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The Bloody Mary Conundrum

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Last year, my boss came to me with some very tragic news. News that shocked me to my core, and left me standing there, unable to speak, barely able to breathe. “We’re going to start serving brunch on the weekends.” Now, brunch is a tough prospect for any bar manager. The crates of oranges that | Read More

Sorry, lady, but that is definitely not a Mint Julep.

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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

How to Not Fuck Up a Daiquiri

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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

Brandy Old Fashioned

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For a little background info before you read this post, you can watch me ramble on in front of a camera below. If 7you don’t want to listen to my nonsense, skip it and read on.   In my opinion, one of the greatest triumphs of the cocktail renaissance is the rediscovery of the classic | Read More

Vacuum Seal Oleo Saccharum

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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

The Most Important Bar Tool You’re Probably Not Using

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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

I Make the Best Amaretto Sour in The World

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No, really. I’m serious. In case you think I’m joking, or that you read that wrong, let me go on the record right now: I make the best Amaretto Sour you’ve ever had in your life. No ifs, ands or buts about it, my Amaretto Sour dominates and crushes all others out there. And now, | Read More

Bottled Carbonated Cocktails

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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

The Kingston Club

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One advantage I have in my career – and believe me, I thank my lucky stars every day for my good fortune in this regard – is that I travel a lot. And when I do travel, I get to visit the greatest bars in the world and spend time picking the brains of the | Read More

How to Price a Cocktail Menu

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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 (or, not make) Sangria

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Little did I know, after announcing that I’d be bringing a pitcher of sangria to the Tex-Mex dinner party last weekend, that every single person in attendance was recoiling in horror at the thought of having to choke down a big heaping glass of red syrup. But much to their surprise – and my relief | 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

Barrel Aged Cocktails

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NO RECIPE!

This is the post that started it all: the genesis of Barrel Aged Cocktails. Inspired by a visit last October to see Tony Conigliaro at the unnamed bar at 69 Colebrooke Row in London last fall, where Manhattans are aged in glass vessels to sublime and subtle effect, the barrel aged cocktails I’ve been serving | 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