Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.
A simultaneous perk and hazard of the bar industry is learning about new products. Since I both make drinks and write about them, promoters come at me from multiple angles. Liquor representatives come to the bar, hoping to convince me that their newest product is the greatest thing to happen since distillation. It's a perk because I find out about awesome new spirits before anyone else. It's a hazard because sometimes those spirits are ill-conceived. The orange-flavored Scotch is an especially tragic memory.
Then, I'll get e-mails from public relations people. They tout products aimed more to the home market. One that recently came through the Chow Bella office was for Kahlúa Gingerbread, a new holiday-themed coffee liqueur. I have a strange feeling that the nice PR lady expected us to paraphrase her handy-dandy press release, possibly dub it a perfect holiday gift, and call it a day. Little did she know, Chow Bella has a professional bartender on the writing team.