This post is dedicated to my dear friend and apprentice, Sam, who has impressingly become, in a very short time, a masterful liquid chef and home mixologist. I am proud to have taught him many of my trade secrets and he is well on his way to serving me a quality and well-balanced cocktail. I hope to impart more wisdom onto Sam in the coming months. Also, to Ann, his romantic assistant, and friends Julia, an aspiring mixologist and Christie, a friendly, neighborly imbiber, who have all found a better appreciation of good drink-making skills and cocktails.
It's that time of year when I like to sit down and enjoy a smooth and warming whisk(e)y in front of the fireplace. I found the perfect whisky to sip this winter and it hails from France. I received this rare bottle, as a token of gratitude, from Danl Cooney of Heavenly Spirits, importer of fine French Spirits, in Massachusetts for my written coverage and promotion of them during "National Cognac Day". I waited for the right time and a special occasion to taste it and it was well worth the wait.
Champagne is something you should consider sipping all year-round. But it’s especially appropriate this time of year, as everyone jolts from holiday party to holiday party. It’s time to get some expert advice on the sparkly stuff. A few myths debunked and some surprising tidbits from the correct glassware (hint - it’s not a flute) to why popping a cork should be graceful.
I've been wanting to write this blog post for quite some time now.
I'm a Bartender and Please Don't Ask Me What My "Real Job" Is -
Q - “What do you do?”
A - “I’m a bartender”
Q - “Right, but like, what do you WANT to do?”
A - “Um.”
This question comes in many forms, such as:
“Is this your night job?” “What do you really want to do?” “What did you do before this?” “Are you in school?”
An adult version of the 19th century lemon drop candy, the Lemon Drop (Martini) consists of vodka, triple sec (orange liqueur), lemon juice, and simple syrup that is shaken and strained into a sugar-rimmed Martini/Cocktail glass and garnished with a lemon twist. In some circles, people have begun to mix it with Citrus Vodka, i.e. Absolut Citron, but the classic way is straight vodka.
National Liqueur Day is October 16th. It’s never too early to begin thinking about the holidays, and Thanksgiving is—deep breath—just over a little over a month away. Many liqueurs/cordials are perfect to be sipped in the winter months so why not make some of your own and gift to others for the holidays or even make some for a holiday party.
The classic citrusy Italian liqueur limoncello, almond-flavored amaretto, and cocoa cream-flavored Irish cream are always crowd-pleasers and are great anytime.
One of my favorite things to do is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) infusions and batched cocktail projects. I've been experimenting in the laboratory for quite a while now and I still learn something new every time. The fun thing about infusing spirits, liqueurs, syrups, and waters is that there aren't a lot of rules and complicated techniques to employ. Plus, it allows for using fresh ingredients and healthier, low sugar content, less expensive, and adds a personal touch. Most of the time it's just mixing things together, taste testing and experimenting, and seeing what happens.
In celebrating "National Vodka Day", I offer up some cocktails that are classic and will look very familiar to most while others are originals with my own personal twists. The suggested vodka brand used for each cocktail is intentional based on it's character and tasting notes in relation to other ingredients. Of course, as always, you are welcome to use your own favorite vodka, but it's important to have a well-balanced cocktail even with vodka's subtle taste qualities.
Depending on where you are in the world, what you’re ordering, and type of establishment, tipping can be tricky. What is considered a bad tip? When is the tip included and when isn’t it? Is there ever a time where you shouldn’t tip well? Tipping is not a city in China!
These are all common questions that have been on people’s minds forever. Nevertheless, there’s one kind of tipping that stays pretty consistent across the board and should be: tipping a bartender.
(Cover photo courtesy of my friends at Liquor.com)
National Whiskey Sour Day was August 25th, but the reality is that the Whiskey Sour is a great drink that can be enjoyed all year long if made properly. With all the quality of bourbons, small-batch bourbons, and other whiskies on the market today, it is no wonder that it has stood the test of time and endures as one of the country’s most popular sour cocktail.