Heineken Offers to Replace Chopped Trees in Front of SoHo Billboard

MANHATTAN — Just hours after the news broke that someone had illegally lopped off the tops of a pair of trees that obscured a giant Tribeca Film Festival and Heineken billboard, the beer company offered to replace the mutilated trees.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120420/greenwich-village-soho/heineken-offers-replace-chopped-trees-front-of-soho-billboard#ixzz1sc8FD0BS

Meanwhile, on Kickstarter …

Swizzle sticks are interesting devices. I don’t mean the plastic straw-like things that we know today as swizzle sticks. I mean true wooden swizzle sticks.

Originally made from slender tree branches, they’re meant as stirring tools for a type of cocktail called a “swizzle.” The swizzle is a tall drink, made of rum, lime juice, crushed ice, and sugar. In a way, it’s similar to a mint julep. The stick is a long-handled device with four or five “spokes” radiating out from the end in a star-like pattern.

Plunge the swizzler into the glass, all the way to the bottom. Take the stick between your palms and spin it. The spokes will spin around in the bottom of the glass and get the ice moving. Then you move the stick up and down in the drink, you’ll see the glass frost over.

The problem of the swizzle stick is not an easy one to solve.

Swizzle sticks are unique in cocktail ephemera, and they’re very hard to find; you normally have to import them from the West Indies, or have a friend bring some back. They’re natural products, so they vary a lot from stick to stick. Further, for working bartenders, true swizzle sticks can be a pain. They’re delicate and break easily, which means they need to be replaced often. And then you’re stuck, again, trying to ship some in from Martinique.

Two guys in the Boston area think they have a solution. One of these guys is Adam Lantheaume, friend to A Dash of Bitters and proprietor of The Boston Shaker, the awesome barware store in Somerville, Mass. He’s teamed up with a product designer, Brian Johnson, to develop and test a plastic swizzle stick, one that looks and works just like the wooden model but lacks its drawbacks.

The only thing is, the plastic model is a complex piece of product design, and it requires a special steel mold — one that’s expensive to produce. So Adam and Brian have turned to Kickstarter to fund the production of the mold. Further, to launch a product like this, they need to meet minimum order quantities, and the Kickstarter campaign will fund those, too.

So check it out. Like all things Kickstarter, there are fun premiums if the project is fully funded.

Incidentally, what Adam and Brian are doing here is surprisingly normal in the cocktail world. If a bartender needs a tool or ingredient that she can’t find, there’s nothing stopping her from just making it for herself or adapting another item to the task. Bartenders used to make their own liqueurs and tools all the time, so this DIY approach is right on target.


The PR powers recently saw fit to send me a bottle of Denizen Rum, a relatively new product that’s available in New York and via online merchants such as DrinkUpNY.com and Astor Wines.

Denizen is a white rum, but if you’re expecting it to be bland and lackluster as a result, you might be surprised. Denizen is a rum with character and body. The promotional literature tells me that Denizen starts with rum from the Angostura distillery in Trinidad. That rum is charcoal-filtered to remove the color, leaving a clear rum. The blenders then add trace amounts of 15 types of aged Jamaican rum (which I assume is also filtered).

The resulting spirit is richly bodied, with aromas and flavors of tropical fruits and flowers, and the grassy, vegetal notes of fresh sugar cane. Funky enough to be sipped on ice, Denizen also mixes well. I put it up to the daiquiri test and absolutely loved it.

Denizen retails for about $15.99 for a 750ml bottle, and at that price, I want to keep it constantly stocked on my home bar.