Profile: LeNell Camacho Santa Ana
From The Alcohol Professor
Alabama-born LeNell Camacho Santa Ana defines herself first and foremost as a bartender, although she's been called fancier names. She's owned her own whiskey label called Red Hook Rye, co-owned and managed a bar in Baja California Sur, Mexico with her husband, and has been recognized by her home state as an honorary Colonel. Her eponymous liquor store LeNell's first opened in NYC and is now currently under construction at a new location back home in Birmingham, Alabama.
NoteStreams By LeNell Camacho Santa Ana
The bartender’s art of conversation with a difficult customer can be used to entertain a difficult policia preventiva. A couple of summers ago, after a long day of legal documents involving the bringing together of our lives in Baja, my husband Demián and I were headed for a little respite in Todos Santos. All of a sudden, the red and blue flashing lights of you-know-who caught our attention.
Legends, tall tales, good stories, myths…whatever you call them, the drinking world is full of them. Here are a few favorites to debunk.
This time of year we begin searching for the perfect bottle of bubbly to share with friends and family. The various options can boggle the mind as you stand facing retail wine shelves, staring at pretty labels and contemplating price points from $10 to $100 plus.
Before you get all frustrated, just remember Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch when she walks into her neighbor’s apartment and asks, “Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in Champagne? It’s real crazy!” That scene always reminds me to keep fun and frivolity in mind while shopping for holiday bubbles.
When my husband and I owned and operated a small, reservation-only bar called Casa Coctel in Mexico, we decided to throw a Valentine’s multi-course dinner featuring aphrodisiacs in food and drink. We quickly learned that about anything and everything has been used as a love potion. It became the joke for the dinner, that if you believe something’ll get you goin’, more than likely it has the power to do just that.
Here are three of our favorite love potions for Valentine’s Day. - Recipes included!
References to Champagne drinks abound in old newspapers, novels, and cocktail books. Champagne drinks containing brandy and orange liqueurs in the forms of punches and cups can even be found in old cookbook recipe collections, such as Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management first published in 1861. I’ve seen mentions of Champagne Cocktails in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archives as far back as 1869. That same year Mark Twain mentions the drink in Innocents Abroad.
The pitfalls of revisiting classic recipes in modern times or alternate locales
Times change - and so do tools, measurements and techniques - even ingredients adapt. Come learn about the many changes a "classic" recipe may experience!
The oldest cultivated grapevine in the world is the 400 year old scuppernong called “Mother Vine” growing on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. North Carolina is proud of that history, naming the scuppernong the official state fruit. While wine snobs may scoff at the thought of enjoying a glass of muscadine wine, with such a storied past, the grape is a part of our culture. Learn more, and try your hand at the included recipe!
Now as a whiskey educator, the question of what defines the term “Tennessee whiskey” is a sure one in every class. New legislation mirrors the federal definition of bourbon except for the requirement that it must be manufactured in Tennessee and filtered through maple charcoal. But what does that really mean?