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Fat Guy

Bartending guide for the perplexed

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Looking at the ingredients, I noticed that they use the "dreaded" high fructose corn syrup, but I'm not sure what effect that has on the flavor.

Maybe that is my aversion to it. Great little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant with a great menu of slow cooked, roasted meats and homemade this or that, but awful Margaritas. They were mostly Rose's lime juice and the stuff coated my mouth and throat. After that, I just can't look at that little bottle of lime goo in the same way again. :rolleyes:

However, when faced with the dusty bottle in the corner of my counter and not having any limes in the house, I'll use the Rose's out of despiration, but with the precision of any eye dropper! I plain old hate the stuff akin to my thrill of having to clean out the cat box.

I would be most interested in anything that Steven experiments and shares with us as an improvement. :cool:

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Oh! Something one of my homemade cordials and infusion recipe book suggested: glycerin was optional and provided added mouthfeel. I'll have to hunt that book down to whomever I last loaned it out too. :hmmm:

Maybe a part of the Rose's experience?

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Finally, another recipe for you to try:

Last summer, during the heat wave and power outage over the 4th of July, my brother introduced me to Mount Gay (Barbados) rum and ginger ale (he and his friends just refer to it as a Mount Gay and Ginger)--in a tall glass, over lots of ice, and with a squeeze of lime.  WHOO HOO!  Great summer drink.  When I brought a bottle of MG to a party later in the summer, everyone looked at me like I was nuts but after tasting my drink, we went through the whole bottle that night!  Give it a shot when the weather heats up and let me know what you think!

Curlz

I hope it's not obnoxious to quote myself, but since I had mentioned rum and lime in combo with ginger ale, thought I'd remind you of this, Steven. Makes me wish for 90 degree temps!! :biggrin:

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Okay, folks...since I have accesss to MY expert on all thing libationese (!)--that's my Dad--a wine and spirits industry vet and insider for 50+ years, and a member of the Soc of Wine Educators. I just read some of these posts to him and he has whipped out a STACK of bar guides/bibles, etc. Among them:

1912--Bartender's Guide by Wehman Bros.

1937--Mine Host's Handbook

1940--The Host's Handbook from the Natl Distillers Prodcuts Corp

1943--Cocktail and Wine Digest/The Barmen's Bible

by Oscar Haimo, Pres of the Intl Bar Managers' Assoc.

Got questions? I'm here 'til Sunday morning!

Curlz

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Oh!  Something one of my homemade cordials and infusion recipe book suggested:  glycerin was optional and provided added mouthfeel.  I'll have to hunt that book down to whomever I last loaned it out too.  :hmmm:

Maybe a part of the Rose's experience?

Could be. It's one of the ingredients in Fee's Peach Bitters, and I'm pretty sure I remember doc mentioning it in the context of one of the orange bitters (bitterses??) in his collection. Not sure why you'd want the extra - what? viscosity? water retention? - in bitters, but there it is.


Edited by balmagowry (log)

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Personally, I hate Rose's

Again, I'm with Beans. Despise the stuff. Don't even keep it in my home. I've never tasted a drink made with Rose's that didn't taste better with fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

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Since his recent Q&A piqued my interest in acquiring another Gary Regan book, I picked up a copy of The Joy of Mixology the other day. Although there are things in there that will be of little interest to the amateur cocktail enthusiast, I thought it would make a great resource for beginners who have maybe one or two cocktails they like and want to branch out. To this end, there is a series of very interesting charts in the middle of the book where cocktails are grouped according to certain styles ("New Orleans Sours," "French-Italian Family" and so on). So, someone who really likes Cosmopolitans, for instance, can see that it's a "New Orleans Sour" made with citrus vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. Something closely similar would be a Rosebud cocktail made with grapefruit juice instead of cranberry. Or, moving a little further away but still closely related would be a Footloose cocktail, made with raspberry vodka, triple sec, lime juice and Peychaud's bitters. One could move from these vodka-based drinks to NO Sours with other base liquors, like the brandy-based Sidecar, the rum-based Mount Gay Rumrita or the Gin-based Pegu Club Cocktail. All told, around 25 other drinks which are fundamentally related to the Cosmopolitan to one degree or another.

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There does not appear to be a professional standard for this, so I have tried to reason through what the preferred method might be. I have been playing the shaker thingy, just with ice and water, and I have developed some theories about the positioning of the parts:

- Given that the idea is to form a seal by contraction of the metal part, logic dictates that one should not build the drink in the metal part. The metal part should be ambient temperature and the ice and ingredients should be in the glass. When the two are combined, the seal should form instantly as the temperature of the metal is driven down.

- For a similar reason, when beginning the shake, it would seem to make sense to start with the glass standing up, place the metal part over it, and then quickly invert the whole package and then right it back up while applying pressure. Bang! You have a seal.

- In addition, because the glass is smaller than the metal part, there is no risk of overflow if you build the drink in the glass.

- At least insofar as the spring strainer I have is concerned, it fits much more nicely into the glass part. The glass part is also much more pleasant to hold -- the metal gets uncomfortably cold. So I am supporting the pour-from-glass theory.

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This won't be the first time people have said of me "We've created a monster!"

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This won't be the first time people have said of me "We've created a monster!"

Was the first time what your parents remarked upon being told they had a healthy baby boy?

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Dude... the next time you come over, I'm making you an Aviation. I'll make a gin drinker out of you yet. I didn't have any maraschino liqueur, so I used gin, Cherry Heering and lemon juice. Great drink! AND I think I got the last two bottles of Cherry Heering in Manhattan.

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Dude. You're not going to make a gin drinker out of me because gin tastes like shit. But you can make me that drink with vodka anytime.

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I did a bit more experimenting this morning with the Boston shaker. Perhaps this is not a relevant piece of advice for a working bartender who needs to move quickly, but for someone mixing a drink at home the 10 seconds involved are no big deal.

The seal is created by contraction of metal due to cold. The seal is loosened if the metal expands. If you simply place the Boston shaker on the counter glass side down, the cold liquid and ice settle into the glass part, leaving the metal part to warm up rapidly.

Count to 10. In my tests this morning, the metal part lifted off with very little effort.

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FG... on using a Boston Shaker...

Your general experimentations get pretty close to the right way to do this, but perhaps not quite for the right reasons :->

You should add the ingredients to the "glass" part of the Boston Shaker because it helps you see what you are doing, and the amounts you are using.

When you "shake" the shaker, you should do so with the glass part on top, and the metal on bottom... and most importantly you should do so in an over-the-shoulder style. This is so "just in case" the seal actually breaks while you are shaking, you don't give your customer a shower.

I often see folks having trouble breaking the seal on a boston shaker. Sometimes even resorting to tapping it on the edge of the counter (a big no-no!). Myself, I learned some basic physics that always works for me. Once you are done shaking, and ready to break the seal, look at the two shakers, and notice the side which the glass is "leaning" toward. give a firm tap with the heal of your hand on that side, right where you think the glass rim is probably making contact with the metal. The "opposite" side, being already angled up, is just begging to open up, and so your gentle nudge is all it needs.

When you "Stir" a drink, you do so in the glass part of a boston shaker, since after all this is where you were adding your ingredients, and so when you pour the drink out, you also do so from the glass part.

When you "Shake" a drink, and just broke the seal on the shaker, all of the ingredients are already in the metal part (it clearly doesn't make sense to break the seal with the glass part holding the mixture). So it is best/easiest to pour the drink from the metal part.

As for straining... there are two types of strainers, a "Hawthorn" strainer, and a "Julep" strainer. The Hawthorn is the common type with the spring around it. A properly made one should fit "perfectly" in the metal part of the boston shaker, but needs to be "pressed" into the glass part. In fact it should "pop out" of the glass if you remove your hand from it. A "Julep" strainer is a much simpler style, essentially a mini colander (albiet much flatter). It will "fall into" the metal part of a boston shaker, but when placed in the glass, it will set nicely in place. The Julep strainer doesn't work well at all on the metal part of the boston shaker, but in a pinch a Hawthorn strainer works perfectly fine on the glass part.

So the general rule of thumb is that a stirred drink is strained with a Julep strainer from the glass portion of a boston shaker, and a shaken drink is strained with a Hawthorn strainer from the metal portion.

-Robert

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The seal is created by contraction of metal due to cold. The seal is loosened if the metal expands.

Notwithstanding the fact that your "10 second rest" method works, I don't think it's entirely for the reason you think. AFAIK, the seal is formed between the two parts because of the rapid cooling from shaking. Not only does the liquid in the shaker cool down, but the air cools down too. Knowing our friend Robert Boyle and his Law, we know that the pressure of the air will go down when it is cooled. This "negative pressure" is what causes the seal, rather than the metal of the Boston shaker contracting and forming the seal. The metal part may contract slightly, but this is due to the flexibility of the metal reacting to the difference in the internal and external pressures. Occasionally the cap on a three-part cocktail shaker will "seal up" for similar reasons. My guess is that the "10 second wait" method works because the gas inside the shaker warms up enough to weaken the seal within 10 seconds.

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So, any new cocktail experiments, FG?

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Gary Regan has a nice article about cocktail basics in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Cracking the bar code, Gary Regan

...I took it upon myself to teach Lee some barspeak. It's not a foreign language, and nigh on anyone who arms him- or herself with just a handful of common terms can impress friends and colleagues, and perhaps more importantly, find themselves making educated decisions when asked if they'd like their martini shaken or stirred. You game for a short course?

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