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vegardkristiansen

the best cocktails for a small bar

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I'm a bartender who is working in a small hotel bar and i'm the one who's got responsibility to up the bar with some top quality cocktails. I'm really into the old ones from the 1920- and up. Not all the fancy cocktails, but the best.

Made with the best spirits and best fresh fruits, finest juices.. I need some ideas for the bar and what kind of spirits I should use. Vodka i clear, there i will use Belvedere vodka and Heavy Water...

And my favorite cocktails, like dry martini, vodkatini, negroni, cosmopolitan, lemon drop etc.

Give some inspiration for a norwegian bar...

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How much room do you have in terms of how many bottles you can accomodate? That will make a big difference in the range of cocktails.

The most common base spirits for quality old-school cocktails are gin, rye whiskey, bourbon, cognac and rum. Add to that some Cointreau and other liqueurs, a few different fortified herbal wines and several kinds of bitters and you're good to go.


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There was this drink that I saw somewhere and the basic premise was they used the classic italian dessert using strawberries, balsamic, and blackpepper and making a martini out of that. I thought it was cool idea. Sorry for being vague but the idea is there.

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i have very good limitations of what i can use. I'm pretty free on that area, i have room for 40 different bottles. And the kitchen can provide fresh fruits and etc.

Also wants some new cocktails to the list not just only the classic ones.

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There was this drink that I saw somewhere and the basic premise was they used the classic italian dessert using strawberries, balsamic, and blackpepper and making a martini out of that. I thought it was cool idea. Sorry for being vague but the idea is there.

I like the idea of mixing strawberry with balsamic and blackpepper... Have a herb garden outside of the hotel so can get some good fresh herbs...

Like to have the classic mai thai, i heard a recipie with 2 parts rum, 2 parts cointreau, 2 parts amaretto, lime juice and maybe there was more but i'm not sure. Garnice with some fresh mint.

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I need some ideas for the bar and what kind of spirits I should use.

The brand of the liquor doesn't really matter too much, as long as you have an understanding of what a good example of the spirit is supposed to taste like. If a person knows what a decent gin is supposed to taste like for instance, he'd know that Beefeater is a fine gin, but then so is Gordon's (but not Barton's).

The main reason people stock multiple brands is because customers are brand loyal.

*edit: Just saw your Mai Tai remark. :) Don't bother with the amaretto. ;)

Try this:

1 ounce aged rum

1 ounce Grand Marnier

1/2 ounce orgeat syrup

1/2 ounce lime juice

Shake with more ice than you think you'll need, and strain. Garnish with some mint.

The older the rum, the better. (The original rum used was 15 years old!) You can use other curacaos besides Grand Marnier, but make sure that they're liquor-strength! I don't know how things are in your area, but around here, there are a lot of low-proof liqueurs disguised as curacaos that are actually closer to being creme de orange.


Edited by mbanu (log)

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Hi Vegard! Welcome to eGullet and the Fine Spirits and Cocktails Forum.

Take a look through some of the threads in this forum and you'll find all kinds of cool drinks that are either old classics with a twist or new creations by some of the members here. Buy yourself some cocktail books and study them. You'll start to see patterns in the recipes and can then start tinkering with your own creations. Try anything and everything once to see what it's bringing to the party and then start combining things with the fresh fruits and herbs you have at your disposal. Get the chef to make you interesting herb and other flavor infused syrups to mix with. You can lots of fun with those!

[offtopic]I had a Skogkatt for many years named Oslowe. I miss him very much. He was really smart.[/offtopic]


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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If you are going to do Mai Tai's then stick with a classic formula:

2 oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton Reserve or Extra)

0.5 oz Cointreau or Orange Curacao

0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup

Juice of one Lime

Dash Grenadine (just for colour if using Cointreau)

Combine in shaker, shake and strain into rocks glass with fresh ice.

Don't use Grand Marnier, it's too sweet and throws the cocktail off. But this is a great cocktail to offer guests who like their drinks balanced, but strong.

Mix up some Sidecars, Corpse Revivers II, and maybe a champagne based cocktail.


Darcy S. O'Neil

Chemist | Bartender | Writer

Website: Art of Drink

Book: Fix the Pumps

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The size of bar really shouldn't limit you as to what you can handle. One of the smallest "bars" that I know of is at Milk & Honey in New York. So small that the bartender has no walking room at all. And they can make any of the classics.

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I agree... the bar is so small that if the bartender turns around with his arms too far out he would knock all the bottles off the shelves. I was there a few weeks ago with slkinsey and we had quite a few different drinks with very diverse ingredients and they made them all.

John

The size of bar really shouldn't limit you as to what you can handle. One of the smallest "bars" that I know of is at Milk & Honey in New York. So small that the bartender has no walking room at all. And they can make any of the classics.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Welcome, vegardkristiansen! Though you're a pro and I'm just a home enthusiast, your situation is similar in some ways to my own, as I'm trying to build up a flexible liquor cabinet by adding a bottle or two at a time of new ingredients within a limited budget. In doing so, I've found that cocktaildb.com is an excellent help, because it allows you to search on specific ingredients and produce a list of possible drinks that you can make given the availability of the ingredients you have on hand. It also allows you investigate other possibilities, enabling you to to target specific gaps to fill given your interests and existing stock. Most recently, for example, I've bought a bottle of Laird's applejack and Luxardo maraschino doing this, two decisions for which I am enduringly grateful!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Here is a link to the cocktail menu at The Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle. They make great drinks and have a wonderful list.

Zig Zag Cafe

Most of the recipes can be found atDrinkboy


KathyM

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Having a small bar is really not a problem. It just means you have to be very discearning about what you stock.

I would reccomend forgetting about flavored vodkas. Actually vodkas in general. Pick one and forget the rest. They take up so much room, bacause they breed like minks. Once you have one, the next thing you know you have _______peach getting dusty on your back bar.

It's eaisier to explain, to both parrons, and liquor reps, that you don't have any flavores, than why you have Ab Citr. and not Ketel Citr. If you disavow vodka in general, it makes it even eaisier. For the reason statede below. The endless complaints that if you have GG, why not Belve? Are enough to want to...

Most classic cocktails are gin, rum, rye or bourbon so get a good varitie of those and then, a wide variety of mixers like Mariscino, a good Cuacao, fresh fruit, ect.

Keep it simple. It's better to make one genere of cocktails perfectly than be all over the place, and do it half assed.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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A cocktail that has recently become big in london is a mojito. its base is white run and the condements are brown sugar, fresh mint leaves and lime wedges (squeezed into the glass before being added). some people top it off with soda water and some with lemonade. use crushed ice. serve it in a slim jim. its fabulous

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Omar, a bartender at Zigfrids in Hoxton London, gave me the basic recipe for an Apple Pie Martini. Has to be Bison grass vodka. It went something like this but you could experiment with sweet and sour mix

1.5 shots Zubowka Vodka

0.75 shots Goldschlager

2 shots freshly squeezed apple juice

dash of cranberry juice

Shaken with ice into chilled martini glass

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Thanks for all the good replys, I enjoyed reading everything.

For blending I´m thinking of using smirnof black, because we get a great deal from our dealer. Not that I like smirnof. For straight vodka drinks I use of course belvedere... My favourit brand.

Gin i'm gonna use tanquray for every gin drink... At this point I belive i'm getting very spoiled...

For rum Ron Anejo Pampero especial and another for pure rum drinks... It's very good, tasted the whole line yesterday.

For tequila i'm gonna use josé cuervo especial and josé cuervo reserva de la familia.

Whiskey is rather divided between the different areas of scotland, but i'm gonna have one bottle of Johnnie Walker blue label. Tried it yesterday to, and i learnd a very good way to drink it, first you drink some cold ice water to chill your mouth, keep it in for 7 seconds, then swallow, then drink the whiskey and you will experience the taste comming from inside your mouth and outwards. TRY IT.

Thats pretty much the base spirits i'm gonna have in my bar, still very unclear of the cocktail card, so keep it up and if you have a home made cocktail send it to me and I will try it out.

Ps. can anybody explain what Orgeat Syrup is? Havent heard of it before.... :) And Maraschino?

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If you haven't tried Hendricks gin, I recommend trying before deciding on a house brand. It makes a lovely martini. I haven't done a good comparison, e.g. side by side blind tastes of several, but it is my new favorite.

Have fun! And let us know what cocktails you come up with for your signature drinks.

One of our local restaurants, uses house made sorbet in a number of their drinks. This really makes their coctails stand out amoung the crowd!

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Hendrick's gin is my favorite gin; but it can be accused of eing a gin for people who don't like gin..

Blackwood's Gin is also bloody good.

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I tried out one drink last night, 1 tomato, some basel, black pepper, vodka i used stoli gold, fill up with soda water. Try it its actually very nice... I also tried it with some dark rum, metusalem 10 years, both were very good...

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Thanks for all the good replys, I enjoyed reading everything.

For blending I´m thinking of using smirnof black, because we get a great deal from our dealer. Not that I like smirnof. For straight vodka drinks I use of course belvedere... My favourit brand.

Gin i'm gonna use tanquray for every gin drink... At this point I belive i'm getting very spoiled...

For rum Ron Anejo Pampero especial and another for pure rum drinks... It's very good, tasted the whole line yesterday.

For tequila i'm gonna use josé cuervo especial and josé cuervo reserva de la familia.

Whiskey is rather divided between the different areas of scotland, but i'm gonna have one bottle of Johnnie Walker blue label. Tried it yesterday to, and i learnd a very good way to drink it, first you drink some cold ice water to chill your mouth, keep it in for 7 seconds, then swallow, then drink the whiskey and you will experience the taste comming from inside your mouth and outwards. TRY IT.

Thats pretty much the base spirits i'm gonna have in my bar, still very unclear of the cocktail card, so keep it up and if you have a home made cocktail send it to me and I will try it out.

Ps. can anybody explain what Orgeat Syrup is? Havent heard of it before.... :) And Maraschino?

Orgeat is an almond syrup. Mai Tai is the most famous drink with it. Maraschino has nothing to do with those horrid red cherries, and is wonderful and complex. many many drinks include it. Luxardo makes the best. i do belive there is a thread all about it. try a Casino. An Avation, with a couple of dashes of orange bitters. Yum.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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