Cocktail Hacker

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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Will you Nail or Will you Fail?

Posted by Reese On April - 9 - 2012

I’ve gotten to do some cool stuff over the years being a cocktail hacker.  I’ve been to Tales of the Cocktail (hopefully not the only time), I’ve been to exclusive tastings, I’ve been invited to distilleries, but last week I had a first, I was invited to be a judge for the Drambuie Nail or Fail Bartender Showdown.  Very many thanks to Cynthia, Anthony and Christina.  It was great getting to be a cocktail geek with you all.

The party itself was epic.  Eight local bartenders mixed up original, Drambuie inspired cocktails for the crowd and Drambuie also served up some of their classics.  I think Drambuie is one of those ingredients that gets passed over more than it should.  Sure, you know where to go when you’re looking for a rusty nail, but there are so many other applications.  Drambuie can truly be a blank slate for a whole range of flavor profiles and the bartenders showed that with ease.  We had a couple sours, a riff on the Old Fashioned, an incredible play on a grog and the winner, a cocktail that was reminiscent of a Manhattan with notes of bitter, sweetness and deep complexity.

I don’t have those recipes just yet, but with summer fast approaching, I will share a refreshing recipe from Drambuie’s team, the Drambuie Fizz.  This drink is deceptively simple but really delicious.

Drambuie Fizz
1 1/2 oz Drambuie
6-8 Lime Wedges
Club Soda
1) Muddle the lime wedges in a rocks glass
2) Fill with crushed ice and add Drambuie
3) Top with soda and a lime wedge

What I really want to share this time isn’t recipes though, it’s tips for entrants in cocktail competitions.  Sure, I don’t have hundreds under my belt, but I think I’ve got some pointers that’ll be valuable.

1) It doesn’t matter what brought you to the competition, remember that you’re representing both yourself and your establishment.  Always put your best out there.

2) Presentation in the drink matters as much as, if not more than, your presentation in making the drink.

3) Make the contest ingredient the star.  Sure your housemade bitters are great as are the unique ingredients but the contest ingredient has to shine, that’s the whole reason you’re there.

4) Vet your recipe to anyone who will taste it for you.  Friends, long time regulars, family.  Then, once you’ve got it nailed, stick to the recipe.

5) Make your recipe appeal to a wide audience.  I love crazy flavors as much as the next cocktail geek, but does that guy that just walked into your bar for the first time?

6) Garnish! For the love of god, it finishes your drink.

7) Complexity doesn’t equate to superiority.  Sometimes the simplest cocktail is the best.

8) Have fun.  At the end of the day, you’re getting to mix great cocktails for people who are really going to appreciate them.  Enjoy it.

What I’m Drinking Now: Kiwi Caipirinha

Posted by Reese On March - 13 - 2012

This is another great recipe that Elisabeth found.  This time from Sunset magazine.  It’s just as simple as the classic Caipirinha with the addition of some kiwi chunks during the muddling stage.  The flavor is crisp and delicious with the kiwi flavor solid and harmonious with the lime and cachaça.  Well done, Sunset.  This is fantastic drink.

Kiwi Caipirinha

Kiwi Caipirinha
1/2 Lime, Quartered
1 Kiwi, Chopped and Peeled
2 oz Cachaca
2 tsp Sugar
1) Muddle kiwi, lime and sugar until sugar is dissolved
2) Add cachaça and cracked ice
3) Stir until well combined

I’m Not Dead – I Swear!

Posted by Reese On February - 16 - 2012

Despite my lack of posting, I swear I’m not dead.  Work has been tremendously complex the last couple months and while I still want cocktails when I get home, I rarely want to think and write about them.

I’ve got a ton of posts in my mental hopper though, so stay tuned.  I’ll be making my triumphant return very shortly!

Drink up, friends!

High Speed Exploding Cocktails

Posted by Reese On December - 6 - 2011

You know what’s better than watching cocktails explode in super slow motion? NOTHING!  Okay, maybe one thing.  Drinking the cocktail, then exploding them.  Check out the video below for all the slow-mo awesomeness.

Phantom Cocktails from Ty Migota on Vimeo.

Spent a day with the Phantom, creating opening credits for Nik Perleros’ “How To Get Laid”. Only parts of the shots were used, so I decided to do a little edit to show off more of what we shot.

Most of the shots were around 5000fps, some of the martini shots were at 8900fps.

Music by The Beastie Boys, “Here’s a Little Something for Ya”

To Watch “How To Get Laid” please visit: http://vimeo.com/32954338
www.migota.net

Gojee Drinks Launches

Posted by Reese On November - 16 - 2011

If you’re a foodie or just enjoy looking at gorgeous food pictures then you’ve likely stumbled across Gojee.com at some point in your internet adventures.  If you haven’t, go there now, sign up and browse until you can’t go any further without devouring your laptop.  But, this isn’t a food website, so why am I mentioning it?  Simple.  Gojee just expanded their offering to include drinks and yours truly is a contributor.

Gojee Drinks - Mamay Taylor

They’ve also included a feature that I love.  You can tell the site what ingredients you have on hand or are simply craving and it will track down the drinks that fit the bill.  Scroll through the results until you find something tasty and great looking and enjoy!