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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…
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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!

This…

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 …

Blue Bottle Gins

Yeah - I know - not the best or wittiest headliner.

Well - but here we are - talking about  those 3 gins, all of them coming in blue bottles: Bombay Sapphire, Star of Bombay and Citadelle.
However this won’t be a review - or an objective side by side comparison... just my impressions.





Bombay Sapphire:
I have got to admit, since Bombay Sapphire has been introduced, I actually liked it pretty much - and I can honestly say, that it has been one of my favorite gins. Probably you could even say, that Bombay Sapphire was the first gin, I’ve genuinely appreciated (and in those days, not a lot of people drank gin - nor where there a lot of options out there).
My appreciation took though a slight dip, when Bacardi took over the reigns and reduced “their” gin in most markets from 47% to 40% abv. In Dubai though, the 47% abv version is still used, which is fantastic. In this impression, I would say, that Bombay Sapphire is definitely in the top group of gins - it might be not as fancy, or nouveau…

The way to make better watermelon juice: leave the juice behind...

It would be overstated that I have been on a quest to make watermelon juice. I think too much of variety of juices is... boring and unnecessary. And I have had the stance: who needs watermelon juice anyway?
But here is the problem - even if watermelon is about the most horrible fruit based beverages you can put into your mouth (never tried it: but I guess that pruno cannot be much worse) guests are still ordering it. And I do think: WTF???

Let’s first of all understand why watermelon isn’t that great:

Ripeness: There was a “hack” which said, that you should get round watermelons (as they are apparently female and sweeter than elongated male ones), you should go for a brown and dried stem and not a greenish one (as the melon then was harvested ripe), and that you should use ones with big yellow spots (the watermelon lied in the sun - and the yellow spot supposed to be the place where it lied on the floor in the sun) and it should have some “spiderweb” like scars (I forgot the reason) -…

Is a warm Martini cocktail with 50-50 ratio still a Martini cocktail?

This post is directly related to the article: Are Martinis better at Room Temperature  ...on liquor.com.
To be honest, I was pretty upset and maybe slightly disgusted when I read the title. Because I know, how bad a drink can be, if the temperature isn’t right (that means extremely cold). When I though read the article through, I had a bit of an insight and I think, that it isn’t necessary wrong. Well - only one thing might be wrong - a slightly chilled drink, which has a ratio of 50-50 and has added water, isn’t necessary a Martini Cocktail anymore.
The question is that: what makes a (real) Martini Cocktail? Wait a minute - this was more of a rhetorical question. Or at least: think about a Gin Fizz and a Tom Collins first before you answer.
Not only the ingredients make a cocktail, but rather the (main) ingredients, its character, its size, its presentation (...). And especially when it comes to character, a warm martini wouldn’t be a martini.
Chacun à son goût. Personally I wouldn’t …

A Cock-Stock-Tail? The chicken infused cocktail

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I am not a big fan of using a lot of crazy ingredients. Well - this isn't completely true - it is more the random use of crazy ingredients.

Rizki, one of my head bartenders and me were discussing today the cocktail for a competition. He had the brilliant idea to use lotus leaf (which is very vegetal but rather very delicate) - and he also opted for gin and for pomelo.

We discussed to do a lotus leaf liqueur and use "soured pomelo juice" - and the whole drink supposed to be a type of collins.

It turned to be a pretty nice drink - however it lacked something special. It was all pretty bright, acidic and citrus'y - with underlying aromas of the gin (Bombay Sapphire).
So we discussed to use the peel of pomelo to enhance the lotus leaf liqueur. However this wasn't enough.
I don't really know anymore how it happened, but suddenly I remembered that Mezcal producer in Mexico are producing a celebratory …