Techniques

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 technique.

My Late Night Television Debut

I was on Seth Meyers this week! I went on to promote my newest book, Drinking Distilled: A User’s Manual, but ended up making a Spanish Coffee instead and almost setting the whole place on fire. Such a trip getting a chance to do this! I was nervous as hell for like three weeks, even | Read More

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

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

How to Take Inventory and Calculate Pour Cost

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

Hot Toddies Suck – Long Live the Hot Toddy

Here’s a fun little game you can play. Go ask someone – preferably someone not wearing arm garters or quoting Jerry Thomas – and ask them what’s in a Hot Toddy. The more people you try this game with, the better, because you’re going to get a lot of varied answers. But I’m going to | 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

Vacuum Seal Oleo Saccharum

I’ve said this before: I’m a lazy guy, and yet I’m a perfectionist. I want my cocktails perfectly-prepared, but I’d really rather not work too hard. With that in mind, I present my latest in perfectly-prepared cocktail ingredients for slackers like you. A couple of years ago, like so many other bartenders around the world, | Read More

Bottled Carbonated Cocktails

I guess I’m getting old. I don’t say this because my fortieth birthday is approaching like a speeding bullet, but this: I know that cocktail carbonation is the hot new thing right now, but if someone hands me another carbonated Manhattan I’m going to cry into it, I swear. Believe me, I’m all for innovation | Read More

How to Price a Cocktail Menu

Contrary to what you may have heard, there’s more to my job than coming up with cool mezcal cocktails and bitching about having to write the schedule. At the end of the day, I’ve got to approach this career as a professional, with an eye on business. One of the more challenging parts of my | Read More

How to Make Your Own Grenadine

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

My Turn in the Barrel

Hey, here’s a fun way to illustrate karma. If you’ve, say, built a large web presence upon a not-so-generous string of public criticisms of bar-related web videos [1, 2, 3, 4], then one day somebody will ask you to appear in a series of videos yourself. That’s what happened last month when Imbibe Magazine called | Read More

How to Make a Caipirinha – The American Bartending School Way

Speaking of great cocktails made with cachaça, let’s take a moment before the weekend and see what our old friends at the American Bartending School would do when confronted with a bottle of the stuff. In this segment, we’ll learn how to make the Brazilian classic, the caipirinha (kai-peer-EEN-ya) 1. Announce to your friends that | Read More

How to Reduce by Half

Some of you are here to find out how to make my pinot gris reduction for the East of Eden, and as the directions will tell you, you’ll need to reduce the wine by half. But how can you tell when a liquid is reduced by half without pouring it into a measuring cup every | Read More