Lover / Qin Mi Ai Ren

By Logan Miller

It’s February so we all know what that means; gold digging hoes trading Cupid’s arrow for gold, jewels, overpriced roses, strawberries, and chocolate. It’s called Valentine’s Day, and we put up with it because we’re men, and we’re dumb. So yeah, to hell with that romantic jibber jabber, let’s drink and then fall in love with whatever’s closest! This is an original recipe from yours truly and I figured being in China the cocktail needs an English and Chinese name. Now let’s get down to business shall we?

Ingredients:
Vodka
Baileys Irish Cream
Sugar Cube
2 Ferrero Rocher – Fine Hazelnut
Chocolate Syrup

1. Take a Martini glass and decorate it with Chocolate Syrup. You can get fancy and make a design inside the glass or just close your eyes and conduct an orchestra with the syrup. The goal is to add a chocolate taste to the glass, so remember if your lover loves chocolate a lot or a little.
2. In your cocktail shaker add 1 Sugar Cube, 1 Ferrero Rocher, 15ml Baileys and then muddle the ingredients together.
3. Once you feel the sugar cube and chocolate are sufficiently mixed, add 60ml Vodka, some ice, and shake until the shaker has frosted over.
4. Strain the mixed ingredients into the martini glass. You might have to shake it a few times due to the chocolate pieces getting in the way.
5. Now take that second chocolate and with a sharp knife proceed to shave off small pieces over the glass. This will add to the presentation of the drink, provide additional taste and make you look like an expert to the person you trying to impress. If you haven’t destroyed the chocolate then take a slice out of it and place a piece on the rim of the glass as the last garnish.
6. Finally it’s time to let your lover sip and enjoy.

A few tips:
1. You can find all of these ingredients at your local hypermarket or C-Store.
2. If you happen to have that weird person in the world who does not like chocolate just buy a handful of strawberries and replace the chocolates with strawberries, the Baileys with more Vodka, and repeat the process.
3. Making cocktails with someone can be a truly intimate experience so make a night out of it, worse that can happen is some liquor goes to waste, but the laughs are worth it.

Drink of the month

Pisco Sour

by Logan Miller

Special Request Alert! Someone finally sent in a request to learn a drink, a Pisco Sour, and wouldn’t you know, I had never heard of it. But I wasn’t about to let anyone down, so I got to work! After some research on the origins and history, I was genuinely excited to give it a try. Of course, finding pisco, a South American grape brandy, was a bit of a chore (Thank you, Taobao) but once I finally got a bottle, the rest was just simple trial and error. For those who actually know pisco, the one we’re using hails from Peru, not Chile. To keep things interesting though we will get a little more technical so all you aspiring mixologists can continue honing their craft!

Ingredients:
Pisco
Fresh Lime Juice
Simple Syrup
Egg White
Bitters

1. Take an Old Fashioned glass and fill it with ice to let chill while you are mixing the other ingredients.
2. In your cocktail shaker add 60ml pisco, 30ml fresh lime juice, 30ml simple syrup and one egg white.
3. With your ingredients in place, take the ice from the Old Fashioned glass and add it to the cocktail shaker, then shake for almost a minute. The reason for the extended shake-time is to create thick foam to form on top of the drink after pouring it into the glass.
4. Add three small drops of bitters on top of the foam. This adds a unique aroma to the cocktail. For a little trick take a knife and cut into each drop in a clockwise motion adding a swirl style for a cleaner presentation.
5. Finally, sit back and enjoy!

A few tips:

1. If you are making this for guests who are worried about the egg white, just tell them the bitters kills off any bacteria.
2. If you are not confident in your egg white extracting skills, have a glass on hand and pour the egg white into that first before adding it to the cocktail. This will ensure that nothing gets ruined by the yoke accidentally falling in. If you happen to fail a few times then whip up some scrambled eggs!

Stay thirsty my friends!

pisco sour

Festivus

by Logan Miller

Can you believe it? The holiday season is here already and that means we get to hear all our favorite holiday songs over and over and over and over, and over. And over. Yeah, it’s time for a drink. How about we make a drink that can be easily done as a single cocktail or in a huge punch bowl for your next gathering of alcoholic, er, I mean lovely friends. ‘Tis the season as they say.

Ingredients:
Vodka
Lime Juice
Cranberry Juice
Sprite
Grenadine

Cocktail:

1. Take a tall glass and fill it with ice before anything else.

2. In your glass add 45ml vodka, 15ml lime juice, 15ml cranberry juice, finish off with sprite and then add a bit of grenadine to add the pretty red Christmas color we all know and love.

3. Just give the cocktail a quick stir and start drinking.

Punch Bowl:

1. Find whatever big-ass bowl or pitcher you have, maybe place a few towels under it to help a mess from happening. You know the more you drink the sloppier you get.

2. Now add a bottle of vodka (700ml), 350ml lime juice, 350ml cranberry juice, 1L Sprite and enough grenadine to make it red.

3. Stir all the ingredients together till they are all mixed then taste to see if you need to add anymore of the ingredients.

4. Tell your friends to get the drink themselves and to not make a mess of things.

 

A few tips:

1. Don’t ever feel bad if things aren’t tasting the way you like, just find a bigger glass and add more of what you think needs to be added.

2. Wish your loved ones a happy holiday season! Be sure to smile a bit more and enjoy the time we all have together.

Festivus

Wolf Blass Red Label Tawny Port

The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a glass of tawny port. Whether it is with traditional holiday desserts, with some cheese, or on its own, port is the perfect companion.

Tawny port is a sweet or medium-dry dessert wine made from red grapes, fortified with grape neutral spirit (brandy) and aged in wood casks. Prolonged wood aging is the key ingredient that differentiates tawny port from bottle-aged ports such as LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) and Vintage Port. It is vital to start out with excellent grapes in order to withstand the extended wood-aging, maintaining fruit flavors and supple structure. As a tawny port oxidizes in cask, the color of the wine slowly evolves from a purplish-ruby color to a lighter topaz-amber-brown. Tawny Port is originally from Portugal but today tawny port is made in the USA, Australia, and other countries.

Wolf Blass Winery, one of Australia’s foremost wineries, was recently named International Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London. This is the third time Wolf Blass has won this highly acclaimed award, the first being 1992, repeating in 2002. This reflects their commitment to wine quality which is highly regarded.

Wolf Blass Red Label is their entry level brand for every day drinking. Their tawny port is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvedre with the objective to maintain and ensure a “house” consistency with each release.

The Wolf Blass Tawny Port is partially-aged in large oak barrels giving it an oak character, mellowed flavors, and a burnished amber color. The port has a maple-hinted raisin nose. The mouth feel is full and rich with nicely balanced sweetness. The alcohol level is 17.5% which contributes to the smooth balance.

Enjoy this port with your favorite holiday dessert and remember to leave a glass for Santa Claus. Until next time, more wine please.

Wolf Blass - Tawny Port

Warnings in November 2013

It was one of those mornings when I simply didn’t want to get up. It was just getting cool enough to be very comfy under the blankets, but I did. I got up, and it was just around 7am. I followed my little routine, and before I knew it, I was at the door checking my pockets for everything. Keys? Check. Money? Check. Cigarettes? Check. Lighter? Check. Phone? Check. Vitamins? Check. Two coins? Check. And with that, I was ready to go. Leaves were rustling below my feet, as was the petrified cat poop that I have to step over every day when I leave. Some of my neighbors were shouting in some unintelligible dialect at one another. I round the corner to see the dude scaling the fish that still wiggles. And there’s some sort of sale going on? I don’t investigate, but wonder why all of the old people are lining up. Then it hits me—the smell of the youtiao man. I get the coin ready, grab one of those little plastic bags, pick up a scalding hot oil stick, and hand him that cool metal piece without exchanging a word. Some of the locals look at me in disbelief. My insides are smiling. Chuckling actually. I squeeze in between the oncoming car and e-bike. My youtiao is eaten by the time the garbage can arrives. Passing Subway, I think of how much money I’ve saved by going with the oil stick instead of a sandwich.

Then it’s off to Starbucks which is charging me more for my coffee than I would be charged in the U.S., but that’s beside the point. “Zhe li he de ah?” “Dui de.” Can’t get that in the U.S. now can you? The streets here are cleaner than the one outside of my apartment. No cat shit to step over. I can smell winter coming as I shake just a little bit from the wind. A bus flies around the corner coming too close for comfort, and I wonder how I used to do this when I was hungover. My stomach is feeling good as the espresso wraps itself around the youtiao and vitamin mixture. Why I can’t feel this good all the time, I just don’t know. The intersection comes with a green light, and I scurry across just in time before it turns red. I feel bad for slow walkers around these parts. The sound of the erhu isn’t that great, but I drop that second coin in his plastic cup regardless. He can’t see me, but nods his head at the clank of metal. The green leaves shake with the breeze. Bark is peeling off the French Maples. I trip a bit over my own feet, but nobody notices. A cigarette is lit, and I wonder why my new electronic one has to be charged so much. I can’t be blamed for trying now can I? Take it one trip-free step at a time.

By Tim Hoerle

Whiskey Sour

by Logan Miller

Well, the cold weather is finally upon us and that means we gotta find ways to stay warm in whatever ways possible, of course my way is booze – go figure, right? I’d say keep things simple and drink tequila, but for some reason not everyone agrees with me. So a whiskey cocktail it is! Now, now, don’t worry if you’re one of those who can’t handle that harsh dark stuff like I know some of you are, Whiskey Sour is something that is very smooth and so delicious you’ll keep wanting more.

Ingredients:
Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey
Fresh Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup

1. Take a rocks glass and fill it with ice to chill while you are mixing the ingredients.
2. In your cocktail shaker, add 60ml bourbon, 30ml fresh lemon juice, and 15ml simple syrup.
3. Take the ice from the rocks glass and add it to the cocktail shaker, then shake till the shaker frosts over and strain into the glass.
4. Peel a piece of lemon and rub it around the lip of the glass then use, along with a, maraschino cherry, as garnish.
5. Use your smart phone, take a couple pictures and post on your WeChat.
6. Sit back and enjoy!

A few tips:
1. You can use any kind of Bourbon, but I really do insist using Four Roses because of the smooth taste.
2. I mean it when I say, “fresh lemon juice,” it makes a world of difference.
3. Simple Syrup is a basic ingredient in most cocktails so having some in the house is a must for anyone wanting to make cocktails. Just boil down equal parts sugar and water then put in the refrigerator to cool.

Stay thirsty my friends!

whiskey sour 2

2009 Domaine de la Janasse “Tradition” Cote du Rhone

While everyone is aware of French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, it is time to branch out and explore wines from other wine growing areas of France. This month we explore a French wine from the Rhone area.

The entire Rhone Valley is frequently referred to as the Cotes du Rhone, but this is also the name of more than 100 communes in the region north of Avignon. The primary grape varieties cultivated here are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. Wines labeled Cotes du Rhone are enjoyable and satisfying with lush flavors of black pepper, roasted herbs, cherry, cassis, and raspberry.

Domaine de Janasse is well-known for making exemplary wines. Aime Sabon took over his father’s and father-in-law’s vineyards in 1967. Aime built wine storage in caves in 1973 and thus created the Domaine of La Janasse. Over time he enlarged the domaine by acquiring new vineyards of different varieties, going from 15 ha to 55 hectares.

The quality of the 2009 vintage reflects a perfectly balanced growing season: firstly a wet spring, then a hot summer which promoted the production of grapes to a fully ripe state, very colorful and flavorful and with firm tannin structure. The 2009 vintage is one of the earliest of this early 21st century. In the vineyard, during the harvest Aime had the freedom to organize his harvest sites according to their different maturities of the various grapes varieties and plots.

The Domaine de Janasse 2009 is a classic blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault. The wine is bright purple with an assertively perfumed bouquet evoking dark berry preserves, cherry compote and white pepper, plus a subtle touch of smokiness. Juicy and smooth in texture, offering good depth to its bitter cherry and cassis flavors and a very long finish this wonderful Cote du Rhone is an excellent compliment to roast duck or duck confit, beef bourguignon and grilled pork chops. Until next time, more wine please.

2009 Domaine de la Janasse

MORE Biz Q&A October 2013

1.  Dear Rosario, I am the owner of a chain of ice-cream shop in Italy, and I am looking to expand into China. I’ve heard many people have a hard time coping with regulatory issues while establishing their food and beverage business in China. I would like to know what licenses and special requirements are needed to open an ice-cream shop, and what is the estimated time necessary to start operating?    

Dear Sir,
The process for establishing a food and beverage business in China is similar to the process for establishing a regular Foreign Invested Commercial Enterprise (FICE), with some additional licenses and requirements that vary depending on the type of products you wish to sell.

If you intend to prepare and sell food in your location, you will need to apply for a catering license before receiving the business license. The catering license is obtained from the district representative of the State Food and Drug Administration. The restaurant is required to employ Chinese staff, trained and qualified by government authorities, as well as to pass the Environmental Assessment and the Fire Protection Acceptance Check. Bear in mind, these procedures can be quite difficult to pass and may delay the time until you receive the license. If your establishment is located in Shanghai and your company has already been granted the catering license, then you won’t need to apply for the Food Circulation License, which is necessary to sell pre-made and pre-packed food. This whole process might take around 6 to 7 months. In case you wish to sell alcoholic beverages, an additional license will be needed: this can take a couple of months to obtain.

2. I manage a HK company. We have three Rep. Offices in mainland China, but in an attempt to restructure our company, we want to close down our Guangzhou office. What is the necessary procedure for this, and how long would it take us?   

Under PRC law and practices, the whole de-registration procedure for a Rep. Office includes two parts: tax de-registration and legal de-registration. Tax de-registration represents the first step of the process, and legal de-registration can only be undertaken after the tax de-registration is completed.

The process of tax de-registration begins with a tax audit by a locally licensed CPA firm. The firm will have to provide the tax audit and tax clearance reports to support the tax-deregistration application. Furthermore, the cancellation of tax registration certificates from the State Administration of Tax and the local Tax Bureau are needed, as well as the collection of the tax de-registration confirmation are required to proceed with the legal deregistration. Legal deregistration includes: the cancellation of the Registration Certificate, the cancellation of the Organization Code Certificate, the cancellation of the Financial chop, the Rep. Office chop and the closure of the company’s bank account.

The timeframe for the whole process is about 3-4 months, depending on the individual case.

Dezan Shira

Old Fashioned Sailor

old-fashioned

by Logan Miller

Being from a navy town I was always part of the rum drinking, sailor sub-culture, and somehow, by the grace of the alcohol gods, all the way in Hangzhou, I got my hands on a bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum. This is something to celebrate, so why not with a drink?

When you hear someone mention an Old Fashioned, whiskey is what comes to mind, not rum. It has been a couple of years since I last had the taste of Sailor Jerry on my lips and I knew right away what I was going to do with it – take one of my favorite cocktails and change it up! This requires more ingredients than a typical cocktail, but trust me it’s delicious!

Ingredients:  
Sailor Jerry Rum
Sugar Cube
Bitters
Soda Water
Tabasco  
Cracked Black Pepper
Cherries Ice

1. Take a rocks glass and place one sugar cube on the bottom in the center.
2. Add three dashes of Tabasco, five dashes of Bitters (go look up what Bitters is, I’m too busy trying to teach you how to make a cocktail), and a couple cracks of black pepper all atop the sugar cube.
3. Splash a little bit of Soda Water in the glass, not enough to cover the sugar cube completely but enough to muddle the sugar into until it’s grounded down completely.
4. Pour 90ml of rum into the glass and stir for a few seconds.
5. Top off the glass with a few ice cubes and garnish with two cherries, if you take your time and sip this drink the cherries will be a delicious treat at the end. 6. Finally it’s time to sit back and enjoy!

A Few Tips:
1. If you really like a kick to your drinks just add more Tabasco or try a spicier hot sauce.
2. If the drink is too strong for your liking, add more soda water and even a little cherry juice making it easier to drink….pansy!

Want to know how to make a certain cocktail, just let us know and it could be the next featured drink in this section!

Stay thirsty my friends!

Warnings in October 2013

I was sitting in the bar the other day, exactly one day after the full moon was way up high in the sky, and I had a few left over yuebings, so I decided reluctantly to offer a couple to a few friends. Me? I think that aside from the well-coveted egg variety, they are fantastic with a cup of coffee in the morning when you wake up with the sunrise. And to my surprise, they actually enjoyed them, as did their dog. Alright, their dog had to be tricked into eating a bite of one by hiding it in his treat, but when happiness is what you need so bad, sometimes a bit of foolery is needed. I walked home in this heat. Wasn’t it late September, and it was still that hot? I move like hell, so I guess a little perspiration is expected. When I got home, I just had to play with my “new” phone. That morning I had just upgraded to iOS 7, and was still very unfamiliar with the thing to say the least. Everybody I know seems to know me well, but not in this regard. I might be a Luddite, but I am still able to hit a few buttons on my phone. For some odd reason, I felt that my phone had some new sort of powers—like it had more energy, or at least an easier version of Candy Crush which though I doubt it, enabled me to pass one of those hellacious levels that I had been stuck for a week on. Level 165 really sucked. Talk about taking our time on that one. Those game masters should be shot because I then proceeded to pass two more levels with only two attempts at each. Maybe it was the moon, or maybe it was the vitamin packed yuebing that made me more astute. We really shouldn’t go there though because if you know me by now, you know that raising my intellect really isn’t that difficult considering where it starts.

So back to this iOS 7 thing. It wasn’t me who had a hard time getting used to it, but instead, it was my daughter, who had to take my hand through the process. It only goes to show that they can’t appease everybody. She kept asking me to turn it back. Oh what fun it all would be if we could just get the old version of Pou back onto my phone, but that didn’t stop us from playing with the thing until the batteries which I thought would be everlasting, finally ran out. Then I turned on the internet radio and “fallow” sleep as a friend used to write to me, and when I woke up in the morning I couldn’t get this song out of my head, yet for some odd reason I can’t remember what song it is. Do do do a bop bop a do oh. My my my my my my yeah.

By Tim Hoerle