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A Bartender’s Guide to Wine (Guest Post)

This week, we are going to deviate a little from spirits, liqueurs and tantalizing cocktails and journey to the realm of wine. Wine has always scared me because I just did not know anything about it – until now. And it is all thanks to my friends from Drunk From A Penny. You have to check out their blog here. It will not disappoint. Before I let them take it away, I’m going to include their Website and social handles below!

• • •

Website: https://drunkforapenny.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drunk_for_a_penny/

Now, the boys are going to take it away!

• • •

First of all, big thanks to the Cocktailian for getting in touch. Definitely, check out the rest of his articles, they’re bound to help on your bartending journey.

Today I’ll be talking about the different kinds of wine, and the different categories they can fall under. What you see on the label is a combination of all of these categories.
The concept of wine is pretty massive, so it takes a fair bit of organizing to make it easier to understand. The good news is, most of what we discuss here, if not everything, will already be familiar to you.
There are a few ways in which we can split up the different wines, a lot of which overlap each other. Broadly speaking, they can be divided…

  • By Colour
  • By Grape
  • By Region
  • By Sweetness
  • By Vintage*
  • By the bubbles present (if any)
  • By Alcohol Content
  • Others


Now, when I said “overlap”, that means that these categories are not independent of each other. So a wine can be named based on a lot of these factors, not just one.
Now let’s break it down.

By Colour  

It’s a white wine. This is the most obvious one. Wines can be Red, White, and Pink (Rosé).

By Grape

This particular wine was made from the Chenin Blanc grape. Different grapes have their own characteristic flavors, so this is important to mention on the label.

By Region

This wine is from Nashik, in India. There are a lot of wine producing countries, like France, Germany, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.
South America and South Africa are also coming up as quality producers of certain grapes.
(See the overlap here between grapes and regions? A lot of places produce Chenin Blanc wines – but Sula’s would have certain differences in quality and taste to another country’s.)

By Sweetness

Wines can range from absolutely bone-dry (almost zero sugar), to about 45% sugar, depending on how and where they are made.
The four basic categories are Dry, Off-Dry ( a bit of sugar, but not much), Off-Sweet (leaning towards sweet, but not quite there yet), and Sweet.
There’s no numerical standard for what is sweet and what is not, but it’s generally based on the proportion of “residual” sugar left in the wine.
Sula is a great example of this because they produce two Chenin Blanc wines – one, shown above, which is mostly dry. But they also have a Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, which is very, very sweet.

It’s marketed as a “dessert wine” – it’s that sweet.

By Vintage

Vintage here has two meanings.
It generally refers to the year of production. But a vineyard can also “declare a vintage“, which is basically them saying “this year’s harvest is of brilliant quality, so expect a brilliant wine”.
The label on the wine that year will generally have the prefix “vintage” before the year, like XYZ Producer, This Grape, Vintage 2012.

Wines can be divided into Vintage and Non-Vintage, but nobody ever openly comes out and says “non-vintage”. If it isn’t specifically mentioned on the bottle, it’s assumed that it’s a regular, non-vintage wine.
Fun fact: The word “vintage” is actually derived from the word vin – which means “wine” in French.

By the Bubbles

Again, this is fairly obvious. Wines without bubbles, or “effervescence”  are called “still” wines. If it’s got a pleasant number of bubbles, it’s called a “sparkling” wine. (the way soda is called “sparkling water”).
The two wines are easy to tell apart – the latter have thicker bottles, and differently shaped corks – mushroom shaped ones for sparkling wines, and long, cylindrical ones for still wines.

By Alcohol Content

What I actually meant to explain here is a cumulative term called Body. It not only includes the alcohol strength, but also the concentration of flavors, and the viscosity (how thin or thick it feels on your palate). Based on this, wines can be Light-Bodied, Medium-Bodied, or Full-Bodied.
You might hear people saying that a certain wine is “aggressive and robust”, or “pleasant and refreshing”. What they are trying to convey is how heavy-bodied or light-bodied the wine is.

Others

These are significant, but not seen very often, especially in India. Things like Fortified wines would come under this category. These wines have their alcohol strength externally increased from 10-12% up to 22% or more.

Notable examples would be Port, Madeira, and Sherry (unfortunately, very few are even available here).
Aromatised wines are another example. These are wines that are infused with a lot of flavors like cloves, cinnamon, anise, and even orange peel and roasted seeds.

Vermouth is the best-known example. These are often served at the start of meals as aperitifs, or used in cocktails.

(I had a picture of all the styles of M&R’s vermouth, side by side)
All of these are Vermouth, produced in different styles and flavors.

I believe it’s important to mention the so-called “unconventional” wines, as well.
A wine can be made from any fruit – it’s not limited to just grapes. You can have cherry wine, pineapple wine, apple wine, plum wine… I’ve even tasted a ginger wine that someone made at their home. I’m hearing about a carrot wine being made by a small producer in Nashik.

And in every sense of the word, all these beverages can still be called wines.
You just have to specify what it’s made of, in the name. Nobody ever says “grape wine”, because that goes without saying. So if you’re making it with anything apart from grapes, you have to mention it clearly on the label.

Non-alcoholic wines are also becoming pretty popular right now. A lot of them have sparkling variants as well, which are a great party alternative if you’re inviting people who don’t like to drink. They’re always there whenever I throw a party, and they’re all delicious.

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More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

Liqueur-Fernet-Branca

Fernet Branca

Looking for a digestif that’s perfect for imbibing after a hardy meal? Try this Bitter Italian Amaro, whether after a romantic meal, during a celebration with friends or while you take in a perfect sunset.

• • •

My rating for Fernet Branca is a 7.5/10

I’d suggest you buy a bottling of Fernet Branca. Here’s what Your Taste “Bud” found out.

Summary

Fernet Branca has been in the business since 1845. They’ve been slowly crafting and perfecting this bitter liqueur. It’s perfect for shooting and can be a great mixer.

Fernet is an Italian digestive, and she is quite bitter. I’d suggest all you Negroni drinkers out there to add a few drops of this into your cocktail.

What’s Fernet

Let’s break it down quickly for you:

  1. Ingredients: Alcohol, unique blend of selected blossoms, aromatic herbs, and flowers.
  2.    Alcohol content: 39% (78° proof US)
  3. Presentation: Packaged in a traditional Fernet-Branca liqueur bottle. Very sleek with the embossed seal of Branca.
  4. How to drink it: Drink straight, on the rocks, or with a splash of mineral water. It is a wonderful bitter mixer. Traditionally considered an after dinner drink.

Straight from the guru’s themselves:

  • “It’s decisive tone is derived from the unique taste of its individual ingredients which results in an undeniable rich bitter that finishes with a delicately spiced aftertaste.
    Proudly bitter since its inception in 1845, Fernet-Branca has been produced according to the original recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation and continues to be the true Italian Bitter, truly the one and only Fernet.
  • “Fernet-Branca isn’t only a digestive bitter, it’s a true legend. With 27 herbs, roots and spices, it’s formula is one of the world’s best-kept secrets, so tightly kept, that since its origin even those who collect the spices do not know the exact quantities needed. Today, the only custodian of the Fernet-Branca secret formula is the President, Niccolò Branca, who personally measures out the spices during the production process. The recipe is the true pride of Fernet-Branca and demonstrates how a century-plus tradition and know-how are the secret to its success. When you choose Fernet-Branca, you embark on a journey of the discovery of places, scents, and flavors. It is the awareness of the superiority of its strong, intense and unique taste.”

So, we really don’t know what Fernet is. Essentially, it is a digestive, and the Italians are very proud of it. GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

History

Here is a history of Fernet, via The Straight Up

You gotta check out The Straight up blog as they are doing incredible things!

Fernet-Branca was invented in 1845 by bernardino branca in Milan. Another story claims that a woman named Maria Scala invented the amaro and later married into the Branca family, adopting the family’s name for her creation. However, it is more likely that while Scala did marry into the family, it was after Fernets creation by Bernardino. Regardless of who made it, Fernet-Branca was a hit, and in no time, was being distributed throughout Italy.

Fernet typically refers to the original, but it is also used with other Fernet-Branca like spirits, such as Luxardo Fernet or Fernet Cinzano, which represent their respective companies forays into this flavor profile.

You may be wondering were the “fernet” comes into Fernet-Branca. Shortly after it hit store shelves, a Dr. Fernet Svedese began publishing papers in scientific journals toting the many health benefits of Fernet-Branca. Branca’s creation was the cure for almost any ailment you could think of, from headaches to menstrual pains, to fever, even claiming his family lived into their 100s thanks to Fernet-Branca. Naturally, this built a lot of hype around the spirit. Not to be left behind on this wondrous concoction, other doctors began recommending Fernet to their patients.

Eventually it was discovered that Dr. Fernet, and his healthy old family, were nothing more than a fictitious, marketing ploy by Branca; however, the health claims continued to entrance customers with this bitter amaro. The word Fernet is actually said to have been made up by the Branca family.

The company’s success continued and by 1907, the Brancas began expanding worldwide, including the United States and Argentina. In fact in terms of consumption, Italy, Argentina and the US are the biggest consumers of Fernet-Branca worldwide.

Fernet3

In argentina, Fernet-Branca has become so celebrated, many consider it an official spirit. Argentina was populated by many Italian immigrants who brought Fernet-Branca with them in the late 1800s. Other boosts to its popularity in Argentina came from further Italian immigration during the world wars as well as from college students in the 1980s, during the Falklands War. This war was between the British and Argentinians over control of the Falklands islands off the coast of Argentina. During this conflict, many students boycotted British whiskeys, instead choosing Fernet because they felt it a national beverage. In contrast to the older  generation, who typically enjoyed their Fernet-Branca neat, this younger generation preferred it with Coca-cola, spurring the intensely popular fernet and coke. Currently, Argentina is the only country outside of Italy where Fernet-Branca is produced.

The eagle logo was created by Leopoldo Metlicovitz in 1895. It first appeared in Branca calendars but eventually became the company’s official logo.

In America, Fernet is also hugely popular, particularly in San Francisco. On a recent visit, literally every liquor store I passed had a bottle in clear view of the window. People drank it everywhere. In contrast to Argentina’s Fernet and Coke, San Francisco like to chase shots of fernet with ginger ale.

So what led to its popularity in the states? Chalk this one up to one of the only pluses of prohibition. Due to its many purported health benefits, Fernet-Branca was one of the few spirits still sold in US pharmacies during prohibition. People grew to love their Fernet and this carried through the repeal of Prohibition, particularly in San Francisco, where North Beach and its many Italian immigrants helped make Fernet-Branca a citywide staple.

My Take

Personally, I like Fernet because it’s very bitter, yet refreshing… they also have such a cool site. Fernet Branca‘s site can take awhile to load, but the graphics are well worth it. It’s also in Italian, but there is obvi an option to choose English.

As I said before, Fernet is the perfect shooter. I got a bottle for some friends and myself last weekend. My good friend, Trent, who complains often, said it tasted like cough syrup. He still slurped it down. My other friend, Sean, has acquired a taste for bitterness and so he liked it. He said, “Knowing that there are tons of herbs in this, I feel that it would be okay to do multiple shots of these.” It isn’t that healthy, but it tastes damn good.

Shots aren’t the only use Fernet has. It is also a good cocktail ingredient. It pairs well with a variety of spirits. Wanna mix Fernet?

Let’s take a look at the Brandy Manhattan, courtesy of Fernet Branca. If you want to know How To Make A Perfect Manhattan, check last week’s post.

• • •

Brandy Manhattan

Recipe

2 oz. of Stravecchio Branca (Instead of Whisky)
1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula (DA best Vermouth)
A couple drops of Fernet-Branca (No Angostura? Cool)

Preparation

Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass, stir for a few seconds, then pour the mixture into a glass, filtering out the ice.

Garnish: Orange peel and a Cocktail Cherry

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More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

Shaken Jamaican Create cocktails Cocktail

The “Shaken Jamaican” Cocktail

Recipe

Plantation Jamaican Rum 2 oz. | Overproof Rum – a splash | Yellow Chartreuse 3/4 oz. | Grenadine 1/2 oz. | Orgeade 1/2 oz. | Lime Juice 1 1/4 oz. | Creme de Violette – Splash or teaspoon | Jamaican #1 bitters 3 dashes

How-To

Pour in Ingredients / Fill with ice / Shake like crazy / Double-strain into a martini glass

Cocktail Cosmopolitan Shaken Jamaican

Story

Caution: this story is filled with many woes.

I started at a very easy place. I looked at one cocktail recipe that I was inspired by and loved: The Daiquiri. Eventually, I also looked at the Mai Tai, because I love my tiki drinks.

So, right off the bat, I kind of knew what I wanted.

Two things happened next: I decided which spirit I’d used and a few ingredients I wanted to mix the drink with AND I got an idea from a brilliant bartender I work with (We’ll call him Mr. Savage).

I knew the drink was going to be rum-based because the Daiquiri and the Mai-Tai are rum-based. I also knew that Orgeade/Orgeat was going to play a part, as it does in most tiki/tropical drinks.

Lime juice had to make an appearance, for dem citrus notes. And lastly, yellow chartreuse, which oddly does wonders with rum (Courtesy of Mr. Savage).

Now, Mr. Savage filled his highball glass with crushed ice and sprinkled the top with Peychaud’s bitters. I took that idea and one of my own and compared:

Cocktails experimental

The left is akin to Mr. Savage’s drink, and the right is mine. I used grenadine, instead of the Peychaud’s bitters, seen on left. Unfortunately, and predictably, the grenadine sank to the bottom.

I wanted to have three layers: yellow on the bottom (shaken part of the drink), Peychauds, or Grenadine (which, as you can see, did not work out), and a purple layer – Creme de Violette – on top.

This part of the process was a disaster and just did not go as planned. I was disheartened and felt defeated – especially because I had lied in bed at 4 in the morning imagining how brilliant this cocktail would be.

The next day, I wrote the story of the cocktail, which was named, “The Sun Also Sets”:

This is “The Sun Also Sets”. Firstly, the cocktail pays homage to Ernest Hemingway and his first book, The Sun Also Rises, and secondly, is visually appealing and quenches any person’s thirst. This cocktail is the tongue-in-cheek answer to Hem’s masterpiece.

Pretty fun, right? I was really into it. 🙁

Anyways, after some time, I was just like, “Screw it. Let’s shake em’ up altogether.”

So, I had the rum, yellow chartreuse, lime, orgeade, and the Creme de Violette (for oomph), and slammed em’ together. The result was incredible.

Cocktail beautiful Martini glass

After a few more tweaks, I had the style of rum, Jamaican #1 bitters and the exact measurements I wanted and needed.

My drink, the Shaken Jamaican, was finally ready to be consumed.

Choosing Ingredients And Measurements

So, as you know, I had my basic ingredients from the two recipes…

The Daiquiri and the Mai-Tai… which were Rum, Lime, and Orgeade/Orgeat.

I also had the idea of using Yellow Chartreuse and Peychauds bitters from Mr. Savage.

After some frustrating variation tests, I decided to use grenadine as a sweetener, instead of the bitter Peychauds.

It still wasn’t enough. It needed some EXCITEMENT. Fate led me to Creme de Violette.

After the failed “The Sun Also Sets” experiment, I shook everything together, and I shook them hard.

Once I had nailed down my basic recipe, I was ready to start fine-tuning.

Fine-tuning 

This part is essential. Once you reach this stage, you can’t give up and just throw together whatever portions.

The exact opposite needs to be done: this drink requires your obsessive tendencies to reach perfection!

And this is exactly what I did.

I found the perfect kind of rum: Plantation Jamaican Rum (I was using Plantation Pineapple – so good).

Then I added Jamaican #1 Bitters, which paired really well with the Jamaican rum. (It has allspice, ginger, and black pepper notes. Mhm).

To get the exact measurements was challenging.

What the bartender is trying to accomplish is making a cocktail that can be deemed delicious by enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and regular ol’ beer-drinkers. The bartender is also trying to find balance.

First, I sought balance. I balanced the citrus to the sweetness. When I felt that was right…

Second, I had taste-testings. I had bartender buddies try them, for their expertise. I had my dad try one, for his, ahem, beer-drinking expertise.

I made one for my girlfriend, who is not a drinker and offered a unique perspective. Finally, I made some for two of my friends who like drinking all kinds of things.

I took all of their suggestions and altered my measurements yet again – until I was happy.

Taste is so subjective. Not one person tastes the exact same. So, making drinks that everybody will love is hard. And unfortunately, it isn’t going to please everyone.

But I feel pretty damn confident that this drink is going to be (mostly) loved.

Make It

If you don’t know what kind of tools to make, check my other post on bar tools.

Let me walk you through this little doozy. Here, hold my hand.

Cocktail-process

Yeah, I made a fancy picture for this blog post.

First, we pour all of our ingredients (with the help of our jiggs) into a mixing glass or a smaller Boston-tin. Then we fill that mixing glass two-thirds full with fresh ice/the smaller Boston-tin to the top.

Then, I shake everything up – to dilute the cocktail a bit and to cool it down.

I double-strain that sum-na-beech into a chilled martini glass:

Cocktail-bartender-strain-straining-cocktail-hawthorn-strainer-double-strain

Double-straining that sum-na-beech

Finally, I drink the hell out of it.

Naming the Cocktail 

I had a particularly difficult time naming this cocktail, especially since it used to be a layered drink:

Cocktail-sun-also-sets-hemingway

This drink, which is now the “Shaken Jamaican”, used to be called “The Sun Also Sets” because it looked like a sunset (I wanted to layer the purple Creme De Violette on top of the red, but it didn’t work out).  I decided to forgo the layering of the red grenadine/Peychauds on top of the drink and to instead mix up the ingredients. The conclusion was satisfying, to say the least.

I decided to forgo the layering of the red grenadine/Peychauds on top of the drink and to instead mix up the ingredients. The conclusion was satisfying, to say the least.

So, now I had a new drink with a name that didn’t fit.

I loved all of the other tiki drinks, like the Bahama Mama, Mai Tai, in that they had great rhymes and were all super tasty and palatable. I wanted the same thing for my drink.

Here’s a short list of other potential names…

-Destination Jamaica

-Jamaican Destination

-The Flaming Joe

They were pretty depressing names and my unoriginality made me give up for awhile. Then the name just came to me.

I’m sure you guys are going to have a ton of questions. I don’t mind answering them – leave a comment below, or email me if you’d like!

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If you’re into everything cocktail, sign up for the Curious Cocktailian Email List and we’ll send you the new posts right when they come out. That’s the only thing we use the list for – Don’t worry about getting tons of spam or other nonsense!

• • •

More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

 

An Easy Guide to Bar Tools: What And How To Use

Alright, I won’t lie, there are a bunch of tools involved in cocktail making – luckily, we’ll only be needing six to make basic drinks.

“Only six!?” You say. Well, don’t worry about that either. I swear, each item has a purpose and once you know what they do and how to use them, it’s actually pretty easy. So, just take a deep breathe and don’t sweat it. We’ll get there.

For both yours and my sake, I am going to include some affiliate links – if you want to buy some cocktail equipment via Amazon and have it delivered to you on-the-fly, I’ll have the links below. If you want to do your own online shopping and want quality, check out www.cocktailkingdom.com. They are literally the best.

• • •

These are the essential cocktail tools that you’ll need to begin your cocktail journey:

Mixing Glass

Mixing Glasses Cocktail

What:

The mixing glass can be just any regular pint glass (between 16 – 20 oz. or if it fits with your Boston shaker). You can either stir drinks in just the mixing glass, or it could mighty morph – power ranger-style – with the Boston shaker to become a two-part shaker. Ooooh.

How:

Pour ingredients into the bottom of your mixing glass, and then fill two-thirds of the way up with ice. You can either put in your Barspoon at this point or mighty-morph it with the Boston shaker.

Yarai-Mixing-Glass-Cocktail-Japanese

Boston Shaker

Boston-shaker-bartender-tools-cocktail-mixing-drinks

What:

Used mostly during shaking, the Boston-tin shaker is tin (shocker, right?). Add ice and it gets cold very fast. Perfect for chilling your cocktail.

How:

Once your mixing glass is full of ice, drop it onto the Boston shaker and a seal should form. Tap the mixing glass into the Boston-shaker to make sure that seal is tight. You don’t want your drink getting on your audience.

Strainers:

Hawthorn-strainer-cocktail-equipment-bartender-tools

A) Julep Strainer

Julep-strainer-cocktail-bartender

What:

The Julep Strainer is very simple. It keeps ice and other things you were stirring, out of your completed cocktail.

How:

This one is pretty easy: drop the julep strainer into your mixing glass (pint glass) convex side up.

Strainer-mixing-glass

Wrap your fingers around the mixing glass and hold the julep strainer where the handle meets the strainer with your forefinger, which should be on the lip of your mixing glass.

Pour your stirred cocktail into a glass vessel of your choosing.

B) Hawthorn Strainer

What:

These strainers are great. We use these when we shake drinks, and we make shaken drinks all the time. The Hawthorn strainer keeps out clumpy ingredients and their flavors go into your cocktail. It also keeps out large chunks of ice.

If you want to keep out those tiny ice shards that sparkle on the top of your drink (am I bias?), then use a Tea-strainer – which will be talked about in another post.

How:

Fit it into the larger half of the Boston-tin shaker – or your Yarai mixing glass.

Once again, you’ll want to wrap your hand around the Boston-tin shaker, with your forefinger holding it in place.

Begin to pour into a glass vessel of your choosing.

Also, you can push it up against the lip of the tin shaker and “Close the gate” or you can open it up again. Some Hawthorn strainers will make two streams come out if you close the gate. It’s a spectacle to behold.

Jiggers

What:

I may have mentioned this before, and I will mention it again. Jiggs measure out how much fluid ounces are going into your drink. Any cocktail recipe will most likely have “2 oz. of this, 1 oz. of that.” OZ. = Ounces. Jiggers are synonymous with bartending because the bartender is able to attain precision, consistency in her/his drinks, and look very professional. Don’t worry about the American free-pour yet.

How:

Simply take it into your non-dominant hand and pour alcohol from the bottle into the jigger. Dump the contents of the jigger into your mixing glass or Boston shaker.

Remember: slow-goings is key. Speed will come naturally. Also, it is usually good to keep the jigger near where you’re going to pour it.

Barspoon 

 

What:

What are we doing with the Barspoon, you may ask? Simple – ever heard “Shaken, not stirred.” Well, this is the stirred part. There are two basic and essential parts to cocktail-making. Stirring drinks and shaking drinks. The difference is this:

Stir when all of the ingredients are clear.

Shake when you can’t see through your drink, or if you’re using fruit juices, syrups, etc.

How:

Hold the Barspoon between your ring finger and your middle finger. Put it into your mixing glass with the back of the spoon against the side of the glass.

Two motions will commence: think “Swish and flick”. You’ll begin to turn it clockwise – push to the other side, then pull to your original position. Continue to do this. For 25-30 seconds. Make sure you count in your head. Or aloud, if you prefer.

 –

These six tools are the only tools that you’ll really need to start off on your bartending journey.

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the post!

If you’re feeling adventurous and want some more content… you’ll have to wait.

Also, if you’re looking to buy some of the above equipment, I’ve posted affiliate links below – and you totally do not have to buy them from amazon, there are other alternatives, like Cocktail Kingdom.

Mixing Yarai Glass:

Boston Tin Shaker:


Julep Strainer:


 Hawthorn Strainer:


Jiggers:


Barspoon:

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Glad You Could Join[themify_icon icon=”fa-glass” link=”http://curiouscocktailian.com” style=”Large”]

• • •

If you’re into everything cocktail, sign up for the Curious Cocktailian Email List and we’ll send you the new posts right when they come out. That’s the only thing we use the list for – Don’t worry about getting tons of spam or other nonsense!

• • •

More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

• • •

 

Top-5 Cocktail Movies!

There have been times when my interest and enthusiasm has waned during my formative years of mixing drinks. When I started, sometimes I was discouraged by the learning curve. And other times, I was getting complacent and bored. I wasn’t growing as a bartender.

But every time I found myself losing my way, there were cocktail movies that brought me back to my center. So, I decided to share them.
Plus, some of these are just fun and make yeah wanna mix things up and shake em’ really hard. Watch these five movies and feel the motivation come back.

• • •

#1: Hey Bartender

Just the best movie. It focuses on a local Joe who owns a bar and on an up-and-coming rockstar bartender but has every notable person in the cocktail world featured in this great movie. You will be drooling through the entire thing, so have a refreshment on-hand. Also, you get to see what it’s like to go down to the world’s greatest cocktail event, Tale of the Cocktail, in New Orleans!

#2: Cocktail

Tom Cruise will not let you down. Psh, when has he ever? These boys have their American free-pour game down pact. Tom Cruise’s mentor walks you through the best hangover cure: The Red-Eye. First, we get to party it up in New York, then we jet off to the Caribbean for tiki-drinks! I won’t spoil anything else, I promise.

First, we get to party it up in New York, then we jet off to the Caribbean for tiki-drinks! I won’t spoil anything else, I promise.

#3: Casablanca

The entirety of this movie takes place in a bar. Rick’s bar. The French 75 makes an appearance when Yvonne and her hangers-on orders them, as well as many other thirst-quenchers. If you’re into WW2 history, “Casablanca” takes place during that time period. This movie is one of my favorite movies of all time period. If only Rick’s bar truly existed in Morroco, I’d be there all the time.

French 75 Recipe

London dry gin 1 oz. | Fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 oz. | Chilled Champagne 2 oz. |  Simple Syrup 1/2 oz.

Shake everything except for the champagne. Strain into Champagne glass. Pour in Champagne on top. Garnish with a lemon peel, if you wish

#4: The Big Lebowski

If you’ve watched the Big Lebowski, then you’ve heard of the White Russian. Our buddy, Gary the Bartender, will take good care of you. It’s also the perfect bro movie.

#5: Casino Royale

What with the “Shaken, not Stirred” non-sense, gorgeous (and my personal favorite bond girl) Vesper Lynd, almost-always-dying-007, and his classic Vesper Martini – which was made on the spot, friends – you can’t really go wrong with this solid Bond action adventure.

I’ve made a few Vesper Martinis and they are delicious. Soon, I will be releasing my Vlog, so stay tuned for that! 

Notable Mentions:

  • Swingers
  • Any Bond flick
  • BarFly

At the end of the day, there aren’t many cocktail movies for bartenders, mixologists, craft bartenders, service people, and the like. But this group of movies is sure to satisfy whatever it is you’re needing satisfied. Grab a six-pack, a bottle of fine wine, or shake a cocktail up and enjoy.

It is the same with reading/writing as it is with drinking/crafting cocktails: As long as you’re reading or writing, you’re in the clear. As long as you are imbibing or creating cocktails, you’re progressing.

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More Curious Cocktailian

If you want to understand Liqueurs better, check out these posts:

Fernet Branca

Yellow Chartreuse

And here’s the cocktail basics that every bartender needs to know:

An Easy Guide To Bar Tools

The Ultimate Guide To Making The Perfect Manhattan

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