Tuesday, April 26, 2011

English Rose Sneak Peak

Preview of my English Rose cocktail created for Drambuie in honor of the upcoming Royal Wedding. Stay tuned for the recipe!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Question from the AOTD Facebook Page

Q: Great videos man. I am going through Bartending School right now and I'm in the third day of a 1 week course. I don't drink (never have) so I don't know a lot about the different alcohols or the different tastes of liqueurs, etc. I have learned a lot from your videos in the last 2 weeks that I've been watching them (started before starting School) and I feel like I've learned more from your vids than I have in school.

What I'm wondering is, in school they give recipes for drinks but it seems every one of them is different with all the drinks. For instance a GODFATHER is 1-1/2 oz of Scotch, 1/2 oz amaretto in the manual, but I see you did one with Bourbon and it was 3 oz to 1 oz amaretto. Stronger drink? Bigger glass?

A: Drink recipes are just like food recipes: there are a million different ways to make meatloaf, and there are the same number of ways to make a Godfather. What you want to focus on is the defining characteristics of each recipe and then make the cocktail the way your guest likes it best -- which it's an extremely important part of your job to determine, btw.

The same way meatloaf has to have some type of ground meat (beef is traditional), a binder, and spices that are usually baked and sliced for presentation, a Godfather has to have some type of whiskey (Scotch is traditional) and amaretto that's usually stirred and presented on the rocks. After that, it's all up to the bartender. We've all seen meatloaf made with pork instead of beef, some chefs prefer tomato-based sauces, some like brown sauces -- hell, my grandmother used to put a hard-boiled egg in the middle of hers and my mom made hers with no meat!

I like my Godfathers shaken using about 3 parts Bourbon to 1 part amaretto, while you may prefer yours stirred with half Scotch and half amaretto. Don't ever let anyone tell you your way is wrong -- it may vary from more common recipes, but if you're making conscious choices (as opposed to just not knowing any better) then that's your recipe. It's one thing to be asked for a Godfather and serve up vodka and cranberry -- which would in fact be wrong because that's a different drink (Cape Codder) -- but it's quite another to offer a single malt and amaretto up in a martini glass, which is a perfectly acceptable variation as long as you let your guest know that's your presentation.

Again focus on the defining characteristics of each drink and why the ingredients work together, then feel free to riff on a theme. Newer bartenders often spend lots of time pointing disdainfully at other bartenders and crying, "Wrong!" though most people who've been behind the plank for a while will tell you that's the sure sign of a rookie trying to show how much they think they know. However, always be sure to defer to house recipes -- first and foremost it's your job to make drinks the way your restaurant/bar specifies.