Not that I’ve actually been on vacation or anything so fun and relaxing. I’ve spent the last month or so focusing on “mining for new clients”, as they say. Who are they? And how does one go about the mining part? That’s what I’d like to know. That’s the art of marketing, and marketing yourself, in particular, I suppose. How many of you find that last one a bit of a challenge?

On another note, I have some great news. Over the past year, Tidings Editor-in-Chief and I have been developing ideas that will take both print and online versions of the magazine onto bigger and better things. We will be rolling them out slowing over the course of 2014. You’ll notice the first change with the new year’s first issue – a name change!

Originally a newsletter for the Opimian wine club called Wine Tidings, the current editor dropped the “Wine” part years ago to reflect the fact that Tidings was not just about wine. Well, with the February/March 2014 issue, Tidings will become Quench. No longer about just food and drink, Quench reflects readers’ diverse and eclectic interests. And that’s just the print version. will grow to include lots more engaging features, too.

So, as a salute to the old name and concept, and to welcome the new, I’ve posted an excerpt from my last article in Tidings. I look forward to seeing our ideas come to light over the next 8 issues.


What kind of drink sets you right after a few hours of skiing on the slopes, sledding or shoveling the driveway? How about a good old hot cocktail, like a Hot Toddy or an Irish Coffee? Remember those? You’ve no doubt had one at least once in your life – probably a long time ago. Perhaps you might have even thought that the recipes had been packed away along with the polyester suits and disco balls of the 1970s. Well, get ready. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them soon enough. Warming winter cocktails are making a comeback.

I was thinking about them recently. It’s cold in here. My 60-something-year old house with its thin 1950s-era wall insulation is the antithesis of the modern draft-free home. Huddling under a blanket works, but makes getting stuff done somewhat tricky. Pets make great hand warmers until I find I’m as covered in shed fur as they are. It’s at that desperate point that I realize there’s nothing like a good, hot drink to chase away the chill. I set out to ask two mixologists to tell me a little about what’s hip in the world of warm drinks. Jessica Maria is no stranger to hot cocktails. She concocts tasty libations at the Hotsy Totsy Club in Albany, California. Jason Rager, who knows more about warm cocktails than you’d think possible, lets his creativity loose at AQ Restaurant and Bar in San Francisco, California.
(Read the rest in Tidings December 2013/January 2014.)

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