsonVue testing centers, and get results immediately! –––––– Live Spirits SWEbinars are offered throughout the year. After the CSS, strive to become a Certified Spirits Educator (CSE) and join an elite group of educators with mastery of spirits knowledge and education! • In the Mix Full pg Spirits Ad 8-17-16 FINAL.indd 1

8/17/16 3:18 PM Winter 2016 •



French Fermentations





Wine-growing estate in Burgundy.

3 Synonym for Pineau de la Loire (grape of Vouvray). 5 Burgundy’s blended red wine: Bourgogne ____ ____ ____.

4 Region in Burgundy that produces white wines exclusively (Chardonnay). 7 Champagne’s “Hills of White” region just below the Marne River.

6 Loire Valley’s first grand cru (three words) – famous sweet Chenin Blanc.

8 Champagne, juice from last pressings of grapes.

9 Number of Bordeaux first growths. 11 Number of grand cru villages in Champagne.

12 Between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers (three words) – “between two tides.”

14 Bordeaux estuary leading to the Atlantic.

13 Most planted red grape variety grown in the Champagne region.

16 Bordeaux’s most planted red grape.

15 AOC region limited to rose wine only.

19 River east of Alsace.

17 Top-of-the-line sparkling produced by a Champagne house: ____Cuvee

21 French for “late harvest.”


Grape of Muscadet (three words).

10 American “louse” that almost destroyed French wine industry.

23 Considered the “spiritual” home of Pinot Noir, north part of Cote d’Or.

18  The “Garden of France.” Hint: also contains the Cher River.

26 French wine region that produces almost exclusively white wines, east of the Vosges.

22 Strong, cold wind of Provence.

20  French wine middleman.

27 Burgundy’s other red grape.

24 Region of the Loire Valley that is closest to the Atlantic Ocean: Pays ____.

28 General name for different plots of land in Burgundy.

25 Auxerrois, Pressac grape also known as ____.

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Family-owned in Napa Valley since 1948

Š2016 Trinchero Family Estates, St. Helena, CA

Trinchero Family Estates began in 1948 as a small, family-run Napa Valley winery with one storied brand: Sutter Home. Now in its third generation, the company has grown into one of the most respected family-owned wine and spirits companies in the industry, with over 45 award winning global brands. Today, Trinchero Family Estates remains an independent, family-owned business committed to quality and value.

Winter 2016 •


A portfolio of highly acclaimed wine to compliment your holiday season 100

in the Mix Magazine

Š2016, Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA. All rights reserved.

in the Mix Winter 2016 Issuu  
in the Mix Winter 2016 Issuu  

Our winter issue cover story is a compelling interview with Tylor Field III. Tylor is the Divisional VP of Wine and Spirits, Landry's Inc. H...