Lately one of the most popular drinks ordered in my bars — and in many modern cocktail bars around the world — is a drink about as far from modern as you can possibly get. The most requested drink these days is the Old Fashioned, and it’s the oldest cocktail in the book.
The cocktail is, in my opinion, America’s one truly great and unique contribution to the culinary world. Sure, there are the usual objections whenever I bring this up. What about pizza, jambalaya, hamburgers? But those foods we typically associate with American cuisine are little more than variations of European dishes, a reflection of the beautiful | Read More
The golden age of cocktails and the golden age of automobiles were one and the same, with a handful of drinks named for the machines that inspired them. This fall, park yourself in the garage, stare at some sheet metal, and mix one up.
Sure, since the mojito became the most popular drink ever, once again, it’s also become popular for bartenders and self-described cocktail geeks to complain about it: It’s pedestrian, it’s the new Cosmopolitan, it takes too long to make.
One popular trick behind the bar today dates back to 1970 in Los Angeles, was revived by Dale DeGroff in New York in the 1980s, and continues to be popular among bartenders everywhere, and that’s the flamed orange peel. Reportedly invented by bartender Pepe Ruiz for the flame of love cocktail created for Dean Martin, | Read More
Often derided as sugar-laden and artificially-flavored, blended drinks have gotten a bad rap with the cocktail crowd over the years. Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler argues for their place among the classics and offers a 101 on making the perfect blended drink. Try this little experiment: Walk into your local craft cocktail bar, ask for a blended | Read More
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (cover the pot to speed things up). In the meantime, put some cold water and ice into a medium bowl, and arrange a double layer of paper towels on the counter…
Simple syrup is generally found in two strengths: Equal parts sugar and water, the most common strength in U.S. bars, is referred to as “one-to-one” (1:1). Two parts sugar to one part water is, as you might guess, referred to as 2:1, which is the standard syrup in U.K. bars; in the States, you’ll often | Read More
Ace Warm-weather cocktails with expert tricks and techniques from bartender and author Jeffrey Morgenthaler. During the nearly 20 years that I’ve worked as a bartender, I’ve learned that there are three essential aspects of making a great cocktail: the recipe you follow, the ingredients you select, and the technique you use. Come up short in | Read More
This is a special time for me, both as a bartender and as a writer. I’ve spent the past 18 years behind the bar, obsessively learning all I can about my chosen craft, then the last two years committing that knowledge to paper. Last week, all of that hard work culminated with the release of | Read More
Up here in the rainy Pacific Northwest we don’t see much sun until roughly mid-July, but this year we’ve been treated to an unseasonably warm spring. I’ve altered my weekend beverage schedule accordingly. You see, while April and May are usually set aside for Mint Juleps at my house, this glorious sunshine has me currently | Read More
No home bartender disputes the importance of a quality shaker. Opaque cocktail ingredients like cream, fruit juice, and egg whites need to be shaken hard to be incorporated into a drink. It provides a light, delicate experience; a cocktail full of tiny air bubbles that dance on the tongue. Well, that shaker alone won’t do a | Read More
Let’s just admit it, the Long Island Iced Tea is a bit of a joke. The drink had its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, but ordering one now will get you laughed out of half of America’s so-called craft cocktail bars. That’s a damn shame. Because when it’s made well—with the proper balance of | Read More
One of the highlights of my year comes every March, when 38 of my colleagues and I convene in the Bay Area for a weekend to blind taste nearly 1,500 spirits from 64 countries. It’s a great time to hang with some of the best bartenders, wine experts, writers, and spirits professionals in the business. | Read More
Cinco de Mayo has become, in my opinion, something of a farce holiday here in the United States. Originally celebrated by the Mexican state of Puebla to commemorate a victory over the French in 1862, the day has been co-opted by huge liquor conglomerates to pour cheap, mass-market tequila down the throats of frat boys. | Read More