Ingredients

I have always said that there are three things, in equal proportion, that make a great cocktail: the recipe you use, the ingredients you select, and the techniques you employ. These posts are all about ingredients.

Build a Better ($5.63) Muddler

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

Bar Tools for Your Feet

Our good friend Erick Castro recently posited a question on Facebook about bartenders’ footwear of choice, which got me thinking about mine. So I thought I’d share my experience with you in the hopes that folks could chime in and build a discussion that might be of help to other bartenders out there. About thirteen | Read More

How to Build Your Own Carbonation Rig

Sometimes when I put up a new post on this site, it’s because I have what I think is a good idea and I want to say, “Hey world, here’s an idea I came up with and I’d like to share it with you.” Other times I put up a new post because I want | Read More

The Most Important Bar Tool You’re Probably Not Using

I have a confession for you: I can’t remember how to make a Mai Tai. I’m serious, I can’t. I mean, I know what goes in one, I know the legend of the drink, the names of the supposed creators, and the importance of the Mai Tai in modern cocktail culture. I can even conjure | Read More

Xante Pear Liqueur (Not A Sex Toy)

I absolutely hate it when someone sends me a box full of sex toys in the mail. Sure, it might sound like fun to some of you (you know who you are), but receiving a big box of free sex is much more trouble than it’s worth. Believe me. So I get a little guarded | Read More

Elements Eight Rum

The list of increduble experiences I had last fall while attending (and speaking at) the Bar Convent Berlin is a mile long, but up near the top of the list is the afternoon chat I had with Andreas Redlefsen, owner of St. Lucia’s Elements Eight rums. Elements Eight is virtually unknown in this country, but | Read More

Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

Things are really starting to ramp up for the 75th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition on December 5th! Today I received a package from the folks at Old Forester bourbon, who are showing their support of my favorite day by releasing a limited edition Repeal Day bottling of their whiskey. From the press release: | Read More

Matusalem Gran Reserva 15

I see a fair amount of liquor in my average day. I work in a bar and am surrounded by 200+ bottles of the stuff for ten hours a day. Liquor reps drop by the bar and leave me samples of new products on a regular basis. I get press releases, forwarded emails, RSS feeds, | Read More

Tools of the Trade: Knives

I own a small library of books on the subject of bartending. Some of these books are geared toward the professional bartender, while others are written for the home mixologist. But regardless of the intended audience, almost every book I own heartily recommends that we use paring knives for cutting fruits and garnishes. The Art | Read More

Hold On To Your Hats, I Found a Vodka I’ll Actually Drink

I don’t drink vodka. Most of you know that by now. I don’t care for spirits that strive to taste more like nothing than their competitors. I don’t care for drinks made with vodka, which taste merely like alcoholic versions of whatever fruit juice has been added to the glass. It’s boring liquor for boring | Read More

Dirty, Dirty Sue

If you’ve been reading this website for a while, you probably know that I spout the virtues of fresh ingredients and encourage people to eschew the use of pre-made drink mixes. So, I was a little taken aback when I received a package containing two bottles of Dirty Sue Dirty Martini Mix in the mail | Read More

Whiskey Tasting on a Sunday Afternoon

Tracy was asking for bourbon recommendations, and although this post is about more than just bourbon, it’s somewhat related. My friend Ryan had me over for a pig roast this afternoon to celebrate his wife’s birthday, so I got to take a tour of his legendary liquor room. That’s right, while the rest of us | Read More

El Mayor Tequila

Stopped by the Luxco booth and sampled some of the sexy, rebranded El Mayor tequila. I don’t know how many times El Mayor has been distilled, but one thing I missed from the silver was a deep, fruity agave flavor. This could have something to do with the fact that my palate was starting to | Read More

Make Me a Golf Ball Margarita

I posted an article about the lunatics from Blendtec back in November, and now here I am watching them live and in person, blending golf balls and a rake. Delicious. I tried to get a video at 3:00 PM, but it seems that I forgot how to use a digital camera. Oh, well. You can | Read More

Momokawa Nigori Genshu Sake

This is possibly the best product I tried all day: a thick, semi-sweet, chilly sake with lots of tropical fruit and coconut flavors. It’s made by Momokawa Sake in Japan, but the product is owned and imported by SakeOne here in Forest Grove, Oregon. Hmmmm… sounds like yet another reason why Oregon is such a | Read More