You may have noticed that there hasn't been a podcast episode for a few weeks or blog posts. Life happens and instead of posting about it here, I decided to have some real talk with you, my listeners, on the podcast episode.
Please listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Android or Stitcher Radio.
Join us next week as we resume our regular schedule featuring an interview with Industry Expert, Philip Duff.
Also, it would mean a lot if you could take a moment to visit our Patreon Page and consider supporting Bartender Journey with a monthly pledge.
Speaking of concert, this Tri-State event featured DJ Cherish the Luv, herself a Cancer survivor, rocking the tunes as guests enjoyed cocktails and product samples on tables throughout the venue.
Format: In each city, 8 ladies are chosen to compete in the semi-final. Round robin, the ladies go on stage two at a time in 4 heats. There are 4 that move on, and again they compete 2 at a time until there are
2 left for the final.
The competitors are given a list of drinks "to know" ahead of time. 4 judges then call out what drink they would like to have with any additional requests. So it can be by drink name or "a low ABV drink using [insert name of spirit and brand]".
The Tri-State Judges were
The judges and two bars were set up on stage and the four drinks (along with the sponsoring brands) requested were featured on jumbo screens.
Judging factors include taste, timing, technique, presentation, etc.
Our friend Becca Pesce, bartender at Dead Rabbit, Angel's Envy Whiskey Guardian, USBGNY member and one of Hazel's "Whiskey Sisters" went up against Samantha Casuga, also of Dead Rabbit and won. However, she dropped against Haley Traub of Dutch Kills.
Final Round: Celeste “Lucky” Dittanmo of Whistle & Tins competed against Haley Traub who ultimately won and will head to the Finals Chicago.
ENTER as a competitor, VOLUNTEER to help out or ATTEND with your friends by clicking on the links below
Important Speed Rack Upcoming Dates
Cocktail of the Week
For Dry January, our friend, Mimi Burnham, Guest on Bartender Journey No. 161 made a delicious nonalcoholic punch with Perfect Puree ingredients. Perfect Puree makes great pureed products, mostly fruit, which are awesome in cocktails.
If you'd like frozen samples sent to you, click "Samples Please!" .
"January Punch" by Mimi Burnham
(Makes ~3.5 Liters of Punch)
Combine lemon juice and sorghum syrup and shake well to thoroughly blend.
Add all ingredients, except for the Ginger beer & seltzer, to a punch bowl and stir to blend.
Add seltzer and ginger beer, and gently stir as to keep some bubbles.
Add ice to chill the punch;
Make an ice ring with rosemary, lemon wheels and fresh cranberries. The aromatics from the ice ring further enhance the punch.
Toast of the Week:
Here’s to God’s first thought, “Man”!
Here’s to God’s second thought, “Woman”!
Second thoughts are always best,
So here’s to Woman!
This wonderful cocktail, (I start to crave one as I write this at 10am), is a delicate balance of Rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup.
Just as the simple omelet is considered a gauge of a Cook’s talent, a Bartender’s Daiquiri is a clue into a Bartender’s skill, methodology and education.
Substitute Gin for the Rum and you have a Gimlet. Substitute Tequila and add some orange liqueur - it’s a Margarita.
Maybe you feel like having a Daiquiri, but decide to serve it in a tall glass with ice and a bit of club soda plus some fresh mint. You just made a Mojito! Include the Seltzer, but leave out the mint, add some lemon juice and it’s a Tom Collins. The variations are virtually endless, and it is easy to invent new drinks based on what you have on hand with this base.
Lime juice a critical part of the drink. Forget about anything that comes prepackaged - freshly squeezed juice is the only option. Many people including myself do believe that keeping the juice in the refrigerator for about 4 hours produces the perfect juice. In fact Dave Arnold did a blind tasting with a group of Professional Bartenders who overwhelmingly chose a limeade made with juice that had been refrigerated for 4 hours over one with freshly squeezed juice.
After about 24 hours in the refrigerator, lime juice loses it fresh taste and becomes quite unpalatable.
We’ve talked about the Rum and the Lime Juice, now on to the sugar. Simple syrup of course is just granulated sugar dissolved in water in a proportion of 1:1. It’s important to measure, ideally by weight to ensure consistent results. Some Bartenders prefer a rich simple syrup for their Daiquiris, in a proportion of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Then you can experiment with different types of sugar. I prefer Demerara, (think Sugar in the Raw). It does affect the color of the drink slightly, but I think the taste is worth it.
As previously mentioned, the cocktail is shaken with ice, not only to chill the drink, but to dilute it with water. You may hear that a shaken cocktail should be 20% water, but referencing again Sasha Petraske, he would encourage his protégées to think in terms of the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of the finished drink. This takes into consideration the alcohol content of the Rum, which varies a bit from brand to brand.
In the Bartending community there is much talk about the size and “quality” of various types of ice. In the great book Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail author Dave Arnold states there is no difference in the quality of the finished drink whether using small hollow cubes, (known as “hotel ice”) and 1 ¼” solid cubes from a Kold-Draft ice machine. However he was surprised by his own experiment when using 2” ice cube the drink had a noticeably nice head and texture. His recommendation is now to use a 2” cube plus a few smaller “agitator” cubes. The conclusion hast to be that with the larger cube the drink is shaken longer to reach the proper temperature and dilution, and therefore more air is introduced.
One wild card - I personally like to add a few drops of a saline solution made by dissolving some sea salt in warm water. I store it in a dropper bottle which ensures I don’t ruin the drink with too much salt. I find this little bit of salinity works great in many cocktails, but especially well in the Daiquiri. Maybe it’s a hint of the sea air...
So on the surface it would seem to be a simple cocktail, but as we dig deeper into what makes up this drink wonderful we see that there are subtleties that affect the final product.
The origins of many cocktails is murky and difficult to trace. For example there is a story that the Manhattan originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the 1870s, where it was invented at a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston. The event was held to celebrate the election of Samuel J. Tilden as governor of New York State. However in his book Imbibe, David Wondrich disproved this by showing that Lady Churchill was actually was busy giving birth to Winston in England at the time.
In the case of the Daiquiri however, there is a written recipe dating back to the end of the 19th century.
The Daiquiri was apparently invented by an American mining engineer, named Jennings Cox, who was in Cuba after the Spanish–American War (1898). As the legend goes - while he was entertaining guests one night, Mr. Cox ran out of gin. Rum was produced on the island and easy to find. He procured some Rum added lemons, sugar, mineral water, and ice. His guests loved it, and wanted to know what it was called. It could easily have been named a Rum Sour, but he decided this delicious drink deserved a better name. He called it a Daiquiri after the nearby beach.
The Daiquiri became widely consumed in Cuba by American military and business people. It was introduced to Washington D.C. at the Army-Navy Club around 1909, supposedly by U.S. Navy Admiral Lucius Johnson.
Hugo Ensslin’s self-published book Recipes For Mixed Drinks, originally released in 1916 has a Daiquiri recipe. He called it the “Cuban Cocktail”, but according to David Wondrich he changed it to “Daiquiri” in a later edition.
Ensslin’s recipe is:
Philip Green who wrote To Have and to Have Another - A Hemingway Cocktail Companion, is a fascinating guy. He was our guest on Bartender Journey #181.
Below Brian Weber, Hazel Alvarado and Lincoln Chinnery enjoy cigars at the Filibuster Distillery event at Club Macanudo.
Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan is, true to its name, a Manual where Jim is our professor and we are his students. .This week's episode features a special dual review: Professional Bartender (Brian) and Cocktail Enthusiast (Hazel) as well as a cut from our interview with Jim from Podcast No. 89.
*Bartender Journey Podcast Holiday Bonus
For the raw audio from the Author's Table event, click here.*
BarSmarts Advanced - Los Angeles Tuesday, February 27, 2018
This is a one day in-person event and is highly recommended. You’ll need to take the online component first, which they now call BarStarts. At BarSmarts you’ll start with a light breakfast, then move to a tasting and then a practical exam, where make 3 drinks for one of the fabulous teachers - Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Andy Seamore, F. Paul Pacult, Steve Olson & Doug Frost.
If you are looking for an extremely detailed online cocktail course, check out the Mixology Certification Course from our friends at abarabove, put together by Chris Tunstal, you can take in your own time featuring videos and quizzes and you’ll get with a certification at the end. Yse the coupon code “BartenderJourney” for a 20% discount!
Cocktail of the Week
With the winter weather upon us
Brian's Hot Toddy
THE HOT TODDY GALLERY - FROM FRIENDS OF THE BARTENDER JOURNEY TEAM
On December 5, 1933 the 21st amendment was ratified and Prohibition ended and Repeal Day was born. Here are some fun facts about Repeal Day:
-The 18th Amendment is the only constitutional amendment that has ever been repealed by another amendment (the 21st Amendment).
-The term speakeasy is said to come from bartenders telling patrons to “speak easy” when ordering so as not to be overheard some 30 years before prohibition. While the speakeasy was often funded by organized crime and could be very elaborate and upscale, the "blind pig" was a dive for the less desirable drinker.
-The first "legal" whisky was Dewar's Scotch.
Toast of the Week
"Our house is always at your service."
On the podcast this week, we talk with Chet Holstein who produces Kuma Turmeric Liqueur in Washington State. We’ll talk about his unusual and delicious product.
Plus the humble Gin and Tonic - how can we change things up a little?
Tonic began as a medicine many years ago.
According to Wikipedia:
"Quinine was added to a drink to protect against malaria. It was originally intended for consumption in tropical areas of South Asia and Africa, where the disease is endemic.
"Quinine powder was so bitter that British officials stationed in early 19th Century India and other tropical posts began mixing the powder with soda and sugar, and a basic tonic water was created. The first commercial tonic water was produced in 1858. The mixed drink gin and tonic also originated in British colonial India, when the British population would mix their medicinal quinine tonic with gin."
Many bars are making there own Tonic syrups, which are then mixed with seltzer to make Tonic water. Brands like El Guapo Bitters also sell great bottled Tonic syrup.
There are many possiblities for a G&T. I love a healthy dash of fresh lime juice in my G&T. You can add some of Chet's Kuma Turmeric Liqueur, or some El Guapo Rose Cordial, (which is up for a 2018 Good Food Award btw).
Another option is to serve your G&T with fresh herbs & fruit in a big wine glass, the way they often do in Spain.
If we have any subscribers that represent a Rum brand and would like to send some samples along for us to play with for the Daiquiri episode, please get in touch! You can use the same email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Please get your thoughts on the Daiquiri to me by 12/20/17. We’ll aim to release that episode as the first Bartender Journey episode of 2018.
Toast of the Week:
Here’s to our guest! Friends of our Friend’s is double our friend. Here to them!
The speakers at the Bar Institute classes are amazing people and volunteer their time to help educate the industry.
A class I liked was taught by Jackie Summers, Alexandra Farrington and Joanna Carpenter was An Intersectional Guide to Dismantling Systemic Racism and Sexism in Hospitality #YouToo
This week on the show we talk with Josh Davis who works with Lush Life in addition to being Bar Manager at The Bureau Bar in Chicago.
Cocktail of the Week
The Vieux Carré is a wonderful cocktail that was invented at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans around 1938.
Stir and serve it over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Lemon twist.
Even though this drink was originated in a hot place (New Orleans) its actually a great autumn cocktail.
Toast of the Week:
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life."
While Bartenders can not be expected to have Sommelier level wine education, we certainly need to be knowledgeable about what we are serving and how to make recommendations to our guests.
We chat with Monika Elling, author of Wine 123: All you need to know about wine in 90 minutes or less.
Looking for some great Bar Tools for yourself or your favorite Bartender for the holidays? Check out these great quality tools from Top Shelf Bar Supply.