Tag: Learn to Bartend
Have you wished you could jump behind a bar with hundreds of ingredients, tastes, and ideas and be able to create the cocktail of your dreams?
On April 4th, 2011 the BartenderOne Bar Chef Finals took place at Empire Lounge in Toronto in Yorkville. As students, the mixologists had completed tasting over five hundred different spirits, bitters, liqueurs, sweeteners, types of citrus, infused foams and spirits, along with homemade syrups.
As mixologists, the students were asked to create an original cocktail from each of the 5 spirit categories. The cocktails could have been made with anything that the mixologists could think of; but were required to hold dear the traditional balanced cocktail theory. While they did have guidelines for balance, there were none for flavour profiles or presentation. Mixologists could incorporate elements that were taught in class such as: infusion, fatwashing, bruleeing, molecular mixology, spherification, custom foams, misting and much more.
As the student mixologists watched tentatively, their cocktails were tasted by three of Toronto’s top mixologists; Rob Montgomery, Gavin MacMillan and Scott McMaster. The students were were delighted to see that their hard work and development had paid off. The judges were impressed by all of the thought and effort that was incorporated into the final cocktails. The mixologists showed that they weren’t scared to test some boundaries in coming up with their very own recipes, and here are the top cocktails entered:
STRAWBARB BULLETS - By Mixologist Krissy Calkins
2/3 oz Strawberry reduction (no sugar added)
1/3 oz Rhubarb reduction (no sugar added)
1 oz Vodka
Shaken on Ice
Strain into Chocolate Cups
Float - Vanilla bean infused simple syrup on top
Served on a bed of Gram Crackers
Employer: Carnaval Court at Harrah’s Las Vegas
Years Flairing: 6
I asked Justin A few questions and found out some interesting facts.
BARTENDER PROFILE: TOM DYER
Age: 26 Years Old
Lives: LONDON (England)
Bartending: 8 Years
Flairing: 7 Years
Tom Dyer is one of the world’s best and most innovative flair bartenders.
Not all freestyle mixology sessions need to start with a trip to the liquor store! Local markets packed with farm fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and fantastic finds can be your first destination for inspiration.
Here in Toronto we are particularly blessed with access to several excellent open and indoor markets. St. Lawrence Market and the Kensington District both offer fantastic selections of fresh produce, bulk goods, and specialty shops with every imaginable ingredient under the sun. You can almost always track down specific spices and preserves, thanks especially to the diversity of background in our city. However, at least half the fun of a trip to the market is the item you didn’t expect to see! Preserved Marasca Cherries, anyone? A hidden find at one of these well stocked purveyors could spark your next great cocktail idea!
I’ve been told that the face a bartender makes when he/she is shaking a drink is the same face they make when they are having sex. You might want to practice making these three cool cocktails in front of a mirror…
In the 1500s, lead cups were commonly used to drink ale.The combination of alcoholic beverage and lead vessel would sometimes knock drinkers out for a couple of days, and these unfortunate souls would be taken for dead and prepared for burial! A body would be laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if the body would wake up – hence the custom of holding a wake.
Honey Suckle Cocktail from Milk and Honey in London, England
50ml Cuban rum 20ml honey syrup 20ml fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into chilled Coupe or Martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Negroni Sbagliato from Bar Basso in Milan, Italy
50ml sparkling wine 50ml sweet vermouth 50ml Campari
Stir all ingredients over ice in ballon shaped wine glass. Serve immediately.
Bondi Crush from Iceberg’s In Sydney, Australia
30ml Bombay Sapphire Gin 15ml Pimm’s No.1 1tsp finely shredded mint ginger ale to top
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add first three ingredients and stir well. Top with ginger ale and stir again. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.
Heels Race from The High Heels Bar In Cairo, Egypt
30ml vodka 15ml Kahlua 15ml peach schnapps
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh red cherry and serve.
Stay thirsty, Rob Montgomery, The Miller Tavern
*For the record, you can’t buy my love! I have tried all products mentioned and have no affiliation with parent companies.
Enduring the cold Canadian winter is no easy feat. A classic survival kit includes cocktails that kick it ‘Old’s Cool,’ tropical treats to remind us of warmer months and a party punch that pleases the crowd.
Coffee Cocktail (sourced from Jerry Thomas’* Bar-tenders Guide 1887) According to Dave Wondrich in IMBIBE:
“Rumour had it that this suave and rich concoction came from New Orleans. It shouldn’t wonder. In any case it clearly pushes the cocktail envelope, as the anonymous compiler of the 1887 edition of Thomas’s book noted: “The name of the drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found amongst its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and hence probably its name”.”
With public health awareness at an all time high, and a recovering economy that is shifting focus back on the environmental movement, more and more bars are making an effort to go green with their daily business practices for a handful of reasons. Organic ingredients are popping up at every turn, in fact more than 75 different types of Organic Spirits, Liqueurs, Wines and Beers are available in most provinces.
First of all, it’s important to identify the difference between a green cocktail and the absurdity of the healthy cocktail. Ordering up a beverage made with green tea liqueur is not going to earn you any points in the antioxidant cup. Organic Spirits, Wines and Beers are becoming more and more popular, new companies are jumping on the organic bandwagon, others have been quietly producing organic and sustainable products for decades. Do organic ingredients in a cocktail really make a difference? Are they any healthier for you? Aren’t cocktails are supposed to be a little bit naughty anyways?
To answer this question, we made three cocktails, one completely organic, one made with non-organic spirits, citrus and sweeteners, and one in the fashion commonly employed by most bars in operation in Canada today.
It’s a new year, and with that comes new challenges and an ever changing business environment. Cost of living will increase this year affecting the amount of discretionary income your guests have, inflation and a recovering economy will drive up the cost of goods, lease rates will escalate, food and liquor cost will increase… what do you do to combat such a daunting business environment?