Year: 2016

Notes On The Timeliness Of Drinking

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Sometimes a little knowledge can be a bad thing. Just in the past decade, we’ve gone from living in a world where our guests (rightfully) didn’t trust the bar enough to try a cocktail before dinner and would simply drink wine all night, to a world where cocktails and spirits have never been more popular. But while we’re all running around patting each other on the back, I would offer that somewhere in this process, we’ve lost touch with the refined drinking experience we originally intended.

What Makes Good Hospitality In Bars?

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With very few exceptions, written discussions about hospitality in bars are always, always, always limited to one of two takes on the subject. First, you have the option of reading a diatribe written by someone so jaded from years behind the bar that you’re forced to suffer through yet another “This New York Club Bartender Spills the Dos and Don’ts of Drinking in Bars.” It’s always a list, and it’s always designed to suck all of the fun out of having a drink with friends. Wait your turn. Have your order ready. Tip generously. The kind of bullshit list that should probably be handed to every incoming Boston college student, but totally worthless to the rest of us who don’t spend all of our time drinking in clubs or sports bars.

11 Essential Drinks at 11 Great Cocktail Bars

Written by: Robert Simonson in The New York Times

Getting a great cocktail at a great bar is a wonderful experience. But getting a cocktail of noted repute, at the bar where it originated or from the bartender who created it, contributes a certain extra level of special. There aren’t that many places where you can pull off this trick, but the modern cocktail revival has added to the number of such destination bars. For the intrepid boozehound with some frequent flier miles to burn, here’s a list of a few to hit.

Why Can’t Television Get Cocktails Right?

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Back in 1993, Joe Langhan and an intrepid band of network executives had an idea for a new cable network. It was called the Television Food Network at the time (it was later shortened to the Food Network) and its conception ushered in a new era in food education and entertainment on TV. Suddenly there was a market for round-the-clock food television, much like the way CNN and MTV revolutionized their respective industries.

How To Make Great Cocktails At Home Without Being A Pretentious Jerk

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As a bartender who has been doing this job for the past 20 years while achieving a modicum of success and respectability in the business, there is one question that I’m asked, without fail, by writers on the regular. And it is as follows: “As a professional bartender, what advice can you give to people who want to make drinks at home?”

Portland’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler named American Bartender of the Year

Written by: Michael Russell in The Oregonian

Jeffrey Morgenthaler is a gentleman and a scholar.

At least that’s the opinion of his drinks-industry peers, who named the Clyde Common bar manager both America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Awards.

Morgenthaler, a household name among Portland’s cocktail set, can claim some responsibility for several American drinks trends, particularly the barrel-aging of cocktails. Several of his drinks are among Portland’s best-known cocktails, including the Barrel-Aged Negroni and Bourbon Renewal at downtown Portland’s Clyde Common and the Grasshopper at his subterranean Pepe Le Moko.

An Open Letter To Spirit Fetishists

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I started behind the bar in 1996, which, in bartender years, is a very long time ago. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go over the past 20 years, but one trend that will never die is grown men’s desire to lord their superior drink of choice over everyone else in the bar. No, that one is here to stay.

How to Use a Slushie Machine

The newly rediscovered interest in slushy cocktails has resulted in me being inundated with questions about how to properly operate a slushie machine. And so, as has always been my mission with this website, I’m here to try to help. You see, for the longest time operating a slushy machine was a lengthy experiment every | Read More

First Date

I’m a large male mammal. And I have, if I do say so myself, fantastic taste in beverages. But I firmly do not believe in gendered drinking, and I think that those who separate drinks as such are pretty dumb. So why don’t you join me and we can do away althogether with these dumb | Read More


From the section “Gendered Drinking” in Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual: “What’s really sad to me is the idea that using a stemmed glass is somehow demeaning to the drinker. “But I’ll just spill it” is a justification that I hear nightly. Listen, using a stemmed wine glass or cocktail glass is the sign of | Read More


Come on, guys. Stop bear-clawing the garnish out of your drink before you even taste it. You’re making a mess, and being a slob isn’t how you want to define your “manliness”.

Cocktail at Home

Hey, I’ve devoted my life to this, so don’t take it personally: I think you should be able to make a cocktail at home. If you’re reading this, then you probably think so, too. Here’s why I feel so strongly about it.

Bartender Story Problems

If you don’t tend bar for a living, or haven’t at some point in your past, you probably don’t understand the quick thinking that we have to do every single second. So, in order to demonstrate what sort of complicated math we do regularly to those who don’t tend bar, and to act as a | Read More

We’re Not Judging Your Drink Order

This is one of the videos I did for Stoli in their “Drink What You Want” series, where we explored this notion that bartenders judge you negatively for drinking vodka (spoiler alert: we aren’t). What follows is a litany of things we might, however, be judging you for.

Whiskey Alpha

He’s such a fixture in bars these days: the Whiskey Alpha. He wants to tell you all about how you’re ordering drinks (and drinking them) the wrong way. But I’m here to tell you that he’s full of shit. Thank you to Stoli for giving me the platform to help shut this guy down.