When the temperatures start dropping and there is a chill in the air, it becomes an appropriate time to sip a nice, warming cocktail, or this case, mulled wine. Mulled wine has been around for centuries in many Old World countries, but hasn't been too prominent in the New World yet. If you ask the average person or even bartender, they won't have a clue as to what it is. It is a traditional holiday beverage that has been warming people for a very long time. Think of mulled wine as the wine drinker's version of the classic hot toddy.
To follow up on my blog post last week titled "Hey Bartender", which was a big hit, here is a discussion on social behavior as it relates to drunkenness with celebrity Mel Gibson as the target. No, I don't have any ill-will toward the Lethal Weapon star, but he is the ideal poster-boy for showing what happens when people drink too much and have certain personality flaws. I have seen it all too often. I'm sure everyone has known someone in their lifetime who will come to mind when reading this. My psychology background helps out tremendously. I look forward to your feedback and comments.
For this week's posts, I will be changing gears a bit by discussing psychological aspects of the bar as it relates to alcohol service, customer service, and a glimpse behind the scenes of the booming alcohol industry. It is certainly beneficial to be psychologically trained coupled with an extensive knowledge of the bar business, but not necessarily required to understand the basic principles contained in this discussion.
Although the unseasonably warm weather still makes it feel like summer and the desire to drink a cocktail that fits the weather, it is October and the beginning of the Fall, so it is appropriate to feature a Fall-like cocktail for this post. I present to you the "Sparkling Ginger" cocktail, which requires multiple steps to complete, but is so worth it with just the right amount of spice and refreshment for a warm day or evening or a nice, cool, breezy Fall night. It serves as a great before-dinner cocktail with your date.
Keep in mind that certain fruits are seasonal so they may not be available locally and at certain times of the year. Remember to choose the freshest fruits.
Here is a list of the more common fruits used for infusions and the growing seasons along with the spirits you should use with specific fruits.
Asian Pears = YR (year round), peel/slice small, Gin or Vodka
Blueberries = YR (best Jun-Aug), bruise/infuse, Brandy, Rum, or Tequila