A brief wrap up of my adventures in Edinburgh, Scotland. Plus a snippet of a bus tour around the city.
What an amazing city. Full of friendly, hospitable people. A town with deep history and fascinating things to see. And lots of great whisky!
Next stop on the Bartender Journey tour - Paris!
Happy New Year. I hope its full of great things for you.
I’m starting 2019with an epic trip. I Bartend at a private club and we are closed after New Years Eve for almost 6 weeks.
So I am taking my time off and going to Europe for over a month!
I am bringing my audio gear and hope to push out some podcasts from the road. I will be visiting some distilleries, and lots of bars and restaurants, so the plan is to have you follow along on the trip a bit.
The shows might not always be completely Bartending focused, but should be interesting.
I leave today, Jan 3, 2019 for Edinburgh Scotland. Then I go to Paris for 4 nights, I’ll take a train to a small town called Chambery, then ski in the French Alps for a few days. I’ll go to Geneva Switzerland, then on to Florence and Rome and last stop Ireland.
Follow me on IG at BartenderJourney for some pictures and hopefully you are subscribed to the podcast so you get the shows as they come out.
Fresh lime juice is just an amazing ingredient. Of course by “fresh” we mean it is freshly squeezed from an actual lime, but also “fresh” in that it is less than 24 hours old.
Its expensive though. And the cost fluxuates. Another thing to consider is the method you use to squeeze the limes. We discussed this back in episode #214.
The more I thought about these two issues – the cost ie trying to maximize yield, and the fact that there is so much yummy goodness in the skins, I started to experiment. If you’ve ever made oleo sacrum, you know that sugar draws the oils out of the skins. To make oleo sacrum you peel the citrus - usually lemons but can be any citrus – so that you have only the skin and none of the white pith. You add regular granulated sugar, cover or better yet vacuumed seal it, and let it sit. After awhile all the sugar is turned into an oily delicious sort of thick syrup. You can add hot water to this and strain out the solids, or add the whole thing solids and all to a punch.
I thought “what if I add sugar to my left over lime husks?” Sure enough it worked as planned. It increases the yield by about 50%! It also tastes great in cocktails. Of course we are adding a little sugar, so that has to kept in mind when adding simple syrup or other sweeteners to a drink made with the juice.
I’ll explain my method from start to finish. Maybe you’ll want to give it a try:
Bartender Journey Podcast # 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:
In mixing cup:
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 write 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 to everything that is old.
Old friends, old times, old manners and old fashioneds.
Dave Pickerell was a huge force in American whiskey over that last several decades.
Unfortunately Dave passed away at age 62 on November 1 of this year, 2018 in San Francisco. He was there attending WhiskeyFest.
He was a big proponent of Rye Whiskey and played a huge roll in the resurgence of American Rye Whiskey.
Rest in Peace Mr. Dave Pickerell. You’ll be sorely missed.
We talk to Sother Teague about his new book I'm Just Here for the Drinks.
It's the Bartender Journey Podcast #261
Cocktail of the Week:
The Classic Martini is made with 1 part dry vermouth and 2 parts Gin. It is stirred, not shaken. The classic garnish is olives. Superstition says it should be an ODD number of olives - an even number is bad luck. James Bond orders a "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred", because that is the exception to the rule. If he just ordered a "Martini" it would be made with Gin and stirred, because that is the classic recipe.
Try a great variation on a Martini - 1 part Dry Vermouth, 2 parts Gin a dash of Orange Bitters. Garnish with an Orange Twist.
We chat with GEM & BOLT Mezcal founders Adrin Adrina and Elliott Coon during Tales of the Cocktail 2018.
Plus we talk to Calvin Peña and Doug Brickle at the CORE pop-up at Mase
GEM&BOLT is the only mezcal on the market to bottle the mythical powers of damiana, a traditional herb that thrives in the same regions as agave. The innovative, herbaceous spirit utilizes fair-trade and sustainable agave that’s converted into mezcal by fourth-generation master distillers in Oaxaca, Mexico. A strong team of women make up the team behind the spirit: Partner Jody Levy (co-founder WTRMLN WTR), President/CEO Lisa Derman (former Stoli COO), and at the helm are its founder’s alchemist-artist duo Adrin Adrina and Elliott Coon.
CORE grants support to children of food and beverage service navigating life-altering circumstances. In times of extreme strain brought on by family death, injury or diagnosed medical condition, loss of home, or other sudden or extreme circumstances, food and beverage families can become overwhelmed financially and emotionally. CORE is the nationally recognized community of support for all food and beverage service families in need by ensuring they feel cared for and valued.
Listen in to the Toast to Tales - the official kick off of Tales of the Cocktail 2018.
Plus we talk with friend and Bartender Kyle McElfresh of the Ace Hotel.
We are live from the Bar Convent Brooklyn conference! Follow our adventures, plus a talk with friend of the podcast, Vance Henderson from Monkey Shoulder scotch!