Monday, August 06, 2007

Cocktail Tips

When I turned 21, my parents paid for me to go to bartending school. (I was, after all, moving to LA to pursue a career in the dramatic and written arts...) I remember that the 2-week course was a lot of fun and full of information. (And, I didn't even yet realize I was a cocktail geek back then.)

I thought I'd share some quick-n-easy little reminders I enjoyed going over. (It's been a while...) For example:

Choosing A Garnish:
- If you are making a drink featuring a light liquor and light vermouth, you want to garnish with an olive. If using a dark spirit and dark vermouth, garnish with a cherry. If you're using a mix of light and dark, garnish with a lemon twist.

Less Is More:
- A champagne glass should hold only 3 ounces of liquor. A brandy snifter should hold only one ounce of spirit. And, a cocktail glass (ie: martini glass) should hold only 2 - 3 ounces. (Helloooo... Yes, I'm talking to you 10-ounce, $14 mocha raspberry "martini" makers!)

Off the Ice:
- Cordials and Liqueurs should be served "up," not chilled. Brandy should be served in a glass that has been warmed by running it under hot water.

Multiple Liquors:
- When using more than 2 liquors, use 1/2 ounce measurements.

I hope some of these prove helpful to you home bartenders (and possibly even a few pros...)

*Photo from Tales of the Cocktail, Courtesy of Autumn Boh


Deb said...

I wanted to be there!!!!! Very cool tips girlie. I love the whole cocktail vibe but lostly love drinking them! Let's do it soon!!

Michael Dietsch said...

Although my wife and I prefer a lemon twist over an olive in a gin martini (light spirit/light vermouth), the garnish ideas you mention seem like a good way to go when you're serving drinks at a party or bar and don't know your guests' preferences.

I'll have to remember that. Thanks.

Doug Winship said...

Pretty good rules of thumb, especially the one about cocktail size! Of course, my favorite libation (I won't name it but check my link, for those who don't know, i.e. most of you) checks in at 6 oz, after the ice gets shaken....
And the garnish thoughts are pretty close to my own, but I seldom EVER actually drop it in until I've brandished the produce in question at the guest with questioning eyebrow. Of course, I only mix in my own home, and for my friends. But I'm too sensitive to whiny little girly-types like me who never seem happy with the expected garnish!