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Irish Whiskey - a small guide

So I went over my feeds on feedly, which are obviously quite beverage heavy - and an article off Bevvy caught my eyes: Best Irish Whiskey under $50.

Well - there hasn’t been any news for me (well - it is an average selection - though with mentionably a deserved first place: Red Breast 12 years old) - however in the descriptions, several issues (read: mistakes) caught my attention.

I don’t want to call out here - however I thought, it would make sense, to repeat the respective categories of Irish whiskey and explain a bit!?

So here we are - the “ultimate” Irish Whiskey Style Guide:

Irish Blended Whiskey Irish blended whiskey is almost the same as Scotch blended whisky - with 2 differences: a) there is an ‘e’ in the whiskey, and b) one more category of whiskey is allowed in the BLEND: Irish Grain WhiskeyIrish (Single) Malt WhiskeyIrish Pot Still Whiskey(and as non whiskey only water is also allowed)While Irish Blended Whiskey hasn’t been the original (authentic?) Irish whiskey…
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In the last weeks, I have looked into the concept of simple distillation apparatuses. Not the decorative ones (which are nice and maybe even functioning- but not really made for real use) - but for hobbyist stills like the AirStill.
 Let’s have a look at following video:

There is a lot, what you can learn out of the video... first and foremost: if you can make vodka in small scale, out of dextrose and special ingredients- which results in such a clean and pure product (given that it is true), and the bottle cost in the UK (where you have rather high overall prices) less than £1.00... what does the production of a commercial vodka cost??? A fraction of £1?? (Ok - plus tax... but still!!!).
Anyway- the video also gave me a lot of question marks: if you are going to the pain, of doing your own distilled alcohol, why are you using flavorings? I pretty much believe, that the spirit flavorings will be anyway useless. At this point there are a lot people, who want to tell you, that it is po…

Vinturi Cocktails?

Xmas 2017 - one more time an awkward Secret Santa event with work colleagues (it is not that I
don’t like to have Xmas parties with my colleagues or any F&B party - but Secret Santa or anything similar is just too much for me to swallow).

Anyway - I got from my lovely no more so Secret Santa a Vinturi wine aerator.
This device is just a shortcut of decanting wine. I think the problem with these devices is, that you still need to know wine. It doesn’t make “every wine” better - it just makes wine better, which fits into specific categories ( • red wine • rather young • close/unbalanced/harsh tannins etc.).

Check out this video, which explains better what it is:

Well - let me break the news for my colleagues first: I am not a wine drinker (in fact, I got a wine connoisseur set in my previous year’s Secret Santa as well...).

However the Vinturi wine aerator was actually a pretty cool gift - as it sparked an idea:

What if aerated cocktails are changing in taste?

I got the original ide…

Good Bye 2017 - Welcome 2018

A belated Happy New Year to all of you. There has been a lot of changes... I have got the feeling, that these changes will lead to a great year 2018...
First: I have left my position as Beverage Manager at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai Beach. Better said, they made my position redundant (we will see, how well this works out for them 😶). I am not gonna lie - I loved to work with my previous Executive Assistant Manager i/c F&B Isabelle. It was simply inspirational and we have had a lot of brilliant and at times borderline crazy ideas! However Isabelle left the beginning of last year - and nothing was the same again. Let me not get into this too much...
Second: Despite the fact, that I have had some offers as Beverage Manager again, I decided to go back into the operations - I am now “freshly appointed” Bar Operations Manager at Noir at the Kempinski Mall of the Emirates. The bar is beautiful, and had a short but somewhat controversial and very turbulent history. The idea is, to lea…

Organic & “natural” tonic water - a scam?

Gin is a big trend. And Gin & Tonics are pretty much the most consumed and the most popular mixed drink of 2017. As bartender, you won’t hear nowadays seldom, that a premium gin deserves a premium tonic. But how objective is that?

It might start with the gin. How premium is premium gin? If we are comparing quality gins with the so-called “new” premium gins, there is not much difference - sure there are a different array of botanicals used, there is a different alcohol strength - but there is no real correlation between price and factual quality. That doesn’t mean, that “your” Monkey 47 is anyway worse... it just means, that you cannot buy taste with money (well if you involve your perception: maybe).
But what is about your fancy Tonic Water?  Well - let’s face it: no beverage which is recognizable as “soda pop” can be made totally natural. Because if it is natural, it will taste like (cloudy) lemonade. Citric acid is made out of natural ingredients, but is highly processed:
The in…

Do not do that! - DO NOT POISON YOUR GUESTS!!!

Dear Bartenders,

Please do not make tobacco infusions! I am serious - don't do it - don't try it - do not think about it.
Tobacco contains nicotine. What is the big deal, you might ask? Nicotine is highly poisonous. There is not as much nicotine absorption when you are smoking tobacco - this would be rather save.  Chewing tobacco - has a higher absorption - but yet, isn't soluble in water (hence it is still "quite save").

On the other hand, nicotine is soluble in alcohol - that means there is a great absorption - and it becomes very very dangerous.

How dangerous, you might ask? 

Let me ask a counter question:

Would you make a strychnine infusion? Or a cyanide cocktail? Or an arsenic essence?

The lethal dose of strychnine (for a male healthy adult) would be ca. 100 mgThe lethal dose of cyanide (...) would be ca. 200 mgThe lethal dose of arsenic (...) would be more than 70 mg

While the lethal dose of nicotine (for a male healthy adult) would be ca. 60 mg or less!


What does it mean, to make the world best cocktail

I have heard many times, that this Martini, that Mojito or this Margarita is the best of the world. But what does this really means?
Let’s face it has been easy to do a better cocktail in the late 90’s or even in the early new millennium. You simply had to use proper recipe, fresh ingredients (I remember to have had many discussions with guests and other bartenders about, if a cocktail “deserves” quality and fresh ingredients - and a lot of people said, that it is “waste” to use good ingredients in a cocktail) - and you usually made it already onto a list. Nowadays it is far more difficult - because there are a lot of bars, which are using the freshest ingredients, quality spirits - often even premium spirits.
So how can I make the best cocktail then?
Please understand, my Padavan, that you are asking the wrong question...
There is nothing such as the best Mojito, the best Margarita and so on.
Point is, that “the best” is not very objective: Is it the most popular?Is it the best rated …