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Quiz: Cocktail Geek, or “Bear”?

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As many of you might know, this week is the annual cocktail geek gathering in New Orleans known as Tales of the Cocktail. Every year, bartenders, brand ambassadors, and cocktail enthusiasts from all over the world come together to celebrate, learn about, and embrace the cocktail renaissance. Coincidentally, Tales falls almost five months to the | Read More

Feliz Dia del Barman, Amigos

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Today, on April 15th, while the United States is busy mourning Tax Day, the Argentineans are celebrating Bartender’s Day. Here’s the story as related to me by my friend Federico Cuco: Sixty-nine years ago today, a group of young bartenders from Buenos Aires met for a dinner hosted by the magazine The Barman (the first | Read More

Ask Your Bartender: Protestant vs. Catholic Whiskey (Repost)

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Note: I’m reposting this article from March 27, 2009 for St. Patrick’s Day because, well, it seems appropriate (and easy!) to do so. Hey Bartender My South Side Irish Chicago Dad always told me that Jameson was the Catholic whisky and that Bushmills was the whiskey made by “the damn Protestants”. Now this character I | Read More

How to Vomit on Your Keyboard Ten Different Ways

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This appalling affront to the craft that so many of us have worked hard trying to restore over the past fifteen-plus years has been making the rounds on Twitter, but I thought I’d share it here with all of you. Browse at your own risk, my advice is to keep a bucket handy. Oscar Party | Read More

Cognac

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To get to the town of Cognac, France, you have to fly into the airport at Bordeaux, nearly two hours south. You spend a good hour on the freeway, which looks pretty much like any freeway in the world, until eventually you see an exit marked “Cognac”. You then make your way from the main | Read More

Dry Vermouth Sangaree

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If there’s one thing I hate about living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s the stretch of time from late October until late June, when the sun makes only the most occasional of appearances. I typically pack on an extra 10-15 pounds during those rainy months, party due to over-consumption of wintertime drinks like dark beer, | Read More

How to Make Your Own Grenadine

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While this is a topic that has been covered by pretty much every cocktail blog under the sun, I haven’t yet written about it. Why? Well, for one, I’m lazy and never got around to it. But after having made various versions of grenadine for years at my bars and after doing a little research | Read More

How to Cut Someone Off

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For many years before this whole cocktail thing really took off, I worked in dive bars. Really crappy dive bars where people would visit – often nightly – for what appeared to be the sole purpose of getting very, very drunk. These bars were loud, they were obnoxious, and at times they could be very | Read More

Repeal Day is December Fifth

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Wow, I apparently thought it was still late-October or something, because it came as a complete surprise to me today that my favorite drinking holiday in the whole world is next weekend. I guess that between keeping my nose to the grindstone at work and traveling extensively lately, it was bound to happen. Then I | Read More

Egg Nog

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Well, folks, it’s time of year again. I repost this recipe every year because I’m a man on a mission. You see, I love egg nog, but I can’t stand the thick, gelatinous goop they sell at the grocery store. Even if you were to cut it with alcohol, it’s still so overly-pasteurized and full | Read More

Art of the Cocktail

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I’m back from Europe and getting ready for Art of the Cocktail next weekend. No, I’m not talking about the book by Philip Collins. Nor am I talking about this blog by Darcy O’Neil. I’m also not referring to Anthony Caporale’s long-running video series. No, this Art of the Cocktail is a new cocktail-centric event | Read More

Follow Along with My European Misadventures

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I’m leaving in about an hour to head to the airport and ship off to Europe, so if you have any interest in learning more about what a small-town bartender does from hour to hour as he stumbles across a continent in search of the perfect cocktail, then please by all means follow along with | Read More

The Solera Club

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You may or may not have known this, but I like making cocktails out of wine. Or things that were once wine. Or things that were made from wine. However you want to say it, I like making cocktails out of wine. So when I saw that there was a cocktail competition coming up that | Read More

Ask Your Bartender: Running a Tab

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(I couldn’t find an appropriate photo, and I wanted to get this out there before I head to work tonight. Sorry – JM) Hey Bartender I went to the bar last night with a coworker, whom I was treating to drinks on my tab. When we got the bill, it was very high, so we | Read More

The On-The-Fly Competition

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It’s six o’clock at night in New Orleans and I’m sweating, hard. Not because of the heat outside, but because I’m inside, on a stage with a microphone in my hand. Eight of the best bartenders in the country are lined up behind me, hundreds of people are seated in front of me, and everyone | Read More