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Showing posts from September, 2013

Change - will the job as bartender disappear?

When I discussed on my last more substential blog entry - about the app-linked cocktail scale system, it suddenly stroke me: What if not only assisting technologies like this are popping up, but complete machines, which can mix beverages? Lets face it: we are in an age of self driving cars [ok, in prototype stadium - however driving assistants and self-parking cars are already commercial reality] - mixing a drink after a recipe is much less complex than, e.g. driving a car. And there are already numerous prototypes [e.g. here  or here ]. Usually these things are made by people, who really don't have an adequate knowledge of mixology or an understanding of the operation of a drinking establishment, to pull this off [they have the knowledge to solve the technical problems...]. Therefore the automates are not very… convincing. Trust me - the developments never stop and soon, bartenders might be facing systems like this: If these systems will be more adapted,

Agave infused tequila? Fail!

I was so enthusiastic about the agave infused tequila. But sometimes you have admit, if your ideas are failing- and this infused tequila just did. The tequila didn't got any further boost in vegetal flavors but got a weird astringency, which I haven't foreseen. However - it is not exactly back to the drawing board... Long time ago, I tried to make homemade agavera liqueur and it ended up to be much better than the original. With. Artichoke. Sounds funny, but then I have envisioned, that artichokes are having exactly the strong vegetal flavors, I searched for. And as artichokes are just getting into season (well at least they are popping up in the supermarkets again) it is just a great thing, which proofed toe work. So artichoke infused tequila it is!

strawberry-basil soda - to die for

I have had today a small promotion in the Ritz Carlton Club Lounge. We offered a couple of special drinks for our club guests. While it is a nice thing to do - you have to be very carefully what kind of drinks your offering - on one hand you have no proper bar set up. On the other hand, you might need to do a lot of drinks - so don't put yourself into the shit. I took the opportunity to promote La Baie Lounge styled drinks - and also I have proven the point, that with quite some mis en place, you can serve very fast, very good drinks - and this was also very important for me. One drink was a reconstructed pina colada - fresh pineapple juice, Matusalem platino and a hint of coconut [in La baie I thought to clarify the pineapple juice] topped with coconut espuma [made with coconut milk, lime and xanthan gum]. A lot of guest liked it and drink several of those. But the real triumph was a strawberry-basil soda. I served it as Gin & Tonic [added tonic at last] an

The Tom Basil Collins

People who know me, also know, that I am horrible in naming drinks. I hate "fantasy names" but the deriving names sound all a bit stupid. Like this here. A couple of months ago [when I was still working at the Yas Viceroy, duh], I was filmed by Perrier. I think, it went quite well... The only thing, which I would do different today is, to use the Soda Plus instead of the cream whipper. Please check out the post on their site  and off course the video... Enjoy!

This might be one milestone device in bartending - the Brookstone's new perfect drink system

Please disregard the horrible cocktail in the making on the picture . Well, I have kinda predicted and asked for it long time ago, still on my old blog. Using liquid measures is kind off... outdated. Then I was calling for digital scales to measure your ingredient. ( Guess what, Brookstone introduced one system, which goes far beyond a simple digital scale. Basically the system consists of a Bluetooth enabled digital scale, which hooks up with your Android or iOS device. Also part of it is an app which offers drink recipes, and measures live the ingredients you're adding. Truth has to be told- it was not yet tested. How good and accurate are the available recipes? Is there an options to define your own recipes (and is this easy to do)? Are the conversion from volume measures to weight accurate (problem here is, that booze, and especially liqueurs have a different weight than water)? These question

Is the creativity of the bourbon industry its biggest threat?

I read a lot about American whiskeys these days. And this is a good thing [except, that nothing new and/or great seem to arrive in the Middle East]. For such long time, which spans from the end of the prohibition [respective from the start - depending how you see it] until the early 2000's, American whiskey was quite a shadow - a side remark in the whisk(e)y industry. But now - it is talk of the town [even if it is not this town]. And bourbon and rye have all the right to be en vogue. The flavors are bold - but also absolutely stunning. The prices are compared to other whisk(e)y really accessible. There were so many great brands and bottlings which resurfaced after the millennium or new distilleries, which gain traction. However these days, it seems, that the American distillers are loosing their way and it just seems, that they try too hard. It started with flavored whiskey- while I absolutely love the concept [and house-crafted bourbon infusions can be really amazing], t

All what is wrong with this Blueberry Cotton Candy Martini

Today, I borrowed the awesome format from cinemasins   to review below youtube video. Off course, I won't make a voice over [but if you like, you could "imagine it"]. But otherwise - I count the sins. About the cocktail. And the video. So let gets started: Really crappy audio - quality! Really guys - do you make a promotion video with this audio and think, that people are sharing it??? Tbone Chophouse & Lounge? Who invented this name? Really? You like to open a successful restaurant and bar and call it Tbone Chophouse & Lounge? How original! You are not showing a couple of cocktails and food pairings. You are showing just one [in this youtube video]! T-time at Tbone Chophouse & Lounge? I crap by pants! Angie... obviously not hired due to her brilliant bartending skills! Angie... not being topless. C'mon! I am not sexist here - they are. But having Angie behind the bar with her deep cleavage and not being topless or performing a lapdance, is k

Fuller's 1845

For the moment I am examining the range of Fuller's beers. The whole range is now available in Dubai and due to the lack of real microbrews, I have no other option as inspecting the best compromises between uniqueness and availability. I came already across Fuller's before. They have a beer called ESB - an English bitter, which is really good. London Pride, will be the second choice draft beer at Library bar. While it is thankfully different than the usually very similar lager options in bars, it is not blowing me away. A adequate ale,with medium taste, I would say. I tried also the Indian Pale Ale and as the ESB, it is a bomb. It is concentrated as bitter (yeah, beer should be bitter, and not watery!). The Discovery Blond Ale was until now the most disappointing. Weak character in my eyes - well truth has to be told: against your pathetic volume lagers (pick what ever brand you like) it seems still a pretty good beer. But yesterday I've tried the 1845. This is a bottle con

More than 90,000 hits since August 2012 - Thank you so much my dear readers!

Just a short thank you note! I know, that some blogs are much higher frequented as this one here.... but I am still stunned. 90,000 hits - wow - this is like every citizen of a bigger town is reading your stuff. Within this year [yes - the opinionated-alchemist is much longer around than 1 year - however one year ago I changed the hosting to blogger - and due to the fact that it is from google, it is much easier to find from search engines etc], we had some ups and downs. The page started with 2000 hits per month - so went really up to consistently 6500 plus hits per month. Again - this is not much, if you name is Jeffrey Morgenthaler - but for me it is satisfying and great. I am not greedy. The lowest hits [after the beginning] was Winter 2012 - when I could hardly write up some posts - but then it followed a all time high in May in June - this year 2013 - which we reached more than 9000 people. For the moment it is again stabilizing at around 7000 hits - please spread the word,

Top 10 techniques of the modern contemporary bar

I do have for the moment quite regular with Scott Young, who founded and He asked me, if I have posted something about Molecular Mixology.  I did. But I picked out some techniques, which I think, make sense in good 'normal' bars. Sigh... some will know, that I am not that  keen on MM. But yeah, there are techniques, you can't really ignore anymore. Molecular Mixology in a pure form is in my eyes a dead end. The drinks are over-complicated, take too much time, they are fuzzy and its all surface. Yes, there are some successful bars, which are doing MM. But except of Tony Conigliaro's bar " The bar with no name", 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington and maybe Aviary in Chicago, I don't remember one. Let's face it - most of these bars repeating the few better known MM recipes with few variations over and over again. After I left, the folks over at Emirates Towers had a promotion of the  flown  in Antonio L

Great idea - moronic execution: oak-aged ice

I am really concerned, that some bartenders - or some people who consult in bartending {!!!} have no idea of what they are doing. And they have pretty no idea of food safety. Meet Chris of The Bar and Above: So what is wrong? Guys - if you don't know this, you should renew your hygiene certification! Microorganisms need only few things to grow - most importantly food, time and temperature [usually food spoilage bacteria needs also O2- but some dangerous gems are anaerobic - that means they can easily grow without oxygen].  Where are the bacteria come from? Well - from anywhere. A oak barrel is not really know as hygienic container and it is even not air tight. Also: you are filling the barrel - in which process thousands of microbes are getting into the barrel. Ouch! Food : Oak seen simplified is nothing else as cellulose molecules [yes, and a bit more]. And cellulose can be seen as long chains of carbonhydrates [in fact, they can be broken down into polysaccha