Come and see us. Browse pages and pages of our vintage 1940's Bartenders' Guide to find popular Cocktail recipes from the past, or for inspiration to create your own!
so what is mixology?
It is the art and craft of mixing drinks and making cocktails. And a Mixologist is someone who is skilled at this. (i.e.Bartender or Bar chef) In today's culture, the difference between a bartender and a mixologist is that a mixologist tends to focus specifically on the art and craft, studying the classics, concocting imaginative cocktails or exotic mixed drinks, and experimenting with lesser known spirits and varieties of alcoholic beverages in general. A bartender needs to have a variety of skills: knowledge of both common and popular mixed drinks; quick on the draw; congenial personality; and general knowledge of how to tend a bar.
Distilling the Mystery
When to shake a cocktail: Depending on the ingredients, shaking often creates a cloud or foam at first, but will settle after straining or sitting for a minute. Common practice is to shake a drink when ingredients include fruit juices, sour mix, crème liqueurs, simple syrup, egg or dairy products, or any ingredient that has a thick texture.
When to Stir: Stir a cocktail when you want to gently combine ingredients in a cocktail, or to slowly add the exact amount of a particulate spirit or splash of water. The rule of thumb is stir when distilled spirits or light mixers are used, for example gin or whiskey cocktails, so as not to "bruise the more delicate" spirits. These cocktails are often served with a sip stick for gently stirring while sipping the cocktail.
Muddle: A muddler is a pestle (think mortar and pestle), either made of wood, stainless steel or plastic with teeth on the bottom, shaped like a baseball bat. By pressing and mashing ingredients in the bottom of the glass with the larger rounded end of the muddler it extracts the flavors and liquid from the ingredients. Use the smaller (often) flatter end of the muddler to stir and combine the ingredients. A wooden muddler is gentler and should be used to muddle more delicate ingredients such as mint and other herbs. Use the plastic muddler with teeth for fruits, thicker, more resistant ingredients.
How to Roll a drink: Fill one glass with ice and liquid ingredients. Pour the contents of this glass into another mixing glass or shaker, and then return the contents to the original glass.
This method is traditionally used for drinks that are large volume with few ingredients such as Highballs or Screwdrivers. This technique may take a little practice, but it gently combines ingredients with less exposure to air or melting the ice.
Building a cocktail directly in the serving glass: When you carefully pour ingredients into the serving glass to create a layering effect it is important to understand the "weight" or density of each layer. The heavier the ingredients the more they will sink toward the bottom. Ingredients such as fruit, sugar, creams add to the density of the layer. Follow the cocktail recipe layering in the order it is given. Or create and experiment to invent your own! These drinks can be as beautiful to admire as they are to consume. Real attention-getters.