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Showing posts from September, 2014

"A rather small step for a cocktail - one massive giant leap for mixology"

There are things, which boggles me - basically these are first world problems, however it is annoying, that these problems are not solved [yet]. In the bar there are some points, which rob my sleep, when I think too much about it - but basically nobody seems to care: All cocktail glasses [speak martini glasses] in glass lines of reputable drinking glass producer are too big for refined cocktails [yeah I know, if you are living in the US or Europe, you might be able to buy vintage glasses...]. Glass washer of any producer doesn't clean [against all claims] glasses to a level, that you don't need to polish them anymore [which is more hygienic, more convenient and basically cheaper, as you won't have that much glass breakage]. ... Drinks made with egg-white smells after a short period of times [read seconds] like a wet dog. I have had a short discussion with Jeffrey Morgenthaler on his website [via comments] - but he didn't cared about this small hints, and ju

How to effectively clean bottles from labels

There are little and big hurdles, when it comes to modern bartending. Most bartenders, bar operators, managers [...] are not aware, that a new approach in the bar just need consistent new tricks and hacks to be not too time consuming. Unfortunately I feel often a bit left alone, when it comes to "develop" these hacks. Some of these hacks are discovered purely by luck, some are based on research and some or just common sense. Homemade liqueurs, infusions, syrups, need adequate and pretty containers. Honestly, it is pretty dumb, to buy those - as so many bottles are used and most are definitely useable. From wine bottles over to liqueur bottles and not ending with liquor [whisky, gin, vodka you name it] - after a bottle is emptied, the usual way is the dumpster.  But this is not only a waste but also bad for the environment. BUT - the big issue of reusing bottles are labels. My previous method was tedious - soaking bottles in water, stripping the labels [a fleck at

Advanced filtrations & infusions

To all of my regular readers - please apologies for my long silence. I am very busy at this point on work - regularly I had to sacrifice my days off, for the moment I am even sacrificing a lot of my spare time. A couple of months ago, I have bought a Büchner funnel and a vacuum pump. I tried it directly, but the filtration didn't really work well. Momentarily I am reopening our hotel bar [yes, it will be good] - but also the hotel lobby lounge - hence I've just did a couple of things. So I did [in my home "lab" / kitchen], Thai spiced syrup [for the lounge's cha yen], cinnamon infused vodka [for a housecrafted blend of bitters] and tarragon syrup. Tarragon syrup This took the longest way...  Blanch fresh tarragon in boiling water for half a minute or so [until the leaves are changing color to a dark green]. Put the tarragon into iced water until completely chilled down. Add tarragon into filtered water and blend until smooth. Strain I made f

The Aviary

I believe this is the bar at this moment, which is the very apex of mixology. For all bars - for all bartenders. Sure, there is Artesian and there is still Milk & Honey [NYC and London], PDT, Employees only, and many more. But Aviary - is something special... check this out: Having said, that this it is the top, I don't think, that The Aviary is a benchmark. Lets say it is a class for its own. Very much like Grant Achatz [the chef owner of Alinea, Aviary and Next] big inspiration: El Bulli, this bar pushes the limits, but also does things completely different. Comparing Aviary to a normal bar, is like comparing NASA with commercial aeronautics. Is it then the future? While I am very busy designing, testing, training new menus of the hotel, I am working - I can't deny, that I am pursuing more advanced techniques. But I believe, that there has to be a balance, between new technology and good old artisan crafting, gimmick and substance, seriousness and whimsicali