Tag Archives: Cocktails

Build! Shake! Stir!

 

 

 

What can I get you?

 

 

Whether you’re at a bar to meet friends or to meet new ones, the drinks that are being served are either Built, Shaken or Stirred….. but what’s the difference and why does it make a difference?

Lets break it down….

Built drinks are things like a Rum and Coke or a Vodka with Club Soda – Glass-Ice-Alcohol-Mix-Garnish and Straw, EASY!!!

Stirred drinks are things like a Negroni or a Manhattan – Mixing Glass-Spirit-Ice-Stir-Strain into appropriate glass

Shaken drinks are things like a Cosmopolitan or a Whiskey Sour – Shaking glass-Mix-Spirit-Ice-Shake-Strain into appropriate glass

Built drinks are the easiest of the three and 60% of drinks in a busy nightclub are made like this. What about the other 40% of drinks?

20% of drinks would be BEER!!! After that everything else is either shaken or stirred.

 

Bartenders all over the world have their own method of shaking and stirring with their own style and panache. With proper training you learn that although¬†Ice is your friend in a lot of cocktails one doesn’t want to OVER dilute drinks with improper use of our frozen friend H2O. Whether stirring or shaking a cocktail ice should always be added to the mixing glass AFTER the ingredients have been added, this will minimize the dilution and result in a better cocktail. Stirring is a technique, usually reserved for ‘Spirit-forward’ cocktails (cocktails without any non-alcoholic ingredients) and is all about preparing a drink with ice to both chill and dilute the drink without bruising the spirit. Shaking is the most fun way of making a cocktail and has been taken to unbelievable levels of style by bartenders who want to impress their guests. A good shake can be the difference between a great drink and a happy guest or a bad one and a disappointed guest. Shaking not only chills a cocktail, dilutes it and mixes the ingredients together but it can also introduce air, texture or ‘mouth-feel’ to a libation. With the addition of egg whites to a cocktail like an Amaretto sour, when shaken can dramatically change the dynamic of the feeling that is experienced when sipping on it.

 

Question: Whats the best method to use?

Answer: It all depends on what drink you’re making.

 

So, grab your shaking tins and bar spoons and figure out how you are going to build, shake and stir with passion, style and your own little twist.

 

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What is the Importance of Ice

 

 

Enticing yes...

 

Ice is‚Ķ. An Integral Component of Every cocktail, under the general definition of a cocktail being ‚Äúan alcoholic beverage which includes: Sugar, Bitters and Water (Ice)‚ÄĚ. Whether it is being used to chill a cocktail, mix ingredients together, for dilution and water content or simply just to take up space in a glass ‚Äď Ice is just as important as the drink itself.

¬†Bartending classes teach, about how much Ice a bartender should use in each cocktail being made, both in cocktails with a mixer for example a Whiskey Sour or even something as simple as a Rum and Coke and in ‚Äėspirit- forward‚Äô cocktails such as a Negroni or a Manhattan. These applications are concerned with ice in the final product, but what about drinks that are served with no ice?

Question: What does ‚ÄėNeat‚Äô mean?

Answer: NO ICE!!! A drink served neat, would be a shot of liquor that has had no contact with Ice. It’s gone straight from the bottle to the glass.

So what does ‚ÄėStraight-Up‚Äô mean? Ever had a Cosmopolitan or a Vodka Martini with Ice in it? I doubt it. Now think about this‚Ķ..Have you ever seen a bartender shake or stir a drink, then strain the drink into a glass with no ice? This cocktail would be called a ‚ÄėStraight-Up‚Äô cocktail.

So to simplify, both ‚ÄėStraight-Up‚Äô and ‚ÄėNeat‚Äô drinks are served without Ice. The difference is that ‚ÄėStraight-Up‚Äô cocktails have had contact with ice at some point leading up to being served.

As mentioned earlier, Ice can be used to take up space in a glass. “Why wouldn’t I just use a smaller glass?” I can hear you all asking. Have you ever had a Mojito served straight-up or in a short glass with no Ice? Crushed Ice is used in the classic Mojito recipe, because not only does it keep the drink ‘Ice” cold, it takes up space in the glass allowing the drink to contain less liquid, but still appear to be a tall, grande, gesture from your favourite bartender.

Egg whites are becoming a commonly used ingredient in a whole range of different libations. Just like pineapple juice, the egg whites will emulsify under heavy shaking or whisking creating a foam. The Ice used in the shaker tin almost acts as a whisk and helps the process of emulsification during shaking, in such cocktails as the Whiskey Sour or the Gin Fizz.

Question: How important is ‘Dilution’?

Answer: In many cases, it is very important.

Many cocktail recipes include a shake or a stir, these are for both mixing the drink, making it cold and dilution.

Look out soon for the up-and-coming ‘Build, Shake, Stir’ blog.

Also, take a look at our molecular mixology program which will give you the lowdown on both liquid Nitrogen and Dry-Ice

 

 

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The world’s top 5 bars in 2012

This question has been around as long as the noble art of drinking has existed: What is the best bar in the world?

Countless debates have surrounded this issue and it’s easy to understand why since there are so many elements involved in defining a bar as the best: service, menu, location, decor, history and of course the quality of the drinks served.

This situation inspired our friends from Drinks International, one of the most respected international magazines on the subject of spirits, wines and beer to find the very best bars in the globe. With an epic effort that involved a poll of 150 contributors, some of the most respected, influencial and knowledgable bar industry professionals in the planet this is as an accurate opinion on the top 5 bars in the world as you will find anywhere.

Here we will display the top 5 bars.

1

#1 ARTESIAN  (LONDON,UK)

The Artesian is a worthy number on. . At Tales of the Cocktail this year it claimed World’s Best Hotel  Bar as well as the World’s Best International Bartender in Alex Kratena and it is universally accepted  that the bar is properly special.

The cocktail menu has attracted much ¬†of the credit, and with good reason. It effortlessly blends modern innovation ¬†with a classic reverence and each beautifully designed concoction justiÔ¨Āes its luxury price tag.

2

#2 PDT (NEW YORK, US)

In this bar the cocktail den is carefully dressed with eye-catching taxidermy, exposed brickwork,                    tasteful dark wood ceilings and gleaming bar top.

Low lighting, appropriate music and a sincere smile from the bar staff all contribute to making both                décor and atmosphere here comfortable.

3

#3 NIGHTJAR (LONDON, UK)

Fruits are carefully selected from reputable markets at the break of dawn and the subsequent design and crafting of these delicate glass accompaniments is something to behold.

A true appreciation of the past imbues all imbibing options here, with a menu divided into pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and post-war drinks.

They also take pride in the spirits, some of which are pre-Prohibition ‚Äď including an 1863 Hannisville Rye ‚Äď and share back bar space with all manner of homemade infusions and bitters.

The staff has experience in some of London’s best bars and as a result they provide the accomplished harmony of service and smile with a sexy stir or shake

4

#4 CONNAUGHT BAR (LONDON, UK)

The Connaught is among the best and rightly so ‚Äď it is a timeless Mayfair masterpiece and not so long ago enjoyed a spot of renovation that aimed to Ô¨āuff up its facade. It worked and the outcome was a hotel bar that blends contemporary and classic chic.

Once seated you can wait for the trolley to make things simple, or you can watch the bartenders head back to the bar with your order and perform. Their subtle motions of mixing won’t distract from conversation unless you need them to and the performance is like a silent movie.

5

#5 AMERICAN BAR AT THE SAVOY HOTEL (LONDON,UK)

Savoy is a bar dripping in reassuring British cocktail history.

From Harry Craddock right through to the current crop of cocktail creatives behind the stick, the American Bar has been hosted by and indeed host to some of the most colourful characters in drinking history and Ô¨Ā red out more than a few enduring classics along the way

The menu is beautifully presented and easy to digest with a happy balance of snippets and succinct detail that doesn’t overload you with technical gibberish. As one of London’s oldest cocktail haunts it should come as no surprise that the American Bar gets it right.

CHECK THE FULL “WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS 2012″ HERE:

http://www.drinksint.com/files/Supplements/2012/Drinks-International-The-Worlds-50-Best-Bars-2012.pdf

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Are you hiring???

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One of the most important decisions a Bartenderone student faces after graduation is what type of venue to apply to.¬† One of the first questions we ask all of our students at the beginning of the Masterclass is ‚Äúwhat type of venue do you want to work at?‚ÄĚ.¬† On average our students are in their mid 20‚Äôs and their instinctive answer is they want to work at a nightclub.¬† The¬†glaring appeal¬†of working at a nightclub is that it will be little hours, little work, and lots of tips!¬† In some cases this may be but it is unlikely that you will immediately fall ‚Äúass backwards‚ÄĚ into a lucrative club bartending job!¬† That being said, there are many profitable and sought after clubbartending positions in the industry, you just got to find them!¬† I have worked in clubs for over 5 years and very much enjoy my time working at them, but it is important to expand your mind and your options when choosing¬† a type of venue to work at.¬†

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One of the most humbling and beneficial experiences I have had as a bartenderwas my time working at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel.¬† At the time I had been actively bartending for three years, and heading out to Alberta, was very confident¬†with my skill set behind the bar.¬† I quickly learned that my “nightclub only” experience had only prepared me for a small fraction of what the hospitality industry had to offer.¬† I was hired as a bartender at a lounge with a 500 person capacity, not intimidating at first glance, but very deceiving as I soon found out!¬† As the junior bartender on staff I was put on service bar to learn the ins and outs of the menu and the Fairmont style service.¬† The menu consisted of 35 cocktails and martinis unique to the hotel so it was like starting from scratch with regards to recipe knowledge.¬† That coupled with the fact that the lounge did not stagger reservations meant that at any given time I could have 500 people walk into the lounge at the same time‚Ķ‚Ķtranslation 500 drinks at once! And not just drinks, labour intensive cocktails and martinis!¬† Being thrust into this type of bartending setting forced me to really hone¬†the speed, recipe¬†execution, and techniques that I had been introduced to¬†during my time in the Bartenderone Masterclass and Finishing School.¬† Stepping out of my nightclub ‚Äúcomfort zone‚ÄĚ and into a challenging hotel venue setting allowed me to become a much more well rounded bartender.¬† As a result new doors in the industry were opened for me and I have never looked back.¬† I currently work as a bartender at a nightclub, instructor/mixologist with Bartenderone, bartender at the Air Canada Centre, and Performance Mixologist (flair bartender) with the Movers n Shakers special event team!¬† Expand your horizons, try a little bit of everything, and challenge yourself and then and only then will you truly evolve as a bartender!

JB

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Misconceptions about locations and libations…

Misconceptions…
As a bartender, I frequently deal with guests who have misconceptions about the cocktails I make.  People tend to drink beverages with little or no flavour other than the lime that is squeezed into their lowball.  It is a little beyond me why someone might want to drink something that tastes like nothing, but my own pre-conceptions aside, everyone is entitled to drink what they want.  Far be it for me to tell you what you like!  Give me a chance and I will certainly show you my version of a well balanced creative cocktail, and if you dont like it, I will buy it for you and you can go back to your vodka soda.
I have recently purchased a house with my fianc√©, in one of my most unfavoured places, Oshawa, Ontario. ¬†Commonly known as ¬†”the SHWA”, “the SHWIGGEDY”, I had my own misconceptions that had always had a sour taste in my mouth about this place, that was until I recently met my new neighbor Missy. She welcomed us to the neighborhood with a bottle of gin from her late husband. “I can’t stand the stuff”, she said with a scrunched up face. ¬†That was my cue to show her what a wonderful backbone a good Gin could be in a cocktail that was lovingly mixed. ¬†I had never tried this particular bottle, but I played with it a little and when I was happy with a new gin cocktail that worked with this particular spirit, I decided to invite Missy over for a to taste it. I proceeded to mix her up a cocktail that was adapted from a bartender I met years earlier, but worked particularly well with this spirit.
No.209 gin, Pimms No. 1, Rubicon guava juice, cloudy apple juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup & some bruised mint. Finished off with some caramelized Angostura Bitter figs. Needless to say, she had never tasted anything like it and I think I am her new best friend! Just as I had a misconception of the place I now call home & she had a similar misconception of gin. I was reminded of the dangers of passing ¬†judgement on something, because sometimes all it takes is the right individual to show you how it really is. ¬†They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. As it turns out, I love to teach people about mixology and bartending and while there is a quiet cocktail culture out here in Durham, I think I shall be the pioneer & unleash some phenomenal cocktails on the taste buds of the SHWIGGEDEZE!. The cocktail was called Gone Native, think I’ll change it to what I am now proud to be….Oshawa Native. From out east, may your vessel never be empty, keep mixing :)
Jeremy!

As a bartender, I frequently deal with guests who have misconceptions about the cocktails I make.  People tend to drink beverages with little or no flavour other than the lime that is squeezed into their lowball.  It is a little beyond me why someone might want to drink something that tastes like nothing, but my own pre-conceptions aside, everyone is entitled to drink what they want.  Far be it for me to tell you what you like!  Give me a chance and I will certainly show you my version of a well balanced creative cocktail, and if you dont like it, I will buy it for you and you can go back to your vodka soda.

oshawa

I have recently purchased a house with my fianc√©, in one of my most unfavoured places, Oshawa, Ontario. ¬†Commonly known as ¬†”the SHWA”, “the SHWIGGEDY”, I had my own misconceptions that had always had a sour taste in my mouth about this place, that was until I recently met my new neighbor Missy. She welcomed us to the neighborhood with a bottle of gin from her late husband. “I can’t stand the stuff”, she said with a scrunched up face. ¬†That was my cue to show her what a wonderful backbone a good Gin could be in a cocktail that was lovingly mixed. ¬†I had never tried this particular bottle, but I played with it a little and when I was happy with a new gin cocktail that worked with this particular spirit, I decided to invite Missy over for a to taste it. I proceeded to mix her up a cocktail that was adapted from a bartender I met years earlier, but worked particularly well with this Gin.

No.209 gin, Pimms No. 1, Rubicon guava juice, cloudy apple juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup & some bruised mint. Finished off with some caramelized Angostura Bitter figs. Needless to say, she had never tasted anything like it and I think I am her new best friend! Just as I had a misconception of the place I now call home & she had a similar misconception of gin. I was reminded of the dangers of passing ¬†judgement on something before you have really given it a chance, because sometimes all it takes is the right individual to show you how it really is, or how great it can be! ¬†They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. As it turns out, I love to teach people about mixology and bartending and while there is a quiet cocktail culture out here in Durham, I think I shall be the pioneer & unleash some phenomenal cocktails on the taste buds of the SHWIGGEDEZE!. The cocktail was called Gone Native, think I’ll change it to what I am now proud to be….Oshawa Native. From out east, may your vessel never be empty, keep mixing :)

Jeremy!

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Nightclubs: A different demon…

I have had the pleasure of working in all walks of the service industry, from roadhouses to fine dining establishments as a bartender, but never in the fast-paced environment of a nightclub until recently…

Jay Patience

My nightclub cherry has been popped in Toronto as a flair bartender¬†and it has been a great experience.¬† Going from having no customers one minute to being¬†completely slammed the next; with no time to breathe or think; and then… bartender instinct suddenly kicks in.

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BartenderOne in the Community

Time Speeding By

As the wheels of time go by, my role with BartenderOne presents me with amazing opportunities at every turn, this is one very special example…

Seven months ago I was enjoying a casual pint at the Loose Moose after an exciting flair event for BartenderOne, when my good friend and resident bartender Jenna Inglis approached me and asked if I was interested in being a part of her charity event. I immediately responded with a YES before even knowing any of the details, head first, right into the deep end! One pint naturally led to another and another. The next morning amidst a giant headache I was reminded of what I had commited to the night before. After hearing all the details I was very excited and happy to be part of such an amazing experience, and wanted to work further with Jenna to make the charity event one to remember.

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Ladies Who Lunch with the Ladies of LUPEC

BartenderOne Boys New Orleans

As I sit here in the prestigious Lowes Hotel in New Orleans waiting for the Ladies of LUPEC lunch, I patiently wait to see if I am one of the only males in this seminar. I wouldn’t mind because I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful and inspirational ladies ever! As I sip the New Orleans classic, the Sazerac, I find myself wondering if this seminar will change the views I have regarding women behind the bar. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a girl that can make a great cocktail but, in my home town of Toronto, Canada, we are used to the stereotypical gorgeous girl who is well-endowed but can only come up with a rum and Coke when asked for a cocktail.

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Dave’s Tales of the Cocktail

World Biggest Negroni

In July of 2011, the boys from BartenderOne were treated to a team retreat in New Orleans for the annual Tales of the Cocktail extravaganza! The trip began at 3am on Thursday morning as the team gathered for the 6 am flight. Total hours of sleep: 2.

Once we arrived, we were met by a black stretch limo to take us to the Intercontinental hotel, which was only a five-minute stumble to Bourbon St. Each one of the guys selected different seminars to attend. My first was at 1pm. 3 hours after getting settled. As I sat in on the women behind bars seminar, I noticed that I was one of only four guys in the entire room. Great choice!

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Born to Mix!

Born to Mix Spirits Made for Mixing

I’ll confess. Tales of the Cocktail 2011 took its toll on me. While in New Orleans I missed my seminar on “Vinegar: The Other Acid” due to a self-induced illness from the previous evening. But when my seminar on “A History of Cocktail Glassware” was cancelled due to Angus Winchester’s legitimate illness, I was only disappointed until I heard the next piece of news. The ticket had become an all-powerful talisman that allowed me admission into ANY other seminar, including those previously sold out.

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