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Showing posts from October, 2012

Ridiculous Funny Beverage Commercial

Lets face it - Heineken is not a beer to be too excited about. However the commercials of Heineken are the best of the industry - you directly know, why Heineken is market leader - they have really a great marketing department.

Just have fun with this over the top, funny beverage commercial:


Quality of Juices

In Mixology, one thing is important to remember: the drink is as good as the worst ingredient. While we will come back on liquors [wines and alike] on another occasion, one often neglected component is juice.
In this post, we only want to focus on the sheer quality of the juice - not much on the respective characteristics.
Lets begin - shall we?

Lemon & Lime Juice: We are starting directly in the "danger zone".  Lemon and lime juice are essential for mixology. The idea is to utilize the acidity - the taste is secondary. Unfortunately lemons & limes are extremely sensitive as soon as they are extracted out of the fruit.  Processed lemon or lime juice [out of concentrate or squeezed directly but UHT treated] is unacceptable. They taste really bad - they are bitter, metallic and you can easily ruin any beverage with it. Commercial fresh squeezed lemon or lime juices are unfortunately not much better. These juices are so sensitive that after 9 hours of extraction, they o…

Fooderati - Blog Collection

While I was researching for the contact details of some regional bloggers, I found the website www.fooderatiarabia.com a collection of food bloggers - all located in the Middle East.

I actually sent on their facebook group a request [to be honest I was not expecting to get "invited" as I am writing most of the time about alcohol... not really an "interesting" topic for most of this community - but just today I have seen, that they introduced my blog on facebook.

Now I feel a bit intimidated, as I am occasionally a bit naughty on my blog- well you know - bartender naughty [and most of the food bloggers in the group are even female].

Well - let me try to focus a bit more on the technical, sensory and philosophical part of bartending and beverages [however we stay opinionated, shall we?].

Agreed?!

Ridiculous sexy beverage ad - this time funny...

This is so funny - I would so do it... enjoy!

Fine Dining is dead!? What about the "fine bar"? What are the bar trends?

I have heard it not the first time - fine dining is dead.
Well - Ferran Adrià closed El Bulli some time ago - not because it was not successful [we might consider, that El Bulli was the most successful fine dining restaurant, which was not in a metropolitan area]. I guess Ferran had still 20 to 50 people on the waiting list, for any diner he was accommodating. But he is also a person, who is strangely connected to trends [yes he is also a culinary trend setter, but to be a trend setter, you have to have a feeling for the overall crowd psychology].

In the current economical climate a fine dining establishment has a hard time: the US is not completely out of the crisis - still struggling - but Europe is even worse, with their Euro crisis - and Asia doesn't see the growth rate as previous years. A lot of people just don't want to expend that much for a single dining experience, when the times are unsafe - others don't want to show off, that they still have it and "are a…

The Old Fashioned

I had a look into my statistics - and it seems, that most of you, my readers, are interested in cocktail recipes.

My Mojito post is doing still very well in the hit-statistics - even more surprisingly - the post about the El Diablo is strong - actually the post with the most hits ever [of my blog].
So I decided to write up a post about my absolutely favorite. I think this drink is not only the forebear of all cocktails - it is also more than the king - it is the emperor of bar-drinks.

Check out the first quote in print which was published in 1806: "a mixture of spirits of any kind, water, sugar and bitters, vulgarly called a bittered sling."

Looks like an Old Fashioned - doesn't it?

But where is the name coming from. We can be quite sure, that there was in the mid 1800's a new breed of drinks coming up. Those mixed with wine aperitifs - which were most of the time vermouth.
The predecessors of Manhattan and Martini [or Martinez] were the "new fashioned" co…

What is the "best" spirit

In my old blog, I posted a long time ago some common complaints, when it comes to spirit competitions: usually the spirit companies have to pay for their participation [so small companies usually don't compete], they have also to offer their product free of charge to the tasting panel.
And to believe, that these competitions are independent, is analogue to the belief, that their is a tooth fairy.
And then there are so many competitions [it is a lucrative business to do this competitions due to the participation fees] and usually there is no clear winners but a lot of gold medals, double gold medals [WTF is double gold??] as well as silver and bronze and so on.

But even if everything would be utopian fair - there would be one point, which cannot be neglected:
it is quite easy to judge a quality of spirit - but to make a ranking is almost impossible [at least not a fair ranking].
It becomes obvious, if you just take a rather small category: Scotch Single Malts: there is a great &qu…

Modified Wines

We tried today the modified wines from the new Skylite menu, and I have to say, the idea was a strike of geniality.

We tried to boost the typical varietal characters of 4 different wines:

a chardonnay - which is rather balanced with lesser acidity and some poached pip fruit aromas - we infused this with roasted coconut, poached pears and vanillaa sauvignon blanc - which is acidic, sports greenish exotic fruits - we infused with passion fruit, rock melon and lime zesta merlot - which is round and mellow and has some berry aromas - we infused with raspberries, blueberries and vanillaa cabernet sauvignon - which is spicier and rich - we infused with allspice berries, roasted coffee beans and added some amarena cherry syrup. We poached the pears and vanilla in wine for the chardonnay and let it cool down - the other wines were just "married" with the other ingredients. Everything went then in plastic containers into the vacuum chamber, and Jowell the "chef de bar" vacu…

Calabrese's most expensive cocktail of the world

I am quite following the path of "Bartending Bushidō". It is a self-imposed code of genuineness mixology: keeping the quality high of every ingredient, don't follow every flashy trend, value the integrity of the ingredients, keep the recipes simple, promote a non-nonsense approach...






When Felix told me of his most expensive cocktail [back in the days, when he worked as manager at Skyview bar at the Burj al Arab] I was a bit skeptical. He was able to divert most of my skepticism, as he chose a very smart recipe - the Old Fashioned. Why did he not convinced me 100% about the drink? Well he chose to make a passion fruit sugar from fresh passion fruit, which I simply didn't found suitable...
There were previously a lot of attempts to do the most expensive cocktail - most of them incorporate a diamond in a glass of gin or vodka. Obviously this is cheating. Felix only cheated half - as the guest could take besides of a certificate to have consumed the most expensive cocktail…

Ridiculously sexy alcohol ads: this time rum

It's Cabana rum - and, I guess, there is not much more great things to report about it... other than the ad.










































I like bikini stripes on my rum...

Update: why I don't like flair bartending...

So I don't like flair bartenders, because nobody is talking about "a flair bartender" - the press as facebook, youtube, twitter talks about bar talents, barmen, bartenders.
And if it comes to one of the best barman talents, I definitely expect something else, than a flair monkey! I don't know this guy, but I guess, that he will be not able to tell me rum styles, the sub areas of cognac, the differences of whisk[e]ys (or why I do write it like that), or how long you should shake a cocktail and which is the target temperature of a proper drink!

While I do understand the effort and the massive training behind performing as a flairbartender, I am also questioning - what does this has to do with "serious" bartending? [ok - besides of the fact, that they are joggling with bottles and shakers... we might come up, with a completely new style of bartending, if pornstars are using bottles and muddlers, to do their "craft" - we can call it then: hardcore or…

World's 50 Best Bars list out

The world's best bars was one of the kick starters of my blog opinionated-alchemist.com.
There was quite controversy [lets not get back to it - opposite parties became friends and finally it is more than 5 years back] - the problem then was, that it seemed that the WBB were a play field for shady business practices of some bars and some personalities...

When Fadli, one of my previous bartenders [with one of the biggest talents] posted the new "list" of the WBB, I was sceptical and I anticipated again more then controversy...

However I was surprised. The bars all seems legit and deserve to be on the list. Like all Top-Anything-List you could argue about the places - which one is number one or two - which one is number 30 or 40 - but for me, this is not so important. It is essential, that this list makes sense - and it does!

My bars are not on the top 50 [if you would expect this]. With our new menu, I am sure, that we will do very well - but we are far away of the refine…