The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2015

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january/february 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  85 level, Thirst Boston's founders— Andrew Dietz, Maureen Hautaniemi and Brandy Rand—looked to find a forum to highlight the vibrancy of the local beverage industry. Through content-driven seminars and events that put the spotlight on Boston's tal- ent, they started Thirst Boston, which celebrated its second anniversary this year. Parties included the black tie The Thing at the Fairmont, the highly com- petitive Blender Bender—which pitted Boston's best bartenders against one another for the ultimate tiki-themed blender drink—and Roadhouse, a party Thirst created as "a celebration of everything you love about the American dive bar." Thirst Boston held 30 events over the weekend, including two full days of seminars, many of them bring- ing in internationally known spirits experts. Seminars touched on the practical (Infusion Methodology and The Art of Preparing Vermouth), business seminars (The Three Phases of Hospitality) and historical retrospec- tives (The History of the Martini and From Connery to Cruise: Cocktails in the Movies). A panel entitled The Re-Emergence of Rum, moderated by Misty Kalkofen of Del Maguey Mezcal, featured panelists including Charles Joly, David Wondrich, Wayne Curtis, Joaquin Simo and Boston's own Maggie Campbell, Head Distiller at Privateer Rum. Here's a look at some of the faces that made Thirst such a success. Andrew Dietz Co-Founder, Thirst B oston Massachusetts On-Premise Consultant, M.S. Walker, Inc. "Thirst Boston is and always will be a team effort. It takes over a hundred volunteers and event captains to make this event happen, in addition to the support of the entire restaurant and beverage industry. If Boston was not such a tight-knit community and we did not have each other's backs in the way that we do, Thirst Boston could never happen. The fact that everyone comes together to pitch in and help out is exactly why we put Thirst together in the first place." P HO T O : M I K E D I S K I N P HO T O : N A TAS H A M OU S TA CH E P HO T O : M E L I S S A O S TR O W P HO T O : N A TAS H A M OU S TA CH E Maggie Campbell Head Distiller, Privateer Rum Panelist: The Re-emergence of Rum Recent projects: Silver Rum, True American Amber Rum, Queen's Share Rum, Single Batch Gin and Navy Yard 100% Molasses Barrel Proof Spirit. "The community in Boston is so creative and on point. They are willing to support a smaller brand, especially when we can't afford all the perks of a large brand. They are absolute pros who still maintain a down-to-earth attitude. They don't care who's watching— they do great work because they love it. Half the fun of my job is getting to be friends with such great people." Sabrina Kershaw Beverage Director, Franklin Café Competitor: Blender Bender Top 10 Mixologists to Watch, Tales of the Cocktail 2013 "The Blender Bender is one of my favorite events because I think it's really great to see the diversity of drink styles you can get with blender drinks. I think more bars should have blenders behind them! My Blender Bender Cocktail was The 2nd Shift: Cruzan Estate Light Rum, Cherry Heering, Velvet Falernum, grapefruit cordial, lemon juice and Angostura Bitters. Garnish with as many paper tiki fans you can find." Kevin Mabry Beverage Director of JM Curley, Bogie's Place and Merrill & Co. Seminar leader: Carbonation Station Boston's Best Bartender 2014 (Boston magazine) "My goal is simple: to create a niche-driven cocktail menu in a comfortable, neighborhood atmosphere with value in mind where there is some- thing for everyone. It's easy to get carried away in this day and age of mixology and let your ego take over. I try to have fun, challenge myself to be well rounded and most importantly always keep the customer's overall experience in mind. That's what's most important and I hope that's the perception of all my cocktail programs—that the customer comes first." Sabrina Kershaw is the Beverage Director at the Franklin Café and a competi- tor at the Blender Bender. Maggie Campbell, Head Distiller, Privateer Rum. Andrew Dietz is a co-founder of Thirst Boston. Kevin Mabry, Beverage Director of JM Curley, Bogie's Place and Merrill & Co. PHOTO: MELISSA OSTROW

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