In Birdland The Jazz Corner Of The World Book Review Books Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Music

Where The Stray Kats Played: Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World Book Review

We all, and certainly every real New Yorker, should know about Studio 54, but what about Birdland?  Quintessentially the jazz world's less chaotic, just as iconic Studio 54.  What can one say about an establishment, institution and shrine that burned names like Parker, Blakey, Gillespie and Davis Jr. into our minds as the musical paramounts they are today?  

Well, musician, composer and now author Leo T. Sullivan has a lot to say, recap, present and showcase in Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World An Illustrated Tribute, 1949-1965 (Schiffer Publishing).  Back when jazz was delivering its unapologetic bounce, angst and cry to the American people, Birdland was the nightclub hub of sorts for the jazz world's elite, the up & coming and what would become the honored and revered.  Vocal phenoms like Ella Fitzgerald & Sarah Vaughn, explosive ensembles head by Count Basie & Stan Kenton and the smooth strolls of kats like Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins and others that graced the Birdland stage are captured in this book through insightful text and rare photos. John Coltrane, Tito Rodriguez, Dave Brubeck, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon and others come back to life and make you want to dig up old 45's with the delicious window into jazz and New York history that Sullivan has chronicled in this book shelf worthy and coffee table collectible.

Though the window of time for Birdland's renaissance days weren't long, it was indispensably an important slice of jazz history that serves and a game-changing era for the importance and dynamic synergistic power of art, collaborations, live music and talent.  

Birdland: The Jazz Corner Of The World An Illustrated Tribute, 1949-1965 (Schiffer Publishing) is available now at

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Gin MALFY Gin Mens lifestyle Wines and Spirits

The Citrus Kiss For Any Season: MALFY Con Arancia and Rosa Gins

What joy a new season can bring!  You may not want to see the lush greens fade away but then you see the cacophony of colors that they can morph to.  You also may not want to cover your legs and pack away your swimsuits but oh how you've forgotten the tactile wonderment of cashmere against your skin.  Then while it may be out of season here for many of your culinary delectables, they are just in season somewhere else for other vibrant produce.  All it takes is sourcing and shipping.  When one good option ends, have hope for another one begins.

So how fitting that blood oranges and pink grapefruits are in season in the Fall in the states.  Then how very fitting that just as my yen for rosés in the Summer was subsiding, in walks my discovery of two new fabulous gins from MALFY Gin, an amazing premium gin distilled in Italy.  To sweeten the pot in a full circle way, they are flavored with blood orange and Sicilian pink grapefruit.  MALFY Con Arancia is a very delicious gin flavored with rich blood oranges for a flavor profile that has a slightly sweet tartness that harmonizes nicely with the juniper and herbal notes of gin.  MALFY Rosa is like a naughty grapefruit juice since the Sicilian pink grapefruit gives a citrusy freshness to the gin flavor profile with a delightful freshness.  Both gins are so explosively vibrant due to intensity of the fruits that also create a pleasant intense fragrance that is comforting as it is familiar in its impact.  

MALFY Con Arancia and MALFY Rosa are both definite game changers in the world of gin.  They have enough depth to enjoy over ice, enough lightness to make an amazing brunch cocktail and enough heft to create a superb after 5 drink.  However, you know me.  I can't just tell you; I have to show you.  So check out the following two remixes on classic gin cocktails using these two stellar gins that I've created below:

Pink G&T

2 ounces          MALFY Rosa
4 ounces          Tonic Water
1 tbsp               Fresh Lime Juice
2 qtr halves     Fresh juice from a Sicilian pink grapefruit (cut the grapefruit in half and use juice     
                         from half of the half)
1/2-1 tbsp        Simple Syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
1                       Large sprig of rosemary
1                       Lime Wheel

Put the simple syrup and rosemary in a highball glass and muddle the two for a bit to release the sometimes stubborn essence of the rosemary.  Next fill the glass with ice then add gin, blood orange juice, lime juice and tonic water.  Stir then garnish with a lime wheel.  

This was such a delicious cocktail.  If you love grapefruit then this is a grown and pleasant drink and the fresh grapefruit together with the gin really allows the flavor to come out.  The MALFY Rosa is  lively and blends lovely with the tonic for a nice level of tart in a great way with the rosemary adding a nice hint of verdant earthiness.

Blood Orange Mule 

2 ounces          MALFY Con Arancia
1/2                    Fresh juice from 1/2 lime
1/2                    Fresh juice from 1/2 of a blood orange
1/2 cup             Ginger Beer
1                       Lime Wheel
1                       Mint Sprig

Add the gin, lime juice and blood orange juice to a classic mule mug then lightly stir.  Next, add the ice and ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.

The tart and slight sweetness of the gin balances so perfectly with the peppery sweet ginger beer.  The lime adds another fresh layer of tart to the gin's citrus loveliness.  The MALFY Con Arancia is such a nice gin and truly marries the essence of a fresh blood orange to the mature allure of gin.  

So that's two exciting new gins to start u what will hopefully be an exciting new season.  Even if it doesn't turn out to be exciting, with MALFY Gin now you have a reason to celebrate or drown your sorrows deliciously.  MALFY Rosa and MALFY Con Arancia are reaching your finer wine and spirit retailers now and as always, please remember to enjoy responsibly.

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In Fragrances Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male In The Navy Mens mens fragrances Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Product Review

High Seas, Higher Scent: Jean Paul Gaultier 'Le Male: In The Navy'

Personal space is hard to come by at times in this sprawling, sometimes annoying, oftentimes unforgivable metropolis.  Whether you are wedged in between sweaty pits and halitosis in a subway car or trekking to an event in a part of town that properly functioning sewer system forgot, sometimes our only personal space is the inside of our jackets or the crooks of our arms.  Which is why when you live in New York City you have to be happy that there exists things like colognes to act as those necessary scented little reliefs the rest on our skin, cling to our hairs and chill on our collars.  Tantamount to music in our headphones and games on our phones, our escapes can surely be in the form what we dab on our wrists and pat behind our ears.

When I find a good scent, I rejoice.  Speaking as someone loves the versatility of clothing just as much as fragrances, I was thrilled to discover Jean Paul Gaultier's  'Le Male: In The Navy'.  The Parisian wunderkind improves upon his signature Le Male with this new exciting scent that has basenotes of peppermint, vanilla, ambergris and fougere for an outcome that's sweet without being overpowering.  I chose to test this fragrance out this past weekend on what was a very crisp iconic New York Fall day.  What I found was that the sweetness balanced so nicely with the verdant airy freshness of the mint and fougere.  There was also this underlying hint of musk and spiciness that rounded this out to be a great day-to-evening fragrance and a perfect one to start out that clean Fall morning.  

The spirit of the seas is appropriately present in Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Le Male: In The Navy' with the breezy and sweet air-kissed effect of this fragrance.  It still clings to the lightweight scarf I wore that morning perhaps as a perfect set-up to use it as another escape from the city's ill-scented moments.  Jean Paul Gaultier 'Le Male: In The Navy' is available now exclusively at select Macy's stores nationwide and at

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In Freemans Sporting Club Made To Measure Mens Fashion Mens lifestyle Menswear Tailoring

Be About That Custom Suit Life: Freemans Sporting Club Made To Measure October Event

The seasons have changed.  As is customary, now is the time to think about replacing those shorts &  sandals with boots & chukkas or covering up those concert tees with Fall toppers.  However, now is also the time to start taking a look at those suits again as some of you may have lost or gained inches during the barbecue & beer heavy or fitness & fair-weather months.  

We often need to adjust the tailoring of our suitings if our bodies adjust to our lifestyles.  When all else fails, it's time for a new crop of single or double breasted, Super 180's or flannels and windowpane or nailshead.  Well starting today until the 27th of October, Freemans Sporting Club, that boutique-inspired suave  menswear haven of grooming, dressing and pampering is offering a cool 20% of all of their Made To Measure Suiting.  Then to sweeten the deal and coax you away from making do with those sometimes ill-fitting off the rack deals, they are making that 20% into 30% for all first time customers and referrers.  There's no excuse now to not get fitted for the season.  Call 212.673.3209 or email to make an appointment and be about that customer fit life.  Freeman Sporting Club is located at 8 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Koskenkorva Vodka Mens lifestyle National Vodka Day Recipes

Vodka For The Win: Koskenkorva Vodka for National Vodka Day Oct 4th

Rounding out my very necessary acknowledgment of National Vodka Day is a vodka that pulls from the land to give you a quality-crafted spirit.  Koskenkorva Vodka is a delightful vodka whose clean and pure flavor comes through which mirrors the raw materials and hands that came together to assemble it.  Pure Finnish water, good well-harvested barley and the tenured hands of a simple village collective conspired to give this vodka a refreshingly smooth taste.  There's no new age technology or witchcraft in this process, just honest passionate hands that use what nature has wrought to bring you a notable vodka.

So if you haven't left work yet or left work early and are on your way to the pub, let me keep the celebration going by offering up a simple sweet cocktail made with the remarkable Koskenkorva Vodka that you may want to pick up a give a try to.  I call this The Ginger-Rosemary Finnish.

The Ginger-Rosemary Finnish

3 ounces          Koskenkorva Vodka
1 ounce            Simple Syrup (I used raw coconut sugar for mine, so its a bit darker)
4 sprigs            Fresh Rosemary
3-4 slices         Fresh cut Ginger Root
Juice of 1/2 a fresh cut lemon

Put the rosemary and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and muddle the ingredients.  Make sure to muddle well as rosemary takes a bit more elbow grease to release the essence of the flavor.  Next add the syrup and ginger and now muddle the contents again this time for only about 15-20 seconds.  Then fill the shaker with 2/3 of ice cubes and the vodka.  Cover and shake vigorously for 30-40 seconds.  Strain contents into a martini glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and enjoy.  (Note:  You may want to double strain into the glass to avoid rosemary and ginger pieces that may have separated during muddling).
The purity of the vodka delivers its kick but also allows the slight pepper punch of the ginger together with the herbal essence of the rosemary to shine.

This cocktail brings my salutes to National Vodka Day to a close but definitely try out Koskenkorva Vodka at your finer wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to enjoy responsibly.  

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Deep Eddy Vodka Drinks Food and Drink Mens Issues Mens lifestyle National Vodka Day Recipes

A Star Shines From Austin: Deep Eddy Vodkas

Do we really need National Days?  When you realize all the objects, rituals, food and drinks set aside to be honored in this country you may ask 'why'.  Why bless 'taffy apples', 'taking a chance' or 'fried scallops' with a day set aside while parts of the nation and its infrastructure need the attention and concern of the masses?  Well, that's kind of why we need national days.  Life can get heavy and while much of it needs our constant attention, all work and adulting with no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Sometimes in between saving the planet, fighting for gender equality and standing up against police brutality one has to stay mindful that there is joy in those less tense times in life where devouring a good donut, remembering the help of your custodial staff or enjoying a nice vodka neat reminds you in part what it's all for.  

I've always said that I don't really need to find a reason to enjoy a nice cocktail.  The reasons just always seems to keep coming on their own.  So since National Vodka Day is tomorrow you can enjoy a vodka cocktail to toast making it through your work day.  We all have a reason (or can find one).  To help you figure things out, I'd like to tell you about the amazing vodkas of Deep Eddy.  This brand comes straight out of Austin, Texas and is handcrafted in small batches which is like the highbrow quality control within the spirits industry to ensure a top notch flavor adherence.  

First up is Deep Eddy Vodka, a smooth fresh vodka that's been distilled 10 times.  Think more pure and clean than overkill.  Using temperature-controlled column stills, Deep Eddy Vodka is created in an ideal environment for obtaining a rich vodka and is filtered 4 times through charcoal filters with the finest local water.  The end result is a clean vodka with no waste and a surprisingly smooth finish that stands alone or perfectly adds life to a cocktail.  Next, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka is like a naughty refreshing lemonade with a tremendous kick.  Take the great craftsmanship of the classic original and only now infuse it with real lemon, not lemon-like substitutes, and what you en up with is this really tasty vodka that already comes with an all-natural tart citrus edge.  

What's great about these Deep Eddy varieties is that the work is already in the bottle to ensure a flavor profile that behaves neutrally like vodka but impresses more significantly to distinguish itself from other brands.  So of course I had to test these vodkas out with two great cocktails.  First up, Deep Eddy Vodka shines in what I call a PomPom Martini.  

PomPom Martini 

2 ounces           Deep Eddy Vodka
1 1/2 ounces    Orange Liqueur (like Triple Sec)
2 tsps                Pomegranate Molasses
1 tsp                  Fresh Lemon Juice

Fill cocktail shaker with 2/3 ice then add all of the ingredients, cover and shake vigorously for about 40 seconds.  Pour cocktail through a strainer into a martini glass then garnish with lemon zest and about 1 teaspoon full of fresh pomegranate seeds (which are now in season).

I had to tweak this cocktail at first as the molasses is more potent than I thought but the measurement I suggest will make a great cocktail.  The weight and sweetness of the molasses is nicely balanced with the citrus pop of the triple sec and lemon juice.  The vodka pulls it all together with that mature flavor that hangs in there to simultaneously tone down yet unify all the ingredients.  Next up, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka come through in a Garden Citrus Gimlet.

Garden Citrus Gimlet

2 1/2 ounces           Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
1/2 ounce                Simple Syrup (I used raw coconut sugar so my syrup was dark)
4                               Sprigs of mint
4                               Large basil leaves
Juice of half a fresh lime

Place mint, basil simple syrup and lime juice in the cocktail shaker and muddle very well.  Let the muddled mixture stand for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Then fill the shaker with 2/3 ice and then add the vodka, cover and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a small sprig of mint and a small piece of basil.  

First off, this turned out better than I expected.  It was so verdant with the presence of the fresh herbs and they played so harmoniously with the natural lemon kick of the vodka.  One note: the muddling may cause tiny pieces of mint and basil to flow through the cocktail strainer.  If you'd rather have no herb pieces then you may want to use a second strainer when pouring into the glass.

Deep Eddy Vodkas are interesting alone or grouped with great accompanying ingredients and are perfect reasons to imbibe of National Vodka Day or maybe simply just because it's Thursday.  Whatever your reason, make sure to please enjoy responsibly.  Deep Eddy Vodkas are available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers.

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