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Is Bacardi the BMW of the Spirit world?

 I have had this funny thought trait... BMW had in the last couple of decades quite a lot of “issues” with real automobile fans. First of all they have sported more “fake air intakes” and “fake diffusors” and other normally functional performance design traits - which had literally no use except of let the car look sportier than any other automobile company known for performance cars. Also they have been further in the controversies with fake engine sound.  This is not clearly a bad thing; some people like the sporty design and if you are not a die hard automobile fan, you just enjoy the cars looking more aggressive. However for enthusiasts it was really a red flag. Apparently Bacardi is in a very similar situation.  Let’s face it: the guys at Bacardi know really what they are doing. Nothing is kept to a coincidence... everything is planned excessively (same applies to BMW). But these leaves a lot of enthusiasts cold - they are avoiding Bacardi as much as they can.  Personally, I am no
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One of the rare bar reviews: Satan’s Whiskers

 I have been to the UK - just a layover (and family meet up) from Dubai to my new work destination the Cayman Islands. And I had to visit at least one reputable bar in London - Satan’s Whiskers has been the most convenient... You can read sufficiently much online about the bar. It is low brow, versus high quality. But it is especially a bar which proofs, that you don’t need necessarily gimmicks and crazy presentations, to be rated one of the 100 best bars world wide. Could some Directors of F&B and other decision makers take notice? A bar doesn’t need to be a circus. It doesn’t need to serve cocktails, which dominate instagram for the next months. So: we came there and have been guided to a mini table for 2 - but we settled with the “host” on a table for 4 - and agreed, that we would relocate, if it would become busy. The room is unique (taxidermy) without being too creepy. It is actually quite an accomplished balance between authenticity, humor and comfort. Emilio (our “host”) sat

How to control - but not eliminate ice shards

  Warning: this is just an early thought process of a technique I like to develop. Obviously you can use it (please at least give me credit) - but this is not yet a proven concept. You have been warned.  I think it was in the “DIAGEO World Class” competition in Dubai several years ago (well - it feels like a life before - it was for sure before the pandemic...). We attendees were warned, that Simon Difford, who ought to be a judge, expects of all participants to double strain their cocktails - and that he would definitely deduct points, if a bartender would not double strain! I find these stance bewildering. Especially of a person who further dilutes cocktails (Simon Difford’s  original recipes often includes water) - which not only never really caught on, but really is a very strange thing. Don’t get me wrong, when I am in a jury and a bartender would do something unusual, I would also raise my eyebrows, unless the bartender is doing it deliberately and is explaining why is her doing

The Martini Cocktail - significance of the gin.

 I have just watched how Martini produces their vermouths. It is extremely interesting. I always thought, that the company is using extracts of herbs which they just purchase externally. However I could learn, that they are making their own botanical spirit and adding this to the wine. It is for sure different than vermouth producers which are aging the neutral alcohol (or the wine) with the botanicals - but the method is different - not necessarily worse.  However this video sparked a question to me: what makes a good Martini cocktail.  First thing (sorry Martini & Rossi) - is a good vermouth. While Martini Rosso is not bad at all - and their Riserva Products are even quite good, I wouldn’t really suggest to use the normal Extra Dry. The Ambrato? Maybe - or Noilly Prat. Or Dolin Extra Dry... But here is the thing: how much vermouth are you using? Now we are arguing since decades about the ratio. Bat you know, what we haven’t really put into consideration: the gin!  Look - it is no

Gin making - and the headache with the louche

So - I have just completed my first test batch of my “New West Africa Gin”.  The botanicals are quite unique - instead of other gins, which are “balanced” or have a rather citrussy and floral note, this is packed with spices...  As I used a ton of botanicals (but did cut of a small amount of heads and a generous amount of tails) the spirit came clear into the my distilling container - however then when I watered it down (to ca. 47% ABV) it just punished me with a solid louche. I researched in the internet, and most website suggested, that you have to cut of more heads and more tails or chill filter it. All of these things will result into a clearer spirit, but also with far less botanicals. I tasted the first 10ml of foreshots, and they were not “funky” at all - very solid - actually very good (despite of a really high alcohol content).  I made a “high essential oil” gin before (basically it was a dating gin - this is a story for another time...) and the gin was also cloudy. However af

Why inclusive employments are still problematic in hospitality

 So I have read an interview about inclusive employments in hospitality - and this had especially people with disability as topic.  While I 100% support inclusive employment I am also aware of the current status quo in hospitality. Point is, that hospitality jobs are still very tough. Probably tougher than ever. Point is, that the profit motive is as strong as ever - and from my perspective I haven’t worked in any place, where there have been a reasonable cushion of employees (meaning, sufficient employees, so you won’t have an issue when people fall sick or resigning (and you cannot find anyone immediately to replace).  Fact is, that inclusive employment works only, if you have a surplus of man-hours. And yes - it not only would enable being inclusive but also offering better training, happier employees, happier guests (which are served by happier employees) and so on. But as long as the profit margin is the only thing which counts, we are far away of being inclusive and it will never

How to calculate the right ratio of syrup to soda

Sharing knowledge - that’s why we are here… Have you ever wondered how to make a perfect forest berry soda? How much syrup do you need to add to get the right balance of sweetness and flavor? Well, I have created a handy google-sheets calculation that will show you exactly how to do it. Making soft drinks is all about ratio. You can’t just sweeten them by taste, because it won’t come out right. You need to follow a standard formula that ensures consistency and quality. The general rule is to aim for a 10:1 ratio of water to sugar, which means 10% of the liquid (by weight) should be sugar. However, this can vary depending on the type of flavor you are using. For example, you might want to use less sugar for sweet aromas like berries with vanilla (about 9%), or more sugar for spicy (e.g. ginger!), smoky or bitter aromas. Think of tonic water, which is one of the most sugary drinks out there - we are talking about up to 13% sugar content. But how do you measure the sugar content of your s