by Paloma Ianes
14 days ago
at 09:26 AM | Permalink
Mike Georgiton of Senate, Abigail Street and Pontiac shares his favorite cocktails
Cocktail-mad scientist and adventurist Mike Georgiton is the bar
manager/director of Senate, Abigail Street and forthcoming barbecue joint Pontiac
(all owned by Daniel and Lana Wright). His unique creations make you want to
rethink your regular cocktail order to try something that’s thoughtfully
crafted to perfectly pair with your dish.
CityBeat: When did you
start getting into bar tending and creating craft cocktails?
Mike Georgiton: I’ve
been a bartender for about 11 years. I was working for a while in fast-paced
club kind of environment, and it wasn't until later that I got another job in a
lounge. It was actually the worst job I’ve ever had; I hated it there.
Eventually, the club changed hands, and the new owners brought some guys from
Louisville to train everyone. I went through like 90 hours of training of
cocktail history and that’s when I started making craft cocktails and started
to enjoy the process. It wasn't until I started here that I began researching
and getting creative. I started reading and figuring out more techniques and
developing my own from there.
CB: What would
you say is your technique/method in coming up with original cocktail recipes?
MG: I don’t
like to read too many cocktail books. Books do help in getting kind of basic
idea of what people are doing, but I like to get more inspiration from food and
the way people pair food together. I ask myself, ‘How can I pair this food
ingredient with a liquor?’ and that way I’m coming up with more obscure
ingredients that are my own. Flavor combinations that chefs use in a lot of
their dishes will push me to think, ‘Well, how can I tie in pistachios?’ or ‘How
can I tie in this or that?’ I want to do something that’s completely different and
inspired from my own source — something that no one else is doing.
CB: What’s your
favorite ingredient to use in your cocktails?
MG: My favorite
ingredients are usually more food-type ingredients that chefs are also using in
their dishes. My favorite liquor to use is Domaine de Canton, which is a
cognac-based ginger liquor. I put it in a lot of drinks. It’s one of those that
I love it because it goes good with everything, but I also kind of hate it
because I want to put it in everything.
CB: Do you
notice any changes in cocktail culture within OTR?
MG: I have
noticed that, more than before, people are starting to get more creative in
making original cocktails instead of just taking recipes from a book. People
are using more modern techniques, and I think that’s great because that was
always what I was more into than just traditional cocktails.
CB: What’s the
strangest ingredient that you've ever put in a cocktail?
gras, which is stuffed goose liver. Hands down the most bizarre that I've
It's fatty and it’s easy. You cook it and render it down in a pan and add
some cognac to it. I know cognac has always been a classic pairing with foie gras,
so I thought it would be really interesting to come full cycle and put foie
gras in the cognac. It was one of the initial cocktails that I did more of a
direct food style. In the cocktail I added a fig emulsion, some black pepper
tincture and sprinkled some nutmeg, which are all ingredients you usually find
being used with foie gras. It turned out really great and is on the menu here [at
Senate], but to get one great original cocktail you have to go through five
horrible ones. It takes a lot of experimenting.
CB: What is one
of your favorite cocktails served at the Senate?
Fidel Castro. It goes great with the fall season, and we have it pre-mixed and
ready to serve at Senate.
Fidel Castro2 oz. oak-aged spiced rum1/2 oz. pure maple syrup3 dashes of Angostura bitters1 dash orange bitters1-inch piece of orange peel
Shake all ingredients together (except for orange peel) over ice in a
cocktail shaker. Stir and strain into glass. Heat up orange peel with a
lighter. Squeeze the peel over the glass, running the rim with it before adding
to the cocktail.
Oak-Aged Spiced Rum
750 ml. bottle Bacardi Silver Rum1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise2 whole cinnamon sticks1 T. whole coriander, cracked10 allspice berries, cracked3 black peppercorns, cracked2 whole nutmegs, cracked1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves1 T. cardamom pods, cracked1 star anise1 T. sarsaparilla bark or root (optional)3 4-by-1-inch strips of orange peel, white pith removed5 slices ginger root1/4 cup French or American oak chips
Combine ingredients in a large glass jar. Cover and allow to age,
shaking every few days. It can be used after a few days.
by Jac Kern
14 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 11:14 AM | Permalink
Taste of Belgium, Bakersfield and Senate on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives'
Remember when Guy Fieri and his Flavortown mobile came to Cincinnati this summer to film Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? The Food Network star made appearances at several area restaurants from Corryville's Island Frydays and Northside's Melt to a bevy of spots in Over-the-Rhine. Melt and Island Frydays' segments have since aired; tonight, a special OTR-centric episode of DDD premieres.Vine Street eateries Senate, Bakersfield and Taste of Belgium will all be featured in this "One Street Wonders" episode. Typically three restaurants from three different cities are compiled in each episode; tonight, the entire episode will be devoted to OTR's Gateway Quarter. Tune into Food Network at 10 p.m. Go here for additional showtimes and recipes from Senate and Taste of Belgium.Diners Drive-ins and Dives is no stranger to Cincinnati. Before this summer's filming, Fieri had visited Terry's Turf Club, Blue Ash Chili and Virgil's Cafe for the show.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
WEDNESDAY JULY 24: It’s hard to find a job that pays $40,000
and allows you to be you, because most people with money are
insufferable to be around.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Language abuse — as opposed to abusive language — is as old as language itself.
After 50-plus years of reporting and
editing, I should be used to it, but I’m increasingly irritated by its
deliberate, partisan misuse.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 12:15 PM | Permalink
The remaking and
re-imagining of classic films and TV shows is often met with high expectations
and harsh reviews. Despite this, I was really looking forward to A&E’s new
horror-drama, Bates Motel. Something
of a warped prequel to Psycho, the
thriller places a young Norman Bates and his mother Norma in charge of a
previously foreclosed motel in a contemporary setting. With the swoon-worthy
Vera Farmiga (big sis to American Horror
Story’s Violet, Taissa Farmiga) starring as the mother to the future sociopath
(who is portrayed by creepy-yet-cute Freddie Highmore), I really thought it was going to be
awesome. It wasn’t. Check out my full reaction in this week’s TV column.
I know I should
have lowered my expectations — prequels generally suck — but I was really
pulling for this one. Sadly, I’ve felt more suspense in an episode of A&E’s
Intervention that in this show where
multiple people were murdered in the premiere. Dammit, Bates Motel, I was rooting for you!
recommendation site Urbanspoon recently listed the most buzzed about
bar-n-grills across America and Cincinnati topped the list with seven restaurant-bar mentions
— matched only by Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis. The restaurants
include A Tavola, Adriatico's Pizza, Bakersfield OTR, Nada, Senate, Taste of
Belgium Bistro and Terry’s Turf Club. With Covington’s Wunderbar bringing the
local count up to eight, it looks like Greater Cincinnati is the place to go
for beers and bites!
Usually when my
mom shares with me something she found on the Internet, it’s either a pug photo
shoot on YouTube or an MSN slideshow of inappropriate advertisements, but
recently she sent me something even
better. Check out this informational North Korean documentary footage of
Ah, America: Where
there aren’t any birds, except for the ones we all ate yesterday. Just a
reminder, next time you order your snow coffee, make sure to ask if it’s
Thanks for the cake, North Korea!
So the Catholics
got a new pope last week. Remember: There’s always money in the Vatican!
Usually when I
hear “Satan” and “Obama” in the sentence, I quickly tune out whichever Fox News
zombie or disgruntled family member is ranting, but this week the two were
compared for a new reason. The History Channel’s incredibly factual miniseries The Bible obviously features the devil,
an important supporting character from the original masterpiece, but some
people are upset about the resemblance to our president. Check it out for yourself here.
The Princess Bride is a classic, but
what if little Fred Savage’s grandpa gave him another book instead?
If the kid hated
all that kissing in PB, I can only
imagine what he’d think of GOT’s uh, adult scenes.Hey remember my American Horror Story Season Three guesses? AHS: Coven = confirmed. Witches! Squee!
1 Comment · Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Nothing screams artisan or handcrafted
food like a flannel-shirted, tattooed server. Remove the pageantry from
the building, please, and just give us the weird cuts of beef or spruced
up hot dog served alongside a Prohibition-era cocktail.
Local foodies, trends and ingredients make Cincy's dining scene shine
5 Comments · Wednesday, December 26, 2012
As we wrap up 2012 in Cincinnati, we’ve
got a helluva story to tell — and some bragging to do. I write about
drinks and dining, and I can’t even get around to all the new places
that are opening.
Ohio's ugly Senate race has national repercussions
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The world will be watching Ohio this week, waiting
largely to see which presidential candidate’s weeks of time and millions
of dollars spent wooing Buckeye State voters will pay off. But slightly down the ballot is another race nearly as
important: for one of Ohio’s U.S. Senate seats.
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Remove Democrat and Republican for a
second. Assume there are two candidates outside of partisan labels.
Candidate A is the current sitting senator. He has a clear record and
policies to run on. Candidate B is the challenger. He has little record
and policies, and he’s been caught being dishonest time and time again —
to the extent that one major newspaper gave him an award for lying so
by German Lopez
U.S. Senate candidates argue over records, economy, social policy
In the first of three debates for Ohio’s seat in the U.S.
Senate, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh
Mandel agreed on little and clashed on a lot. Each candidate mostly focused on the opposing candidate's record, but the debate today did move to substantial differences in policy at some
points.The debate started with opening statements from a
noticeably feisty Brown, who criticized Mandel for calling his vote for the
auto bailout “un-American.” On the other side of the aisle, Mandel began his
opening statement with a joke about shaving before he turns 36. The joke was
the last time either of the men spoke with a light heart.
The candidates blasted each other mostly for their
records. Mandel touted Ohio's and the nation’s higher unemployment rate since Brown
took office in 2006, energy prices and the U.S. debt. He also said the Senate had
not passed a budget in three years, although Congress has actually passed
budget resolutions in that time.
Brown fired back with claims Mandel had filled the state treasurer’s office
with cronies. He also criticized Mandel for running for four different
political offices in seven years. In his closing statement, Brown said Mandel
is “too concerned about running for his next job” to be trusted.
On substance, Brown and Mandel criticized just about
everything about each other. Brown claimed Mandel signed away his “right to
think” by agreeing to lobbyist Grover Norquist’s pledge to not raise taxes
while in office. He said the pledge makes it so if Mandel does take office, he’ll
never be able to close tax loopholes for big corporations.
Mandel defended the pledge by saying, “I’m proud to stand
for lower taxes in our state and lower taxes in our country.” He added, “I will
do everything I can to advocate for lower taxes across the board for the middle
class and job creators as well.”
The term “job creators” is typically used in politics to reference wealthy Americans, who Republicans claim create jobs through the theory
of trickle-down economics. The economic theory states that wealthy Americans
will hire more lower-class Americans if they have more money and freedom, essentially
creating a trickle-down effect on wealth from the rich to the poor. Although
Republicans still tout the theory, some economists, including Nobel Prize
winner Paul Krugman, say the financial crisis of 2008 and the deregulation that
led to it prove trickle-down economics do not work.
The candidates also debated their positions on the
auto bailout. Mandel said he would not
have voted for the auto bailout if he was in the Senate in 2009. In his defense, he cited the experience of Delphi workers, who lost part of their pensions as part of the deal auto companies made with workers after the federal bailout. Mandel then said, “I’m
not a bailout senator. He’s the bailout senator.”
Brown responded by saying, “These are real jobs and real
people.” He then cited examples of people helped by the growing auto industry.
Brown’s arguments are backed by economic data, which has repeatedly credited
the growing auto industry for the nation’s growing economy. In the first
quarter of 2012, the auto industry was credited for half of the nation’s
When he was asked about higher education, Brown established the key
difference between the candidates in terms of economic policy. Brown said his policies in favor of government investment in higher
education are about supporting the middle class to create growth that
starts in the middle and spreads out, while Mandel supports tax cuts that emphasize a
trickle-down approach. Mandel did not deny the claims, and instead blamed Brown’s
policies for the high unemployment rate and debt issues.
The men continued to show similar contrasts on the
budget, taxes and economy throughout the entire debate, but there seemed to be
some common ground regarding energy independence. When the topic came to hydraulic fracturing —
or “fracking” — Brown said becoming energy independent would have to involve
all possible energy sources. In substance, Mandel agreed, although he also
praised fracking regulations recently passed by the Ohio legislature and Gov.
As far as energy issues go, the agreement stopped there.
When Brown was asked about President Barack Obama's alleged “war on coal,” Brown said there was no war
on coal and claimed there are more coal jobs and coal produced in
Ohio than there were five years ago. Mandel disagreed and claimed there is a war on coal. He added if
Obama is the general in the war on coal, Brown is Obama's “lieutenant.” Brown previously supported federal regulations on mercury that some in the coal industry, including the Ohio Coal Association, claim will force coal-fired power plants to shut down. The regulations go into effect in 2015.
On abortion, Mandel proudly claimed he was
pro-life, while Brown said, “Unlike Josh Mandel, I trust Ohio women to make
their own health care decisions.” Brown also criticized Mandel for not
establishing exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother in his anti-abortion stance.
Many more issues, from term limits to Middle Eastern
culture, were covered in the debate. The candidates drew sharp contrasts in all
these areas with Brown typically holding the liberal position and Mandel
typically holding the conservative position. But despite the feisty language
and deep policy contrasts, when the debate ended, the candidates smiled, shook
hands and patted each other on the back. They will meet again in Columbus on
Thursday and Cincinnati on Oct. 25.