Author Archives: BartenderOne

A Lesson in Marketing (no, not that kind)

The amazing fresh produce at St. Lawrence Market, ripe for the picking.

The amazing fresh produce at St. Lawrence Market, ripe for the picking.


Not all freestyle mixology sessions need to start with a trip to the liquor store! Local markets packed with farm fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and fantastic finds can be your first destination for inspiration.

Here in Toronto we are particularly blessed with access to several excellent open and indoor markets. St. Lawrence Market and the Kensington District both offer fantastic selections of fresh produce, bulk goods, and specialty shops with every imaginable ingredient under the sun. You can almost always track down specific spices and preserves, thanks especially to the diversity of background in our city. However, at least half the fun of a trip to the market is the item you didn’t expect to see! Preserved Marasca Cherries, anyone? A hidden find at one of these well stocked purveyors could spark your next great cocktail idea!

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Better Bitters from your Buddies at B1

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

Have you ever tasted a something and thought ‘man I could do a better job myself’? BartenderOne had the chance to back up this statement when Lauren Mote, celebrated Mixologist from The Refinery Bar in Vancouver came to assist with a culinary approach to cocktails.

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Flair Bartending night in Canada

The Toronto Flair League’s first season was incredibly successful. The promoters were overwhelmed with the interest and passion shared not only by the competitors, but with the fans as well. In the past six months, the interest in the sport of flair bartending has risen faster than ever in the city of Toronto.

Season 2 promised to be bigger and better. One of the most notable changes was the addition of a third division. Instead of having advanced and amateur divisions, the TFL now is comprised of A, B, and C divisions.

This change opened the doors for the jam packed B division, (formerly the advanced division) competitors because the top 6 bartenders from season 1 were moved into the A division.

With the talent spread very evenly throughout the B division, the competition level is higher than ever before.

February 23 2011 marked the start of season 2.

There were three new competitors joining the C division including Yuki Yamazaki, Terri Lee, and Louis Brosas who were competing for the very first time.

As usual, the Loose Moose was close to capacity to witness the biggest showcase of flair bartending skills that Toronto has ever seen.

vadim

Heading into the show, odds makers had Dustin “Flair Bear” Costain as the favorite for the B division, followed closely by Jeremy Janes, Mauro Pento, Jeremy Browes, and Shay Court.

The TFL’s first 5 minute A division round kicked off with Alejandro Giraldo throwing down a near flawless routine.

At the end of the night, the crowd was eager with anticipation to find out the results for all 3 divisions.

In the C division, taking home third place was newcomer Louis Brosas. Second place went to Yann, and taking home the C division championship was Pierre Gadouas of Montreal.

In the B division, coming in third place and the $40 prize was the Loose Moose’s own Jay Myers. Second place and the $60 prize went to Jeremy Browes, and taking home the $100 prize and the first season 2 championship was “Flair Bear” Dustin Costain.

The A Division saw Kris Perez take third place. Season 1 champion David Jennings took home second place, and the first ever Division A champion was Alejandro Giraldo who claimed the $150 prize.
TFL

Another successful competition by the Toronto Flair League is proof of the rising interest in flair bartending in the city of Toronto.

There are few bartending schools in Toronto that promote, and properly train bartenders in the art of flair. BartenderOne is responsible for training over 80% of the bartenders in the TFL, and Flair Studios Canada has also done a great job preparing bartenders for competition.

Moving forward, the Toronto Flair League will be incorporating themes into their competitions to make the guest experience that much better.

Watch out for TFL 80’s night in late March.

Until then, keep flipping.

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Don’t Forget the “Sex Face”

The Aviation -- A mouth watering classic cocktail!

The Aviation -- A mouth watering classic cocktail!

I’ve been told that the face a bartender makes when he/she is shaking a drink is the same face they make when they are having sex.  You might want to practice making these three cool cocktails in front of a mirror…

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Wake Me Up Before You Go Go …

The Sazerac

The Sazerac

In the 1500s, lead cups were commonly used to drink ale.The combination of alcoholic beverage and lead vessel would sometimes knock drinkers out for a couple of days, and these unfortunate souls would be taken for dead and prepared for burial!  A body  would be laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if the body would wake up – hence the custom of holding a wake.

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Spring Ahead, Kick Back!

Cocktail caviar is a fairly simple, yet effective way of impressing your guests while hitting taste/texture sensations they've never heard of!

Cocktail caviar is a fairly simple, yet effective way of impressing your guests while hitting taste/texture sensations they've never heard of!

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to shake things up – or stir things up, depending on the drink!  Here are some completely random recipes that have crossed my lips this month.  If you or your staff have recipes you think might be of interest to Behind Bars readers, please drop me a line!
 
The Montgomery
Named by Ernest Hemingway in honour of the British general who, he claimed, would fight the enemy only if he had 15 soldiers to their one – that was also the proportion of gin to dry vermouth in the martinis Hemingway ordered.
(Source: The Harry’s Bar Cookbook, Arrigo Cipriani)
Adapted recipe for a 60ml “Montgomery” martini

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Nothing rhymes with cocktail!

A sweet twist on the classic Sidecar. Use Navan Vanilla Liqueur, as opposed to orange liqueur.

A sweet twist on the classic Sidecar. Use Navan Vanilla Liqueur, as opposed to orange liqueur.

We wanted to title this one “April cocktails bring May ____,” but alas … nothing rhymes with cocktail.

Whatever the coming month will bring, with the last threats of winter’s snow storms hopefully behind us, it’s time to ponder a few cool drinks for the upcoming spring and summer (aka: patio) seasons.  Here are some recipes that have crossed my lips this month.  If you or your staff have recipes you think might be of interest to Behind Bars readers, please drop me a line!

Navan Sidecar
3 parts B&B

1 part Navan vanilla liquer

Juice of one whole, fresh lemon

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Simple Recipes from the World’s Best Bars!

A Negroni Sbagliato uses sparkling wine instead of Gin.

A Negroni Sbagliato uses sparkling wine instead of Gin.

Honey Suckle Cocktail from Milk and Honey in London, England
50ml               Cuban rum
20ml               honey syrup
20ml               fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into chilled Coupe or Martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
 
Negroni Sbagliato from Bar Basso in Milan, Italy
50ml               sparkling wine
50ml               sweet vermouth
50ml               Campari
Stir all ingredients over ice in ballon shaped wine glass. Serve immediately.
 
Bondi Crush from Iceberg’s In Sydney, Australia
30ml               Bombay Sapphire Gin
15ml               Pimm’s No.1
1tsp                 finely shredded mint
ginger ale to top
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add first  three ingredients and stir well. Top with ginger ale and stir again. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.
 
Heels Race from The High Heels Bar In Cairo, Egypt
30ml               vodka
15ml               Kahlua           
15ml               peach schnapps
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh red cherry and serve.
 
Stay thirsty,

Rob Montgomery, The Miller Tavern
*For the record, you can’t buy my love!  I have tried all products mentioned and have no affiliation with parent companies.

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Cocktails That Pack a Good Punch!

Read further for punch recipes that pack a punch like Muhammad!

Read further for punch recipes that pack a punch like Muhammad!

Enduring the cold Canadian winter is no easy feat.  A classic survival kit includes cocktails that kick it ‘Old’s Cool,’ tropical treats to remind us of warmer months and a party punch that pleases the crowd.

Coffee Cocktail (sourced from Jerry Thomas’* Bar-tenders Guide 1887) 
According to Dave Wondrich in IMBIBE:

“Rumour had it that this suave and rich concoction came from New Orleans.  It shouldn’t wonder.  In any case it clearly pushes the cocktail envelope, as the anonymous compiler of the 1887 edition of Thomas’s book noted:  “The name of the drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found amongst its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and hence probably its name”.”

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Organic Spirits and Liqueurs: Is a there such a thing as a “Healthy Cocktail?”

Cocktails that are created with care for the earth will show your guests' you care for their well being!

Cocktails that are created with care for the earth will show your guests' you care for their well being!

With public health awareness at an all time high, and a recovering economy that is shifting focus back on the environmental movement, more and more bars are making an effort to go green with their daily business practices for a handful of reasons. Organic ingredients are popping up at every turn, in fact more than 75 different types of Organic Spirits, Liqueurs, Wines and Beers are available in most provinces.

First of all, it’s important to identify the difference between a green cocktail and the absurdity of the healthy cocktail. Ordering up a beverage made with green tea liqueur is not going to earn you any points in the antioxidant cup. Organic Spirits, Wines and Beers are becoming more and more popular, new companies are jumping on the organic bandwagon, others have been quietly producing organic and sustainable products for decades. Do organic ingredients in a cocktail really make a difference? Are they any healthier for you? Aren’t cocktails are supposed to be a little bit naughty anyways?

To answer this question, we made three cocktails, one completely organic, one made with non-organic spirits, citrus and sweeteners, and one in the fashion commonly employed by most bars in operation in Canada today.

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