Rank #1: Challenges of Owning a Bar
Sep 04 2014
Rank #2: Wine Knowledge for Bartenders 2.0
Apr 02 2015
Rank #3: Pisco Academy
Bartender Journey Podcast # 138 we learn all about the South American
made Spirit Pisco, mix up some Pisco Sour Cocktails, and talk about
using Egg Whites in Cocktails.Listen with the player on below, on bartenderjourney.net or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
Pisco is the native spirit of Peru and
Chile. It is made from grapes, so can be considered a Brandy. It is
usually, but not always, a clear (un-aged) spirit.
We will learn all about it with Kappa Pisco
Brand Ambasador Anne-Louise Marquis. We spoke to Anne-Louise in episode
#121 about Grand Marnier.
Cocktail of the week is Pisco
sour. I followed the recipe on kappapisco.com:
2 oz Kappa Pisco
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, (I used 1 1/4
1 oz Simple Syrup, (I used 3/4 oz)
1 Egg White
Shake vigorously with ice
Strain into a chilled coup glass (or
they suggest a champagne flute).
Top with a few drops of Angostura
bitters for decoration (and taste).
Book of the Week: Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 Edition.
This is a great book that comes out every year from the editors of Food &
Wine Magazine. They collect cocktail recipes from top bartenders all
around the U.S. and mix in some classics as well. There are great innovative
recipes in this book and beautiful photos. It will be a great addition to your cocktail book collection
or a great gift! (Buy Now on Amazon).
For much more information about this episode and especially using Egg Whites in Cocktails, please visit the show notes on BartenderJourney.net
Nov 25 2015
Rank #4: Pour A Better Pint & Do Inventory Faster
Pour A Better Pint & Do Inventory Faster
Bartender Journey Podcast # 137
At the 2015 Hotel Experience Show at the Javitz
convention center in Manhattan we got a chance to speak with 2 very interesting
Elliott of the Chill Rite 32 company
De Caria from Bevinco
The Chill Rite company makes draft beer systems
that deliver beer to the tap at 32 degrees (or whatever temp you like),
regardless of the temperature of the keg. This system promises zero waste. We talk to Greg about a lot of issues
regarding draft beer. They also make the Frost Rail. The frost rail is a frozen rail built into the bar surface,
which the guest sits their drink on and it keeps it cold!
We also speak with Vanessa from Bevinco - a
company that has a system for liquor inventory for bars & restaurants that
is very fast and accurate. We’ll
learn a lot about doing inventory, (which is such a dreadful task!)
Book of the Week: Cuban Cocktails 100 Classic
and Modern Drinks. This is a
great book from the Manhattan bar Cienfuegos. There are classic cocktails from
Cuba, plus lots of modern original recipes. It’s a really fun book with beautiful photos from Cuba.
Cocktail of the Week is the El Presidente
oz Aged Rum
oz Silver Rum
oz Dry Vermouth
oz Orange Curacao, (I used Grand Marnier)
Barspoon Grenadine, (I used Jack Rudy)
with ice, strain into chilled couple. Lemon twist.
Toast of the Week:“Here’s to the nights we’ll never
remember, with the friends we’ll never forget”.
Nov 19 2015
Rank #5: Meehan's Bartender Manual
Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan is, true to its name, a Manual.
It details how to layout a bar from start to finish. The section called “The Physical Bar” is extremely specific, starting with the location for your establishment – considering everything from the population density to income levels and more. Then the theme of the bar, or even, “do you really want one of those”. Then moving on to building the interior, the book gives detailed measurements of the ideal distance from the back edge of the bar to the front of the back bar, where the ice bins, coolers POS and more should be placed.
The book gives specific case studies and detailed technical drawings of famous bars such as the NoMad and Dead Rabbit.
There are pages about the sequence of building one round of 11 particularly complicated cocktails. I’ve been thinking about that section constantly at work, trying to maximize my workflow.
Information about icing, stirring, shaking, tasting and much more.
Then there are also 100 great cocktail recipes.
Honestly, this is a must-have book. There are many important details on designing a bar, service plus spirit & cocktail knowledge.
Dec 07 2017
Rank #6: Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur
Aug 05 2015
Rank #7: Happy Gin and Tonic Day!
On this week's episode, Brian chats with Keli Rivers of Sipsmith Gin in honor of National Gin & Tonic Day, which is April 9, 2019.
Apr 04 2019
Rank #8: Modern (and historic) Vermouth!
talk about the influence Vermouth had on Cocktail Culture and why it
has been 'under appreciated' over the last several decades. The tides
have turned once again for Vermouth...quality Vermouth is a hot
commodity once again!
Jul 08 2015
Rank #9: The Science of Flavor
Bartender Journey Number 273This time on the show we talk about the science of flavor with Derek Elefson.Derek shared some great resources with us:Flavor Wheels: Bourbonhttps://modernthirst.com/2014/08/06/the-bourbon-tasting-wheel/#prettyPhoto/0/ Malt Whiskieshttp://malt-review.com/2015/09/10/whisky-flavour-wheels-and-colour-charts/ Ginhttp://www.ginfoundry.com/gin-news/gin-tasting-wheel/ Winehttps://shop.winefolly.com/products/wine-flavors-chart
AROMA-FLAVOR TOOLS FOR SENSORY TRAINING:http://www.aromaster.com/https://www.cicerone.org/us-en/products/beer-flavor-maphttps://www.aroma-academy.co.uk/pages/wsethttps://www.flavoractiv.com/beverage/spirits/ FRUIT CHEMICALSKennedy Fruit Chemicals! An easy way to quickly educate people about chemicals in fruit. I highly encourage you to post this image with the link.https://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/ingredients-of-all-natural-cherries/
Our sponsor this week is CAKE POS.CAKE is the Point of Sale system that lets bar & restaurant owners focus on the guest experience. Stop worrying about tracking every sale - CAKE does that for you. No matter where you are, you can check in on daily reports and know they’ll be up to date. To get started with CAKE, check out trycake.com/bartender. For our Bartender Journey listeners, you can get $750 off the activation fee. That's a 75% discount.
Mar 15 2019
Rank #10: Interview with Dale DeGroff!
Feb 05 2015
Rank #11: American Single Malt Whiskeys
great Single Malts are popping up throughout the U.S. including Westland
made in the city of Seattle, Washington. We talk with Master Distiller
Listen with the audio player on this page on the Bartender Journey Web Site or Subscribe on iTunes or Android. You can also listen on Stitcher Radio.
Matt Hofmann is co-founder and master distiller at Seattle’s Westland
Distillery. Westland has become America’s leading single malt distiller,
which won the title “2015 Craft Whiskey of the Year” at the San
Francisco World Spirits Competition and was named the “2015 Whiskey of
the Year” by the American Distilling Institute.
Book of the Week:
Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits
by Lew Bryson, forward by David Wondrich
Cocktail of the Week:
- 2 oz. blended Scotch whiskey
- ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
- ¾ oz. honey syrup
- 2-3 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
- ¼ oz. smoky Islay single-malt Scotch whiskey or Westland Peated American Single Malt
Directions: Muddle ginger in mixing glass. Add honey syrup. Muddle
again briefly. Add blended Scotch and lemon juice. Shake with ice.
Double strain into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice. Float smoky
whiskey on top. Garnish with candied ginger or lemon twist.
Foot Problems for Bartenders and others who stand at work.
Spending long periods of time on your feet can cause discomfort or worse!
Find quality work shoes at Shoes For Crews and get $10 off your first order by using this link.
Other helpful ideas:
- Make sure you have rubber mats on the floor behind the bar.
- Change your socks, and maybe your shoes halfway through your shift.
- Alternating shoes one day to the next may help. Shoes take up to 48 hours to dry out completely.
- Compression socks
- Remember, shoes don’t last forever. It might be time to buy new ones!
- Stretch and exercise - especially core muscles.
up one leg when possible. The reason for the rail that runs along the
front of the bar is to make it more comfortable to stand for long
periods of time so that patrons will stay longer. The same concept may
be useful behind the bar.
- Losing weight can help.
- OSHA Document: Stay Safe in the Restaurant
Toast of the Week:
May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends.
Jun 22 2016
Rank #12: Beer Knowledge for Bartenders
Apr 22 2014
Rank #13: The Manhattan Cocktail with Philip Greene
It''s the Bartender Journey Podcast Number 181. Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunes, Android or Stitcher Radio.
The first cocktail was what we now know of as the Old Fashioned, but before the Manhattan came along, it was just called a "cocktail". Vermouth came on the scene in the 1800's and changed the cocktail scene forever. The Manhattan was the first drink to incorporate a second alcoholic ingredient.
Listen as we chat with Cocktail Historian, Philip Greene.
Sep 13 2016
Rank #14: Interview with Jesse. Berkshires Bartender who shares some stories from behind the bar.
Apr 29 2015
Rank #15: Tasting Whiskey with Lew Bryson
- Today on the podcast it’s a very special interview with Whiskey writer and all around good guy Lew Bryson! Lew wrote the great book Tasting Whiskey and is the managing editor and columnist for Whisky Advocate.
- Take a listen to the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 226 with the audio player on this page, or on Apple Podcasts/ Google Play Music/ Stitcher Radio for a slice of the Tales experience!
- Book of the Week: Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits by Lew Bryson
Sep 14 2017
Rank #16: The Old Fashioned
Bartender Journey Episode #263
The Old Fashioned.
I was at a sitting at a bar the other day and there was a bartender, training a young lady who was obviously brand new to bartending. The younger one asked the one who was doing the training “how long have you been bartending”. She answers “nearly 15 years”.
A ticket comes in for an Old Fashioned. Here’s a learning opportunity for the newbie, right?
She explains how to make it:
- “Get a rocks glass
- Get an orange slice and a luxardo cherry and muddle it in the glass.
- Add ¼ to ½ oz of simple syrup and about the same amount of sweet vermouth.
- Add ice and then fill nearly to the top with whiskey, (usually you should ask what type of whiskey they would like).
- Top with club soda.
- Put 3 or 4 dashes of bitters on top”
There are a lot of problems here. Lets take them one by one.
- The muddled “fruit salad” Old Fashioned was an unfortunate variation on the classic recipe. Some people like them and even expect them that way, which is fine…the best cocktail for someone is the one made exactly the way they like it. But the classic recipe is water, sugar, bitters and whiskey…we’ll talk about where that description comes from in a few minutes. Somewhere along the road it became popular to muddle an orange slice and a red maraschino cherry with sugar and bitters.The muddling in an Old Fashioned is supposed to be to incorporate the granular sugar (or sugar cube) with a little water and the bitters.
- Moving on to the second mistake in my example. THERE IS NO VERMOUTH IN AN OLD FAHIONED! There is sweet vermouth in a Manhattan…not an Old Fashioned
- Next…she says “top with club soda”. Yes we do want to dilute it a bit. Some books will tell you do this. Personally I add the water by stirring the whole thing in my mixing cup with ice. This chills the drink down and the melting ice adds water or “dilution”. I strain it into a glass with fresh ice.
- Next she said to “put 3-4 drops of bitters on top”. 100% wrong. I don’t like to flat out say somebody is doing something wrong, but no don’t do that.You want to incorporate the bitters into the drink. While there are drinks which call for drops of bitters on top, such as the Pisco Sour…not the Old Fashioned.
This is my recipe, and its written almost exactly like this in Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s The Bar Book, which is more or less the final word for me personally in all matters Bartending.
In mixing cup:
Stir with ice to chill and dilute.
Strain into an old fashioned glass with one large 2” ice cube. Express oils from an orange twist (use a Y-peeler to make orange twist to order). You could also use a lemon twist, which is delicious also.
Old Fashioneds can of course also be made with Rye whiskey or even rum. I’ve seen Reposado or Anão Tequila Old Fashioneds too.
In Sasha Patraski’s book Regarding Cocktails Sasha’s protégé Sam Ross shares his recipe for an Old Fashioned variation called the Tattletale. Its made with Angostura bitters, honey a blend of a Highlands scotch and a smoky Islay scotch.
So of course, there is no end to variations and methods, but I just feel like its good to know the proper traditional way of making things before going off on tangents.
The earliest known printed definition of the “cocktail” appeared in the newspaper the Balance and Columbian Repository in 1806. It was written in response to a reader who asked for a definition of the word. It said a cocktail is “A stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.”
Quoting from Wikipedia, “The first use of the name ‘Old Fashioned’ for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail was said to have been at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen's club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City.”
Robert Simonson mentioned that it was simply referred to as a “whiskey cocktail” until the late 19th century. Mr. Simonson wrote a great book all about the Old Fashioned called The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore. I’ll have a link to that along with the other books I mentioned.
Speaking of prohibition, as I record this today Dec 5, 2018 it is Repeal Day! This is the anniversary of the end of Prohibition in 1933. Its an unofficial Bartender holiday, or at least excuse for a party! I happened to be almost at the end of binge watching Boardwalk Empire, which was a great show on HBO about the prohibition era. Its fictional, but a lot of historical characters are in the show like Lucky Luciano, Al Capone and Elliot Ness. The show is now available on Amazon Prime if you want to check it out.
So mix yourself up and Old Fashioned. I’d love to see your version. If you could post a picture on IG and give it the hash tag
Depending how many we get, I’ll try to mention them all on the next show.
I’ll be posting mine on my IG which is BartenderJourney.
Here’s a toast:
Here’s to everything that is old.
Old friends, old times, old manners and old fashioneds.
Dec 05 2018
Rank #17: Training Day! How to make a Bartender out of a Server in One Night!
Jun 25 2014
Rank #18: The Martini
“Martini, shake or stir”. Here’s my take on that.
James Bond ordered his Martini’s Shaken not Stirred because that is the EXCEPTION to the rule. If he had ordered just a “Martini”, it would have been stirred because that is the classic recipe.
If the guest requests it there is nothing wrong with shaking this drink, but you will never see a decent cocktail book that suggests you to shake a Martini.
The general rule is, if it has only spirits in it, you stir. If it has any type of juice in it, it is shaken.
When stirring a drink you are trying to chill it and also add water to it, or “dilute” it as we say. Try taking some gin and vermouth, put it in a bottle and put it in the freezer. Don’t stir (or shake) it with ice. That’s not a Martini. It will be too strong and it will not taste very good.
When stirring a drink with ice we are looking for a silky texture, which is desirable in a Martini or Manhattan style cocktail. When shaking a drink, like say a Margarita, you are looking to make a bright drink with some air bubbles introduced.
How long do you stir? I was at an event recently and in the swag bag was a bar spoon with a thermometer on the top. It was in Celsius so I was looking to get to about 0 degrees or a little colder. What I discovered was that I wasn’t stirring long enough.
You noticed I said “0 degrees or a little colder”. Interestingly enough, through some science that I may never understand, you can actually make the drink a little colder than the ice!
Dave Arnold, the upmost authority on the science of drink making, talks about that in his great book Liquid Intelligence. Tristan Stevenson also mentions it in his book The Curious Bartender. He and I talked about it when I interviewed him back in episode #122.
Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence will be our book of the week. This book is highly recommended and a great resource. Dave is famous for using scientific equipment like rotovaps and centrifuges. I went a long time without reading this book, because I though “I’ll never have a centrifuge”, but he took what he learned using this equipment and uses it to teach interesting techniques and stuff you might not have though of otherwise.
In the book he also talks a lot about the effects of stirring and shaking. Interestingly enough, when stirring or shaking a drink, eventually equilibrium is reached and it wont cool anymore or dilute anymore. It will of course eventually start to warm up and the ice will start to melt, adding more dilution, but it can only get so cold.
This is helpful to know for a couple reasons, one of which is to keep in mind when building a large round of drinks. For instance if a Martini is the order, you might want to add the ingredients to your mixing cup, add the ice, but stir later. Or you can stir and let it sit there with the ice still in the cup while working on the rest of the round, then strain at the last moment. According to Dave Arnolds experiments, there won’t be much difference.
Does the size of the ice matter when shaking or stirring? It seems like the answer is, “not really” although that could be an entire podcast to itself. As a general rule it seems that once proper temperature is reached the dilution will be correct, no matter the size of the ice, although the one exception would be crushed or shaved ice.
The Martini is our cocktail of the week. What’s the best way to make it? The way your guest wants it! Ask a lot of questions when somebody orders one.
The history of the Martini is difficult to trace. David Wondrich, the ultimate cocktail historian will tell you so, and in fact does just that in his great book Imbibe!
In the late 1800’s the drink was usually made with Old Tom Gin, which is sweetened. Sometimes gum syrup was added. The “Dry Martini” appeared around the turn of the century, but it wasn’t dry in the sense that we think of it today. In fact one recipe published around that time period had a 1:1 ratio of Gin to Dry (or “French”) Vermouth. The Gin was changed to a London Dry style gin or Plymouth Gin which is also not sweet at all.
Back in the day, Orange Bitters were always added, which is a really interesting addition to a Martini. Give it a try! I wouldn’t force it on an unsuspecting guest, but try it yourself, see what you think, and maybe suggest it to an adventurous customer.
Back to the amount of vermouth. I think the average consumer expects very little vermouth in their Martini, although it is becoming popular in Cocktail Bars to have a 1:1 Martini on the menu. It’s a wonderful drink this way, with the orange bitters and a lemon twist, but of course you need to have a quality vermouth that has been taken care of properly and is not too old. Please store your vermouth in the cooler! Write the day you opened it on the back label of the bottle. Ideally you don’t want to keep it more than a month after opening. At 2 months, throw it out! I use Vacuvin wine stoppers in my open Vermouth bottles. This is a very inexpensive item – about $12 – that pumps the air out of open wine bottles to help preserve it. They are perfect for Vermouth and other fortified wines as well.
Next thing to talk about is the glass. Those giant bird bath or “Steakhouse” martini glasses are ridiculous. Believe me I know. I Bartender at a Private Club, we use them. The Members expect nothing less. Those stupid things hold 8 oz if you fill it to the very top, which people seem to expect! That’s not one drink! That’s 4 drinks!
So what kind of glass is good? You often here me talk about a chilled coupe glass, which is ideal for a Martini. For anyone who might not be familiar – it’s the old fashioned champagne glass that’s like a saucer or bowl with a stem.
Ideally we want the glass chilled in the freezer until the last minute, but if you don’t have a cooler to keep your glasses in, of course you can chill it with ice and water. Before you start making the drink, pack the glass with as much ice as you can fit and fill to the top with water.
For garnish, olives are traditional. If the guest doesn’t specify, its olives. One big or 3 small on a cocktail pic. Always an odd number, an even number is bad luck. Ha. I don’t know why, but it is. I asked David Wondrich about this one time and he said “it’s a tradition and if you choose to perpetuate it, you should.” I said “I do! I do choose to perpetuate it!”
A lemon twist is my favorite. The best twists are made with a y-peeler. Then hold the twist over the drink and using both hands put it between your thumbs and index fingers and start to sort of fold it in half lengthwise. This expresses the oils from the drink into the glass. Its awesome. Personally, I actually like my Manhattan this way too.
So the Martini – seems like a simple drink on the surface, but there are some things to consider.
Dave Arnold, Don Lee and Greg Boehm, who founded Cocktail Kingdom, are opening a new bar in Manhattan. It should be opening any day now…that should be really interesting. Don Lee is a super smart dude and Dave really knows his stuff. Greg is a very interesting guy too. One innovation that I read about at this new spot is: those in a hurry can buy bottled cocktails from vending machines with a $15 token. I can’t wait to check this place out.
Your can still apply for Bar methods for the August 2018 session. I’m recording this on June 6, 2018 and applications are still open for a few more days. I did this course back in 2016 and trust me, you wont regret it. Its 3 days of education in Manhattan, with happy hours and dinners and parties. You stay in the awesome Park South Hotel and the price is extremely reasonable. Trust me. Apply at barmethods.com
Another great educational opportunity - BarSmarts Advanced is coming to Philadelphia on September 26. This is a full day of education for the likes of Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Paul Pacul, the list goes on. For this you need to do the BarSmarts online course first. Check that out at BarSmarts.com
There are a few more sessions of CITC for this year with Gary gaz Regan. Not sure if he has any room left, but that is a wonderful experience. You can find out about that at gazregan.com/cocktailsinthecountry
I’ve done all three of these educational experiences. I get nothing for telling you about them, but I just want you to know about them, because they are all amazing (and affordable).
I missed a few podcasts in the last few weeks. I have a lot on my plate right now family wise, I wont go into the details, but if you are interested you can scroll back in the feed to the show called “Real Talk From Bartender Journey”. It looks like things are starting to get better, so hopefully we’ll be back on track soon.
I am definitely going to Tales of the Cocktail this year – the trip is already booked, so I’ll have lots of great stuff for you from there as well.
Please follow me on IG. @ Bartender Journey
Here’s our toast:
May the chicken never be hatched that will scratch your grave.
Jun 07 2018
Rank #19: The Complete Cocktail Manual with Lou Bustamante
This week we talk to Lou Bustamante. He is the author of The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes. This is a great book and is sanctioned by the United State Bartender's Guild.
Cocktail of the Week – El Presidente
1½ oz. rich white rum
1½ oz. Dolin Vermouth Blanc
1 barspoon orange Curaçao or Grand Marnier
½ barspoon real grenadine *
- Stir ingredients well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass. Express oils from an orange twist over the top and drop in or discard. Garnish, if desired, with a cherry.
*Real Grenadine :
2 cups fresh pomegranate juice or POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
2 cups unbleached sugar
2 oz pomegranate molasses
1 tsp orange blossom water
Warm juice just enough to dissolve sugar. Add pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water. Keep chilled.
Morgenthaler Article on grenadine
- This drink was was apparently named in honor of Mario García Menocal, president of Cuba from 1913 to 1921. Of course in 1920 when Prohibition took effect in the US, many people would fly down to Cuba for the weekend to get some legal booze and live it up a little. The cocktail spread around, and was soon found in some of the illegal US Speakeasies during Prohibition.
Mar 31 2017
Rank #20: Bartender Journey Episode #20
Listener questions: How to prepare for "The Rush" & how to deal with a regular customer who gets unruly.
Also, a great interview with Andrew Quady who makes an awesome Vermouth! Vince & Vano mix up (and enjoy), some nice cocktails made with Andrew's products while talking to him.
Mix yourself a cocktail and take a listen!
Sep 24 2013