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Ginger Ale and the issue of subjective vs objective reality.

It seems that the titles of my posts become more and more elaborate. But you have got to understand the background: I have posted a post - and a video, where I made ginger ale. I have to say, this ginger ale rocks - I still stand to my recipe. However there is a point, that we believe that in the past, everything was produced more “rustic” and more “naturally” - and I also assumed it.  Apparently the opposite is fact. Especially when it comes to sodas - the “ soda jerks ” in the 19th century and the early 20th century were mainly pharmacists, who didn’t used natural ingredients, but rather used chemistry, part was still big companies are using for their highly processed soda syrups - partly which is no more allowed, because it was either way dangerous and poisonous, highly addictive or both (the conspiracy that Coca Cola contained cocaine is not totally wrong). My friend Darcy O’Neil who thankfully isn’t only a good bartender, but also a soda historian and chemical research analysts ha
Recent posts

Let’s learn how a chamber vacuum sealer works...

When I got my chamber vacuum sealer, I was surprised, that it is not as straight forward as the household "sucking" vacuum sealers.   I know, that a lot of home-cocktail enthusiasts really don't have access to this technology - however a lot of bartenders read my blog, which work in professional environments - and most hotels (and a lot of restaurants and bars with kitchen) just have chamber vacuum sealers. Hence this blog post is dedicated to those.  I cannot give perfect instructions - because a lot of chamber vacuum sealers are a bit different - and also any different product you like to vacuum seal is different. But understanding the settings, will help you to come to a far better result! Functional principle This information is pretty available in the internet - but I repeat it to be a slight more complete guide. A suction vacuum sealer is sucking out the air from the bar. Obviously this has the disadvantage that liquids are also sucked out. Depending on your vacuum

10 Points to make next level 0º cocktails

  The good news:  Alcohol-free spirits have arrived. The bad news: The average quality is still very questionable - and supply is not yet globally consistent. Living in the Middle-East since 2005 made me pretty resourceful. It is not that alcohol is banned in the UAE - but it is limited. That means, you might not get your Ancho Reyes - or other stuff.  Things became much better - until the pandemic stroke. It isn't as bad as 2005 - but it is also not great with the alcohol supply here. As distillate connoisseur this might be an issue. Except that you could do an  ∞- whisky or (at least in a bar) could experiment with finished whiskies (have done all of it), you have got to keep your eyes open, when there are a bit more interesting spirits coming ashore for a rather short time (e.g. special imports etc.).  But for cocktails - you could do a lot. I would even say, that the limitations I have been exposed to  made  me a far  better bartender* . With alcohol-free spirits it is nothing

if you want to learn about bar related stuff- don't be inclusive...

 I have just watched "How to Drink" - the rum episode. What though came to my mind is: we are learning and categorizing wrong.  The problem is, that we are looking at the greatest common denominator. But this might confuse us or is even misleading us. For example rum: yes - mostly it is taught, that rum is made of sugar cane or  a sugar cane product. But really - most rums are made from molasses. The few exceptions are Rhum Agricole (which you could argue is a category itself and not passé a rum) and few brands which are made from sugar cane juice. Please note, that cachaça is not  considered a rum! The "Brazilian rum" moniker doesn't come from the Brazilians (because there are real  rums made in Brazil), but from the 20th century US bureaucracy, which needed to categorize cachaça and "didn't wanted" to give it its own category. The rums (except of rhum agricole) are made from countries which are not typically producing rum and don't have speci

Quicky: Budweiser Zero - WTF

 Ok - just a quick post here. I tried Budweiser Zero. No - lets rephrase it: I drank it, because I got it as sample, but didn't expected anything. However: it is actually pretty okay. And here is the kicker: I never liked Budweiser - and really reject to drink it - but Budweiser Zero taste to me far better than its alcoholic siblings. Look - I don't want to lie- it is not a craft beer (nor an alcohol-free craft'y beer). But compared to the normal Budweiser, I didn't tasted any off-flavors. It is a very light beer, which taste like it. And to be honest, I even could not make out, that it was alcohol free. There are many alcohol free beers, which might taste better - bigger aromas and flavors - more bitterness and so on. But you mostly directly detect, that it is alcohol-free - you just taste it. But Budweiser Zero? It is tough to tell - it could be very much a light and low alcoholic beer... So... would I drink buy it for myself? Absolutely. I would probably put it into

Top Bar & Beverage Trends 2022

Do you have also the feeling that last year passed light-speedy fast?  And to be honest,  there hasn't been a lot of room for trends to stick - except everything related to the pandemic (we are talking about take away, in different iterations, ghost kitchens and so on). I try not to go too much in this trends and stay with true beverage related trends (products and all) - if you are interested, let me know, if you like to see another article about trends, which are more venue related... So which trends can we predict for 2022? Alcohol-free spirits This is a big one. It seems to really penetrate the market. Even here in Dubai - even the major supermarkets start to carry those spirits. I do think though, that there is definitely a lot of area of improvement. Some products are good (e.g. gin) - some are simply not enjoyable (until now I could only try one "0º Whisky which was simply disgusting! Alcohol-free spirits are changing totally the paradigm for alcohol-free cocktails. 

The "Ainar" Daiquiri

In the last year, there has been some change in my life. This isn't so unique - as the pandemic has been challenging for most of us. While the bar was closed and I have been on unpaid leave, I left "my" hotel and joined an independent restaurant (new opening) as GM.  Unfortunately this didn't worked out very well. Hence after half a year I left (close to be totally burnt out) and rejoined my "old hotel" - now not anymore as Bar Operations Manager, but as Beverage Manager. Besides of "hanging out" in the evening behind Noir (again - now even with more emphasis) - my duties are also updating the beverage lists of the other restaurants. The cocktail discussed is for the Levantine restaurant. Now the Levant is the area on and around Lebanon. This area is rich of culinary culture and traditions - but not so much of alcoholic drinks (and yes - Lebanon is a great wine producing country - and they also create arrack... and: especially Beirut is known for t