|BarNone Drink Recipes Newsletter|
Welcome to the June Bar None Drinks Newsletter.
I hope you enjoy this month's articles. Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab.
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Hey, just got these recipes last minute from the great people over at Level. They've got a city theme going. Thanks Lindsey!
Parlour - (Rated one of Chicagos 5 best new restaurants) Parlor has a bourbon focus but this cocktail is outselling most of the brown cocktails.
Level Vodka muddled with cucumbers and limes. Shake and strain and top with ginger ale. Garnish with a cucumber wedge.
These two were featured at the World Series of Poker event held at the Rio Hotel & Casino
Shake all ingredients with ice until well blended, strain over fresh ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Rinse chilled cocktail glass with the scotch and pour into ice filled mixing tin. Twirl scotch with ice and strain scotch to discard. Now shake vodka with the seasoned ice and strain into the seasoned glass. Garnish with two blue cheese or smoked Gouda stuffed olives.
One last recipe that I want to include. This is from a coworker. Yolande is just new where I work my day job and she thought I'd like this recipe. It looks good and she calls for a Top Shelf Vodka, so what better place to put it than here, with the Level Vodka recipes?
Little Red Hammer
Shakey shakey with lotso ice and strain into a martini glass. Float fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries in glass.
Okay, Ill admit it. This is a rant. But its a good rant, and theres solid medical opinion that supports this rant. Im not going to site any of it, if you want to see it, go to Google. Im talking about the trend of mixing booze with energy drinks, and it has me a bit perplexed. Now, I realize that people have been combining Red Bull Energy Drink with vodka, Jager, and all other sorts of hard liquor since its debut almost ten years ago (the current drink database on Bar None has 22 different concoctions that include the Bull); this seemed a bit odd when I heard about it, but I said nothing. These are cocktails, stuff that is mixed at a bar, or even at home, where the imbiber is responsible for combining the liquids, so thats fine. What has my feathers all ruffled is the new trend of canned alcoholic energy drinks, or as I call them, AEDs.
AEDs are canned malt liquor, some produced by very major breweries. They are generally between 6.6 and 7% ABV and come in one pint cans. The varieties Ive seen (including two produced by Anhueser-Busch) contain some combination of caffeine, ginseng, taurine, and guarana. Your basic energy drink, really, with the added bonus of beer!
Lets look at this from a scientific point of view. Alcohol is a depressant: it slows down and relaxes the body. Caffeine and its cousins are stimulants: they speed up the body and push its systems to their maximum, effectively causing stress. I know, I know, people out there are ready to tear into me: Weve been mixing booze with coffee for centuries! But when do we do that? We do it with dessert, at the end of the day, and usually with the expectation that the booze will over-power the coffee and most often as a digestif. Its not as if the imbibers of Irish coffee are planning on using the caffeine to keep em going all night. These new drinks are meant to keep the party going indefinitely by getting 20 somethings wired and toasted at the same time. One major brand even advertises: You can sleep when youre thirty. What a way to alienate all but a small segment of the population.
Theres another, more dangerous aspect to AEDs. Though there is only a small body of research currently, logic dictates that there is something to be very careful about. Im sure most of our readers know that alcohol acts as a diuretic, dehydrating the body (one of the major causes of a hangover). Id venture to say that fewer of our readers also realize that caffeine is arguably as effective a diuretic as booze. Combine these in a drink and pound them all night (or constantly until youre thirty) and youre playing with an important balance in your body. Even if you can make it through the night, imagine the headache youll have in the morning.
I hear you cry, But we live in free society, people can make these choices themselves! Well, theres a bit of contention there. Every bar reserves the right (and in many places, has the responsibility) to cut people off when they start looking or acting drunk. Most people are smart enough to cut themselves off, and some are cut off when theyve got so much booze in them that they pass out. In all of these cases, fatigue has played a part in stopping the ingestion of alcohol. When you take fatigue out of the equation, you can end up with drunks that show little to none of the signs of inebriation, but still have poor decision making skills. All of this converges to put us, the conveyors of delicious, refreshing libations, in the tough, and possibly legally culpable position of determining when someone whos been slurping AEDs all night is too drunk to continue, or worse, is about to drop from dehydration.
Thank you for putting up with my rant. Now go enjoy a drink.
Just to show that theres no hard feelings, I actually had some friends of mine taste- and buzz-test some of the up and coming brands of AEDs. Id have done this myself, but Im allergic to caffeine. We tested four brands:
B (to the) E: To quote the tester, This stuff tastes like Robitussin. This is Budweisers contribution to the market. Ive seen it advertised in magazines, but it seems to be fading from the scene already. When I was trying to locate it to test it, I found that this product had already been pulled from a large chain.
Tilt: The other entry from the Anheuser-Busch brewery. Tilt was given a much, much better review by my tester. He found it to taste like Red Bull, but with a little more orange flavor, and none of the aftertaste he was used to. He really raved over this one, and when I caught up with him the next morning, he informed me that this drink kept him up and running for almost 8 hours. Like the other AEDs tested, the alcohol flavor was lost to the energy drink. O.k., so we only ended up tasting two of them, maybe Ill be able to get the other two next month maybe I wont. Stay tuned.
About The Raven
J.T. "Raven" Centonze has been a long time student of the art of alcohol. Initially interested in keeping conversation at parties, his love for alcohol grew to an obsession in college. In between his real job of running a college bookstore, he is the part owner/operator of his own winery. He bartends at private parties which allows him the innovation of many new, unique drinks.
Be Bitter & Mysterious
I speak to you of slow-moving summer afternoons at a sun-drenched seaside. Of lingering, lustful gazes across a small table at a raven-haired beauty whose only ambition is to while away the rest of the day -- and night -- with you in fine style.
If you're the proud protagonist of such a life, you'd live out this quintessential moment at a quiet cafe on the Amalfi Coast. You'd be gazing at the ink-blue Mediterranean and wooing the almond-eyed stranger with whom you don't even share a common native language. You'd be wearing some fine Italian apparel, contemplating the pasta frutti di mare and pondering some illicit post-prandial activities. You, my friend, would be living the good life. And you'd be drinking Campari and soda.
Ah, but life isn't so simple, nor generally so sublime. Italy's a lengthy transatlantic plane flight away. The Amalfi is famously overpriced and overcrowded, and your girlfriend or wife is unlikely to approve of the dark-haired stranger. Alas, what's one to do while stranded stateside and mired deep in the bogs of mind-numbing everyday life? Sure, the grass may seem greener on the other side of the pond, but the trick's to beckon forth your fantasies at every opportunity. Mankind has not yet discovered a better catalyst for harvesting dreams than the right alcoholic elixir.
Campari is just such a lyrical libation.
The ruby red spirit is actually the world's number one selling bitters, even though it's never enjoyed great popularity in the United States. Bitters is the classification of any spirit flavored with bitter herbs or roots, once believed to hold magical medicinal properties. Today there are those who say the link between bitters and health is more tenuous, but we all owe something to tradition. And if it was good enough for the sick, thirsty drunks of yore -- it's good enough for me.
One theory even has it that the term "cocktail" heralds from the 17th-century practice of plucking a cock's tail feathers to dab alcoholic bitters on sore tonsils. It must be said that bitter is not a taste most people take to right away. In fact it's the last of the four main taste sensations (the others being sweet, salty and sour) that developing tastebuds come to appreciate. Ipso facto, an appreciation for bitters is said to be a sign of the palate reaching maturity.
I didn't care for Campari when I first ordered it over ice some years ago in Santa Margherita, Italy. Never one to be a quitter, I kept at it, and the idea of drinking Campari grew on me quicker than the taste. It was intensely red, far different in flavor than anything else I drank and was the "right" thing to order before lunch in Italy. When in Rome... Before you know it, the taste has become part of the experience you enjoy. Pretentious? Perhaps. But I refuse to let some insignificant little glands on my tongue dictate my pleasures. Be the master of your domain; tell your tastebuds what they're getting and that they damned well better like it.
Gaspare Campari invented his signature spirit in Milan, Italy, in 1867, when bitters were considered of great medicinal benefit and primarily consumed as digestifs. Campari was one of the first to break out of this mold, and consumption of the stuff as an aperitif and even as a cocktail was encouraged. Europeans back then didn't generally require too much prodding to drink; thus, the idea quickly took hold.
So what's the secret mixture that comprises the neon-red glow of the generally untouched Campari bottle in your neighborhood bar? Like the Go-Go's, Campari's lips are sealed. Recipes for bitters are always carefully guarded. Campari has a Byzantine system whereby the company president is the only person in the world who knows the entire formula for mixing the 68 herbs, spices and wood barks involved. Even today, one morning each week he personally produces the concentrate with the help of eight employees, each of whom is privy to only a portion of the recipe.
Consider Campari your own personal little Italian mystery. All you really need to know is that its rich ruby-red color bespeaks its unusual stature, as does its taste. At 48 proof, it packs just the right amount of mild punch for an aperitif. Its dry, bitter flavor is easily enjoyed over ice or with soda or orange juice. Bitters are also highly thought of in some circles as hangover remedies for the morning after the night before.
So when the evocative Campari flavor sends you to some far-flung Italian seashore and languorous afternoons with an imagined stranger, remember that part of your charm and mystery, much like Campari's, are the secrets you don't share with
Want to buy Campari online? Shop here ...
This article has been submitted by the great people over at Wine X Magazine. Wine-X has agreed to bring you a new article every month from their amazing writers. It was written by Scott Stavrou. If you like living out on the edge and feel the Gen X isn't well represented in the world, have a really good look at Wine X magazine. They've also given us an offer you can't refuse if you're looking to subscribe: $15 for 6 issues. To experience the full magazine, Subscribe Here.
Angostura aromatic bitters hosted the prestigious Global Cocktail Challenge in conjunction with Drinks International Magazine, on May 17th at the Hilton Tobago Ballroom.
Nine competitors showed their creativity using Angostura's Rums, vodkas, mixers and of course its signature product Angostura aromatic bitters. It was an exciting and energetic event and bartenders from Trinidad and Tobago came out in all their glory to witness it.
Some of the best bartenders from around the world including Russia, the UK, Australia, France and of course Trinidad and Tobago, competed but only one could win, and that eventual overall winner was Marco Nunes from Australia. The judges were Simon Difford and Patience Gould from the UK Patrick Patel from Angostura Trinidad, Josue Merced-Reyes from Puerto Rico and Hayden Wood (Woody) from Australia.
The competition took most of the day, featuring four categories and ending with a mystery basket final, from which the winners of each category had to choose some items and create a recipe in 7 minutes to prepare for the judges.
Marco Nunes was the winner of non-alcoholic category and the overall winner. Stuart Hudson and Merlin Griffiths tied as winners of the classic category, Joseph Biolatto was the winner of the long drink category, and Milo Rodriguez, the winner of the aperitif category.
The night of the competition, a grand prize giving and dinner ceremony took place poolside at the Hilton. At this function, the overall winner was announced. Gabriel Faria, executive manager for marketing at Angostura, in his address, stressed that the company is doing its part in promoting Trinidad and Tobago globally, while gaining awareness for the companies brands under the CL Worldbrands network; hence the reason for holding the finals of such a major competition in Tobago.
The overall winner received an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Tobago for 7 days plus a beautiful silver trophy featuring the Angostura aromatic bitters bottle. The category winners each received a brass trophy featuring the Angostura aromatic bitters bottle, and each participant received a plaque for participation, all designed and created by Signature Collection.
The last competition of this type hosted by Angostura, was held in 2001 and the winner was Antonia lo Casto from Italy.
So Absolut comes up with this great idea of working with Susan Miller, the astrologist who used to write the horoscopes for the Daily News. Why not pick the best summer cocktail for each Zodiac sign? The ABSOLUT CANCER is a drink she picked out that is perfect for Cancers.
Hey, what's your sign Nicole?
Build over ice in a long drink glass. Garnish with apple peel.
Our latest Rober Plotkin article. Barware, more than just an expense. Robert is the founder of BarMedia.com
For the past 17 years, Robert Plotkin, has been working to provide beverage operators with the right career tools they need to attain success. He has created the best management systems, tools, software and books available in the hospitality industry. His nationally acclaimed products are in the offices and behind the bars of the most successful hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and hot spots worldwide.
Some restaurateurs spend more time designing their business cards than selecting their bars small wares. Thats regrettable in as much as barware impacts the operations sales and perceived professionalism more than a swank business card ever could.
Much like you can tell a great mechanic from the quality of his tools, the accoutrements behind the bar speak volumes about your commitment to and knowledge of the business. You have a much better chance of achieving greatness outfitting your staff with professional grade barware than you will with tools designed during the Truman administration.
Considering the current cocktail culture and surging spirits sales, selecting the right small wares and bar equipment can have a significant impact on speed of service and the excellence of your drinks. Just like the quality of the water affects the quality of your ice cubes, which in turn affects the taste of most of the drinks you serve, seemingly little things matter.
There are twelve bar-related items upon which commerce behind the bar seems to depend. As in all things, there are practical considerations to weigh when making purchasing decisions. Whenever in doubt, our advice is to err on the side of quality and quantity.
Unless screw-top enclosures become the universal standard for wine bottles, youll need an adequate supply of French waiters wine openers. When selecting which to purchase, choose one equipped with a straight blade for cutting away the foil on the neck of a wine bottle; the curved bladed often tear the foil. Select an opener that has a worm screw with five coils instead of four and preferably one that has a center groove etched down the middle of the coils. The groove will reduce friction and is easier to use.
Wall-mounted wine openers are an option. These devices are capable of removing the cork from a bottle in one smooth, effortless motion. They are a fast and efficient method of opening a bottle of wine.
Most top-loading coolers are equipped with a mounted bottle opener that is partially enclosed and designed to prevent the bottle caps from flying off and landing on the floor. Another advantage mounted openers have over hand-held types is that they require the bartender to only use one hand to open bottles.
Several sharp paring knives are absolutely essential for preparing fruit garnishes. By the way, a dull knife poses a greater hazard to your bartenders than one that is extremely sharp. Youll also need several cutting boards for the bar.
Bartenders can never be permitted to use a glass to scoop ice, thus necessitating the use of hard plastic or Lexan ice scoops. The health department considers ice a food substance, which means that it cannot be touched or come in contact with skin. Metal scoops are less preferable because they may scrape against the cold plate in the ice bin.
Regardless of the particular style of shaker set you choose, three things are crucial. The first is that the shaker must be of sufficient volume to prepare two cocktails at once. Second, ensure that the shaker sets dont leak, and finally, buy a sufficient quantity of shakers such that multiple cocktail orders can be prepared simultaneously. Some shaker sets are more fashionable than others. Dont discount aesthetic considerations.
While there are a number of different hand-held jiggers, its advantageous to choose a device with multiple measurements and one that is transparent, allowing patrons or supervisors to visually confirm how much liquor is being poured. If you allow bartenders to free pour, there are free pour testing devices that can be used to verify the accuracy of their measuring abilities. Pour mats are designed to hold any spilled fluids from dripping into the ice bin below or pooling on the bar top and are a mandatory purchase.
Anti-fatigue mats will greatly improve your staffs quality of life behind the bar. Not only do these hard rubber floor mats provide badly needed traction, they also greatly reduce back strain and leg fatigue. Standing and working on a hard surface can be physically brutal. Another often-overlooked necessity is sufficient trash disposal at the bar. Imagine the impression patrons seated at the bar form when they see overflowing trash containers.
Lastly, make sure that you keep a well-stocked first aid kit behind the bar with a replenished supply of bandages. If you dont think that theyre that important, try squeezing a lime wedge with a cut on your finger. Its enough to ruin your night.
Need to find that perfect barware for your establishment? Try the Barstore for the latest greatest to the tried and true.
Successful Beverage Management
Proven Strategies for the On-Premise Operator
This may be the best resource guide ever written for controlling, managing and operating a beverage operation profitably.
Covering virtually every aspect of a beverage operation, Robert Plotkin has left no stone unturned. From analyzing bartender and server productivity to explaining how to use pour cost formulas to increase profits, it is a guide that anyone can use to increase their profits, reduce their costs and understand how to do it in a step-by-step format.
Bing Bong, Inc. brings you the official 8 foot portable table for the game of beer pong or " Beirut ". Don't be fooled by trifling imitators! Bing Bong Tables are the lightest, longest, and most compact. Bing Bong can be played conveniently at any location, and its very easily transported and stored. Legs extend, lock and collapse into a compact briefcase with handles. Bing Bong Tables provide the ability to play at tailgates, parties and just about any other place where you would want to instantly throw a game. This is the only table you will ever need...EVER!
These unique tables are built of sturdy aluminum with a waterproof surface, and weigh only 21 pounds. Available in 7 foot or 8 foot tables. The collapsable legs extend to 28" tall with a button to lock/unlock the position of the legs. Two handles make transport easy...and the table sections have a small latch to keep it in briefcase form thru transit. Ballholder also included with 6 balls.
So I get this email about a month ago. A nice lady called Claire,asking if I want to review a DVD/CD of some comedian called Wix. Who? Hey, I don't get out much. I wasn't really sure about it until I read further. Sponsored by Jim Beam. Well now, this can't be all that bad. I say sure and so begins the tale. Now, I have to be honest. I haven't played the DVD yet. The CD on the other hand, funny. Like really politically incorrect funny.
I've got it in the truck, listening on my way to and from work. People must think I'm a little crazy. I'm laughing so hard, I'm sure there's a ditch waiting for me to drive into. If you have him over, make sure you check the kitty litter box after he leaves....
I don't know if you've heard of him, or if you have, check out Wix's new DVD or CD. It's called I'll Quit When Willie Quits.
Just a little about Wix if you haven't heard of him. Wix's comedic career started shortly after September 11th when was approached by his pals Eddie and Troy from the superstar country duo Montgomery Gentry. Wix joined Montgomery Gentry on their tour to warm up their audiences with a few minutes of comedy and joined them as liaison for their sponsorship deal with Jim Beam bourbon. Wix jumped at the opportunity. "It was a tradeoff that worked for both of us - plus I love to drink."
Do I need to say more about him, other than that last quote?
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