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November Issue
In this issue
  • Hot Ingredients from Level
  • The Raven's Caw
  • Pick up the Czech - Wine X Magazine
  • Absolut and Level Recipe Bonanza!
  • Avoiding the high cost of bartender turnover - by Robert Plotkin
  • Plymout Gin's POM STAR
  • Cocktail Shakers
  • The Recipes continue...
  • The onslaught continues... Recipes from Castle Brands
  • Dear Dan,

    Welcome to the November Bar None Drinks Newsletter.

    Can you believe it? The Raven celebrates a full year writing for us. I'd like to recognize him for the great articles that grace our newsletter month after month. Please visit the forums and let him know how he's doing!

    Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.

    Please forward this email to a friend who might enjoy our newsletter.

    Cheers!


    Dan Hutchinson

    Hot Ingredients from Level

    The Raven's Caw

    Raven's Caw Logo Image

    In the beginning, people consumed alcohol by quite literally eating it, as the bread dough they had left out had begun to ferment. Shortly there after, they learned that it could be made much more palatable and efficiently if they let the yeast run rampant in a liquid. After drinking weak wines and beers for a large portion of human history, some monks discovered that these liquids could be boiled, the gasses trapped and condensed, and the resulting liquid consumed for a much, much stronger effect. Eventually, someone figured out that the bark from the cork tree could be used to keep the liquids in bottles, and alcohol became a worldwide economy, allowing anyone the ability to try any booze they wanted. For the last 400 or so years, things have pretty much remained the same. Until now...

    In the last few years a product has come on the market that allows you to consume alcohol in a way that, at first glance, seems inherently dangerous. Yes, we can now inhale our favorite drinks, thanks to the AWOL. (For those who are wondering, AWOL stands for Alcohol With Out Liquid.) As the acronym suggests, this device vaporizes alcohol and allows the user to inhale it through a tube; for those reading with asthma, you dont have to guess at the method of administration.

    Alcohol Without Liquid Machine Image First, a disclaimer; I have not personally tried this product, nor can I make any assertion as to the truth about the claims that are made by its maker. I know nothing about the company itself, and Ive omitted any links to it on purpose; if youre interested in obtaining one, Google it. You should also know that as of publication, at least 18 U.S. states have banned the device in one way or another, and Im not sure about our neighbors to the north.

    The makers of the device tout its many positives. Two major benefits accompany nearly all of the documentation Ive seen. First is that by vaporizing the alcohol and mixing it with oxygen, the process of consuming alcohol is much less harsh and induces a mild euphoria. Many people may have experienced type of feeling at oxygen bars that are common at high altitude resorts.

    The second claim is that the device almost completely removes the possibility of a hangover. It has long been a tradition, that has recently been backed by some science, that hangovers are caused by the impurities found in most low proof alcohols. Most of us have heard that vodka is the least likely to cause a hangover, which follows that idea. Given that this is true, it would seem that a night of inhaling should allow for a much nicer morning than if the same amount was imbibed.

    I mentioned earlier that this device has been banned in nearly half the states in the U.S. The major argument seems to be that inhaled alcohol would hit the blood stream much faster, which seems logical, and thus would cause people to become more intoxicated much quicker. The company replies that the machine has safety mechanisms that prevent too much alcohol from being consumed at once. Again, I cant confirm or deny the veracity of either.

    On the subject of ingredients, it appears that the machine is only able to handle straight alcohols. Through the publicity on the site, Ive noticed that they are very conspicuous to avoid mentioning mixed drinks as an option. It is likely that the residue left behind by most mixers would be harmful to the machine.

    Though this product has been available for use in Europe for some time, it hasnt really caught on yet on this side of the pond; a fact that is probably attributable to the high number of bans that are in effect before anyone has heard of it. If anyone has been able to try it, post your comments on the boards, Id love to hear it.



    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 or two, 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.

    BarStore.com
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    Pick up the Czech - Wine X Magazine

    Becherovka Bottle Image

    The small and much misunderstood Czech Republic has had a difficult history. Sandwiched between Germany, Austria and Russia, it's been savagely bullied by its larger, more aggressive neighbors. So what do the proud Czech people do when faced with their sorry geo-political lot in life? They drink. A lot.

    If you've ever had fascists, czarists, communists, socialists or hegemonistic monarchists living next door, you might understand how dealing with such neighbors builds up a prodigious thirst. This is why the Czechs produce what are often considered the most sublime beers in the world. The fact that they make such superb suds explains why they dramatically lead the world in per-capita beer consumption. If you know nothing else about this captivating country -- the original Bohemian paradise -- you probably know its hallmark brews: Pilsener Urquell, Velkopopovicky and Budvar (the original and far superior Budweiser). You might know that Czech hops are respected with an almost religious reverence among beer connoisseurs. But even Czech man does not live by beer alone.

    Becherovka Article Woman Image After all, you can only drink 30 or 40 beers a day no matter how wealthy or thirsty you are. While beer may quench the thirst of the body, sometimes stronger spirits are needed to slake the thirst of the soul. In this situation, Czechs pick up their beloved Becherovka herbal liqueur. "Becher" (as it's known by its admirers), can be found perched in every bar and in most homes, standing sentinel in its hallmark green bottle. Czechs imbue it with almost legendary powers: it's good for digestion, soothes stomach aches, dulls a hangover and generally cures whatever ails you. When beset by challenges to your health or happiness, you could do much worse than a shot of Becher or a Becherovka and tonic. Its smooth cinnamon taste goes down deceptively easy and belies its 76-proof punch. The secret and mysterious blend of herbs imparts a very refreshing, almost wholesome taste. It's not as medicinal tasting as most herbal liqueurs -- just a soothing shot that makes you want more.

    Becherovka traces it roots back to 1807 and a royally appointed physician summering in Karlovy Vary ("Karl's Spring," more famously known by its German name of Carlsbad). Rumor has it the doctor's friend, the local pharmacist, Josef Becher, was experiencing some sexual dysfunction. Since it was millions of years after the discovery of lust but almost two hundred years before the discovery of Viagra, they went to work using their knowledge of locally grown herbs and medicinal plants and local spring water. It's said that immediately upon concocting the recipe (that became Becherovka), Josef Becher closed his pharmacy and began producing it full time. The company is still run by his heirs today, so we can only assume that it cured not only his thirst but also his impotency. The original secret recipe is still closely guarded, and at any one time only two people know it.

    If you haven't heard of Becherovka yet, you will. Just as you now know Czech models Paulina Porizkova and Eva Herzigova, who grace countless magazine covers, or Dominic "The Dominator" Hasek, who swats pucks in the NHL, or Dvorak's music or Milan Kundera's or Ivan Klima's novels or Martina Navratilova, Petr Korda, Jana Novotna or Ivan Lendl or the size of Ivana Trump's divorce settlement... it'll become familiar. Because whether or not you've enjoyed Czech beer, the country's supermodels, its capital city, art or athletes, you'll likely be able to appreciate its favorite liqueur.

    Czech it out.

    Purchase Becherovka online.

    *****

    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.

    Absolut and Level Recipe Bonanza!

    Let's start the month of December with a bang!

    Here's a collection of Absolut and Level Vodka recipes brought to you by our Girl of the Year, Nicole. She's been hunting through the clubs of New York to find these gems and I must say that once again she's come through like a star! How's the liver?

    On a serious note though, I pass on my sincere appreciation for the job Nicole has done bringing fresh new recipes and photos each and every month. Let's hope her boss gives her a nice Christmas bonus and a larger expense account so the recipes keep coming. Thanks Nicole and all at Ketchum!


    THE ABSOLUT CELEBRATION THE ABSOLUT CELEBRATION Cocktail Image
    • 1 PARTS ABSOLUT RUBY RED
    • 1 PART Champagne
    • PART Chambord (black raspberry liquor)

    Shake over ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a raspberry.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


    THE ABSOLUT RUBY GEM THE ABSOLUT RUBY GEM Cocktail Image
    • 1 PARTS ABSOLUT RUBY RED
    • PART Muddled Cranberries
    • PART Muddled Clementine
    • 1 TBSP Brown Sugar
    • Splash of Ginger Ale

    Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with the splash of ginger ale.

    
    
    
    
    
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    LEVEL RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE TURTLE DOVE LEVEL RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE TURTLE DOVE Cocktail
Image
    • 1 part LEVEL VODKA
    • 1/4 part Chambord
    • 4 fresh raspberries
    • 3/4 part fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 part sugar syrup
    • Chocolate sauce

    Shake first five ingredients with ice and double strain into a rocks glass with chocolate sauce in the bottom.

    
    
    


    LEVEL PEPPERMINTINI LEVEL PEPPERMINTINI Cocktail Image
    • 2 parts LEVEL VODKA
    • 1 part Godiva Liqueur
    • 1 part Kahlua
    • 1 part Frangelico
    • Shot of espresso

    Shake all of the ingredients with ice, strain and serve up. Garnish with a with a mini candy cane.

    
    
    

    Visit the Level Vodka Website...

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    Avoiding the high cost of bartender turnover - by Robert Plotkin

    Our latest Rober Plotkin article explores how much it costs to constantly change bartenders. 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.

    High Cost of Bartender Turnover Image

    Maintaining a positive work environment is essential to reducing turnover and achieving optimum productivity. It only stands to reason that if you create a conducive working environment your employees will enjoy coming to work and wont want to leave to work elsewhere.

    When a bartender leaves your staff, his or her departure will likely weaken the business. It may not be appreciated at the time, but invariably, when an experienced employee leaves a service-oriented business the enterprise suffers as a result.

    Bartender turnover is a costly occurrence, certainly something to be avoided whenever possible. When a bartender leaves your staff, the beverage operation loses the benefit of the on-the-job training youve invested in the employee, as well as, all of the expertise and experience the individual was able to accrue at the position. You must then begin the selection process anew; applications, interviews, paperwork, and training shifts. At the end of the process, the operation must suffer with the new employees inefficiency.

    These costs do not take into consideration the increase in management supervision necessary to ensure the employee is adequately trained. It is also reasonable to assume that the bartenders departure will negatively impact staff morale, customers perceptions and gross sales.

    One key aspect to reducing turnover behind the bar is to create a positive working environment. Negative pressures and stress can be cumulative in effect and rapidly deteriorate the staffs attitude and professionalism. This inevitably leads to job burnout and turnover. When bartenders and servers stop caring about their on-the-job performance the clientele are the first to suffer, followed closely by the operation as a whole. Without a positive attitude, a bartenders productivity can be expected to drop and liquor cost, spillage and waste to increase.

    Creating a positive work environment is essential in reducing turnover and requires managers to use restraint, patience and fairness when dealing with their employees. The following are some proactive suggestions on how to reduce bartender turnover while creating a positive work environment:

  • SOLICIT FEEDBACK Bartenders are the resident experts on nearly every subject involving the running of the beverage operation. They are at the point-of-sale of nearly every transaction. They possess firsthand knowledge on how the clientele reacts to your operations prices, products and promotions, and knows how they compare with your direct competitors. Soliciting their feedback on relevant matters will help create a sense of involvement among the staff while tapping into their cumulative experience and knowledge.

  • MANAGE BY EXAMPLE Employees are not managed. Objects are managed people are led. Managing by example is an essential form of leadership. A manager who voluntarily gets behind the bar during a frantically busy shift is an illustration of an individual managing by example. Leadership is a dynamic and effective means of creating a stable, positive working environment.

  • HELP BARTENDERS EARN MORE MONEY Ensuring that your bartenders are earning a livable income is clearly in your best interest. The more money your staff is capable of earning the less impetus there will be for any one of them to leave. In addition, the more money your bartenders are earning, the less likely it is that they will risk stealing from the bar.

    Management can play an active role in helping the bartending staff earn more by ensuring that servers and cocktail waitresses tip-out to the bar and the bar receives an equitable share of the gratuities earned on transfers to the dining room. A portion of a bartending meeting could be allocated to exchanging ideas on how to increase tips.

  • WORK DEMANDS It is in your best interest to remove any impediments preventing your bartenders from carrying out their job description. For example, bartenders are often required to provide beverage service to patrons seated at the cocktail tables. When business is brisk, it is extremely difficult to wait on the customers at the bar, fill drink orders for servers and still provide hospitable service to patrons seated in the lounge. The more difficult it is for the staff to perform their assigned duties the more hassled theyll be and the more likely they will fall victim to job burn-out.

  • KEEP THE STAFF CHALLENEGED Professionalism is an ambitious objective, one not easily achieved. Instill within your bartending staff a desire to excel at their position. Continually challenging your bartenders is motivating and will help to stave off on-the-job burn-out.

  • PROVIDE SUPPORT It is important for the staff to know that you will provide them with immediate support and backing when dealing with the drinking public. In situations where the bartender is forced to refuse further service of alcohol to a patron, it makes it easier to exercise that obligation when your bartenders know they have your full support and assistance. It is crucial that the refusal of service be handled correctly. It is also important that employees maintain their trust in management.

  • JOB DESCRIPTIONS Do you have employees who are assigned certain tasks or responsibilities that could be better fulfilled by another? For instance, in some establishments bartenders are expected to wait on customers, make drinks for servers, wash glassware, answer the phone and be the cashier for the operation. When it gets busy, they're overwhelmed.

  • KEEP THE FACILITY CLEAN How clean is your bar? If you had to think about your answer too long, your bar is likely not nearly clean enough. Working a dirty bar erodes staff professionalism. The mind set quickly develops that if no one cares enough to maintain the sanitary standards of the bar, than why should anything else really matter? Discipline all but disappears, the incidence of theft begins to increase and all other standards begin to deteriorate. Keeping the bar spotless is not just a matter of protecting the public health and passing health inspections, it also keeps the bartenders focused on maintaining their professionalism.


    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.

    Plotkin's experience has allowed him to carefully analyze all aspects of running a beverage operation, whether in a restaurant, hotel or nightclub, and apply the controls and systems necessary to generate profit from the business. This all new book is based on methods operators have used nationwide to cut thousands of dollars off their operating costs, reduce theft, and increase their sales in percentages that reach into double digits.

    Included in the book's 24 information-packed chapters are; maintaining health code standards behind the bar, establishing pouring procedures, analyzing the beverage operation, implementing safe-guards to protect inventory, conducting market research, the mathematics of profit, standards in bar design for efficiency of movement, and even how to select well liquor. This is a complete guide of strategies, formulas and steps to reach beverage management success. Make the most of your beverage operation and order today!

  • Plymout Gin's POM STAR

    Well I'm thanking everyone for their contributions this year, I can't forget Niclas at Plymouth Gin. New to the newsletter, we hope that the recipes continue to flow next year. Here's to another fine recipe to close out the year.

    Cheers Niclas!


    Plymouth Gin POM STAR Cocktail Image Pom Star

    • 50 ml Plymouth Gin
    • 50 ml Pomegranate Juice
    • 50 ml Passion Fruit Juice

    Fill a glass with ice. Add the Plymouth Gin and top with equal parts of pomegranate and passion fruit juice. Squeeze and add the lime. Stir and garnish with a Quarter of Passion Fruit and a Mint Sprig.

    Cocktail Shakers

    Great feel, great look, great for flair (not as loud when you drop one), plus they fit snug over glassware.We suggest a pair. Be prepared for those multiple shot orders.

    $7.65

    The Recipes continue...

    More recipes for our December recipe blitz. Layton and Nicole (lot's of Nicoles in this industry) over at Qorvis represent a plethora of brands. They've teamed up to give us the following recipes to lighten up the festive season. Let's hope more come our way in the new year!

    Thanks you two!


    Frostini Starbucks Frostini Cocktail Image
    • 1 part Starbucks Coffee Liqueur
    • 1 part Starbucks Cream Liqueur
    • part DeKuyper Peppermint Schnapps

    Shake and strain into martini glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


    Kentucky Mulled Cider Makers Mark Mulled Cider Cocktail Image
    • 1 cup Maker's Mark Bourbon
    • 4 cups Apple cider
    • 1 thinly sliced lemon with rind
    • 6 cloves
    • tsp. ground allspice
    • 2 small sticks of cinnamon

    Heat to boiling and serve.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

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    The onslaught continues... Recipes from Castle Brands

    As I was planning this newsletter I thought to myself, "self what do people come to our site for?" Recipes of course. So out went the word and as the submissions came in, the ball started to roll.

    Then out of the blue came Roseann from Castle Brands. How could I refuse adding more to the newslettter? So, in the spirit of the holiday coming up, Merry Christmas.

    I hope Santa is good to Roseann and that she'll be good to all of us with more fine offerings!


    Gingerbread Martini Gingerbread Martini Cocktail Image
    • 2 1/2 oz. Boru Orange
    • 1 oz. Monin Gingerbread Syrup

    Prior to mixing this cocktail, take equal parts of raw cane sugar and graham cracker crumbs and mix them together on a small plate. In a separate saucer, take a little Monin Gingerbread Syrup and use that to wet the rim of the martini glass. Next, dip the rim into your sugar and graham cracker mix so that the rim is evenly coated. Finally, shake the Boru Orange and 1 oz. of Monin with ice and strain.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


    Dreamy Winter Delight Dreamy Winter Delight Cocktail Image
    • 2 oz. Brady's Irish Cream
    • Splash Celtic Crossing Liqueur
    • Hot Chocolate

    Pour straight into a warm mug and fill with hot chocolate. Garnish with whip cream.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


    Soiree Soiree Cocktail Image
    • 3/4 oz. Pallini Limonchello
    • 4 1/2 oz. Brut Champagne
    • 3/4 oz. Pomegranate Juice

    Serve chilled in a champagne flute with a lemon twist for garnish.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    


    Snowflake Snowflake Cocktail Image
    • 1 1/2 oz. Celtic Crossing Liqueur
    • 1 1/2 oz. Frangelico
    • 1 1/2 oz. half and half

    Shake with ice until a good froth has developed. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with almond slices and nutmeg on top of the froth.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

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