Tag Archives: Bartender Training

Take a Trip to the Caribbean from the Comfort of Your Own Bar

Want to take an imaginary trip to the Caribbean with class? The Caribbean Cosmo is the way to do it!

Want to take an imaginary trip to the Caribbean with class? The Caribbean Cosmo is the way to do it!

“I’ll have a Sex and the City martini please,” she tells the bartender. There’s no denying that the cocktail revolution is in full swing; and no beverage has single handedly changed the way we view cocktail culture like the Cosmopolitan. While Carrie Bradshaw sipped reddish pink Cosmos in chic New York watering holes on television’s popular “Sex and the City,” the rest of us wanted to taste that lifestyle, and the Cosmopolitan takes you there…

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Who Says “It’s Not Easy Being Green?”

Cocktails with colour draw your guests' attention, making them more likely to try something new!

Cocktails with colour draw your guests' attention, making them more likely to try something new!

From the classic long island iced tea to start off your evening, to a warm and comforting blueberry tea after a good meal, tea flavoured cocktails have been around for forever. The recent surge in popularity of green tea, coupled with the fact that teas are included on more and more cocktail menus, is a great indication that we’re all about to get a healthy dose of antioxidants. In North America, high quality tea products are now more accessible than ever. With its highly publicized health benefits, wholesale tea sales have grown more than 600 per cent in the last 15 years. Trailblazing restauranteurs are noticing the trends from the Far East and incorporating what was once considered a very ceremonial ingredient into today’s cocktail revolution. Matcha is one of the latest types of tea to hit the Canadian marketplace. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it, few people, or bartenders for that matter, have. With both Starbucks and Booster Juice recently adding matcha to their menus, it won’t be long before it’s a household name. Just know that matcha is the new chai, and it’s a buzzword that may just turn the industry on its ear.

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Cocktail Sizzle and Flair; I’ll Have What She’s Having…

Transcendent glassware and aesthetically appealing garnish will make a world of difference to your cocktails!

Transcendent glassware and aesthetically appealing garnish will make a world of difference to your cocktails!

Who could forget Meg Ryan’s performance in “When Harry Met Sally.” Whether she’s having a Screaming Orgasm (one of this month’s featured cocktails), or your own house specialty, one thing is for sure – your cocktails need to sizzle! Cocktail presentation and felicitous bartender training can make the difference between your guests leaving after one drink, or having your clients buzz around the water cooler about the amazing cocktail creation they had the night before.

Companies like Milestones and TGIFriday’s have made cocktail presentation and proper bartender training a cornerstone of their beverage program, not only by dressing up their cocktails, but by “parading” a tray of drinks through the dining room at eye level to take advantage of a little free on-site marketing. So what can you do to dress up your beverage program?

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Exotic Flavours of Summer!

Give your guests an experience by creating cocktails that scream summer!

Give your guests an experience by creating cocktails that scream summer!

How often have you sat with a group of friends in search of something new and exciting and ended up settling on the same old? How often have you asked your resident bartender for a suggestion and been given something truly different? With the arrival of summer patio season more and more people will be looking for a great patio to enjoy the sunshine and a cool cocktail with friends. There are more than a handful of options when it comes to the flavours, that will undoubtedly, dominate this summer’s exotic cocktail trends.

As the Canadian consumer continues to demand more than just beer, bartenders are becoming mixologists, and in many cases, bar chefs – taking traditional culinary techniques and implementing them into their beverage programs. In a marketplace dominated by drinks that adhere to specific cost and speed of preparation margins, taking an extra few seconds and spending an extra few cents to handcraft a cocktail using top shelf ingredients can make the difference between clientele that will come back and customers who will keep searching for that elusive “something different.”

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International Bartending Certification (IBC) Finals – Summer 2010

More than 100 ingredients lined the bar for the IBC Final Exam

More than 100 ingredients lined the bar for the IBC Final Exam

The BartenderOne IBC (International Bartending Certification) wrapped up last week at Empire Lounge in Toronto’s Yorkville district. After tasting more than 100 spirits, liqueurs, bitters, along with dozens of varieties of sweeteners, citrus, custom infused spirits and syrups, student mixologists were tasked with creating an original cocktail in each of 5 spirit categories. Cocktails were to incorporate elements of both traditional balanced cocktail theory along with optional elements of infusion, fatwashing, bruleeing, and molecular mixology techniques like spherification, foams, misting and more…

The results were impressive, drinks were well thought out for the most part and the mixologists showed that they weren’t afraid to experiment with non traditional mixology techniques, and drinks that would appeal to a guest who had a particular affinity for a cocktail that didnt follow the methodology used for a balanced beverage.

Here are the standouts in each category.

VODKA COCKTAILS

Chocolate Chai Chiller - by Mixologist Heidi Boyle

Chocolate Chai Chiller - by Mixologist Heidi Boyle

Chocolate Chai Chiller

2oz Chai Infused Russian Standard Vodka
1 tsp choc syrup
4oz Lactose Free Milk
Shake & strain
Garnish with a Belgian Choc Disk & Chai Foam
(Chai foam made from egg whites and Chai Vodka)

Lemon Basil Martini - by Mixologist Chris Flink

Lemon Basil Martini - by Mixologist Chris Flink

Lemon Basil Martini
4 leaves basil
2oz Lemoncello
2oz Grey Goose Vodka
1 oz lemon simple syrup
1 tsp cane sugar
1 oz soda water

Muddle sugar and basil in boston glass. Add all ingredients (except soda) to boston glass. Shake with ice. Add soda. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist

Super Melonl - by Mixologist Alex Firanski

Super Melon

Super Melon

2oz Grey Goose Vodka

Juice of one navel orange
4-5 Honeydew melon balls
4-5 Clementine wedges
3 dashes orange bitters
Muddle clementine wedges and melon balls in mixing glass until nice and juicy. Add freshly pressed orange juice, vodka and ice. Shake well. Strain over fresh ice in highball glass and top with bitters. Garnish with skewer of two clemintine wedges and one flambeed melon ball. Enjoy.

GIN COCKTAILS

Garden Fresh - by Mixologist Alex Firanski

Garden Fresh - by Mixologist Alex Firanski

Garden Fresh

2oz Tanqueray Gin
One medium size Grapefruit
Small hand full of Cilantro
1 bar spoon of sugar
1oz Egg whites
3 dashes Grapefruit bitters

Dry shake egg whites and sugar. Place cilantro in mixing glace and cover with one slice of grapefruit. Muddle. Add freshly pressed grapefruit juice(about 3oz), gin, and ice. Shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice in highball glass and top with bitters. Garnish with grapefruit slice and cilantro sprig. Enjoy.

The Gin Based Pom Collins served with Pom Gin Caviar - by Mixologist Heidi Boyle

The Gin Based Pom Collins served with Pom Gin Caviar - by Mixologist Heidi Boyle

All three judges scored the Pom Collins runner up cocktail of the evening.  Amazing!

Pom Collins

3oz Victoria Gin
4oz Hand squeezed lemonade
2oz Rubicon Pomegranate juice
splash of soda
on a spoon…
Pom Gin caviar

RUM COCKTAILS

Pear-adise with Goldschlager Cinnamon Foam and Carmelized Pear Garnish

Pear-adise with Goldschlager Cinnamon Foam and Carmelized Pear Garnish - by Mixologist Alex Firanski

Pear-adise

1.5oz Bacardi Rum

0.5oz Navan Vanilla Liqueur
2oz pear nectar
Goldshlager foam*
Brown butter and cinnamon roasted pears
3 dashes chocolate bitters

Place pear nectar, rum, Navan, bitters, and ice in a mixing glace. Shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glace. Fill the remainder of the glass with Goldshlager foam. Pass a knife along the top of the glace to remove any excess foam so that it is flush with the top of the glass. Skewer 3 roasted pears, dust them with brown sugar, then caramalize with torch. Garnish with pear skewer and edible gold flakes. Yum…

*Goldshlager foam – 1.5oz Goldshlager, 1.5oz egg whites, 2oz pear nectar, 3oz water. Charge with N02. (Makes 8oz batch, yeilds enough for a dozen drinks)

WHISK(E)Y COCKTAILS

Tennessee Twist - by Mixologist Ceri Sadler

Tennessee Twist - by Mixologist Ceri Sadler

Tennessee Twist
1oz Jack Daniel’s
3/4 Vanilla Vodka
1/2 Blue Curacao
2 Fresh Oranges
Garnish with orange zest
Served in high ball on ice

Real Canadian Sushi - By Mixologist Alex Firanski

Real Canadian Sushi - By Mixologist Alex Firanski

All three judges scored the Real Canadian Sushi the highest of the evening.  Truly Amazing!

Real Canadian Sushi

1.5oz Canadian Club Whisky
3 lemon slices
0.5oz ginger sirup
Maple sirup
Roasted sesame seeds
Wasabi flavoured faux caviar

Role edge of cocktail glace in maple sirup and rim with sesame seeds. Leave glace to rest upside down to avoid any running of excess sirup. Muddle lemon and sirup in mixing glass. Add wiskey and ice. Shake well. Double stain into rimmed cocktail glass. Place a barspoon of wasabi caviar into the bottom of the glass. Serve with caviar on a wonton spoon. Seriously.

TEQUILA COCKTAILS

Pink Sombrero - By Mixologist Ceri Sadler

Pink Sombrero - By Mixologist Ceri Sadler

Pink Sombrero
1oz Cazadores Tequila
1/2 Cassis
1/2 A Fresh Lemon
1/2 Fresh Lime
Bar spoon of Sugar
Garnish with a lime
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Training Wheel with Tequila Caviar - by Mixologist Chris Flink

Training Wheel with Tequila Caviar - by Mixologist Chris Flink

Chris took a molecular approach to the North American Tradition of the Tequila, salt, lime trifecta.

The Training Wheel
Cazadores Tequila Caviar
Salted Lime Wheel (rind removed from half)
Serve on upside down shotglass.
Prepare lime wheel (cut, remove half rind, salt lightly). add caviar.

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Are you Getting Fresh with Me?

Displaying something exotic on the bar opens up your guests' eyes to all of the possibilities, and allows you to show off what your capable of working with!

Displaying something exotic on the bar opens up your guests' eyes to all of the possibilities, and allows you to show off what your capable of working with!

The kitchen and the bar have always had a peaceful coexistence and freshness has always been a key ingredient to the success of any kitchen. The same is quickly becoming true as consumers are demanding the same fresh, handcrafted care from their mixologist as they do from their chefs. It’s rare to find a bar chef who can take the principles of traditional mixology, and synergize them with fresh ingredients to create cocktails that take your dining and drinking experience to a new level.

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Mixing a Formula for Long Term Success!

The industry is experiencing a cocktail revolution, and it’s time to start demanding more from bartenders

If your drink isn't up to your standards, send it back!

If your drink isn't up to your standards, send it back!

Has any one else noticed the increase in bars, restaurants and clubs arriving on the scene at the same rate they are disappearing? In major urban centres every week it seems that there is a new “I have to go” spot to check out. Why can’t these concepts find the secret to lasting success? Many bars and restaurants begin with a well-defined vision, spend countless hours and dollars on all the hard details of their operations and then in one swoop, hire their front line salespeople without considering their abilities to serve a drink? With all of these new places opening, who are we putting on the front lines to represent our new concepts?

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Imagination and Culinary Creativity Shake the Bar Scene

The Mojito is many bartender's first step into creating hand-crafted cocktails.

The Mojito is many bartender's first step into creating hand-crafted cocktails.

You may have heard the old cliché that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. For many restaurants and bars, service and product quality in the venue represent that weak link. Through years of systemizing our hospitality concepts, only a few operators have successfully maintained their level of bartender training and product quality. Quite often, it’s easier to practice management by abdication than management by delegation. In other words, it’s easier to fill a position with someone who has enough bartender training to get by, than to take the time and effort to train them to be great! The trouble is your front line employees deserve nothing but the best training; they are after all, the first and last impression that your guests will have of your operation.

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Mixology Mondays – Pain in the Ass Drinks

MxMo XLVIII will take place Monday, April 26; hosting this round is Seattle bartender Mike McSorley, who publishes the blog McSology, and for the theme Mike has chosen Pain in the Ass Drinks. As he puts it in his preview post:
…My charge to you all is to document your (least) favorite drink that is the proverbial thorn in your side. It can be virtually anything stylistically – The point here is to have fun and share that little ticket item that throws you off your cleaning game 10 minutes before last call!

Nishan Chandra from Blowfish presents the work in progress that may or may not be presented at Made with Love Mixology in Quebec City on May 10th.

Cafe Del Mar…

60mL Skyy Vodka

15mL Coconut cream steeped with dates and vanilla beans

15mL Mango Juice

30mL Espresso

60mL Melted Dark chocolate, white chocolate, Caramel (Kat Salon mix)

Shake all ingredients together over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On a wonton spoon place 15mL Amarula Cream Liqueur, Mars Chocolate Spice, and Blowfish Espresso Chocolate Cake with Chili and Blue Icing Sugar Paste.

Place a tab of Kupuru on a hot stone and burn for menthol aromatics. Enjoy when Kapuru is spent.

Scott McMaster adds to the mix with his Lamb infused Skyy creation called Mary’s Little Caesar…

45mL Lamb infused Skyy Vodka

120mL Clamato

Powdered Mushroom, Rosemary and Thyme Infused Salt Rim

Served over frozen cucumber cubes.

Coming from the school that every Caesar is different everywhere you go, and its never perfect unless you make it, each element has so many vartiations, the ultimate combination is only found on your own palate.
you can follow Dr Evil aka Scott McMaster on twitter… @evilatthebar

Wes Galloway came to the bar with the KFCeasar.

KFCeaser

45mL Roast Chicken-Infused Vodka

15mL Vodka

3-4 Dashes Smokin’ Joe Hot Sauce

3oz Mott’s Clamato

Healthy pinch of 11 herb/spice blend(Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Celery Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Salt, Ginger, Garlic, MSG, Dry Mustard)

*Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and roll drink between mixing tin and glass 8-10 times. Strain drink into an ice-filled highball glass rimmed with the 11 herb/spice blend. Use any leftover spice to make fried chicken;)

You can find Wes on Facebook by searching Wes Galloway

Gavin MacMillan busted out a Strawberry Pear Caipiroska

60mL Grey Goose La Poire

2 Strawberries and 1/2 lime muddled

1 tsp sugar

Muddle berries an lime with sugar, add crushed ice and La Poire.

you can follow Gavin on twitter… @bartenderone

Irish Coffee
As I like to make all my cocktails fresh and handcrafted the Irish Coffee is my absolute PAIN in the ASS drink. The bottles have been wiped, dishwasher dismantled and some guests sneek in. “Irish Coffee? No Problem… Let me put on a fresh pot of coffee….” Next a whisk and bowl are pulled out and the cream starts to happen…. At this point the guest usually looks a little sheepish, but I keep a genuine hospitable smile. Once the drink finally gets to their lips, it is surely the best post prandial they have ever had, and heck with all this whipped cream and coffee let’s have another round!!

Irish Coffee

Unsweetened Heavy Cream
50ml Irish Whiskey
120ml Fresh-Brewed coffee
30ml Rich simple syrup

Whip the cream until bubbles no longer form on the surface, thickened but still pourable.
In a small white wine glass combine remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
Ladle 2-3cm of cream on top, garnish if desired and serve at once….

you can follow Rob on twitter… @kidcampari

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Flair Bartender Profile- Up close and personal with Behnam Gerami

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!

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