Friday, February 25, 2011

Atta Boy, Squirrels, May the Force be with You

Seems like everything southern is hot right now, or maybe it always is. The upcoming Imbibe Magazine is all about drinking in the south. We're happy to see so many of our friends and colleagues featured so prominently in this ode to liquid culture. To further support our point, we'd like to announce that our very own Michael Searles (pirate name "Squirrels) is taking some of this heat to New York City this weekend to represent Atlanta in the Cocktail World Cup, an international event co-hosted by 42Below and the US Bartenders Guild. Searles is advancing to New York because he killed it in the regional competition held earlier this year with his "Betty Rampage."

Says Squirrels, "The drink's a bit girl-friendly, but those drinks have their place, damnit! The peaches I'm using are from Gaffney, South Carolina, who beats Georgia in overall production, to this day, and the ginger ale is Blenheim's spicy variety. The cocktail's color and opacity represent a uniquely Southern U.S. red clay that's given life to our local foodways and ruined every pair of white tennis shoes I've ever owned. I've named it for a true Southern Belle who's not afraid to engage in a bit of roller-derby violence. It's sweet and sassy and not at all shy, which again encapsulates (through our character, the Belle) all I've learned and love about the South."

We'll all be cheering for you on Sunday, Squirrels, and can't wait to see you move on the final round in New Zealand.

For those of you who might like to try this at home, we submit the recipe here:

The Betty Rampage

1) Coarse chop one pecan, cut a small wedge from a 2nd pecan

2) Add chopped pecan, .25oz white wine vinegar, 3 dashes Angostura bitters to a tumbler

3) Add 1.5oz peach preserve to tumbler... Canned peaches will suffice

4) Add ice and 1.5oz 42Below vodka to tumbler

5) Top with .75oz spicy ginger ale or ginger beer, though be aware and adjust (more vinegar or more bitters, respectively) if the ginger ale is either overly sweet or the ginger beer is overly citric

6) Shake vigorously

7) Double strain into double Old Fashioned over rocks

8) Garnish with the near-whole pecan and sprig of spicy green such as arugula or rapini


btw, the Bottle Shop is opening next week.


  1. *This Just In*
    Savi Urban Market is now carrying the famed Blenheim's Spicy Ginger Ale... it's the one with the red cap, and it packs a wallop!

    If you're dead set on remaining seated while you shop, Blenheim began allowing orders of 12 or more bottles via their website just a few weeks ago...

    As for Betty's peach preserves and good, firm rapini... y'all're on y'r own, good hunting!

    *In Other News*

    *And, Finally*
    Thanks to EVERYone for all of the heartfelt support. I had a great set of experiences in NYC, and both Evan Hawkins and I (each in our individual style) represented the hell out of Atlanta and the South, and reinforced with the cocktail community at large that ours is a city to be reckoned with. Most importantly, a great many people I met (eg - Todd Thrasher, Restaurant Eve and PX recognized instantly that we both possessed a similar and definitive style and philosophy. Mr. Hawkins and I were proud and will continue to, as I hope all barmen-and-women in Atlanta, exemplify the hospitality and grace inherent in our corner of the country.
    ... That is, until we're late for something, and trying to hail a cab on Broadway. At that point look away, 'cause we'll jettison the grace real-quick and get all types'a OTHER Southern!