For the past decade or so, we’ve been told by the cocktail gestapo that blended drinks are bad. They’re not for grown-ups, they’re too sweet and they don’t belong in the canon of classic cocktails. But what these critics seem to have forgotten about blended drinks is possibly the most important point of all: They’re | Read More
Cause a stir among friends with a laid back summer drinks party. Much lauded Portland, Ore., mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler of hot spot bar Pepe Le Moko and tavern-style eatery Clyde Common dreamed up a cocktail for everyone in your crew. Plus, each recipe is easy to make in batches! Sparkling Lavender Lemonade “This one is | Read More
One of the hot buzz terms in writing about cocktails these days is “modern classic.” It’s thrown around like pretty much every other worthless term you see when you read about drinks on the Internet. You know, like “master mixologist” or “bespoke cocktails.”
More often than not, the most common ingredient found behind a bar is hubris. I should know; I used to stock more than my share. It’s a funny thing: The older you get, the less of it you typically have. But there’s nothing quite like the misplaced confidence of an inexperienced bartender.
Last week, I had the good fortune and extreme pleasure of visiting Kentucky for the first time in my life. The trip was long overdue, as I’ve been running a bar with a fairly aggressive bourbon selection for the past six years now and had never been offered a trip to visit the distilleries I’d | Read More
Judging by the quickly changing skies outside my window in Portland, Oregon — where I see moments of brilliant sunshine followed by a short, warm downpour of rain — it must be spring. And as the saying goes, in the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of spring cocktails. Or something like | Read More
I’ll just preface this piece by saying that I’m not a cocktail historian. Really. And it’s not that I don’t care about a cocktail’s history, it’s just that I’m not really very good at doing research or checking facts to unearth the precise origins of a particular drink. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s | Read More
Last week, my good friend and mentor David Wondrich posted this article about something that resonated with a good many of my peers in the bar world: the recent trend of some bartenders, myself amongst their number, reviving what Mr. Wondrich would have you believe are “crappy” drinks. Long Island iced teas. Kamikazes. Mudslides. Dave | Read More
As a bar manager, one of the great challenges I face is coming up with new cocktails. And for me personally, it’s nearly impossible to try to reinvent the wheel a dozen times a year. A little secret trick that many of us use is the remodeling of versatile classics. One of my best-selling drinks | Read More
A little knowledge is, as they say, a dangerous thing. And if there’s one thing I had lots of when I first stepped behind the bar, it was very little knowledge. There’s this funny thing that happens when many of us start tending bar: Almost immediately, we begin to see ourselves as experts. I’ve actually | Read More
If there’s one ingredient that goes great in cocktails, it’s ginger. Let’s face it, it’s something of a bartender’s Band-Aid when it comes to fixing up a drink, and I’ll be damned if it’s not delicious. At one of the bars I manage, Clyde Common, we have no less than two drinks containing some form | Read More
Known the world over for their prowess in winemaking, the French have been masters at making spirits and liqueurs for centuries. Some of classic mixology’s greatest cocktails wouldn’t even exist without the plethora of French spirits and liqueurs that were available to bartenders in the 19th century. Here, I present a short crash-course in a | Read More
Tony Conigliaro’s resume reads more like a history of drinking in London over the past 20 years than a list of jobs: The Lonsdale. Hakkasan. Roka and Shochu Lounge. Zuma. Designer of the cocktail menu at the Fat Duck. He has inspired a new generation of bartenders, gotten people to think about drinks in new | Read More
I recently had the honor of being invited to travel to Berlin and speak at the BCB — Bar Convent Berlin — possibly Europe’s most important bar show. Nearly 10,000 visitors from all over the world come to taste incredible new products, learn about the very bleeding edge of mixology and meet one another.
Joseph Priestly was a Unitarian minister with a bit of a problem: he could barely speak without a stutter. As a minister’s primary function is to speak to the masses, he was forced to do what any good English gentleman at the time would have done: marry rich, and use one’s time conducting science experiments. | Read More