|Bar None Drink Recipes Newsletter|
Did you know it was National Ice Cream Month? Well it is summer and I certainly don't mind a nice cool drink to kick back with.
Once again we've put together a bunch of new recipes for you to try out. For Canadians it's Canada Day on the 1st and of course, the main event in the States is that great celebration, the 4th of July.
Just a couple more weeks now until Tales of the Cocktail. We're primed and ready to attend the festivities there and pass on everything we can to you, if you aren't going yourself.
We've also implemented a RSS feed to update you on all the latest entries to the database. You can find the page here...
Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.
2 weeks until I head off to New Orleans for the Tales of the Cocktail. What is said to be The Most Spirited Event of the Summer.
Raven and I have booked most of our time there, but are still working on what dinner we're attending. If you're heading there, let us know where you will be. Check out the complete dinner list, with menus here...
We're also working on blogging the event with updates posted daily on the site. Check out our main page after the 15th and we should have something there.
I look forward to all of you that are making the journey!
Ladies and gents, I have a bit of an interesting experience to recount to you. For the first time in my life, I managed to score an invitation to an event thrown by a liquor company. While it's not normally my purpose to push a particular product, today I think I may have to. It's o.k. though; I actually like the product, so I'd have pushed it even if I didn't get invited.
It's not often that something comes on the market that is truly unlike anything we've seen before. Flavored vodkas are, ultimately, vodka that has been flavored (often through the addition of some synthetic syrup or other.) Even the new hot liqueur is just substituting one fruit base for another; it's hard to find something that is unlike anything else. This comes close, closer than any product I've seen. I bring to you Mehkong.
Mehkong is the "Spirit of Thailand", and has been made and enjoyed in their borders since the early 1940's. Some stats:
Mehkong (which realistically represents both a brand name and the classification of the liquid itself) can be enjoyed neat, but the company (InterBev) is pushing it as a cocktail mixer. I got a chance to try a few cocktails, which I'll detail a little further down the page. As for the drink itself, the discerning among us will notice that it is most similar to rum (come on...95% cane...). With the steeping, it does take the primary form of well-spiced Caribbean fare, but it doesn't stop there. The little tag of rice that has been blended in during fermentation gives it a very smooth finish. The flavor has hints of citrus, spice and vanilla. All in all, drinking Mehkong on the rocks starts with a nose of a schnapps, moves to a mouthful of a heady rum and finishes with a smooth, well-aged bourbon.
As a mixer, Mehkong can be used in nearly any drink that calls for rum. It is perhaps a little too sweet for many whiskey-based drinks, but could work in some (the "king-kong", for example, is little more than a Jack and Coke, or a Cuba Libre, if you're so inclined). It is excellent for anything that you would pull out a blender for, particularly if you were throwing fruit in said blender.
As for availability, if you're on the east coast, you can probably go into any well-heeled Thai restaurant and find Mehkong. For those of us on the west coast, the release party was, as of the distribution of this newsletter, five days ago. Wait a little while and you'll start to see it in your favorite Thai joints. And I haven't forgotten about our neighbors to the north; the execs I spoke with indicate that Canada is the next market that will see Mehkong. They also indicated that we'd start to see it in national chains soon: BevMo here I come!
Alright, so I said I'd do a cocktail. This one is kind of interesting, for a couple of reasons. First, this is the first time I've come across anything that truly qualifies as a national cocktail. A national booze, sure, but a cocktail...nope. Second, this is the only drink I can think of that uses what I would consider a savory herb. Here ya go:
Sabai Sabai (Thai welcome cocktail)
Mix the first four in a highball with ice. Don't muddle the basil; the ice will do that for you. Pour it into a shaker and give it a vigorous what for. Then it all goes back into the glass and gets topped off with the club soda.
And one final note, The Raven now has his own e-mail address at the BarNoneDrinks. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions related "The Raven's Caw" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also accepted at this address are job offers, death threats, marriage proposals, offers to enlarge certain parts of my anatomy, awards nominations, petitions for absolution and anything else The Raven might need to know about.
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.
This past weekend my husband, Jon, and I got a chance to try an interesting new product called Hot D Wake Up Juice.
Hot D is a cute little acronym for Hair of the Dog--you know, that stuff you're supposed to consume after a night of heavy drinking to help make you feel better. Although Hot D contains no alcohol, this thick, tomato-based cure-all is said to work the same way by giving drinkers a tasty Bloody Mary beverage jam-packed with energy boosters. And not just the same type of sugary ingredients you'd find in some energy drinks. Hot D boasts that it contains honey instead of corn syrup or fructose, and also caffeine and taurine to give you the lift you need in a more natural way.
On Saturday night, to prepare for our taste test the following morning, we bought some of our favorite pastries from a local bakery, mixed up a pitcher of sangria, and settled in for a relaxing night. While neither of us got anywhere near hammered, we both woke up the next morning with a busy day ahead of us and not enough energy to get everything done. Perfect! Just what we needed to see if a morning-after energy drink really does its job. We had two varieties of Hot D to try--Original and Thick & Spicy Bloody Mary Elixir. We decided not to add any alcohol to either so that we could enjoy each beverage's intended flavor.
First up was the original blend. We filled a glass with ice and poured in the thick liquid. It looked good, smelled good, and we couldn't wait to try it. As we hoped, it tasted just as good as it looked. Unfortunately, it also had quite a bit of kick to it which we weren't expecting. A couple of crackers later, and our mouths were back to normal enough to try the Thick & Spicy.
Considering the fact that the original Hot D was thick and spicy, we couldn't imagine the second variety getting any thicker and spicier. But, it did. It really, really did! Talk about HOT. Now, don't get me wrong, Jon and I love spicy foods. Sometimes the spicier the better. But in the morning, on an empty stomach, the heat really hit us hard. In fact, it was so spicy we found it hard to get in even more than a few sips before running to the fridge for something to extinguish the fire in our mouths.
While both varieties were tasty, we both agreed that the Thick & Spicy was too hot for us and that the Original was definitely the tastier of the two. If you have a weak stomach or just aren't that into spice, then there are a few things you should consider before trying Hot D:
Add all but club soda to a mixing glass, and give a "dry shake (i.e. w/out ice)"; crack open, add ice, and shake again. Pour over fresh ice in a Collins glass, top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Tequila Honeysuckle with Watermelon
Lightly muddle the watermelon and then add the Reposado Tequila, lime juice and honey syrup. Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
The combination of citrus juice and honey syrup also creates what is called a honeysuckle cocktail which can be made with several different spirits. I've recently had tequila on my mind so I made a tequila honeysuckle and bumped it up a notch by adding a couple of chunks of watermelon. I found that the watermelon added another layer of flavor and paired well with the honey syrup and the richness of the Reposado Tequila. This cocktail was really amazing and I encourage anyone who is trying to build up their drink repertoire to add this one to their list! Enjoy - Navarro Carr, Trios, Atlanta
There was a time when rum was perceived as "macho" in television commercials when I was growing up in Trinidad. Seldom did you see females in the ads actually having a sip of rum. Rather it was their masculine counterparts that would be seen all physically buffed and enjoying their favorite brew at the bar while their significant other sat and watch in envy.
No doubt not only have they survived their competitors but they have also managed a consistency in their taste that has kept them around for this long. Clearly the Gosling's range of rums is the perfect reflection of the phrase "rum done right" as it encompasses all the richness and aged flavors that are necessary to be paired with your favorite whiskeys and cognac.
Gosling's Rum started with James Gosling, a man who took a trip to Bermuda with his family's oak-aged rum, and never left the island which captivated him. Once in Bermuda, Gosling introduced the dark-hued rum to the islanders that were sold in a re-used champagne bottles that were sealed with black wax. The islander's call for the "black seal" rum not only started a popularity trend in the drinking population, but it also helped the Gosling's come up with this particular rum's mascot which is a black seal playing with a rum barrel.
Fast-forward six generations later and Gosling's Black Seal is still considered the number one drink on the island of Bermuda. Not only is it the country's national drink it is said to be the most widely exported product from the company as well.
The Gosling's family of Rum is being distributed in the US by Castle Brands of New York. And in addition to the popular Bermuda Black Seal Rum, Gosling's also produces Gosling's Gold Bermuda Rum and Gosling's Family Reserve Old Rum.
Any islander (including this writer) would tell you that rum such as this is even more satisfying when paired with your favorite Cola or mixed with fruit juice to make rum punch. Of course if you are opened to recipe suggestions, here are a few for you:
Gold N Cola
Mix and sip.
Garnish with a fresh orange slice.
Garnish with an orange slice.
Asha Brodie has spent an interesting 19 years in print media in Trinidad. She currently lives in the USA with her husband and daughter. Her lifelong love affair for writing continues...
Our latest Rober Plotkin article talks about spritzing up your drinks.
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.
Adding a fine spritz in a drink is a marvelous thing, a centuries old practice. Today, however, mixologists and bar chefs no longer think in terms of committing a splash of club soda to a cocktail. Mere carbonation is passé, now it's about adding quality effervescence. Spritz helps achieve all-important balance between the various elements in a cocktail. It enhances a drink's mouth feel and most importantly, effervescence energizes a libation, transforming it from flat and lifeless to teeming with vibrancy and pizzazz.
One thing you can do to immediately improve your drink making abilities is look beyond using carbonated water from the beverage gun. Artificially charged water created on-site can hardly compare to the natural effervescence of sparkling waters, source derived products like San Pellegrino, Perrier, or Ramlösa. These famous waters have an abundance of fine bubbles and mild acidity that invigorates a cocktail. Club soda can't begin to measure up.
There are a growing number of interesting ingredients that mixologists are using to imbue their drinks with effervescence and panache. So put down the siphon bottle and consider your options.
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.
Place the strawberries in a mixing glass - muddle. Add the Plymouth Gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice to the mixing glass. Shake vigorously. Top with champagne and add a strawberry as a garnish. Enjoy!
Fill mixing glass with ice. Add Plymouth Gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and egg white (optional). Shake well and strain into a martini glass - add a lemon zest as a garnish. Enjoy!
On a hot summer day nothing cools you down better than an ice-cold cocktail. Of course, a double dipped ice cream cone could do the trick, too. It's a tough decision. Do you indulge in the sweet cream goodness of your favorite ice cream flavor or opt for the more grown up and always refreshing favorite cocktail? This July, in honor of National Ice Cream Month, your decision has been made for you. Beat the summer heat with one of our delicious ice cream cocktails, courtesy of Castle Brands.
Blend ingredients with a scoop of ice. Serve in a parfait glass and garnish with raspberries.
Blend ingredients with a scoop of ice. Serve in a parfait glass and garnish with a mint leaf.
Drunken Monkey Milkshake
Blend ingredients and pour into a parfait glass. Top with whipped cream.
Averna ran a cocktail competition from January 1st through March 31st. All entries were divided into three geographical regions: Northeast, Southeast/Midwest and West. A judging panel of leading spirits experts selected 10 semifinalists from each region to move on to the regional semifinals scheduled in San Francisco, New York and Miami respectively. A total of five semifinalists were selected from the three regional competitions (two each from the San Francisco and New York competitions, one from the Miami competition)
This was created by Thomas R. Waugh, Alembic Bar San Fransisco
Hierba Buena Cocktail
First to make bitter mint cream: add mint bitters and heavy cream to a cocktail shaker. Dry shake(no ice) for 30 secs. Set aside. Then stir Averna, Tequila, and Cacao in a mixing glass full of ice for 45 secs. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Using a bar spoon, carefully layer the cream on top of the cocktail. Garnish with shaved chocolate and fresh mint sprig.
Summer is finally here and what better way to enjoy a hot afternoon or evening than with a cold and refreshing cocktail to celebrate the dawn of all things summer. Jim Hewes, Washington, DC mixologist at the Round Robin Bar at the historical Willard InterContinental has used his 20+ years of mixing experience to concoct these tasty creations.
And while you're trying to cool down, remember that the 4th of July is just around the corner and these festive and patriotic cocktails are perfect for celebrating the nation's birthday. So cheers to the arrival of summer (and the prospect of a long one), and cheers to our nation's 231st birthday!
Star Spangled Swizzle
Mix all ingredients and serve tall over ice with a dusting of grated nutmeg, a cherry and a splash of sloe gin on top.
Add sugar, bourbon and mint into an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and muddle the fruit. Garnish with berries and mint.
Launched in 2008, Brave Spirits is a line of patriotic, 100% American-made premium spirits: Valor Vodka, First In Whiskey, Standing Guard Gin and At Ease Rum. David Fox founded Brave Spirits on the principle to honor, remember and celebrate the men and women in uniform who protect and defend America everyday: firefighters, police officers, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and their families. Brave Spirits recognizes the dedication that these men and women constantly demonstrate to keep Americans safe. Every component of the Brave Spirits product line, from labels to ingredients to distilleries, is distinctly American-made.
Brave Spirits is a genuine American brand, whose products are made from only authentic American-grown ingredients. Brave Spirits' rum, whiskey, vodka and gin were each created in recognition of the millions of men and women who serve throughout the world and protect America. Each bold and distinct bottle is crafted in appreciation of the sacrifices that American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, National Guard, police officers and firefighters, as well as their loved ones, make daily.
Brave Spirits believes in giving back to those who sacrifice for American freedom and the protection of others. For every bottle of Brave Spirits product purchased, $2.00 goes to the Brave Spirits Foundation, composed of retired members of America's services, which collectively decides the proper charities and foundations to donate these proceeds to; that is the institutions that help men & women in uniform to stay safe, recover and celebrate with friends and family.
"We are proud to be American. We support the backbone of this great country by creating quality spirits made with American ingredients by American people. We dedicate our products to the men and women who bravely serve our country by donating proceeds to charities who serve them. If it's their duty to aprotect this country, it's our duty to thank them. That's why I started this company."
At Ease Rum is an American-made declaration of pride. While most rum is known as having a Caribbean origin, the sugarcane for this spirit is grown only in America's Sunbelt. The distillation and aging process then takes place in Florida. The Sunshine state provides matured oak bourbon casts, creating a hint of sweetness to the finished product.
This product is about relaxing. It is about being off-duty. It is about letting the job and stress melt away. This is a weekend pass. It is R&R. It is optimistic. This is about good times while always being respectful of the uniform.
First In Whiskey bottles the boldness of those who make no hesitation to protect and help others in need. The finest grains are carefully selected in America's own heartland and the whiskey is then distilled and aged among the rolling hills of Kentucky. American oak barrels are used to let the natural sugars in the wood create a distinctively sweet, and full-bodied American whiskey.
This product is about bravado. It takes incredible guts to be the first in. It is about the first ones to run at the danger. The first ones will be in the thick of it before anyone else is prepared to help. This is the epitome of courage and bravery. The Marines say they are the First To Fight. Firefighters say they are the First In and Last Out. First In is about responding in an instant when called.
Standing Guard Gin has a distinctive flavor, matching the unique personality of the men and women guarding America. Because there are not enough juniper berries in the U.S., some are purchased overseas (the juniper berries are the only ingredient that is not 100% American). Every ingredient is handpicked, from the juniper berries to the grains to Florida's citrus and all other botanical ingredients that go into every bottle.
This product is about placing yourself between the good guys and the bad guys. It is about being the wall that protects. Those that Stand Guard accept the awesome responsibility to stop enemies and save lives. It is for the military, police and firefighters that keep watch over the citizens of our great country.
Valor Vodka is smooth and strong, created solely in the United States for the brave. With grains chosen from the fields of the Great Plains, Valor Vodka is slowly distilled three times and charcoal filtered. Valor Vodka is crisp and made with pride and care.
This product is crafted in recognition of the depth of character and level of bravery that our men and women in uniform possess. Valor is showing courage, boldness and determination in the face of great danger. Medals are given to those who demonstrate Valor. It is not a word used lightly.
Pour all ingredients into a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a large martini glass with a salt rim. Add two olives on a spear and serve.