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ARTICLES

Making the Right Choice When Searching for the Best Cocktail Mixing Glass

Making the Right Choice When Searching for the Best Cocktail Mixing Glass

Making the Right Choice When Searching for the Best Cocktail Mixing Glass

Mixing cocktails the right way can be a daunting process for those with little to no experience on the matter. Every choice you make when it comes to mixing these drinks matter - and even the type of glass you use to pour the finished result on can have an effect on the taste. The mixing of cocktails isn’t just a static science; it still has to cater to your style.

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Shaken, Not Stirred: Understanding Cocktail Glass Types

Shaken, Not Stirred: Understanding Cocktail Glass Types

Shaken, Not Stirred: Understanding Cocktail Glass Types

It’s understandable to feel a little lost with regards to which type of cocktail glass to use for which drink. After all, this isn’t a matter of etiquette. It’s not the same as having the best types of dinnerware for those special occasions where it’s more of aesthetic quality. The type of cocktail glass that you use has an effect on the kind of drink that you’ll be serving - making the cocktail glass more of a necessity than an afterthought.

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The Art of Using the Mixing Glass - Do It Like a Pro

The Art of Using the Mixing Glass - Do It Like a Pro

The Art of the Mixing Glass: How to Mix like a Pro

In order to be counted as a truly skilled bartender, it’s important to take a close look at one of their most essential tools: the mixing glass. While some might think that the use of the mixing glass is self-explanatory, there is more to the mixing glass than meets the eye. Basically, this instrument is used for drinks that require a different touch compared to that of a shaker. With regards to how long
professional bartenders tend to use a cocktail mixing glass per drink, it would average out to around fifteen to twenty seconds maximum.

Awakening flavors

It’s understandable to think that the martini mixing glass is mainly for mixing drinks, but its main use lies in the awakening of flavors within the chosen ingredients. Remember that the purpose of the mixing glass is to coax out the flavors that have been sleeping in the wood, as you will be mixing distillates that have spent a certain amount of time in barrels. Of course, as with the case of the Dry Martini, the ingredient of gin is one that does not spend time in barrels. However, the flavor still requires to be coaxed out which is why the mixing glass is still used. It is a subtle instrument that can achieve much in a short amount of time.

Tips to using the mixing glass and preparing cocktails

While a good amount of training isn’t necessarily required, it’s important to understand and appreciate the subtlety that comes with mixing a cocktail. Here are a few guidelines:

● It’s essential to have the mixing glass at the very center of the surface or table you’re going to be using. This ensures that all your focus is on the drink.

● Manage the amounts with your spoon carefully. It’s an exact science which means that the slightest mistake can and will have consequences.

● Ice is an important ingredient in the mixing process. Make sure that there is an adequate amount in the glass as a low temperature is preferable to capturing the unique flavor profiles.

● Do not start mixing more than three cocktails to avoid mistakes. Even professional bartenders tend to keep their numbers low because the risk of making a mistake is high.

● Are you ready to pour? Make sure that as soon as you are finished mixing your drink that you are ready to pour it immediately onto cups.

● The proper technique is to hold the top facing the left, with your left hand when pouring the mixture out.

● Last but not least, you can wash the mixing glass for the next mix with water, but absolutely no soap.


That is basically all you need to know with regards to the mixing glass set. Make sure to practice, and have plenty of fun impressing friends, family and colleagues alike! Just remember that the art of using the mixing glass is often a very subtle process, and one that most definitely gets better with time.

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Concocting the Perfect Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Concocting the Perfect Old-Fashioned Cocktail

When you think about cocktails, it’s understandable to assume it’s all about those colorful drinks that seem to change with the season. It feels like in the world of cocktails, there’s always something new which seems to push the older cocktails out of the limelight. However, there is such a thing as the Old Fashioned cocktail - the original recipe. It’s a cocktail that has withstood the test of time, and one that has won the admiration and the distinction as the most balanced cocktail around.

The very best part is the fact that you can actually craft the wonderful Old Fashioned in your home with little fanfare. It’s quite easy to make, which is a testament to how perfect this old fashioned cocktail recipe truly is. It is rooted in the simplicity of the drink, and it’s not something you need to search far and wide for ingredients.

In a nutshell, the Old Fashioned goes as follows: some bourbon whisky mixed with a bit of sugar, without forgetting those bitters - then stirred alongside some ice and finally garnished with a classic orange peel. While that is certainly all there is to the Old Fashioned, in order to get it done right we’ll get right into the details in a step by step process!

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Ingredients of a timeless classic

  • Bourbon whiskey- You absolutely cannot have an Old Fashioned without the main ingredient; in this case, it’s certainly the bourbon whisky (but the other ingredients are no slouches either!). While this means that you’re going to have to shelf out some money in order to obtain a true quality bottle, there is absolutely no reason to overspend. For example, with a twenty or thirty dollar value you will no doubt have a bottle of bourbon whiskey worthy of being part of the Old Fashioned. Four Roses, Bulleit and 1792 are only some of the quality bourbons that are along this price range.
  • Bitters - Before we start talking about the sugars, it’s best that we talk about bitters because it’s an incredibly important part of the Old Fashioned - of just about any cocktail really. You know how you spice certain meats through the use of salt, pepper and other spices? The same concept used with bitters, only they’re made primarily for drinks. Bourbon whiskey already has quite a bite, which means it needs to be refined through the use of bitters. To make the Old Fashioned, the Angostura bitters are basically the only way to go. Just like salt and pepper, even just a pinch can go a long way!
  • Sugar - Last but certainly not the least, you can add sugar to a bit of water to use as a syrup when it comes to the Old Fashioned. This allows it to bind along with the other ingredients effectively to create quite the concoction. Sugar just like the bitters helps to elevate the taste of the bourbon to new heights.

 

 

Stirred, not shaken

Whilst James Bond would certainly want his martini shaken, not stirred, when it comes to the Old Fashioned it’s the other way around. The general rule here is that if your cocktail happens to contain anything that includes dairy, egg white or perhaps juice, you shake it. Otherwise, you stir the cocktail if it only contains spirits.

With the use of a mixing glass, combine all of the ingredients together, before finally adding the ice last. Make sure to mix only for a maximum of fifteen to twenty seconds. Remember to go for quality ice, as the taste of the water will eventually be a part of the drink itself. Add the garnish, and that’s all there is to it!

 

A Breakdown of the Old Fashioned

Makes a single cocktail

What do I need?

  1. Bourbon whiskey (about two ounces)
  2. Syrup (water mixed with sugar, ¼ ounce)
  3. Ice
  4. Garnish (Orange Peel)
  5. Angostura bitters (about two dashes)

What equipment is needed?

  1. A cocktail mixing glass/ pint glass
  2. Hawthorne strainer
  3. One bar spoon
  4. A cup to measure liquid
  5. A Y peeler or a knife
  6. Whiskey glass

Instructions

  1. Mix your cocktail by adding all of the ingredients except the garnish and ice into the mixing glass set. Afterwards, you can then add the ice before mixing it utilizing your spoon for a maximum of twenty seconds.
  2. Strain your Old Fashioned into the whiskey glass over cubed ice, or a large ice cube.
  3. Use your knife or Y peeler to cut an orange peel, allowing its oils to be part of the cocktail. You can then rub it over the rim of your glass before dropping it inside the drink.

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An Inspired Twist in Cocktails: Bartenders Create Their Own Takes on Familiar Drinks

An Inspired Twist in Cocktails: Bartenders Create Their Own Takes on Familiar Drinks

It wouldn’t be a complete truth if we said that the very best drinks have remained static over the years. In the case of cocktails, people have been trying and testing different combinations dating all the way back to the 1800’s! As a matter of fact way back in the day, it was considered absolutely revolutionary to mix some bourbon whiskey with sugar, bitters and a small orange garnish. For those who are familiar with cocktails, this is the exact recipe of what is called the Old Fashioned - a cocktail that is considered to be the most balanced (and best) of the bunch.

However, ever since the inception of such a drink, more and more people have taken to the idea of mixing these drinks in different ways, which soon gave to the rise of cocktails. That said, you won’t really find an original drink out there with absolutely no roots; this is what makes cocktails so special. You’ll find everyone giving their own personal twist, a tribute to the one that came before that enhances in different ways.

Shawn Heale, who is an acting bartender and owner of Garageland in Spokane, says that these are the blueprints that work. That they are classics for that very reason, and cocktails have grown to what it is today simply working on already existing drinks.

In this case we will be looking at Shawn’s twist on the familiar, alongside a few other local bartenders in the area as we explore some of the more rooted tastes in the cocktail world.

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Avant Grant’s Havana Hangover from Boots Bakery & Lounge

A twist on the classic Old Fashioned

Think of the powerful bite of the old-fashioned, only imagine the hints of a different flavor (about half and half), going down so much more smoothly than you could have realized. This is what the Havana Hangover is, and the inspiration definitely came from the Old Fashioned.

As a matter of fact, the collection of ingredients and the way it’s mixed is technically still how the Old Fashioned works, which is just a testament to how balanced the drink is. In this case however, the bitters came from Avant’s own creation, a tincture made from tobacco (from a cigar to be exact). The mix is basically Cuba incarnate - which happens to be cigars and rum.

Grant doesn’t completely replace the normal Angostura tincture however, because that would lose the signature flavor of the Old Fashioned. Instead half the dashes come from his homemade bitters, while the bourbon  is replaced by high-proof rum. It’s a wonderful homage to the old fashioned cocktailwith its own special taste.

 

Shawn Heale’s Server on Acid from Garageland

A twist on the Surfer on Acid

Many cocktail aficionados would likely scoff at the inspiration from this drink - which is basically considered a lowbrow drink concocted in the early 90’s by Eric Tecosky called the Surfer on Acid Cocktail. As a matter of fact even the original creator has gone on record calling it a lowbrow drink; consisting of coconut rum, Jägermeister and pineapple juice.

Shawn Heale believes that there are no bad drinks (only bad bartenders), which is why he went on to remix this so-called lowbrow club drink and give it his own special twist. He did this by first replacing the main ingredient (Jägermeister) with a drink called Fernet Branca. This is also known widely as “the bartender’s handshake”, which gives the whole spin on the ‘Server on Acid’ title.

For the rest of the ingredients, he kept them as they are and instead added his own personal touch. This includes making use of Bittermens Tiki bitters, as well as passionfruit syrup (BG Reynolds). The result is a fantastic drink that pays tribute to the so-called lowbrow club drink.

 

Patty Tully’s Baby Tea from Baby Bar

A twist on Long Island Iced Tea

When you speak with bar-goers about a drink that tends to make them drunk the most often, it’s no surprise to hear the Long Island Iced Teaas one of the culprits. Its notorious ability to make people drunk in record time is something that Tully is certainly not a big fan of.

As a matter of fact, this drink was banned in her bar because it was much more important to have drinks for taste rather than simply drink to get the effect of drunkenness straight away. However, this didn’t mean that she gave up on the drink completely. In fact, she worked to turn this alcohol bomb into something more palatable.

The ingredients she’s keeping from long island iced tea includes the tequila, rum, vodka and gin but their amount has been lessened to about an ounce each. Alongside the lemon in Long Island Iced Tea, she’s also adding some tamarind syrup as well as some orange juice to the mix. Lastly, instead of the cola normally associated with the drink, it’s soda water.

The result is a classy return to form that is equal parts tart as well as refreshing - but it still has part of the punch that made Long Island Iced Tea so famous.

 

Cabby Barnard’s Rosebud from Bon Bon

A twist on the Last Word

The Last Word is considered to be a bit of a strange drink because the liqueurs listed can be rather intimidating - but you still end up with a result that is actually quite approachable as far as cocktails go. Crafted all the way in the 1930’s, its makeup is relatively simple. It includes gin, Green chartreuse, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice all in equal parts.

Barnard’s Rosebud is clever in many different ways - one of which being the name. Rosebud is the last word uttered in the movie Citizen Kane, giving it a classy feel from the name alone, especially if you consider that it’s a twist on the Last Word. There is very little changed with regards to this drink, only that it begins with a rosewater rinse and the gin is replaced by a citrus infused aquavit. It’s finally garnished by a locally grown bing cherry to complete the drink.

 

To conclude, it can be overwhelming to think about mixology and the kinds of cocktails one can make. But these bartenders prove that you don’t have to look too far to find inspiration. Sometimes all you need is the blueprint of classic cocktail recipes to create your own unique twist.

 

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