The end of March/early April is unofficially "Whiskies of the World" season with many festivals around the globe celebrating all kinds of whiskey, whether you're into Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Irish, Canadian, or Sour Mash...There's something for everyone...Stay tuned this week for a discussion on the plethora of whiskies out there and the brands that made the 'cut' for being the 'best' by readers' choice this past year (official results will be available first week of April)...Also, I will list some new and innovative cocktails that can be mixed up using these fine and undiscovered spirits...
Forget about green beer, Guinness, and shots of Jameson this St. Patrick's Day. Live on the edge and try good old-fashioned Irish whiskey. Contrary to popular belief, Irish whiskey isn’t good only in shots, Pickle Backs or the traditional and tragically named Car Bomb - It also makes a fine cocktail. The typically smooth and incredibly drinkable whiskey is one of the most popular spirits on the planet right now. Many of these cocktails can be drank all year long.
Here is one that is hot, creamy, and classic. Irish Coffee will warm you up in spirit and body temperature.
National Kahlua Day is February 27. Kahlua is a rich, creamy liqueur from Mexico that is made with rum, Mexican coffee, sugar and vanilla. Kahlúa is a blend of sugarcane and 100% Arabica coffee where the sugarcane and coffee beans are grown in the shade and handpicked. Kahlua traces its roots back to Veracruz, Mexico. First produced in 1936 by Veracruz, Mexico native Pedro Domeca.
February is "National Cherry Month" and what better way to celebrate its rich history by trying Southern Comfort's new cherry flavor. In 2012, by reclaiming their roots as an original flavored spirit with fruit (peaches), honey, spices and whiskey, Southern Comfort introduced Bold Black Cherry after 138 years of unique expertise went into this original concoction that is now available in the US, UK, and Ireland. Southern Comfort grew from its birthplace in New Orleans to a spirit enjoyed around the world by itself or in mixed cocktails.
I realize that many of you may not be interested in going this far with creating cocktails, but I think it is interesting to see the cocktail movement for this year. Much of mixology now is presentation and flair. Image is everything, right. If anything, these concoctions can certainly be the talk of your party should you decide to incorporate them into your theme. They would look great on display.
My good friend, John, who is a great chef, is doing a 'Taste of Italy' event in Philly and asked me to provide him with 3 signature Italian cocktails to go with his apps, but I'm all about doing more...If anyone is interested, I am offering them here as a special bonus for the weekend:
Negroni: 1 oz Gin, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, and 1 oz Campari stirred over ice in a mixing glass and strained into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish = lemon or orange twist (bitter)
For today's post, I will be focusing on my efficient free pour system (count system) when pouring from liquor bottles into a glass or tin. Of course, you will need pourers on top of bottles. I find that the best pourers around are the clear plastic and silver, long spout ones you can be purchase at 'The Restaurant Store' in Camp Hill. They are very accurate, inexpensive, and have a smooth pour flow. Also, get some jiggers to use for juices and mixers. You can always use the jiggers until you feel comfortable free-pouring.
I hope everyone had a great New Years and are ready to mix it up in 2014. This post is the first in a series of posts describing the basics of Mixology and providing you with a foundation and a basic knowledge needed to be an educated and informed drinker. Many moons ago when I took the leap of faith to go to bartending school and become a part-time bartender, which lead to full-time, then management, then teaching, then consulting, and now, writing and blogging. Little did I know that it would carry me to this point of my life. To say the least, it was a rocky time in my life.
Below is a Q&A with Jon Taffer, fiery and very outspoken world renowned bar expert and consultant from Spike TV's Bar Rescue show, about the latest trends in the industry as he travels across America rescuing failing and struggling bars. I'm sure many of you have seen it or at least heard about it. It's a neat show.