Tag Archives: toronto bartending school

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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What is the Importance of Ice

 

 

Enticing yes...

 

Ice is…. An Integral Component of Every cocktail, under the general definition of a cocktail being “an alcoholic beverage which includes: Sugar, Bitters and Water (Ice)”. 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 – 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 ‘spirit- forward’ 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 ‘Neat’ 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 ‘Straight-Up’ mean? Ever had a Cosmopolitan or a Vodka Martini with Ice in it? I doubt it. Now think about this…..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 ‘Straight-Up’ cocktail.

So to simplify, both ‘Straight-Up’ and ‘Neat’ drinks are served without Ice. The difference is that ‘Straight-Up’ 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’?

AnswerIn 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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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 “what type of venue do you want to work at?”.  On average our students are in their mid 20’s 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 “ass backwards” 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……translation 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 “comfort zone” 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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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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The F word

In the world of bartending, nothing is more exciting than flair bartending. Yet in the same breath, nothing has more of a negative image attached to it as well.

The first record of flair bartending is accredited to “The Professor” Jerry Thomas from San Francisco, who in the mid 1800’s included some flair in his Blue Blazer cocktail by rolling flaming Scotch from one mug to another.Jerry-Thomas-

The late 1980’s saw a big boost in the number of flair bartenders after Tom Cruise’s character Brian Flanagan wowed his guests from behind the bar in the movie Cocktail.

So with all the excitement, why all the negativity?

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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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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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A Party to End All Parties…

Out the Door BartenderOne Grad Party

Everyone always expects bartenders to throw one hell of a party and being the top bartending school in Canada we knew we had a world of pressure on our shoulders’ with the concept of hosting a graduate party in the summer of 2011. We wanted to bring all our past graduates together to mix and give them a chance to bartend for other graduates – yes you read correctly, our graduates were bartending at the party for other guests, pretty neat idea!

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SuperFlair 2011

The sixth annual SuperFlair flair bartending competition was held in Windsor Ontario, from May 22-24 2011. SuperFlair has been one of the biggest flair bartending competitions in Canada for many years, and this year was no exception. As part of the FBA Pro Tour, there was over $11,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. With such a large prize pool, SuperFlair always attracts the best flair bartenders from around the world. Past winners have included world champions such as Danilo Oribe from Uruguay, and Christian and Rodrigo Delpech from Argentina.

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Ryan’s B1 Adventures..

Just an average Thursday for our buddy Ryan here at BartenderOne. Join him on his rounds at a Diageo event and later on at our Mojito Madness workshop.

Diageo Vlog from Ryan Desjardins on Vimeo.

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