You’re invited to the Chicago launch of Drink.Think – 4/23 at Tavernita!

Drink.Think is coming to Chicago! Come out to hear drink and food writers read from their work about beverages, enjoy complimentary samples of Devil’s Cut whiskey and otherwise celebrate our favorite literary muse – booze!

Date & Time:  Tuesday, April 23, 2013.  The bar will be open starting at 6pm – the reading starts at 7pm.

Location:  Tavernita, 151 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL

Admission: FREE admission and complimentary pours of Devil’s Cut whiskey. Drink specials and other beverages will be available for purchase.

Featured Readers:  Curated by wine and spirits writer Kara Newman, participants include:

  • Jennifer Day, editor, Printer’s Row Journal, The Chicago Tribune’s Sunday book section
  • Cecelia Halbert, author, Up the Hill
  • Roger Kamholz, contributor to Serious Eats and Chicagoist
  • Sonja Kassebaum, Co-Founder, North Shore Distillery
  • David McCowan, contributor to Chicago Foodies
  • William Spain, writer, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Penthouse
  • James Teitelbaum, author, Destination: Cocktails
  • Lauren Viera, writer/reporter for publications including Imbibe, Chicago Magazine, Time Out Chicago,  the Los Angeles Times, and many others
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Featured writer: Roger Kamholz

roger-portrait (1)

Hard to believe, but Drink.Think is just a few days away! I have just enough time to introduce one final awesome writer you’ll meet Tuesday night at the event:

Roger Kamholz has been covering the Chicago cocktail and spirits scene in words and pictures for the past three years — and has been consuming it for far longer.

A native New Yorker, Roger moved to Chicago more than seven years ago to study journalism, after writing art criticism for the Brooklyn Rail. He has since contributed to Chicagoist, Serious Eats, TimeOut Chicago, and Grub Street. He’s lectured on the history of mixology for Homeroom Chicago’s 101 Series and mixed cocktails to help raise money for charity. To kill time between drinking assignments, Roger works as managing editor at a boutique magazine publishing house and marketing firm.

Come out to Tavernita on Tuesday, April 23 to hear Roger read from his work – see you there!

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Meet the sponsor(s) – Devil’s Cut & Jacob’s Ghost

As you may already know, Drink.Think is a FREE event. That’s right, no cover charge, no 2-drink minimum (though we’d love it if you’d order drinks from the bar at Tavernita!) But to help defray some of the expenses associated with the event, I usually take on a carefully-selected sponsor or two for the event.

And I’d like to introduce you to our kind sponsors today.

Devils_CutFirst up is Devil’s Cut. This is a relatively new product, crafted to showcase particularly bold oak and vanilla notes. This bourbon plays off the name given to spirits as they evaporate from barrels (or soaks into the barrel itself) during the aging process – the so-called “Angel’s Share.”

By comparison, Devil’s Cut is created using a proprietary process that actually pulls the whiskey trapped inside the barrels’ wood after they’re emptied. That barrel-treated extract is then blended with 6 year old bourbon and bottled at 90 proof.  In my opinion, this robust whiskey lends itself particularly well to Manhattans fortified with sweet vermouth and plenty of extra cherries.

Jacob's GhostNext, I’d like to introduce you to Jacob’s Ghost. Another newcomer, this white whiskey is neither moonshine nor unaged whiskey — it’s actually an aged whiskey, rested for one year in white oak barrels. It has only the faintest tinge of color. One poetic type even described it to me as having a “Champagne” hue.

Instead of the sharp bite that many white dogs have, this one drinks more like aged whiskey:  it’s a more standard 40 proof, and has some of the light vanilla notes that oak aging provides. It should make for a versatile counterpart for cocktails — feel free to test that thesis at the event.

Come out to Drink.Think on Tuesday, April 23. We’ll be pouring samples courtesy of Knob Creek and Jacob’s Ghost!

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Featured writer: William Spain


“You’ve met Bill Spain before, right?” asked a friend in response to my query about finding writers in Chicago for Drink.Think. “No? Really?” And here, she lowered her voice to a dramatic whisper:  “You really should. He’s kind of like the Hunter S. Thompson of spirits writing.”

Wow. Sold.

For those of you not familiar with Thompson, he was a journalist famed for his hard-livin’, hard-drinkin’ lifestyle and colorful prose, one of the original practitioners of “Gonzo” journalism. The author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was no shrinking wallflower.

But enough about Thomson:  William Spain has covered the spirits industry for almost two decades, writing about it both as staff and freelance for publications and websites including the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Penthouse and Advertising Age and has been to almost very kind of distillery there is, from Scotland to Mexico to France to Kentucky to Sri Lanka.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from the Hunter S. Thompson of hooch. Come hear Bill read from his work at Tavernita on Tuesday, April 23.

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Call for Chicago area writers!

The Drink.Think literary reading series is coming to Chicago on Tuesday, April 23!

We have a great line-up of well-known writers and authors who will be reading from their work about booze and other beverages.

Now I’m looking to add some new voices to the mix. Are you a new or aspiring writer? Do you have a great piece, whether published or not, that you’d like to read for a supportive and slightly inebriated audience? Whether you’ve written a piece about your hunt for the world’s best beer or latte, or about that amazing ginger beer recipe your grandma brought over from the Old Country, Drink.Think is looking to showcase work written about all types of potables and libations.

I have a couple of spots still open for the 4/23 reading – if you’d like to participate, please email me:  kara AT karanewman DOT com.  At each reading, I deliberately reserve a couple of spots in the line-up to showcase new writers, and I love the surprises they bring. These spots don’t last long so don’t procrastinate, don’t be shy – email me right now!

Thanks – I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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Featured writer: James Teitelbaum

JamesT 2This week’s featured Drink.Think writer is James Teitelbaum, author of Destination: Cocktails – The Traveler’s Guide to Superior Libations.

Now, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since I spotted it on the sales table at Tales of the Cocktail last summer, so I’m especially psyched to hear James read an excerpt. And if a book about bars ’round the world isn’t enough for you, we hear rumblings that James is in negotiations to write and host a television series based on the book.

He’s also the author of two other books, Big Stone Head: Easter Island and Pop Culture (2009), and Tiki Road Trip (2003/2007) and has contributed to dozens of magazines and web sites, including American Heritage, Playboy, Alternative Press, Road Trip America, and Film Threat.

When not traveling the globe and scribbling about it, James lives in Chicago, where he works in the music business and teaches at a digital media arts college.

Come hear James read from his work at Tavernita on Tuesday, April 23.

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Featured writer: Lauren Viera


Mark your calendar – Tuesday, April 23 is the next Drink.Think reading event!

Once again, we’ve got a great line-up of writers slated to read from their work — and over the next few weeks, I’ll entice you with mini-biographies, starting this week with Lauren Viera.

Lauren has reported and written articles on the arts, culture, entertainment, style, dining, drinking, business, travel and leisure for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Village Voice, Men’s Journal, Imbibe, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago MagazineTime Out Chicago and many others. She’s also a Chicago correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide and the Food Network.

She landed in Chicago in 2002 after a stint in New York on the launch staff of Lucky Magazine at Condé Nast Publications, where she also contributed to the company’s Special Editorial Projects division.

But if you really need a reason to come out and hear Lauren read from her work, here it is: she hosts a monthly cocktail club from her home bar.

Isn’t that the kind of person you want to share a drink with? I know I do. So come on out and drink with us at Tavernita on Tuesday, April 23. See you there!

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