Thursday, December 28, 2006

Art of the Drink 33: Champagne Cocktail

Anthony shows you the correct way to open a bottle of bubbly for your New Year's Eve celebration!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Art of the Drink 32: Anthony's Syllabub

Art Of The Drink wishes you a Merry Christmas with Anthony's Syllabub!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Monday, December 18, 2006

Art of the Drink 31: Ginger Green Tea Toddy

As cold weather settles in, Anthony and Tracy warm things up with a Ginger Green Tea Hot Toddy!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Friday, December 15, 2006

AOTD Wins Best of 2006 Award!

I just found out that "Art of the Drink" won Lulu TV's award for "Best Instructional Vlog of 2006!" Thanks to all the people over at Lulu for putting together such a great site -- if you haven't visited them yet, check it out!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Taste of Schnapps

Coming soon!

Art of the Drink 30: Candy Cane Martini

Anthony's back behind the bar in December with a new DrinkArt Girl and a Candy Cane Martini to usher in the holiday month!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Art of the Drink 29: Rose Petal

Anthony shows you a versatile virgin drink for holiday family outings or entertaining at home!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

AOTD in December

In December, Art of the Drink is back in the studio with our December DrinkArt Girl, Tracy, bringing you the perfect menu of festive drinks for your holiday parties!

Week 1: Anthony shares his fantastic Candy Cane Martini recipe!

Week 2: We'll update the traditional Hot Toddy with fresh ginger and green tea!

Week 3: Anthony introduces you to Egg Nog's nearly-forgotten relative, the Syllabub!

Week 4: AOTD rings in the New Year with a classic Champagne Cocktail!

And be sure to stay tuned in 2007 as we present a whole new lineup of recipes, road trips, and of course DrinkArt Girls!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Art of the Drink 28: Hot Buttered Cider

This Thanksgiving, Anthony breaks out his special Bourbon-based Hot Buttered Cider!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Art of the Drink 27: Rick Lyke Interview

In this episode of our AOTD On The Road in November series, Anthony interviews beverage writer Rick Lyke.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Monday, November 06, 2006

AOTD On The Road

With the coming of the holiday season, AOTD will be bringing you a series of special on-the-road episodes for the month of November. For the first two weeks, we'll be coming at you live from the 2006 World Beer Festival in North Carolina. Then it's off to Memphis to kick off some truly special holiday entertaining episodes with my family. Come December, we'll be back in the studio with plenty of unique drinks to help you through all those Christmas parties and into the New Year! Enjoy the holidays, and keep those e-mails coming!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Art of the Drink 26: Mai Tai

Live from the 2006 World Beer Festival, Anthony shows you how to make a Mai Tai!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Shake and Roll

Question from the Forum (thanks to Romial): "I'm just recently attending bartending school and we went over martinis tonite. The teacher told us to put the strainer on the mixing cup and shake it back and forth and frost the tin that way. I said that I saw video clips online doing it up and down and mixing harder and he said that was mainly for when you don't have a blender, and if you mix it hard up and down it'll water the drink down a little bit more. Can you clarify if there is a difference?

"Also, we did highballs the night before and I know from your podcasts that you don't like to serve any drink without at least rolling it first. But instead of us doing that, they just had us build them in a certain order and that's it. No mixing at all except for what the liquids do themselves. What are your thoughts on this?"

A: Cool -- so here's the scoop: Not sure exactly what you're describing when you say your instructor is frosting the tin with the strainer on, but I'm going to assume it's more akin to stirring or swirling the drink. The key, though, is that the drink is being agitated with ice until the tin is frosted. Once that happens, you know the temperature is correct, so the technique you're being taught is fine. Both should result in the same amount of melting (minimal if you use enough ice), since both are taking the drink and the ice to the same temperature.

I'm a big fan of shaking for several reason. First, it's the easiest way to get things right for beginning bartenders. Second, it's quicker than stirring, again especially for the beginner. Third, it aerates the drink better, and an aerated drink will have a more intense flavor since the bubbles carry scent to your nasal passages while you drink it. Last, shaking cracks the ice and leaves mini ice flakes in the drink which help it hold temperature longer.

Is shaking the only correct way to chill a drink? Definitely not, but it is the way I recommend 90 percent of the time. Some guests will specifically ask for you NOT to shake their drink (I had a Maker's Mark rep as a regular who would send back Manhattans if they were shaken because she liked to see her bourbon presented nice and clear), and you should definitely accommodate those people, but the vast majority prefer their drinks as cold as possible and want them to stay that way as long as possible. For that, shaking just can't be beat.

As for shaking being able to substitute for a blender, that's definitely true (a post blender, actually, which is the kind they use in soda fountains and ice cream shops) and one of it's advantages -- you need less equipment if you can master shaking. I'll be doing some upcoming episodes on stirring because you should have that club in your bag as well, but it's a bit more advanced and used much less frequently.

On to highballs -- we haven't covered them in the podcast series yet (although the Presbyterian comes close), but I have an episode planned just for this classic cocktail. As a sneak preview, your instructor is correct: one of the defining characteristics of a highball is that it is NOT mixed, and if you notice I didn't mix the Pres. The cool part is why they're not mixed, and for that you'll have to wait for the episode.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Art of the Drink 25: Flaming Zombie

Who says fire kills the undead? Cap off your Halloween costume with Anthony's Flaming Zombie!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Friday, October 27, 2006

Proof, Q.E.D.

The alcohol proof system can be a source of confusion, especially since it's usually pondered while consuming alcohol. In the U.S., the system is actually fairly simple: a spirit's proof number is twice the percent alcohol by volume (ABV), so standard 80 proof liquor contains 40 percent alcohol.

Like I said, simple. Also boring. The cool part is how and why the system developed, which was to allow early revenue collectors to determine (in the field and sans laboratories) whether a beverage was subject to liquor taxes. A small amount of the liquid in question would be poured on a pinch of gunpowder which the examiner then tried to light. If the wet powder burned the liquid had to contain more alcohol than water, at which point it was considered 100 percent proven taxable. The minimum alcohol content required for ignition actually turned out to be 57 percent ethanol, which the U.S. then rounded down to 50 percent to simplify its proof system. And that's how 50 percent alcohol became 100 proof.

So what does this mean to today's bartenders and hosts? A couple of things. First, that liquors of 100 proof or more (also know as overproof liquors) will burn. Second, and more importantly, that a mixed drink containing 1 shot (1.25 ounces) of standard 80 proof liquor actually contains 0.5 ounce of pure ethanol. Compare that with a 12-ounce domestic beer at about 4 percent alcohol (0.48 ounce ethanol), or a 5-ounce glass of wine at 12 percent alcohol (0.6 ounce ethanol), and you'll see that each of these common beverage servings contain about the same amount of ethanol -- about 1/2 ounce.

I know I've pointed this out before, but it bears repeating. And please keep it in mind when serving your guests...especially when that guy who's "only been drinking beer all night" wants to drive home.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Season 1 Highlights

While we're on break, enjoy some highlights from the "Art of the Drink" Video Podcast's first season!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Monday, October 16, 2006

International Podcasting Expo

Just wanted to let you know that I will be speaking at the Online International Podcasting Expo this coming weekend, October 20-22, 2006.

All you need is an internet connection with speakers to attend, and a headset microphone to participate verbally. My two seminars will be part of 40 audio/visual seminars and networking events based on Podcasting and Blogging.

My "Introduction to VideoCasting" session will be Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 9:00A EST, and my "Advanced VideoCasting" session will be Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 10:30P EST.

I will also have an online booth, where you can come and meet with me during the weekend, and you can visit the Exhibitor Halls and attend three Keynote Sessions for free. Joyce and Uchenna Agu, winners of Season 7 of CBS’s Amazing Race, will conduct a public interview during the Expo at 4:15pm EST on Saturday, October 21st. You can come and meet them in person.

You can check out the online schedule of speakers and topics here. Whether you are only researching the subject of Podcasting, have just started podcasting, or are an experienced Podcaster, this Expo will offer something for everyone.

An unlimited attendance ticket includes:
-Entrance to all 40+ Seminar, Workshop and Networking Sessions.
-Downloads of all recordings from these events.
-A FREE Lifetime License for Pamela Pro (a $25 Skype Add-On) that offers a Skype -Answering Machine, Auto Skype Chat Reply, Change Skype status when on a call, Skype Contact Personalisation, Separate Voicemail Greeting for your SkypeIn number, Time Scheduling, Email Forwarding, Call, Video and Chat Recording, Skype Podcasting and Blogging, Notes taking during call, Start other apps when you receive a Skype call and more.
-A FREE Recording and Editing Program for PCs – Wavepad.
-A FREE Mixing Program for PCs – MixPad.
-A FREE Podcasting Handbook multi-media ebook (a $19.95 value).
-Various other giveaways from seminar presenters, including my offer of our best-selling "Art of the Drink, Volume 1: Bar Essentials" DVD.

Tickets are only $25. To check it out and sign up, just click here.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Calling All AOTD Fans!

While we're on break (which, by the way, is almost over) and you find yourself with a few extra minutes that you'd normally spend watching the latest AOTD episode, it'd be great if you could help us spread the word about your favorite bartending podcast. We really need some reviews on iTunes, so if you like the show please find us under their Music Store/Podcasts/Arts/Food (or just search for "Art of the Drink" in the iTunes Music Store) and write a quick flattering sentence or two.

And if you happen to have another minute, maybe you could drop a quick e-mail to the YouTube folks at:

asking them to review our videos ( for a feature on the YouTube homepage. Thanks for all your support, and we'll be back with a new special episode in a few more days!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


The posting of our 23rd episode marks five months of weekly production for Art of the Drink -- and we're a bit tired! Dave, the DrinkArt Girls, and I will be taking a short hiatus to relax, attend some trade shows, and plan the Holiday season. But don't worry, we'll be back before Halloween!

Soda Water et al.

Soda water. Tonic water. Club soda. Seltzer. Sparkling water. What the hell? There's a lot confusion out there about the differences between the carbonated water mixers, so let's clear things up a bit.

The most basic of the above is simply water containing dissolved carbon dioxide. This is known as sparkling water, soda water, or seltzer water, and was originally produced naturally deep underground where geologic pressure forced CO2 into solution in subterranean water deposits. Today, naturally carbonated water is usually referred to as sparkling water, while soda water and seltzer commonly refer to water that has been carbonated by other means.

Club soda is simply soda water that has a small amount of salts added to it for additional flavoring. Because of this extra flavor, it is my carbonated water of choice for mixed drinks though it's rarely available at modern bars -- the carbonated water found on bar guns is simply tap water that has gone through a mechanical carbonator with nothing else added. Naturally sparkling water with a high mineral content can be used in place of club soda, though it may be more lightly carbonated.

Tonic water has quinine added to it, and a much more interesting story behind it. Quinine is a tropical drug that is highly toxic in large doses, and like many natural toxins has a bitter flavor. In the small quantities found in tonic it is harmless, but still lends a bitter hint to the drink. On the theory that the drug could also kill certain diseases, when the British navy encountered malaria they issued a "health tonic" comprised of quinine and seltzer to combat the illness. To make the bitter concoction more palatable, they would add a measure of their national spirit, gin, to the mix and often squeeze in a piece of the local tropical citrus fruit as well. And the gin and tonic was born, complete with its ubiquitous wedge of lime.

So what are you drinking in most bars? Soda water and tonic. And no, drinking G&T's won't cure malaria.

Art of the Drink 23: Presbyterian

Anthony and Whitney wrap up September with the second installment of the AOTD Classic Cocktails Series: a Presbyterian.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Ice Primer

A great question from one of our YouTube viewers:

Q: Why do you use so much ice in your drinks? Is there a significant purpose? I always ask for light ice.

A: Absolutely -- several reasons. First and most importantly, filling the glass with ice ensures the drink will be served at the right temperature: cold! Secondly, bar recipes assume a full glass of ice, so using less ice means there will be more mixer than intended (and no, the bartender won't add more liquor to "balance things out"). Third, light ice actually results in a more watered-down drink. The same thing happens in your cooler when you're camping: put in lots of ice and it all stays nice and cold and frozen; don't use enough and the ice you have put in can't hold temperature and melts.

Finally, and this is more of a consumer alert tip, when you ask for light ice most bartenders assume you're trying to get a stronger drink (which, again, will never happen) and might actually pour short just to mess with you. Almost every bartender I've ever worked with does this and will never admit it to you. I don't agree with it because you should be able to get your drink any way you want it, but in reality most people don't have any real aversion to ice and are just trying to outsmart the bartender which they understandably react to badly.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

AOTD at the World Beer Festival

Art of the Drink will be at the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC, on Saturday, October 7th! Come by Booth 92 to meet Anthony and the DrinkArt Girls and watch a live taping of the video podcast!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Alcohol Content

Q: What mixed drink can one order that has the most alcoholic content? (This very common question was originally posted on our forum -- thanks Iduenas!)

A: If you're talking percent alcohol by volume (ABV), the most alcohol will be found in straight drinks like shots and extra-dry martinis which will usually be 80 proof or 40% ABV. Higher proof liquors will obviously have more alcohol (Wild Turkey 101, Bacardi 151, etc.) -- but keep in mind you should NEVER drink anything straight that's higher than about 120 proof.

Some small batch Bourbons and other higher-end liquors are bottled at cask-strength (usually about 120 proof) instead of being cut back to the more common 80 proof, and these are intended to be sipped slowly so you can appreciate the complex taste of the spirit. Drinking straight liquor at more than 120 proof can cause some serious ill-effects, including blindness and alcohol poisoning. Plus, if you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm not a fan of shots or drinking just to get hammered -- I try to teach people to craft and enjoy alcoholic drinks the same way they would a gourmet meal.

Now, if you want to know the drink with the highest alcohol content (i.e., 1 ounce versus 2 ounces regardless of what percentage of the total drink that comprises), there really is no good answer. Most drinks contain about 1/2 ounce of pure alcohol (like a 12-ounce beer, a glass of wine, a standard mixed drink, or an 80 proof shot), but obviously a 22-ounce beer or a double mixed drink will have more alcohol in them. As a general rule of thumb, I tell people that an extra-dry martini will usually have the most alcohol in it, since you're pretty much dealing with between 2 and 4 ounces of straight 80-proof liquor, which equates to 0.8 to 1.6 ounces of pure alcohol.

Some states limit the total amount of liquor you can serve in one drink to 2 ounces which allows for Boilermakers (or a shot served with a beer), Long Island Teas, etc., but keep in mind that is the total amount of liquor, not alcohol -- 2 ounces of Wild Turkey 101 has more alcohol than 2 ounces of Stoli. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but there you have it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Art of the Drink 22: Applejack Rabbit

The essence of apples and maple syrup herald the coming of Autumn in this unique cocktail.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Applejack vs. Apple Brandy

Though applejack and apple brandy are both made from apple cider, the method used to concentrate the alcohol differs in each. Applejack is made through fractional crystallization, while apple brandy is made through the more familiar process of distillation.

Fermentation initially produces the alcohol in hard cider, but after all the sugars have been converted to ethanol the drink will not get any stronger. Normally, spirit makers rely on distillation to further increase the alcohol concentration. This process takes advantage of the difference in boiling points between water (212°F) and alcohol (173°F) by heating the fermented beverage to somewhere around 175°F, thereby causing the alcohol to evaporate while the water remains liquid. The alcohol vapor is captured and cooled, returning it to a liquid state and producing raw, white liquor.

Fractional crystallization originated in colder climates where the temperature drops well below freezing for extended periods of time. Since alcohol and water have different freezing points as well, this provides another method of separating the two. Traditionally, cider was left outside in large barrels and when the temperature dropped below 0°F the water would freeze while the alcohol would remain liquid. A hole was then punched in the ice and the alcohol was siphoned off. This process was repeated until the remaining liquid would not freeze, and the result is the drink we know as applejack.

The main difference in the products of distillation and fractional crystallization is that the former forces the alcohol into a phase change which isolates it and leaves most of the impurities behind in the water. The latter forces the water into a phase change which leaves most of the impurities behind in the alcohol, giving applejack a nasty reputation for causing legendary hangovers. However, commercial applejack is further refined and doesn't suffer from this problem.

Art of the Drink 21: First Down

Anthony and Whitney toast the opening of football season with a First Down!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Grenadine Guide

Grenadine syrup most likely gets its name from "grenada," the Spanish word for pomegranates. The original preparation was made from sweetened pomegranate juice, or the juice of pomegranate seeds, which would ferment and result in a mildly alcoholic syrup. Modern grenadine is a non-alcoholic combination of sugar, water, fruit flavorings, and food coloring - nary a pomegranate to be found. Although it is commonly believed that grenadine syrup comes from the Grenadine Islands or perhaps Grenada, neither country grows pomegranates. Interesting.

Ok, so enough technical information. Now that we know what grenadine is, let's get down to the more important question: how can we use it? Like most things behind the bar, grenadine can be used for both flavoring and coloring. Typically, it is the easiest way to turn a drink red and when used for this purpose becomes little more than glorified food dye. It can also add sweetness and in this capacity is used just like simple syrup or even bar sugar. Finally, it adds flavoring, and this is where you'll want to put your bar chef hat on.

Since most people (especially in the U.S.) have no clue what pomegranate juice tastes like, most of us think of it as a cherry-like flavoring and this is how I teach people to use it. It works well in almost any fruit drink, especially strong rum drinks that need an extra bit of sugar to counter the alcohol bite. It is a classic addition to non-alcoholic sodas, being the main ingredient in Shirley Temples (grenadine and ginger ale), Roy Rogers (grenadine and cola), and cherry sodas (grenadine and soda water). And thinking in terms of cherry syrup, we see that it can add a "cherry on top" finish to dessert drinks like chocolate or cream-based cocktails. On that note, it's traditional to add a cherry garnish to most drinks that use this versatile syrup.

Episode 20: Hurricane

Anthony and Whitney mark the onset of storm season and pay tribute to New Orleans with a Hurricane that even FEMA can get right.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Cask-Aged Rums

Both gold and dark (or black) rums gain their color from aging in wooden casks, and this separates them from light rum which may be aged in stainless steel. Gold rum is usually aged in an oak cask and may have caramel color and/or spices added to it. Dark rum is usually aged longer than gold rum, and in charred barrels. In many bars, any rum that is not clear is referred to as "dark rum" even though it actually may be gold rum.

Dark rum has a stronger taste than gold rum, and may have a bitter note to some people. Because of this, I tend to use gold rum more frequently and often substitute it for dark rum in recipes like the Hurricane where the bitterness may be perceived as unpleasant in contrast to the overall sweetness of the drink. Although I personally like the taste of dark rum (and it certainly is traditionally called for in a Hurricane), I've found that guests are more likely to enjoy a drink made with gold rum.

Cask-aged rums, both gold and dark, are experiencing a surge in popularity similar to that recently enjoyed by high-end Tequila. It is becoming more common to offer quality rum straight on the rocks, or even neat. When you find a bar that serves well-crafted, cask-aged rums, take the time to sample a few and find out what you enjoy. Then have fun customizing your favorite rum cocktail recipes to match your taste.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

AOTD Select Bourbon: Maker's Mark

Some interesting facts that illustrate why we chose Maker's Mark as the Art of the Drink Select Bourbon:

Maker's Mark is the only bourbon distillery to use pure, iron-free limestone spring water exclusively -- not city, well or river water. Their source is a 10-acre limestone spring-fed lake at the distillery.

Maker's Mark is very choosy about selecting the grains that go into their whisky. First, they use yellow corn and red winter wheat from specially selected small farm cooperatives, all of which are located within the limestone geology near the distillery. This wheat gives the whisky its soft, mellow taste. And they only use naturally malted barley that has no enzyme-enhancing gibberellic acid. When the grain is delivered, they check it from top to bottom. If it does not meet their rigid standards the shipment is not accepted (and this really does happen from time to time).

Maker's Mark uses an old-fashioned rollermill to prepare the grain for cooking. While some distillers think this method is too slow and produces a lower yield, it'’s just fine for them. The slow process does not scorch the grain like a hammermill can. Scorching may result in a slightly bitter taste.

Unlike some other distillers, Maker's Mark never pressure cooks their grain. Any good distiller, or baker, can tell you that pressure cookers and high-quality soft winter wheat do not mix. By using an open cooker and a slower process that involves a lot of hands-on attention, they extend the subtle grain flavors into their whisky.

Maker's Mark is among the few remaining bourbon distillers that propagates its own yeast for fermentation with cultures that can be traced back to the pre-prohibition era. They also use the traditional sour mash method, similar to making sourdough bread, where the distiller always leaves over some culture from one batch to start another.

The distillery's rare cypress fermentation tanks are historically irreplaceable. Some of the planks are more than 100 years old.

Cypress was chosen for fermentation before modern stainless steel was available because it didn'’t contribute iron or taste to the final product. While it's not believed that cypress affects the process in any way, they continue to use some of these fermenters to give their visitors a sense of how the process used to look.

Maker'’s Mark is currently the only operating bourbon distillery to make whisky in batches of less than 19 barrels -- the traditional standard for small-batch whisky.

Maker'’s Mark double distills its whisky -- once in an all copper column still to produce what is called low wine, and again in a copper pot still to produce high wine. This added step removes impurities and produces a more refined sipping whisky. Their low wine is distilled off at 120 proof, while the high wine is 130 proof.

This is the lowest distillation proof in the industry. They continue this more expensive practice because it preserves the mellow grain characteristics.

Next time you're in Loretto, KY, stop by the Maker's Mark distillery for a tour -- they love visitors, and will even let you hand-dip a bottle of Maker's Mark into their trademark red sealing wax. And don't forget to tell them Anthony sent you!

Episode 19: Whisky Flip

Anthony and Kat kick off the AOTD Classic Cocktails series with a Whisky Flip!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Episode 18: Metropolitan

Anthony and Kat show you how to enjoy the Emmy Awards in style with a classic Metropolitan.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Friday, August 18, 2006

Episode 17: Snake Bite

Anthony and Kat get ready for the premiere of "Snakes On A Plane" with two versions of a Snake Bite!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Friday, August 11, 2006

Episode 16: Blue Motorcycle

As riders at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally show off their bikes, Anthony and Rachel show you how to trick out a Long Island Iced Tea into a Blue Motorcycle.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Monday, July 31, 2006

Episode 15: Cosmopolitan

As we enter National Admit You're Happy Month, Anthony and Melissa prepare a Cosmopolitan to help you better enjoy the coming weeks of bliss!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Episode 14: Lynchburg Lemonade

Put some punch in your next picnic! Anthony shows you how to make a Jack Daniel's-based Lynchburg Lemonade.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Melissa Cooling Off

Melissa cooling off and heating up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Episode 13: Wine Presentation

As the Tour de France draws to a close, Anthony and Melissa open a bottle of vin rouge and take the mystery out of tableside wine presentation.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Monday, July 17, 2006

Martinis 101

July 16, 2006
Interesting discussion from one of the Podcast Pickle forums; thought I'd add it to my blog for those interested in martinis:

Q: I was surprised you put The Godfather in the Martini category. It doesn't have any martini ingredients, and is most often served on the rocks, not in a martini glass. Admittedly, my knowledge of the bartending art is limited to recently attending a bartending school, and I'm guessing you bartend for a living, so smartenize me as to why that's considered to be in the martini class.

A: You're right in that a Godfather isn't made from the traditional, classic martini ingredients...but then neither are most traditional, classic martinis. (Up or on the rocks isn't a factor -- any traditional martini can be served either way, and frequently are.) The original martini is actually a vermouth-based (herbed wine) drink that had the sweetness cut -- or was "dried out" -- by adding some gin, usually 3 parts vermouth to 1 part gin. The idea was that the slightly nutty flavor of the vermouth and the juniper flavor in the gin would work well together and make a pleasing drink (which it did). Over the years, it became more and more vogue to use less vermouth and more gin, probably because it sounds cooler to order a "dry martini" (less vermouth) than just a "martini" until the standard recipe became 3 or even 4 parts gin to 1 part dry vermouth. That's pretty much as close to a "classic" martini as you can get, and here's where it gets confusing.

Enter vodka. Never meant to be in a martini, since it's basically just straight ethanol and as such only serves to increase the alcohol content of the vermouth with no flavor contribution (see nutty/juniper discussion above). But it looks like gin, and most people don't know what the difference is between the two, plus it's the most popular spirit in the US. So naturally it got mixed into martinis. As the vodka revolution gained traction, the vodka martini quickly outstripped the original gin martini in popularity until today when most people order an uncalled (no instructions like"dry" or "gin") martini they're looking for a vodka martini.

Oh yeah, and the dry thing kept moving as well, so that now a standard, uncalled martini in most higher-volume, lower-end bars is a big shot of chilled vodka with a dash of dry vermouth and an olive thrown in. No relation at all to the original drink.

So, what does all this have to do with the Godfather? Well, vodka wasn't the only evolution of the martini recipe. Keeping the gin and subbing out the vermouth with sweetened lime juice gave us the gimlet (which also can be made with vodka). Switching the olives with cocktail onions makes a Gibson (more history there, but too long for this already over-long thread). Whisky and sweet vermouth in the classic martini proportions (3:1) make a Manhattan, while using Scotch produces a Rob Roy (a dash of bitters can also be added, and the olives are replaced with cherries in deference to the sweetness of the drink). Finally, using amaretto instead of sweet vermouth in a Manhattan gives us a Godfather, and there we are.

All of the above (and several others) are considered to be "classic" martinis, the definition of which I teach as being roughly three parts base liquor (80-ish proof) mixed with one part sweetening liqueur (or wine or syrup or similar, 40-ish proof or less), chilled and served up or on the rocks.

Almost done here, but I have to mention "modern" martinis (cosmopolitans, lemon drops, chocolate martinis, etc.) quickly just to round things out. From a recipe and drink development standpoint, they have no relation to classic martinis at all, but they outsell them like crazy and are blurring the martini definition beyond recognition. The cosmo is probably the one that started it all -- it's basically just a Cape Cod (vodka, cranberry juice, lime) made stronger (less cranberry) and served up. From there bartenders (and restaurants) realized you could take any drink, cut the mixer(s), serve it in a martini glass, and charge quite a bit more for it. And the martini bar was born.

Modern martinis, then, have become any fairly strong mixed drink (usually made with no more mixer than liquor), chilled and served up in a martini glass (never on the rocks, or it reverts right back to a standard mixed drink). So we've gone from defining a martini by it's ingredients to defining it by its glassware. To keep the history straight (and also because it's important when developing new recipes) I always make a distinction between classic and modern martinis, and teach the definitions as I've presented them above.

Episode 12: Planter's Punch

July 9, 2006
Anthony raises a bottle of rum to the opening of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and concocts a Planter's Punch with Miss All-American North Carolina, Melissa!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Melissa On Her iPod

July 6, 2006

Melissa listens to some tunes on the set between drinks.

Episode 11: Bourbon & Branch

July 2, 2006
For the Fourth of July, Anthony introduces you to America's national drink the Bourbon & Branch, and July's Drinkart Girl Melissa!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Coming in July... Drinkart Girl Melissa!

June 26, 2006

Melissa gets catty with the camera at our latest Art of the Drink Video Podcast shoot.

Episode 10: Kryptini

June 26, 2006
Toast the opening of "Superman Returns" with our out-of-this-world Kryptini! Anthony and Rachel reveal the creation of this super cranapple martini with a touch of vanilla.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Episode 9: Sunset Pousse-Café

May 22, 2006
Midsummer is here and Anthony pays tribute with his spectacular flaming Sunset Pousse-Café! He and Rachel take you through layering and lighting a cordial.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 8: Godfather

June 13, 2006
This Father's Day, treat Dad to a classic martini built on the rocks. Anthony and Rachel show you how to make a bourbon-based Godfather.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 7: World Cup

June 6, 2006
Enjoy the World Cup games while drinking a World Cup cocktail - Anthony's tribute to the international soccer tournament! Anthony and Rachel will show you how to make this uniquely American rendition of the famous English Pimm's Cup.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 6: White Chocolate Martini

May 30, 2006
In honor of National Dairy Month, Anthony is going to introduce you to his delectable White Chocolate Martini as well as our new Drinkart Girl for June - the equally delicious Rachel!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 5: Beach Bellini

May 22, 2006
Heading to the beach for Memorial Day? Are gas prices making a weenie-roast around the inflatable kiddy pool look more likely? Either way, Anthony and Ashley will help you bring a taste of the Italian Riviera to your holiday with this jazzed-up version of the Peach Bellini.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 4: Holy Grail

May 16, 2006
Celebrate the premiere of The Da Vinci Code by embarking on a quest for the perfect Holy Grail! Anthony and Ashley will show you the secrets behind making this original twist on the classic Bloody Mary.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 3: Mimosa Royale

May 9, 2006
Mother's Day is almost here. Along with the flowers, why don't you surprise Mom with her new favorite drink? Anthony and Ashley show you how to kick up a Mimosa.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 2: Ginger Julep

May 5, 2006
Bet on an underdog this year in the Kentucky Derby. Anthony and Ashley have a twist for you on the always-the-favorite mint, a GINGER Julep.

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format

Episode 1: Mexican Mojito

May 1, 2006
Our pilot episode, welcome! It's almost Cinco de Mayo. Are you ready to serve your guests drinks? Or if you're going out, what will you order when you get to the bar?

Art of the Drink is the first video podcast to focus exclusively on bartending. Each week, viewers are treated to a new drink recipe including step-by-step instructions on how it's prepared. And each month they're introduced to a new Drinkart Girl as co-host. Subscribers can collect all the episodes and compile their own free bartending library!

Right click and "Save As" to download video | phone format