Tag Archives: Learn to Bartend

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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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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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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BartenderOne Cocktails on ET Canada

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!

 

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How to Open a Bottle of Wine

There is a certain etiquette that must be followed when it comes to wine.  From proper storage, to the opening of the bottle, to serving your guests.

Let’s start with how to open a bottle.

Begin by making sure that the label is facing your guests. Then, use your wine knife to extract the foil just below the surface of the lip of the bottle.  This should be a clean cut, not jagged or peeling. You want to extract it below the lip to avoid any dripping once the wine is open.  It is improper to peel the entire foil off of the bottle.

Now, when you expose the worm of the corkscrew, you want to set that worm right in the centre of the cork and begin to twist the worm directly down the centre.  If you twist on an angle, the worm will puncture the side of the cork, leaving little pieces of cork in the wine.

You can finish twisting when you have about one and a half turns left above the cork.  You don’t want to penetrate through the bottom of the cork, this will also result in leaving little pieces in the wine.

In the video, we are using a two stage wine opener, so you can set the first stage, extract the cork a little, and then set the second stage to extract the cork the rest of the way.  The two stage opener is a good choice because it does not apply as much torque on the bottle as a one stage opener.

You should not hear any audible pop when the cork is removed from the bottle.

Once you have the bottle open, present the cork to the guest who ordered it, and pour them a small sample so they can ensure that the wine hasn’t spoiled.  The presentation of the cork is done so the guest can feel it for moisture, to ensure the bottle has been stored properly.  If the cork is dry, then the wine may be spoiled.

Wine bottles should be stored in a cool, dark, dry cellar.  You should also store the wine on its side, so that the wine remains in contact with the cork, keeping the cork moist and plump, therefore not allowing any air to get into the bottle.

BartenderOne is Canada’s fastest growing group of bartending schools, and has the most comprehensive list of classes, bartender programs and bar workshops available in the hospitality industry.

With four locations in Toronto alone, BartenderOne is the largest bartending school in Toronto.

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Mxmo.to – Mixology Mondays in the BartenderOne test kitchen

MxMo (short for Mixology Mondays) is a global online meeting among bartenders who work towards making great cocktails around a specific theme (Hard Drinks, Punches, Vermouth Based Cocktails etc.)

Rob Montgomery and I have been keeping an eye on MxMo for the past 18 months, and have had many conversations about starting up one of our own to boost cocktail culture in Toronto. We finally thought that it was time we stopped paying lipservice to making better cocktails and actually did something about it.

On Movember 30th, (yes Movember, check it here www.movember.com) a small group of bartenders from around our city gathered to work on some interpretations of “Holiday Cocktails.” The timing seems relevant as we move into the busy holiday event season, who wouldnt want an excuse to have a great holiday cocktail?

First up was a welcome cocktail called the Honey Julep, a recipe of mine featured in the recent Drambuie re-launch recipe book. The sweet and sour pink grapefruit juice complements the Drambuie really well and allows the freshness of the elderflower and mint to shine through. This drink is perfect for summer, or a winter holiday getaway to a place that reminds you of summer.

Honey Julep

50ml Drambuie

15ml St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur

15ml Lemon Juice

30ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

2 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters

8-10 Mint leaves

Directions: Muddle mint leaves and bitters in a Boston Glass, add remaining ingredients and shake over cold fresh ice. Double strain over crushed ice in a highball glass, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Next up was Ryan Powell with another Scotch based drink, his Maple Movember Manhattan.

Cocktail #2: Maple Movember Manhattan
2 oz Chivas Regal 12 Year Old
ÂĽ oz ice wine maple syrup
ÂĽ oz egg white
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Dry shake ingredients vigorously to properly froth the egg white then add ice and shake again. Double strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice and sprinkle nutmeg on top to garnish.
Optional: Brule a misted Aberlour 12 Year Old on top.

This cocktail was inspired from a Manhattan. For me, winter holidays and scotch go hand in hand. I replaced the sweet vermouth with the ice wine maple syrup because that’s I wanted something a little sweeter and the maple syrup pairs well with the apple notes in the Chivas. The egg white was added to bring a creamy texture to the cocktail, which again is popular amongst holiday cocktails. The Angostura bitters adds a fantastic holiday spice to the cocktail as well as the nutmeg sprinkle on top. For a little more showmanship and to add a little more strength to the cocktail, you can mist Aberlour over the cocktail and gently brule it. The sherry notes from the Aberlour adds a nice touch to the nutmeg, maple, apple and spice.

Next up was Alejandro Giraldo with a Spanish inspired Cazadores Saludable.

50ml Cazadores Tequila
20ml Pama Pomegranate liquor
60ml Pink grapefruit juice
20ml Lemon juice
15ml Agave nectar

Shake ingredients vigorously with ice then double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a fresh mint leaf.

Rob Montgomery stepped up with his “Ho Ho Ho…. It’s Brown Butta YO!”

30ml fresh lemon fresh lemon juice
15ml Gomme Syrup
50ml Brown Butter “washed” Jack Daniels
Lemon twist(to garnish)
Combine liquid ingredients in Boston glass and fill with ice.
Stir well for 60 seconds.
Strain into chilled coupe glass. Spritz twist over the top, wipe around the rim and float skin side up.

Scott McMaster (aka Dr. Evil) took to the bar with Cocktail #4 An Evil Christmas

30ml Skinos
15ml jager
5ml lime juice
30ml White cran

Combine in boston over ice and shake
Garnish with frozen cranberry

The boys from Skinos were kind enough to drop off a couple of bottles of their product back in the summer, and Evil thought it would be a good opportunity to try using the pine flavour of the Mastica in a holiday cocktail. It is the best cocktail we’ve had with Skinos which has an admittedly unusual flavour profile. If anyone else has had success with Skinos, we’d sure like to hear about it, as I’m sure the boys from Skinos would as they make their foray into the cocktail world.

Finally. in the spirit of getting away for the holidays, we thought it would be nice to end with an Aviation Cocktail. I really like the flavour of Creme de Violette, and Maraschino Liqueur is hard to hate at the best of times. Although they can sometimes be hard to find, I’m sure if enough people ask for it, they’ll become more readily available… they’re certainly worth the effort.

Present at the innaugural Toronto MxMo were: Alejandro Giraldo, Ryan Powell, Rob Montgomery, Caitlin Mason, Gavin MacMillan, Jessica Klug, Scott McMaster.

Absent: Elan Marks, Nick Nemeth, Renata Clingen, Nishan Chandra

For more tips on setting up a great holiday bar Click here

and if you’re really serious about getting into bartending and want to train with some of the best bartenders in the business, click here to see the next training dates with BartenderOne

The next global Mixology Monday will be taking place on December 14th… same bat time, same bat channel.

Click here to see the next event on Facebook

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