Writing

So, I never wanted to be a writer. I hated writing when I was in school, and I was one of those people who would adjust the margins, line height, and font size by infinitesimal proportions just to fulfill the required number of pages, rather than actually try to write something worthwhile.

But I had this real conundrum when I started discovering the world of cocktails and bartending: I wanted to share what I’d learned with the world and the best way to do that was by writing about it.

Eventually, I started to hate it a little less (although I do cringe every time I have to re-read something I’ve written), and start doing it more. Now, in addition to all of the information I’ve shared here on this website I’ve also written numerous articles for Playboy, Food Republic, and other outlets. I’ve also written two books (see the two links to the right).

Here is some of the additional work I’ve put out there over the years. Enjoy!

Notes On The Timeliness Of Drinking

Read full article at www.foodrepublic.com

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.

Why Can’t Television Get Cocktails Right?

Read full article at www.foodrepublic.com

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?”

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.

What Does TV’s Jon Taffer Really Know About Bar Science?

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I would assume that anyone reading this column is a fairly well-versed fan of all things related to bars and cocktails; if not, I’d wonder how you ended up here in the first place. Assuming that you’re one of the former, I imagine you’ve come across Jon Taffer, the bulging-eyed host of the popular Spike TV show Bar Rescue. Taffer’s other claim to fame is that he is the red-faced inventor of the Butt Funnel, a metal pipe that constricts traffic to and from a dance floor in order to, uh, stimulate guest interaction and challenge fire codes.

6 Rules For Drinking Like A Man

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A couple of years ago, I had my first date with the woman who is now my girlfriend. Mind you, she’s not a bar or restaurant person, like me. She has what I call a real job, works from 9 to 5, and isn’t as connected to the up-to-the-minute food and drink information that you and I are. So we’ll say that her experiences with food and drink are more, well, traditional than yours and mine.

How To Make Champagne Cocktails That Don’t Fizzle

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It’s the time of year for celebratory holiday cocktails; you know, the kind with champagne in them. All over the world, people just like you are gathering, shopping, brunching, and pouring crappy cocktails made with cheap sparkling wine down their throats.

The Right Way To Make And Serve A Bloody Mary

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My first bartending job, back in, ahem, 1996 was at a little neighborhood tavern in the college town of Eugene, Oregon. It was a dive bar before anyone used the term. Back then, they were just referred to as bars. If you wanted a fancy cocktail around that time, you had to take your chances at a restaurant or hotel bar. Most bars were places with television sets or jukeboxes, or both. You drank there.

To Order Craft Spirits Or Not To Order Craft Spirits? That Is The Question.

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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.

The Perfect Fall Cocktail Includes Not A Drop Of Pumpkin Spice

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Once again, fall is here. Almost overnight here in Oregon, the weather has turned crisp, the leaves have started falling from the trees and the wind has picked up and begun to cool down the state. Every so often, you’ll catch a whiff of a fireplace burning in the distance.

Is It Afternoon Yet? Meet Your Next Pre-Dinner Libation, The Café Cocktail

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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.

How To Make A Bottled French 75: The Ultimate Picnic Cocktail Move

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You know what I’m not ashamed to admit? I’m a guy who loves a summer picnic. I know that the word conjures up images of, well, girls, mostly. Frolicking in summer dresses and eating little cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, drinking pink wine and sitting on flowery little blankets. But I can’t help it; I love everything about it. It’s food, it’s drinks and it’s sunshine. What could be better? Personally, I think the word has gone soft and that we need a better, more masculine word than “picnic,” but until one comes along I’ll stick with it.

Frozen Drinks Are Poised For A Big Comeback. Your Beat-Up Old Blender Is Not.

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For the past decade or so, we’ve been told by the cocktail gestapo that blended drinks are bad. They’re not for grown-ups, they’re too sweet and they don’t belong in the canon of classic cocktails. But what these critics seem to have forgotten about blended drinks is possibly the most important point of all: They’re fun. Having spent thousands of hours manning a blender station over the course of my career, I thought I might offer some insight into this polarizing piece of equipment.