A few weeks ago while I was in New York for my most recent book tour, I had the chance to sit town with my pals Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich at The Daily Beast to talk about drinking rules, drinking stories, and of course, Drinking Distilled. It ended up being a really fun conversation | Read More
Happy New Year! I hope the holidays treated everyone well, especially you professional bartenders out there. I think the only folks who have it harder than we do during December are our friends in the retail business, so now that we’ve moved on to January, let’s all raise a glass. Hey, there are a lot | Read More
Okay, I know. This is some seriously low-hanging fruit and I should be ashamed of myself for making fun of it. But come on. It’s so bad, but it’s so fun. So sit back, and enjoy this video from one of our longtime favorites. Ladies and gentlemen, the Sazerac. A drink that originilated in New | Read More
For many years, I’ve occupied two worlds: not only have I been behind the bar full-time for the past 20 years, but also I’ve been writing about it for well over a decade. People like myself, who not only publish their thoughts on spirits and cocktails but also work behind the bar on a daily | Read More
Twenty years ago, when I started bartending, there were a limited number of liquor brands behind any standard bar. The selection at most establishments looked a lot like what you’d expect to see at the airport these days: the three most recognizable tequilas; four gins, maybe; American whiskey limited to guys named Jack and Jim; and that’s about it. But then this whole spirit and cocktail renaissance came along and suddenly it was craft this and small batch that. With all of the options facing you, the consumer, the options can be daunting.
I’ve had the good fortune to travel a lot throughout my life. I was raised by parents who instilled a deep love of getting to see the world, and my job certainly hasn’t hindered that in the least. And, of course, I’ve gotten to learn a lot about the way people drink in other parts of the world beyond just the city where I tend bar. One style of drinking that I’ve always been enamored with is the European tradition of low-proof highballs in the afternoon. I’ve come to refer to them as café cocktails.
So after much deliberation, I decided to print this question and my response, as it’s a question that I get from you guys at least once a month. And therefore I think it’s important. So here we go: Hey Jeff, I’m new to the bar, but not our company’s restaurant group. I’ve done my research | Read More
I’ll just preface this piece by saying that I’m not a cocktail historian. Really. And it’s not that I don’t care about a cocktail’s history, it’s just that I’m not really very good at doing research or checking facts to unearth the precise origins of a particular drink. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s an important facet of our industry, but I have other strengths that I choose to focus on.
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
For years before I ever got into this whole cocktail thing, I worked in the sort of places that served beer and shots, had jukeboxes and ashtrays, sported video poker machines,and usually involved kicking a few people out over the course of every night. I have, like any bartender who’s done this sort of work, | Read More
Years ago, I shared with you all a video from yet another bartending school or something that showed the most horrific excuse for a Mint Julep many of you have ever seen. It’s so bad that I’m honestly surprised that Woodford Reserve hasn’t bothered to have the video taken down. You can watch it here: | Read More
Happy National, uh, Daiquiri Day? I can’t believe it’s already National Daiquiri Day and I’ve still got my National Margarita Day decorations up! I mean, I haven’t even begun to think about National Sazerac Day or National Mojito Day. If it turns out that there are 365 different PR people working for giant liquor companies, | Read More
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
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
Note: This was originally posted on April 14, 2010. I’m updating the original post for our New York Times readers who might find their way here. Welcome! Inspired by a visit to see Tony Conigliaro at the unnamed bar at 69 Colebrooke Row in London last fall, where Manhattans are aged in glass vessels to | Read More