Category Archives: Mixology

Could Your Drink Taste Different Depending on Where You Drink It?

Have you ever been on a vacation where you enjoyed a glass of wine so much that you decided to bring a bottle back with you, only to be disappointed that it doesn’t taste as good as you remember when you drink it at home?

If so, then you’ve experienced what scientists are calling the Provençal Rosé Paradox. The theory is that our brains formulate our perception of an experience with two distinct processes. The first process is recognizing what’s happening through analyzing sensory input, for example this could mean recognizing the fact that you’re drinking a glass of red wine. The second is higher-level processing that’s linked to personal concepts, expectations, past experiences, etc…

This higher-level processing causes us to associate our perceived enjoyment of a sensory experience with more than strictly sensory input. More simply put, this is what causes us to believe that in a particular moment or setting, we enjoy something more or less than we actually do once that moment or setting changes.

Gastrophysicist Professor Charles Spence is one of the pioneers behind this science, and his research explores the unique effect our environment and mood can have on our perception of taste. “We all think we can ignore the ‘everything else’—the lighting, background music, even glassware,” he says. “And yet a growing body of scientific research shows that all of these extrinsic factors influence what we taste and how much we enjoy the experience…Ultimately, we always drink somewhere, and wherever we drink, there are contextual environmental cues that can influence the experience. Our mood can change how things taste,” says Spence. “I don’t think you can ever ignore the environment.”

 

Want to read more details about this phenomenon and Professor Spence’s research? Click here! >>>

 

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Have You Tried a “Nocktail”?

Have you ever wanted to enjoy the presentation and flavour complexity of a hand-crafted cocktail, but without the effects of the alcohol? Welcome to the world of “Nocktails” or “Mocktails”.

These beverages share a sense of sophistication with their alcoholic counterparts, but lack the addition of actual liquor. Nocktail recipes typically combine various juices, syrups, fresh ingredients, sodas, and even non-alcoholic/simulated spirits to provide the consumer with a complex and diversely flavoured, non-alcoholic beverage alternative to traditional soft drinks.

Due to a growing demand specifically among Generation X and Millenial populations, the range of non-alcoholic/simulated spirits on the market is increasing. A brand called “Stryyk” has just launched 2 new zero-proof distilled spirits in the UK, Stryyk “Not Gin” and Stryyk “Not Rum”.

Stryyk claims their zero-proof spirits contain “all of the spirit, with none of the alcohol”, and both varieties also contain zero sugar, zero fat, zero carbs, and zero artificial flavours. Unique from it’s competitors in the non-alcoholic sector, Stryyk claims their spirits provide intense flavour profiles that make them a satisfying alternative to alcohol when served neat or added to a Nocktail.

You can read more about Stryyk and view a couple of Nocktail recipes they’ve crafted to pair perfectly with their zero-proof spirits here! >>> 

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Would You Try the World’s Deadliest Cocktail?

Hirezake, “The Poisonous Cocktail” 

Hirezake is an interesting cocktail that’s little known outside of Japan. Made from the infamously poisonous Fugu fish (also known as the Puffer fish or Blowfish), this risky beverage is prepared by charring dried Fugu tail on a grill and steeping it in hot sake. The ancient savoury beverage is said to be rich in umami flavour and it’s very popular in Japan during the winter months.

Although the drink is significantly less popular outside of Japan, you can order Hirezake at a small number of American restaurants that are serving it. But beware, because consuming Fugu that’s not expertly prepared can kill you!

Due to the fact that the fish contains toxins that are hundreds of times more poisonous than cyanide, chefs must obtain a special license verifying that they possess the skill required to properly clean and serve the fish. On top of that, any restaurant looking to serve Fugu fish must also obtain a license verifying it’s safe for consumption.

Are you brave enough to try this dicey Japanese delicacy? Read more! >>>

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Drinking in Public: A Recipe for Prosperity or Disaster?

Bourbon Street, New Orleans

When it comes to drinking in public, the rules haven’t always been the way they are today.
But in cities like New Orleans, Louisiana, the laws regarding drinking in public have remained very different than they currently are throughout the majority of North America.

It’s not uncommon to see someone walking down the street in New Orleans with a drink in hand, and it’s a policy most local residents hold near and dear to their hearts. Although New Orleans is perhaps the most recognized destination with an open alcohol policy, it’s not the only place where you can take your beer to-go.

A small number of other cities across the U.S. like Butte, Montana and Erie, Pennsylvania also allow open alcohol to be carried through most of the city. More and more cities are looking to get on board with the trend moving forward, in an effort to boost local economies. However, not too long ago it was actually legal to drink in public throughout most of the U.S.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that countries and cities began to outlaw public drinking due to it’s association with rowdy and disruptive behaviour. Meanwhile, this wasn’t the case in New Orleans where the 1960s saw the rise of “window hawking”, when clubs would sell alcohol in to-go cups through a window. Residents of the city claim the overall atmosphere is more open and friendly because drinking in public is allowed.

As for places like Erie, Pennsylvania, the open alcohol policy has reinvigorated the community. Businesses depend on the alcohol sales to help support the local economy, and public drinking laws are imperative to the success of local festivals and street parties that stimulate the economy during the summer by increasing Erie’s popularity as a tourist destination.

What are your thoughts on drinking alcohol in public? Would it cause too much of an increase in drunk and disorderly behaviour, or could it be a viable source of economic development? Read more>>>

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Australian Whisky: Rising Through The Ranks

 

Starward Distillery in Melbourne, Australia

 

As you may or may not already know, a growing number of countries around the world are entering the global whisky market and creating competition for the long-established brands we know and love. Australia happens to be one of the countries that’s quickly making it’s mark on the whisky scene, with more than 120 distilleries currently listed there.

Sullivan’s Cove is one of the oldest and most renowned Australian whisky distilleries, founded in 1994 with a focus on creating entirely Australian whisky from locally sourced Tasmanian barley and water. Since then Sullivan’s Cove has rapidly emerged into the industry, winning numerous awards over the years including an award for “World’s Best Single Malt” in 2014 at the World Whiskies Awards.

Many other Australian distilleries are hopeful about expanding into worldwide markets in the near future. Starward Distillery (pictured above) is another globally recognized Australian whisky brand with a strong focus on exports to Western markets. Other Australian whiskies to keep an eye out for in the future include Hellyers Road, Limeburners, and Nant.

Does this mean we’ll see Australian whisky break through into the Western market and compete with some of our all-time favourite brands?  Read more >>>

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Sazerac Distillery Collapses

 

Sazerac and Buffalo Trace Distillery Collapses

Sazerac and Buffalo Trace Distillery Collapses

The next time you order a Sazerac cocktail, it may be a little more expensive, as the 1792 Barton Distillery RackHouse collapsed damaging 18,000 barrels of the 20,000 barrel storage. With up to 90% of the stock of Sazerac Whisky and Buffalo Trace Whisky damaged 2 collapses (June  22nd and July 4th) the question is, will the distillery recover?  Read More>>>

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Hot off the heels of the “Made with Love Toronto Qualifiers,” meet Amy S. Amy is a bartender at Marche Restaurant in Downtown Toronto. Wanting to sharpen her skills and broaden her knowledge, Amy took the International Bar Chef Certification (IBC) in 2015. Speaking about the course, Amy says: “The class went way beyond my high expectations and gave me a new appreciation for the detailed aspects of Mixology. My instructor was engaging, knowledgeable and interactive. The material was not overwhelming, although some classes did require learning a bit of Chemistry which was actually a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the blind taste tests as well, and learning the history behind the main spirits groups. At the end of the course, we were required to put our new found knowledge to use, and were asked to create a cocktail menu. I enjoyed IBC so much, I picked up skills I use every day. Given the chance, I would definitely do it all over again!”

Amy’s signature cocktail is a “Longanesa Manhattan,” a Filipino inspired cocktail made with smoked Longanesa sausage.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 10.50.18 AM                                                                                             Amy competes with some of the city’s finest Bartenders at Made With Love

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The Allure of The Classic Cocktail

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

 

When I first started working in a bar, my first job was in a place that had a Speakeasy theme (back in the late 80s.)  I was in my late teens and it seemed very new and exciting and glamorous to be surrounded by all these fancy cocktails with names like: “Golden Cadillac,” “Iron Butterfly” and  “Mexican Ferrari.”  Thankfully you never really hear about those cocktails anymore. There were, however, certain drinks that seemed to have an almost hallowed status: the Rusty Nail, Manhattan or Old Fashioned.  Almost thirty years on,  just like the thirty years before, these cocktails still hold their place on cocktail menus around the globe.  Honestly, I think it was being exposed to this world of “fine drinking” that gave me the hospitality bug; the handsome Bartenders loved making these drinks because they appreciated the opportunity to employ their skill at making a perfect cocktail. 

With the reemergence of  Cocktail Culture, there are still lots of people who look down on “mixology”.  However, when you have worked alongside bartenders who can barely open a bottle of beer as I have, you really grow to appreciate the bartender who has an informed repertoire, who can modify an ingredient, or ingredients , ultimately creating something  special and memorable .

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/05/25-essential-cocktails-everyone-should-know-cocktail-101-easy-mixed-drink-recipes-classic-cocktail-guide.html

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Maybe you should just head straight to the bar for your next team-building event?

youtube_link_image

Click here to watch a team-building workshop in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iBoNGV_YWU

Is your workday in need of more open communication, creativity and positive motivation?
Are you looking for new ways to spark innovation and strengthen team dynamics?
Would you like to know how to spread the happiness of happy hour throughout your whole organization?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re probably ready to introduce a little happy hour into your 9 to 5! 

Bar Chefs know that different spirits, liqueurs, sweeteners, and citrus combine to make a mouth-watering cocktail, just like different personalities, skill sets and expertise combine to make up a successful team.  Understanding these synergies, and how the ingredients in a cocktail (and a team) work harmoniously together have tremendous parallels when you consider why a well-made cocktail tastes so delicious, and how the strengths of each team member combine to achieve a common objective.

When you motivate people to pool their talents in a team environment, they will perform at their best individually and as team players.  So whether you’re launching a new product, tackling a difficult company transition or building a perfect martini waterfall, you’ll want to make sure the team is as strong as possible!  Here are some of the reasons that building and strengthening internal teams is so important to the success of an organization:

 

  1. Relationships are strengthened,
  2. Lines of communication are opened,
  3. Creativity is stimulated,
  4. New ways of strategizing and solving challenges are discovered,
  5. Whiners, complainers and hidden agendas are eliminated.

 

Working on the premise that happy staff are productive staff (and most everyone is happy when they’re enjoying a cocktail or even a mocktail), make sure that your team-building workshops are fun-filled as this is a common language the entire team will understand!

 

The BartenderOne team (founded by award-winning flair bartender and master mixologist Gavin MacMillan) are experts in bringing people together in a fun, engaging way, to build team dynamics and increase productivity – offering everything from general “Get Into the Spirit” and “Rockin’ Mocktails” workshops to events focused on specific beverage types (e.g. “Let’s Get Hopped Up” Beer workshops and “Buena Barista” Coffee Workshops).

 

 

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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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