Category Archives: Mixology

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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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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Moving up to Cocktails!

Would you rather receive the tip from a Rum & Coke ($4) or a $10 Cocktail? Be the difference between an 'Order taker' and a 'Mixologist'.

Would you rather receive the tip from a Rum & Coke ($4) or a $10 Cocktail? Be the difference between an 'Order taker' and a 'Mixologist'.

Vodka sodas and Gin and tonics are fine, but as Canada starts making a move to catch up with the cocktail epicentres of the world, it’s time to take a serious look at your cocktail offering. Many restaurants are still stuck in the late 1990’s Martini cocktail phase, where drinks full of liqueurs and postmix juices, served in oversized martini glasses. Those days are gone, and the cocktails that are replacing those juicy martinis are elegant, sophisticated drinks, full of flavour and ripe with profitability.

We have all heard of suggestive selling, but few servers practice, many simply fall into the rut of being an order taker. It’s worth noting over 50% of drinkers are unaware of price at the time that they place the order, and that over 60% of guests will take the advice or recommendation of a server or bartender. so taking your guests from a Vodka and Cranberry to a Cosmopolitan should really be a piece of cake. The ingredients hardly differ at all, simply decrease the amount of Cranberry and add a splash of orange liqueur. The cost differential is minimal but your opportunity to sell the end product for a premium is tremendous.

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2010 Year in Review

The noted and extremely simple Sazerac.

The noted and extremely simple Sazerac.

It is a very exciting time to be in the bar business. There have been few times since the repeal of Prohibition that cocktails have been at the forefront of the media and the public conscience, backed by bartenders who are now considering themselves Mixologists and Bar Chefs.

Classic cocktails are back in a big way across the country. Led by great cocktail bars from the St. John Alehouse in the east to Clives Classic Lounge in Victoria on the left coast, passionate mixologists are taking a fresh approach to cocktails. It’s not just in the privately owned cocktail bars either. Major chains across the country are adopting new (and old) cocktails, techniques like muddling fresh fruits and herbs, and looking at their beverage programs differently than we did when big juicy martinis were all the rage.

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Forgotten Classic Cocktails: The Gimlet!

The Gimlet aka Gene Snyder on the rocks.

The Gimlet aka Gene Snyder on the rocks.

Once as popular as the Martini or Manhattan the mighty Gimlet is often overlooked by modern cocktailians. On several occasions I have even received a Martini with cocktail onions(Gibson) upon ordering a Gimlet. Two simple ingredients combine to make something much more. A juniper-citrus aroma, through the sweet and sour mid palate, and a long lingering finish. Hard to beat for a serious slake. If you have the means please make your own lime cordial, it really makes a difference. Recipes follow. Gimlet 1 / Scurvy 0

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