Intelligent Bartender

Mixology Mondays

Sweet Sweet Vermouth….

by on Apr.13, 2011, under IBC, Mixology, Mixology Mondays

The finished product mmmm...

The finished product mmmm...

What makes a Negroni stand out above all other cocktails for me is the variety of flavors that hit your tastebuds as soon as the liquid enters your mouth. The sweet sensation that jolts you back to reality after that first sip is the sweet vermouth which is also present in that manly martini named the ‘Manhattan’.

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Forgotten Classic Cocktails: The Gimlet!

by on Dec.08, 2010, under Mixology, Mixology Mondays

The Gimlet aka Gene Snyder on the rocks.

The Gimlet aka Gene Snyder on the rocks.

Once as popular as the Martini or Manhattan the mighty Gimlet is often overlooked by modern cocktailians. On several occasions I have even received a Martini with cocktail onions(Gibson) upon ordering a Gimlet. Two simple ingredients combine to make something much more. A juniper-citrus aroma, through the sweet and sour mid palate, and a long lingering finish. Hard to beat for a serious slake. If you have the means please make your own lime cordial, it really makes a difference. Recipes follow. Gimlet 1 / Scurvy 0

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Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , more... – Pain in the Ass drinks

by on Apr.26, 2010, under Mixology, Mixology Mondays

MxMo XLVIII will take place Monday, April 26; hosting this round is Seattle bartender Mike McSorley, who publishes the blog McSology, and for the theme Mike has chosen Pain in the Ass Drinks. As he puts it in his preview post:
…My charge to you all is to document your (least) favorite drink that is the proverbial thorn in your side. It can be virtually anything stylistically -  The point here is to have fun and share that little ticket item that throws you off your cleaning game 10 minutes before last call!

Nishan Chandra from Blowfish presents the work in progress that may or may not be presented at Made with Love Mixology in Quebec City on May 10th.

Cafe Del Mar…

60mL Skyy Vodka

15mL Coconut cream steeped with dates and vanilla beans

15mL Mango Juice

30mL Espresso

60mL Melted Dark chocolate, white chocolate, Caramel (Kat Salon mix)

Shake all ingredients together over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

On a wonton spoon place 15mL Amarula Cream Liqueur, Mars Chocolate Spice, and Blowfish Espresso Chocolate Cake with Chili and Blue Icing Sugar Paste.

Place a tab of Kupuru on a hot stone and burn for menthol aromatics.  Enjoy when Kapuru is spent.

Scott McMaster adds to the mix with his Lamb infused Skyy creation called Mary’s Little Caesar…

45mL Lamb infused Skyy Vodka

120mL Clamato

Powdered Mushroom, Rosemary and Thyme Infused Salt Rim

Served over frozen cucumber cubes.

Coming from the school that every Caesar is different everywhere you go, and its never perfect unless you make it, each element has so many vartiations, the ultimate combination is only found on your own palate.
you can follow Dr Evil aka Scott McMaster on twitter… @evilatthebar

Wes Galloway came to the bar with the KFCeasar.


45mL Roast Chicken-Infused Vodka

15mL Vodka

3-4 Dashes Smokin’ Joe Hot Sauce

3oz Mott’s Clamato

Healthy pinch of 11 herb/spice blend(Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Celery Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Salt, Ginger, Garlic, MSG, Dry Mustard)

*Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and roll drink between mixing tin and glass 8-10 times.  Strain drink into an ice-filled highball glass rimmed with the 11 herb/spice blend.  Use any leftover spice to make fried chicken;)

You can find Wes on Facebook by searching Wes Galloway

Gavin MacMillan busted out a Strawberry Pear Caipiroska

60mL Grey Goose La Poire

2 Strawberries and 1/2 lime muddled

1 tsp sugar

Muddle berries an lime with sugar, add crushed ice and La Poire.

you can follow Gavin on twitter… @bartenderone

Irish Coffee
As I like to make all my cocktails fresh and handcrafted the Irish Coffee is my absolute PAIN in the ASS drink. The bottles have been wiped, dishwasher dismantled and some guests sneek in. “Irish Coffee? No Problem… Let me put on a fresh pot of coffee….” Next a whisk and bowl are pulled out and the cream starts to happen…. At this point the guest usually looks a little sheepish, but I keep a genuine hospitable smile. Once the drink finally gets to their lips, it is surely the best post prandial they have ever had, and heck with all this whipped cream and coffee let’s have another round!!

Irish Coffee

Unsweetened Heavy Cream
50ml Irish Whiskey
120ml Fresh-Brewed coffee
30ml Rich simple syrup

Whip the cream until bubbles no longer form on the surface, thickened but still pourable.
In a small white wine glass combine remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
Ladle 2-3cm of cream on top, garnish if desired and serve at once….

you can follow Rob on twitter… @kidcampari

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , more... Punches

by on Mar.22, 2010, under Mixology, Mixology Mondays

Alcoholic Punches

Alcoholic Punches

Hot on the heels of one of the most well-attended Mixology Mondays yet, the March round of MxMo could be even bigger. Hosting the March round (that’s Mixology Monday #47 if you’re counting) is Mike at Hobson’s Choice, and for this round Mike has chosen Punch as the theme.

Punches just seem like a great way to get a group of people socially lubricated on something tasty.  While everyone here in Toronto loves the concept of the hand crafted cocktail, a hand crafted punch is not only a bit of a lost art, but an effective way of articulating the finer points of mixology on a larger scale.  Thinking back to cottage weekends when we were younger, there were few summers when we didnt dump a bunch of booze in a bowl and mix it up with some fruit juice on Saturday, then wake up on Tuesday wondering what the hell went wrong.  Even drilling a hole in a watermelon and filling it with Gin is a bit of a primitive punch, although I think today’s offerings are a little more refined and tasty.

Chuck Norris doesnt throw up when he drinks too much... he throws DOWN!!!

Chuck Norris doesnt throw up when he drinks too much... he throws DOWN!!!

Chuck Norris

225mL Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
100mL Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur
45mL Domaine de Canton
60mL Lemon juice
225mL Apple juice
100mL Pomegranate Juice
10 dashes of Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a juice jug and chill for 1-2 hours before service to prevent dilution.  Pour chilled mixture into an iced decanter or punch bowl lined with apple and lemon slices.

Makes 1-12 servings depending on how much of a pussy you are.  The image of the can on the right has nothing to do with the punch recipe, I just thought it was funny… Chuck Norris doesn’t need an energy drink!

“Punch in the Grill”

500ml Sailor Jerry rum
1.5l peach juice
60ml lime juice
Whole Pineapple, orange and peaches.

Grill slices of pineapple and peach. Brulee orange segments. Allow to cool back to room temperature.
In your grandmothers crystal punch bowl, combine liquids and fruit pieces. Add 2 frozen water balloons (Chambord bottle sized/ balloon removed)
Have guests bring their own pimp cups. YEAH-AH!

“24 Hour Karate School” aka “Punch with a Kick”
24 hour Karate School

Inspired by Duggan Mcdonnell’s (Cantina / San Francisco) Tangerine Collins. I have given his recipe a few roundhouse kicks of my own, to end up with this Punch that even Chuck Norris would drink….and Mos Def would rap about.

Mos Def would be proud

Mos Def would be proud

300ml Shochu (preferably sweet potato based)
180ml Hendrick’s gin
300ml Freshly squeezed Clementine juice
60ml Freshly squeezed Lime juice
120ml Simple syrup
30ml Campari
4 dash MacMonster O.J bitters
2 dash MacMonster ODB bitters
Cava or Prossecco (to serve)
Flamed Orange zest (to garnish)

in a large container combine all ingredients(except sparkling wine) and chill for at least an hour. Fill a large pitcher with and fill with chilled mixture. Stir well. Strain into chilled coupe glasses(appprox 2/3 full) and top with Sparkling wine. Garnish with flamed Orange zest and serve.
This will serve a minimum of 8 drinks, depending on your glassware.

Leave a Comment :, , , , , more... – Mixology Mondays – Absinthe

by on Feb.23, 2010, under Mixology, Mixology Mondays, Molecular

MxMo XLVI takes place Monday, February 22. Hosting this round is Sonja at Thinking of Drinking, and Sonja has chosen Absinthe as the theme.   Certainly one of Toronto’s best MxMo’s to date, and a thoroughly enjoyable excuse to get together and have some tasty beverages.  Some of us chose absinthe as a modifier, some as a base… some chose citrus and some cream, then we finished off with some fresh espresso and macadamia syrup to cap the night…  Enjoy from the t-dot

Elan Marks presents

“Two in the Pink”

1.5 oz alize red passion
1.5 oz absinthe
1 oz ameretto
1 oz egg whites
2 oz cranberry juice,
squeeze one fresh lemon wedge …
in a tin with ice add all ingredients, shake the shit out of it, till its nice and frothy

strain and enjoy,

Scott McMaster (aka Evil) presents “The Purp”

Makes 2.

60ml Zoladkowa Gurzka Bitter Vodka
10ml Hills Absinth
2-7 inch rosemary branches (no stems). 3 barspoons of blueberry jam
Muddle vodka, jam and rosemary in boston glass. Add absinth and ice, shake, fine strain in to tall thin glass. Flute would work as well as pictured glass. Top with Absenth foam.

Rob Montgomery

Ghostface Killah Cocktail aka Pretty Toney Tipple

Inspired by San Francisco bartender Camper English’s adaption of the Absinthe Suissesse Cocktail, I added a few changes of my own. Remake of a remake so to speak. I hope you enjoy.

50ml Hills Absinthe
15ml Macadamia Nut Syrup
1 egg white
60ml heavy cream or half-and-half
dash orange blossom water
pinch of 6 spice powder(5 spice plus ginger)

Combine liquid ingredients in boston glass, Fill with ice and hard shake. Strain over crushed ice in oldfashioned glass or straight into a chilled coupe glass. Sprinkle with 6 spice powder.
Serves 1.

Wes Galloway

Not bad for a first run, but needs tinkering:
Pour la Premiere Fois

1.25oz Calvados De Boulard
.75oz Italian Vermouth
.5oz Pernod Absinthe
.25oz Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
*Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir well.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Nishan Chandra busts out the Snowbird

15mL Hills Absinthe
30mL Domaine de Canton
Juice of 2 Fresh Limes
20mL Orgeat
3 dashes Fee Bros Lemon Bitters
Shake all ingredients over ice, strain into 3 tall shooter or coupe glasses.
Add one dash of bitters to garnish.

Gavin MacMillan presented the GF Twizzler

45mL Juniper Green Organic Gin
30mL Cointreau
30mL Hills Absinthe
60mL Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters
Brulee the outside of the glasses with absinthe for aromatics, then shake and strain into bruleed glassware.

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MxMo 45 – Tea Cocktails

by on Jan.26, 2010, under Mixology, Mixology Mondays, Molecular

Welcome to this months MxMo, before we start a special thanks to Cocktail Slut for hosting.  Schedules didnt permit as large a gathering in Toronto as we would have liked this month, but Rob Montgomery came through with flying colours with “God Save the King” aka “Royal Gin Fizz”

God Save the King with home made MacMonster Bitters

God Save the King with home made MacMonster Bitters

Adapted from the “Silver King” from Wylie Drufresne’s restaurant WD-50 in NYC. A deceptively simple drink that is truly greater than the some of it’s parts. The “Silver King” contained no tea, so I set about to add some. My first attempt of tea infused sweet vermouth was tasty, but lacked a little punch. Digging around the fridge I found a bottle of Lyles Golden syrup. Perfect (give it a try instead of regular simple syrup in your favorite recipe). Once the ratios were right, I added a few drops of vegetable based red food coloring to give the drink a nice royal glow.

60ml London Dry Gin (I used Brockmans but any top shelf will do)
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml fresh lime juice
45ml Royal Red Sizzurp**
1 dash MacMonster ODB bitters
1 egg white (approx. 30ml)
30ml sparkling water
Orange slice (to garnish)

Combine first 6 ingredients in boston glass and fill with ice. Shake it like you mean it. Then shake some more. Strain over fresh ice in a collins glass. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with orange slice and a straw. Serves 1. Word.

**Royal Red Sizzurp

360ml Strong Brewed Earl Grey Tea
120ml Lyles Golden Syrup
30ml Sweet Vermouth (I used Martini)
6 drops veg based red food color
Combine in a small pot and warm slightly to speed dilution
Will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks before losing freshness.

You can reach Rob at where he presides over the bar, or also at

If you twit, you can keep up to speed by following @kidcampari, @mcmasterlive, ar @bartenderone

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