Drink basics and the tough way to become a master

So many opinions in the last posts...  so less info. This has got to stop [not really] - though I am willing to increase the ratio between knowledge and opinion here. Well - opinionated knowledge... whatever.

In one of my last posts I've adored the 85 years old Jiro Ono, who is a real master of his trade - and one of the first chefs, who received 3 Michelin stars for a sushi restaurant.

Mastering bartending [or better said mixology - because in this context it is the right word] doesn't start with a lot of creativity. It starts with the basics.

Naturally you have to understand each and every ingredient - from spirits, over wine - especially fortified wines, essences, bitters up to juices. You have to understand the mechanics behind the different preparation methods, different glasses and different ice shapes.
But it is especially important, to understand classic drinks.

If you are looking at the culinary wizards - be it Ferran Adrià, Heston Blumenthal or Gordon Ramsey - all are usually referring their dishes to classics. And the more avant-garde the dish is, the more important it is, to have a traditional dish aligned to it. Guests like to have new experiences - but they don't want to be alienated.

I think in mixology it is even more important to have a reference point. Yet most bartender, especially the young ones, don't know or don't understand heritage drinks - this is not only a pity, but also drags the whole bar industry down.


It is not only important to know a couple of classic drinks, but rather the categories and what brings the drink into the respective category. Please get to the upcoming posts, to read about the different drink categories...

Drink Categories I
Drink Categories II

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