My local, the Corner Store has been a welcome lounge room on many a night. Recently I commented to Chase (bar manager, extraordinary bartender) that often when I bring new friends in, it feels like they’re coming to my lounge room. Therefore I end up buying rounds of gorgeous concoctions I really don’t need to. But there’s nothing quite like introducing people, especially cocktail newbies to a level of service, knowledge, creativity and pleasure that they’ve not met before. Usually one meeting is all it takes.

I mentioned here that Chase was off to Kentucky to compete in the Makers Mark competition. I sent him off with the Canon7D and he brought back some shots that are really brilliant, quite good indeed. They made me long for Louisville and the USA in general, especially on the cusp of Thanksgiving.

The Ohio river, where Louisville sits in north-central Kentucky. Just at dusk.

The gates at the Star Hill distillery, with the distinctive mark.

Stamping the insignia on the Makers 46 bottles.

The barrels at Buffalo Trace, another distinctive Kentucky bourbon distillery, very different in style from Makers.

Nothing like a little bit of teamwork, all photos by Chase Bickerton, a little processing love from Tash McGill.

Meeting Strangers

In other news – Jacob Briars has been in town recently and whilst I’d never heard of him, I was reliably informed that he’s a bit of genius, particularly around vodka “The Vodka Professor”, he’s been dubbed. Recently he’s just finishing up with 42Below. Curiousity peaked.. I did a little research. I’m not typically a vodka drinker but discovered a couple of great video snapshots that have Jacob talking about the power of the internet and how it’s connected NZ hospitality (and by insinuation, much more) to the world at large, both historically and future-minded.

Just goes to show, that the strangers you meet at the bar are always full of surprises. Like Paula & Mark – Mark is one of the trio of NZ chefs featuring in the new The Foodstore show on Food TV. They are uber-lovely and I’m looking forward to going down to check out the new restaurant when it opens in the viaduct soon.

Just sayin’, pays to be friendly and offer a smile once in a while.