Category Archives: WORK-RELATED
We have four new bottles we’ve added to our shelves!
•APEROL — Aperol is an Italian aperitif made from gentian, rhubarb, chinchona and bitter orange among other ingredients. You’ll usually see it stocked on a back bar sitting next to the Campari. Aperol was introduced in 1919 and has an ABV of 11 percent. The most well-known cocktail using the apertif is the Aperol Spritz.
We have several loose-leaf teas at the restaurant where I work.
A few weeks back I tested a tea simple syrup and yesterday I moved on to making cold-brew and using it as a mixer:
Thirsty for more?
— A nice rundown on the basics of cold brew tea.
— Info about which teas to use, how much tea to use, steeping times and more.
— A taste-test of cold vs hot-brewed teas.
— This one’s a quick read about cold brew tea.
— A “how to” about cold brew coffee.
— And lastly, the “Definitive Guide To Cold Brew Tea.” It’s a pdf document.
In A Cocktail:
The tea in the picture above is a cold-brew peach tea I made. The only things I added to it were lemon juice and simple syrup, though bourbon would’ve made a nice addition to it as well. The possibilities are as endless as however you might use iced tea out of a bottle or even flavored tea vodkas — make an alcoholic Arnold Palmer with limoncello or swap in some other flavored liqueur to suit your tastes.
I appreciate it when people appreciate the drinks I make for them, especially when they post about ’em on social media:
Later I made a “grilled” peach version of this drink with a smoked sugar simple syrup and a Laphroiag rinse.
The title of today’s post comes from a line that Russell Crowe shouts in the movie A Beautiful Mind.
Beer is beautiful all on its own, but sometimes it can benefit from small modifications.
There’s beer and shot pairings such as these, for instance. And then there’s beer-in-shot combos, like a half-pint of Cherry Wheat with a half-pint of Porter and an ounce of Jim Beam Black Cherry Red Stag mixed in with it.
There’s a crew of guys who sit in my section every Thursday night at the restaurant where I work, and they’re always up for experimenting with beer and liquor combinations. Sometimes one of them does the Cherry Porter which I just mentioned with Southern Comfort instead of the Red Stag.
With all of summer’s seasonal brews now readily available, the guys agreed to switch things up this past Thursday and we substituted Watermelon Wheat for their Cherry Wheat in their Southern Tier Porter.
A flavored Porter made with 21st Amendment’s Watermelon Wheat along with fresh watermelon and watermelon vodka.
•1 oz 3 Olives Watermelon Vodka
•6 oz Southern Tier Porter
•6 oz 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat
•1 Jalapeno slice (optional)
Cut up a watermelon into chunks and set the extra pieces aside. Put four chunks into a mixing glass and muddle. Add 1 oz of 3 Olives Watermen Vodka and fill the glass with ice. Shake the watermelon and vodka over ice and then double-strain into an empty pint glass.
In the pint glass add 6 oz of Southern Tier Porter and 6 oz of 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat. Garnish with a chunk of watermelon (or watermelon and a slice of jalapeno as we did for one of the fellas).
Of course, if you’re making these from bottles and cans of beer and not off the taps, it would just make sense to make two at a time!
I didn’t take any photos on Thursday night, so I done have any pics of the finished product… But if I make this again, I’ll update this post.
Note: If you come in to order this, we will only make it two at a time — so bring a friend.
Last night I was serving drinks with a homemade coconut mixer that I’d been working on throughout the week.
Now, I don’t usually close on Friday nights, but I picked up the shift (which was also our second week of Late Night Food that we’ve started doing on Friday nights).
One of the dishes our chef was serving was a surfer dog, which I knew about ahead of time and is partially the reason I started working on coconut cocktails this week.
With the Surfer Dog and coconut cocktails a part of Friday night, our owner picked up these tiki glasses and Hawaiian leis:
For the past few days I’ve been working with coconut milk at home, trying to get something worth using in mixed drinks at the bar.
I wrote a post yesterday about experimenting with coconut and wanting to find a substitute for store-bought syrup.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’d seen on Best Bars In America that at least one bar uses a mix of half coconut milk and half coconut water.
That’s half-and-half coconut milk and coconut water on the left, and just reduced coconut milk on the right.
I’m not completely sold on either of these. I don’t think they’re the answer. The half-and-half mix doesn’t taste strongly enough like coconut, and it leaves a chalky aftertaste in your mouth. Similarly, the reduced coconut milk doesn’t have enough sweetness and mixed strangely in cocktails.
I also made a simple syrup with the reduced coconut milk — not the half-and-half.
The sugar in the syrup brought the sweetness up a lot, but the milk also thickened when cooled — to the point of pudding and almost like Jello. I added a splash of coconut water and shook it vigorous and it works alright in drinks so far, but I’m not happy with it as a finished product.
Summer is starting to feel like it’s here and now that Negroni Week is over, my mind has started to wander toward tropical rum drinks.
At the bar where I work, we do a big trade in Mojitos every summer. We have a dozen different flavored rums… And we bring in watermelon every summer to muddle with the mint and lime. That’s easily one of our most popular drinks this time of year:
One thing which we don’t have at the bar where I work is a blender. Thats’s never really been a problem though. We are not a beach bar. We’re located in the city of Jamestown. And moreover, all those typical neon-colored cocktails served at beach bars are always so sugary and sticky sweet — which I’m guessing comes from all sorts packaged syrups and canned juices.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think there is a proper place and time for all that. One of the best drinks which my wife and I enjoyed on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic was something called a Miami Vice — which was equal parts piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. It was exactly the sort of thing we wanted at the time, while sitting by the resort pool looking at the ocean.
Aside from that there was a lot of straight rum and a local liquor called Mamajuana.
In the city though, those sorts of beach drinks aren’t an immediate “go-to” for us or any of our customers. We do serve plenty of rum drinks — like daiquiris, Hurricanes, fake Caipirinhas and Dark and Stormy by the ton. But without a blender, we’ve never seen need to bring in any cream of coconut — which is probably why anytime anyone wants anything with coconut flavor, that flavor always ends up coming from Parrot Bay.
So, yeah, that’s where I found myself this past week — with an interest in making tropical drinks that no. 1, aren’t blended and no. 2, don’t use Coco Lopez or any other store-bought syrup or mixer.
Add to all this the fact that a recent episode of Best Bars In America showed a bar which used its own house coconut mix — comprised of equal parts coconut milk and coconut water.
Seeing that half-and-half blend behind a high-end cocktail bar got me thinking about what I could do to incorporate coconut into our drinks (while still only shaking them and not incorporating a blender).