Archive for January, 2010

Flair Bartender Profile- Up close and personal with Behnam Gerami

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Name: Behnam Gerami
Nationality: United States
Age: 36
Years Bartending: 12(12 Flair)

I first met Behnam at the Flairco Cup back in 2006. I was always impressed by his style from watching videos of him, but when I watched him perform live, I was blown away. He is truly the roll master!

I recently caught up with Behnam and this is my interview with Behnam Gerami.

Q- When did you get into Flair bartending?
A- I started Flair bartending in 1998. I was working at a TGI Fridays, and they basically forced me to learn Flair, and there was a mandatory in store flair competition.

Q- Did you have a mentor when you first started?
A- My mentor at the time was Leigh Miller. I had a few TGI Fridays videos and he was the man at the time. Very smooth and original.

Q- Where are you currently working?
A- I am not currently working anywhere. I’m always looking for new opportunities.

Q-To date, what is your best Flair moment?
A- One of my best Flair moments was the first time I went to London for Roadhouse. I made the finals in 2004. Also, my first Legends of Bartending is very dear to me.

Q- To date, what is your worst Flair moment?
A- My worst Flair moment? Hmmm…there is no worst moment, but I am very upset about never making the finals at King of the Ring. It was a three day competition and I would always make the semi finals, but never the final round which is a big disappointment for me. It is the only comp that I never made the finals.

Q- What are your plans for the future?
A- My plans are to do a flair movie, or show to help grow Flair bartending. Also, I want to make another Area 51 DVD titled Area 52, so watch out for that!

Q- Other than yourself, who is your favourite Flair bartender?
A- Well I love Flair and many different styles, so my all time favourite Flair bartenders are Nicolas St. Jean, and the Delpech brothers. I love all the guys on Area 51, that’s why they’re on it, but I also love the Polish guys, Tomek and Merek. Danilo, Dyer, Rafa, and Sebastian to name a few. I hope to feature all of them on Area 52!

Q- Do you have a signature cocktail?
A- Well I have many signature cocktail, but one of my favourites is featured on the I Bar menu at the Rio in Las Vegas called “Darkness”.

Q- Do you have a least favourite cocktail?
A- My least favourite would be anything too sweet.

Q- Finally, what is you’re favourite Flair bar?
A- My favourite Flair bar is Carnaval Court. It’s been the best Flair bar for 10 years and it’s only been open for 9 years! I have the best time whenever I go there. Day shift or night shift it doesn’t matter. They’re the best group of guys because they’re more than just bartenders!

Thanks to Behnam for taking the time to do this interview.

We wish you the best of luck in all upcoming competitions and can’t wait for Area 52!

MxMo.to – Tea Cocktails

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Welcome to this months MxMo, before we start a special thanks to Cocktail Slut for hosting. Schedules didnt permit as large a gathering in Toronto as we would have liked this month, but Rob Montgomery came through with flying colours with “God Save the King” aka “Royal Gin Fizz”

God Save the King with home made MacMonster Bitters

God Save the King with home made MacMonster Bitters

Adapted from the “Silver King” from Wylie Drufresne’s restaurant WD-50 in NYC. A deceptively simple drink that is truly greater than the some of it’s parts. The “Silver King” contained no tea, so I set about to add some. My first attempt of tea infused sweet vermouth was tasty, but lacked a little punch. Digging around the fridge I found a bottle of Lyles Golden syrup. Perfect (give it a try instead of regular simple syrup in your favorite recipe). Once the ratios were right, I added a few drops of vegetable based red food coloring to give the drink a nice royal glow.

60ml London Dry Gin (I used Brockmans but any top shelf will do)
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml fresh lime juice
45ml Royal Red Sizzurp**
1 dash MacMonster ODB bitters
1 egg white (approx. 30ml)
30ml sparkling water
Orange slice (to garnish)

Combine first 6 ingredients in boston glass and fill with ice. Shake it like you mean it. Then shake some more. Strain over fresh ice in a collins glass. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with orange slice and a straw. Serves 1. Word.

**Royal Red Sizzurp

360ml Strong Brewed Earl Grey Tea
120ml Lyles Golden Syrup
30ml Sweet Vermouth (I used Martini)
6 drops veg based red food color
Combine in a small pot and warm slightly to speed dilution
Will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks before losing freshness.

You can reach Rob at www.themiller.ca where he presides over the bar, or also at kidcampari@gmail.com

If you twit, you can keep up to speed by following @kidcampari, @mcmasterlive, ar @bartenderone

BartenderOne Cocktails on ET Canada

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Recently, BartenderOne teamed up with Fastlife, ¬†Canada’s most stylish speed dating¬†and singles’ events service, for a featured piece on Entertainment Tonight Canada.

The event, named Cocktail Creations, took place at one of Toronto’s elite Nightclub venues, Shmooze.

The evening began as ten single women, and ten single men arrived with hopes of meeting that special someone.   The idea was that the ladies would be behind the bar, making cocktails for their dates.  Every eight minutes the gong would sound signifying the men on the outside of the bar to grab their freshly made cocktail, and rotate to the next date. Every other date would have the ladies creating drinks using fresh ingredients.

To start off, the ladies would receive proper instruction on how to create the cocktail with a little flair from Gavin MacMillan and the BartenderOne team.  They would then recreate two of each drink. One for themselves, and one for their date.

On the menu for the event were drinks such as the Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Orgasm, and a Slippery Nipple shooter.

All of the recipes were a huge success, but the biggest reaction was definitely  for the Slippery Nipple. Not for the name or the recipe, but because of how the shooters were to be taken.

The event planners set up a row of ten chairs and asked the men to take a seat.  Then, the shooters were handed out and the men were instructed to hold them between their knees.  The ladies were then told to take back the shooters but were not allowed to use their hands.  Not bad for a first date!

The evening continued on and it was obvious that the singles were loosening up and having a great time.

Some sparks were flying around the room, and a few couples were really hitting it off.

The Entertainment Tonight Canada cameras were there to capture the event in its entirety, including the shooter portion, which for some reason didn’t make it to air.

The episode aired on Friday January 8th, and both FastLife, and BartenderOne gained great exposure.

Thanks to Fastlife and ET Canada for another fantastic event!

 

BartenderOne Represents Canada at the International Cocktail Experience

Friday, January 15th, 2010

In a head to head competition among Canadian bartending schools, and Mixology Companies, and independent mixologists, BartenderOne emerged as the 1st place Champions in the International Cocktail Experience in November 2009.

The 2 day competition involved educational components and drink design and was judged by 3 of the planets top mixologists, Dre Masso, Nick Strangeway, and Frankie Solarik, who owns Toronto’s “Bar Chef.”¬† BartenderOne’s winning cocktail “The Invisible Touch” was judged based on use of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients along with quality spirits and liqueurs.

The Invisible Touch was created in the style of a “Crusta” a classic cocktail technique where a layer of raw sugar is crusted to the outside of the glass, and allowed to dry.¬† “This allows the drinker to taste a little bit of sweetness without getting a mouthful of sugar every time they take a sip,” says BartenderOne front man Gavin MacMillan.¬† “The recipe we created is based on Beefeater 24 Gin, with Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka used to lengthen the flavour of the Beefeater 24 without overpowering the drink with juniper and Gin’s other botanicals.¬† Then we added Cointreau and Hand Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice to a base of muddled blueberries and lemon bitters.”

One of the elements that a lot of people overlook in a cocktail is the quality of the ice that you use.¬† “We used large, cold, fresh ice cubes” MacMillan explains, “the decrease in surface area of larger ice cubes means that your cocktail doesnt get diluted nearly as quickly.”

Competitions like this continue to elevate the skill level of Mixologists, through collaboration, education and the exchange of tips, tricks and ideas.¬† BartenderOne owner Gavin MacMillan travels to dozens of Mixology competitions and conferences every year.¬† It’s the only way we can stay on top of the industry, and ahead of the curve for bartender training.¬† Having a bartending school is a big responsibility, our graduates will be the next generation of mixologists who will be making drinks for you and me.¬† Our program changes constantly to reflect new techniques that are emerging around the world, to make sure that the Bartenders that leave our program truly understand what it takes to be successful at an international level.

For a long time, learning to Bartend in Toronto, meant going to a classroom and learning with coloured water and juices, we saw an opportunity to use real ingredients in our training, and give our students the opportunity to taste what the cocktails, martinis, wines and beer are like instead of just imagining it.¬† Its nice to finally have the opportunity to compete head to head with other bartending schools, it gives us an idea of where they’re at in terms of their training, and is a nice reminder that BartenderOne is moving in the right direction.

The Grand Prize for the Competition was a one week, all expenses paid trip to London, England, and Warsaw, Poland to meet and exchange ideas with some of Europe’s top Mixologists, and included a tour of the UK’s top mixology bars.¬† “We’re very proud to represent Canada, and very much looking forward to defending the title next year!