Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nobody Rides For Free

Last week I had a dream. It was one of those dreams that was so real you wake up disoriented. I could still smell fresh-cut grass, which is one of my all-time favorite scents. Like most people we know, I reached for my phone before I rolled out of bed. There was an email from Katie Hughes. If you write about cocktails, you probably got one, too. 

It's a known peril of cocktail blogging. You build your soapbox, climb up and start talking to an empty room. Then you find your voice, and people start to pay attention. Then people want to send you free booze, like the Oddka representative who sent us the emails. That won't sound like a peril to normal people, but nobody rides for free.  

They wanted two blog posts, and two mentions in social media. If I don't like what they've sent, I'll feel rude for saying so - even if it's true. I'm a person, too; I know what it's like to extend myself and get a cold shoulder. On the other hand, if I say something nice, I risk looking like a sellout, like I only approve because it was free.

I hope no spirit professional would sell out her integrity for so slim an inducement as six minibar bottles. And, one of their flavors is Fresh-Cut Grass, a natural favorite. This was just too much synchronicity to pass up.

I took the bait.

An unnecessarily large FedEx box arrived a few days later and inside were six minis. I took them with me to work and my fellow bartenders and I dipped a straw to taste the flavors: Salty Caramel Popcorn, Electricity, Apple Pie, Fresh Cut Grass and Wasabi. Then I took a few days to contemplate before taking the bottles into the lab.

I confess that I'm not really Vodka Girl, and if I want a flavor in my cocktails, I'll put it there. The post that follows will be the result of my experimentation....


  1. This dilemma is precisely why we only print our recommendations! We have an advantage, though, in that we have a panel of tasters and those that get the most approvals all around make it into print. Perhaps that could also be your solution? We quite enjoyed the Fresh-Cut Grass, but haven't tried the others. Can't wait to read your thoughts!

  2. I'd love to join your group for a tasting sometime, to see how it's done.

  3. I'd love to join your group for a tasting sometime, to see how it's done.