Known the world over for their prowess in winemaking, the French have been masters at making spirits and liqueurs for centuries. Some of classic mixology’s greatest cocktails wouldn’t even exist without the plethora of French spirits and liqueurs that were available to bartenders in the 19th century. Here, I present a short crash-course in a few of those French spirits:
Tony Conigliaro’s resume reads more like a history of drinking in London over the past 20 years than a list of jobs: The Lonsdale. Hakkasan. Roka and Shochu Lounge. Zuma. Designer of the cocktail menu at the Fat Duck. He has inspired a new generation of bartenders, gotten people to think about drinks in new ways by breaking down aromas on a molecular level and using technology to open up new avenues of texture in cocktails.
I recently had the honor of being invited to travel to Berlin and speak at the BCB — Bar Convent Berlin — possibly Europe’s most important bar show. Nearly 10,000 visitors from all over the world come to taste incredible new products, learn about the very bleeding edge of mixology and meet one another.
Joseph Priestly was a Unitarian minister with a bit of a problem: he could barely speak without a stutter. As a minister’s primary function is to speak to the masses, he was forced to do what any good English gentleman at the time would have done: marry rich, and use one’s time conducting science experiments. Priestly’s curious appetite led him to the neighboring brewery, where he spent his days generally sniffing around in search of interesting gasses. One of those gasses he discovered blanketing the tops of the fermentation tanks.
Lately one of the most popular drinks ordered in my bars — and in many modern cocktail bars around the world — is a drink about as far from modern as you can possibly get. The most requested drink these days is the Old Fashioned, and it’s the oldest cocktail in the book.
The cocktail is, in my opinion, America’s one truly great and unique contribution to the culinary world. Sure, there are the usual objections whenever I bring this up. What about pizza, jambalaya, hamburgers? But those foods we typically associate with American cuisine are little more than variations of European dishes, a reflection of the beautiful cultural smorgasbord that makes this country great.
I was having this conversation with a writer about my new book on cocktail technique last week, and she got on the subject of bar tools. “A lot of this stuff is really expensive,” she said, “Do you have any advice for home cocktail enthusiasts who don’t want to spend a ton of money?” And | Read More
Sure, since the mojito became the most popular drink ever, once again, it’s also become popular for bartenders and self-described cocktail geeks to complain about it: It’s pedestrian, it’s the new Cosmopolitan, it takes too long to make.
One popular trick behind the bar today dates back to 1970 in Los Angeles, was revived by Dale DeGroff in New York in the 1980s, and continues to be popular among bartenders everywhere, and that’s the flamed orange peel. Reportedly invented by bartender Pepe Ruiz for the flame of love cocktail created for Dean Martin, the trick involves holding an orange peel close to an open flame and briefly igniting the volatile oils over the surface of the drink.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (cover the pot to speed things up). In the meantime, put some cold water and ice into a medium bowl, and arrange a double layer of paper towels on the counter.
Simple syrup is generally found in two strengths: Equal parts sugar and water, the most common strength in U.S. bars, is referred to as “one-to-one” (1:1). Two parts sugar to one part water is, as you might guess, referred to as 2:1, which is the standard syrup in U.K. bars; in the States, you’ll often hear 2:1 syrup being referred to as “rich simple syrup.”
This was a fun one. Comedians Sean Patton and Jay Larson hosted Esquire TV’s Best Bars in America, and I got to make them drinks at both of our bars. This is the Pepe Le Moko segment, and it was a lot of fun getting to banter with these two across the bar.
So, for the past couple of years I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people who have visited this site, and many of them read something like this: To: Jeffrey Morgenthaler Subject: Web Form Submission From: Some Loudmouth Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″ Message-Id: <20140412235755> Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2013 16:57:55 -0700 (PDT) Hey Asshole When are | Read More
Ever since I wrote on How To Price a Cocktail Menu like a million years ago, I’ve gotten requests from bartenders, bar managers, and bar owners for some guidance on how to perform inventory and calculate pour cost. Which is, like, super surprising to me since there are few tasks more reviled in our business | Read More