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October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

Polished Palate Biography


Author , Organic Shaken and Stirred

Available at Amazon.com

By day, I’m a mild mannered (mostly) public relations consultant and writer. Come violet hour, I’m, well, still nice though I’m typically in the kitchen shaking or mixing up a cocktail or two. I first became interested in cocktails – beyond the teenage tippler’s sloshing of rum into a half-empty can of Coke – during a trip some years ago to Italy. My then girlfriend-now-wife Gail and I happened into the absurdly beautiful lobby bar of the Grand Hotel in Florence. We asked the bartender to suggest a drink. Negroni, he said. At the first sip, we were hooked. Pleasingly bitter and sweet and tart all at the same time, the Negroni was about as perfect a drink as we could have imagined.  For months after we returned home, these were pretty well the official house cocktail. Of course, this was the only grownup drink I knew how to make. That would soon change as I began to seek out recipes new and old, and fresher, better-tasting ingredients for cocktails.

Eventually, I connected with West Coast mixologists who were among the first to emphasize organic fruits, vegetables, and even spirits in their cocktails. As soon as I tasted these cutting-edge drinks, I was hooked all over again. I vowed then and there to heroically (only a slight exaggeration) chronicle the organic cocktail movement, which I do in my soon-to-be-published book, Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis and Other Totally Green Cocktails (Harvard Common Press, October of 2009) and on my soon-to-be-launched blog www.OrganicShakenandStirred.com

I’m a regular contributor to contributor to The Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, Gourmet and other publications on the topics of food, drink and travel. I live in Tampa with my wife, son and hyperkinetic cat Fergus.