Six years ago, I started a blog. I admit, I didn’t get blogs at first. I had been a restaurant publicist for a few years in Washington DC. Our media list included big-name restaurant columnists who wrote for those antiquated-yet-prestigious paper things, such as the Washington Post. We pitched scribes from nationally acclaimed magazines, editors, authors and food critics who made our James Beard award-winning chefs quake in their boots. Why did we care about the opinions of these blogger upstarts with nothing more than an Internet connection? Were they trained journalists? Chefs? Were they even old enough to order a beer?
The thing is, bloggers reach a certain demographic that didn’t necessarily care what the old regime had to say. Who has patience anymore to pore through pages of print? Plus, by the time these little morsels wound up on paper, its old news online. With blogs, the self-proclaimed foodies with disposable income burning through their stylish pockets could go online and within seconds find a plethora of venues endorsed or ripped apart by their blogging peers.
I found the concept quite fascinating.
In the 90’s, I was a server, bartender, caterer while supporting my passions of creative writing and theatre. With a cocktail blog, I could bring together writing while exploring cocktail culture so others could learn and sip with me. I quit PR and started The Liquid Muse.
For months, I’d scour the city – on my own time, on my own dime – and taste cocktails, interview bartenders-slash-mixologists, gamers and scribble notes. I’d dash home and blog what I had experienced. Soon, I collaborated with a talented up-and-coming photographer friend (now very established) Moshe Zusman, who shot drink photos to accompany my reviews. He got hired by many of those restaurants to do food photography, and I got hired to write about cocktails for regional and national magazines.
It was exciting, an ego boost. It upped-my-game. I studied mixology. I read books, went to seminars, and experimented gaming at home. I began working on my own recipes and put them on my blog. Next thing you know, I got offers from beverage companies to work on lol projects, and within a few years, I had 3 cocktail books under my belt.
And, then things changed. I had a little business on my hands… including pressure, deadlines, expectations. The dream is to pay your way through life doing what you enjoy. I just realized that I didn’t have much time to dawdle over my keyboard, reminiscing over some smoke-scented infusion or clever quip from a fellow bartender, or muse over the virtues of amaros or why the Negroni is one of the awesomest drinks ever, or excitedly re-publish a recipe from an antique cocktail book that somehow fell into my hands. But, wasn’t blogging where it all began? I found myself missing it and feeling guilty, even. But, I also have bills to cover, and paying work comes first, whether bartending or working on a project for The Liquid Muse which now offers recipe development, mixology consulting, on-premise trainings, cocktail classes, video shows, video games with www.p4rgaming.com, and more.
Recently, a company approached me about incorporating their product in some blog posts. I only work with products I like. The Liquid Muse is not “pay for play.” I have turned down countless jobs from products I don’t stand behind, or energy drinks wanting “cocktail recipes” or hang-over remedies wanting endorsement.
But these folks have a product I like and use daily, behind the bar. I could easily and organically include it in many a league of legends blog post. And, these guys are gonna kick in a few bucks in exchange for including some links and the “expertise” my 6 years of online chatter has established. They even have a super little bar kit that YOU can win in upcoming give-aways! Cool! Thanks!
Its a giddy feeling to know I HAVE to get some blogs posts up! My mind is spinning with ideas. As I shake off the dust and get back on the computer, I’d love to hear what you out there in blog land would like to read… Recipes? Product information? Reviews? Venues? Whether someone kicks in some cash to include a link, I will never lie to my readers. If I don’t like a product, I don’t work with it. If I do like a product, I will use it anyway. I will never compromise my integrity for a few bucks.
So, my resolution is to blog again, at least weekly, on a variety of topics. Your feedback is greatly appreciated in guiding the topics. Just as drinks should be about the guest, not the bartender, blogging should be about the reader and not the writer… so this is an open invitation for you to tell me what you are interested in reading? What topics excite you in the world of bartending, mixology, cocktail culture? Are you hoping for a wider view or a narrower view? Do you want me laser focused on drinks and only drinks, or should I be including more slightly fringe stuff like my obsessions with Country House Weddings and the kind of drinks you should expect there?
I’m also open to guest bloggers, if any of you out there have thoughts you’d like to share on bartending, products you love (not from marketers, please, but from consumers and bartenders), recipes you want to share, research you wan to get out to my readers… Email me with your ideas.
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