I realize that many of you have been craving a post on just cocktails, so here it is for your enjoyment...Plus, it is "World Cocktail Week" so what better way to celebrate cocktails. There are some truly fabulous cocktails that are perfect for this time of year - summer...The latest craze are 'muddled' cocktails with the most famous being the "Mint Julep" and "Mojito", but there is so much more that can be made...What this means is that you taking a fruit, veggies, herb or spice and mashing it in the glass to release the oils, juice, and aroma with 'muddler' before preparing the cocktail.
As a follow-up to my last post depicting famous writers drinking their favorite concoctions, I switch gears a bit by presenting you with some pop culture and the marriage between movies and those infamous cocktails. We all love a good movie, and in my case, especially ones that feature classic or modern cocktails. You don’t have to be a cocktail aficionado to appreciate the dramatic effect they play on the big screen. I can still remember many of the movie scenes below and the cocktails featured in them.
The best cure for writer’s block? A stiff drink. Maybe they're on to something here. I just may have to try their technique. Who would have thought that the writing profession and cocktails would go together?
Booze and literature have long had a close relationship - many of the world’s most famous authors were as good at drinking as they were at writing. And the drinks they liked to imbibe made such a strong impression that Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many more immortalized a number of classic cocktails in their novels.
Like a thoroughbred thundering down the track, the Kentucky Derby is just around the corner. So dig out your best Derby hat and check out this little history lesson on the Kentucky Derby and the infamous, Mint Julep. No matter which horse you’re rooting for, you’ll feel like a winner.
More than two hundred years ago, somewhere in North America, cognac, peach brandy or un-aged whiskey was mixed with sugar and mint, and served on a mound of snowy ice for the first time. The resulting Mint Julep was a chilly masterpiece that conquered the sweltering dog days of summer.
Tequila has come a long way from the days when every college kid did a shot of Cuervo or was the spring breaker’s drink of choice. It is now one of the favorite spirits used by top mixologists around the country. The selection of brands and premium brands has tripled in the last decade. But there are still so many misconceptions about this mysterious liquor. So with Cinco de Mayo just a week away, I decided to set the record straight with facts and not-so-facts of the agave-based spirit. Salud!
There’s a worm in the bottle.
Since everyone seemed to enjoy my last post on the craft of bartending and the intricacies of the profession (21 visits in one day = AWESOME and thank you!), I am following up on that interest by debunking some myths about liquor that bartenders are pouring every night and the mysteries behind the labels of those bottles.
I could probably write a book just on this subject alone, but for purposes here, I am listing MY biggest pet peeves behind the bar. There’s no easy way to say this: A bad bartender can ruin an otherwise good night, especially if it's that one time you and your date, spouse, partner, or mistress decide to have a night out. Nobody wants to be faced with an inattentive, surly, or irresponsible bartender—it’s just no fun. I'm sure most of you can relate to having this experience.
Rhubarb is an obscure plant and doesn’t get the recognition it deserves as far as being unique flavor ingredient in cocktail. Rhubarb’s long, spindly stalks are a good sign that spring has arrived. The spring is the time of the year that mixologists get excited about the plethora of harvested herbs, berries, grapefruit, stone fruits, and the little known, rhubarb that are available. It allows for much creativity, innovation, experimentation, and flavor contrasts in your cocktail shakers.
The humble grapefruit is a very under-rated fruit. Now is the time to appreciate its simplicity since we are at the time of season where it starts to peak. Often looked upon as a flavorless and boring, the grapefruit has a lot to offer in terms of cocktail balance and flavor. To cocktail enthusiasts and gurus, it has many applications and has been used in cocktails since the turn of the century. The grapefruit isn’t ‘hip’ and the terms ‘exotic’ and ‘esoteric’ doesn’t apply to this fruit in today’s cocktail vernacular, like passion fruit, plum, acai berry, etc…
Over the last two months, readers have been nominating and voting for their favorite distilled spirits in 10 categories and the results are in for the winning brands. It is an interesting mix and it is obvious that these brands (some of which are relatively unknown) have a strong following and loyal fans. This may be an indication that they're something to try if you haven't already.
Here are the winners in each of the 10 categories. Search for cocktails with these fine spirits.