Archive for the ‘Cocktails’ Category

A year has passed

Posted: November 2, 2011 in barista, Cocktails, travel, vancouver

Its been a year out since i have left coffee and have gotten behind the stick and started to mix drinks again which had a few bumps along the way with re-learning specs of drinks and getting my rhythm back into being able to consistently make cocktails and serve without getting flustered.

It took a few months of re adjusting and the kick i needed to up my game finally got me back to speed.

In the year that has passed,I have entered quite a few comps,have one a couple and placed in a few.
The layout is similar to barista comps BUT its all compressed into 5-10 mins,depending on the comp,which at first was quite daunting but you got used to it,and going up against heavy hitters in the industry really got my skills honed probably better than what it was a decade ago when i left to travel to pursue coffee.

I really enjoyed Black Box comps,where you dont know what your getting till you open the box,it tested you out for creativity and originality.I also love the community and the way everyone encourages you push yourself at every drink you make.

I will be moving from The Cascade Room on Main St to our new bar that is opening up on Union St just off Main,and have been handed the helm to write up a cocktail menu for the new bar,which is pushing me to come up with some fun and tasty drinks.As soon as it opens i hopefully will have pics of the drinks and the recipes up as well.

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2011/09/29/diner-habit-cascade-folks-to-open-new-southeast-asian-restaurant-the-union/

Im also the second competitor for this months Bittered Sling Bistro Competition,which is an off shoot to The Cocktail Kitchen,which will be keeping me on my toes.

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2011/10/26/goods-kale-nori-launching-bittered-sling-bistro-cocktail-competition-series/

So I watching a short film movie this evening after quite a hectic day at the cafe,i think this is the ultimate in baristas revenge to those select customers,who misunderstand cafe etiquitte,and i imagine this scenario has gone through your mind when your up to your eyeballs with orders,no matter how hard you try to accommodate to everyones needs.It reminds me of a part in Toby Cecchini’s book- Cosmopolitan:A bartenders Life where he grabs a patron by the hair and drags them out of his bar Passerby in New York after catching them stealing wines from him,A worthy read for any bartender or anyone who is in the industry.Other books to add to the collection is Anthony Bourdain Kitchen Confidential and Waiting:True Confessions of a waitress by Debra Ginsberg

After two weeks in Calgary helping Paul Brassard and Mark Nolan with their cafe,im feeling some what re energised being home and relaxing with a day of canoeing in deep cove and sunshine under my belt.
deVille coffee will be the the swankiest sexiest cafe in canada,period.I havnt seen a cafe set up like this since being home in oz.deVille will be a healthy addition to the Calgary coffee scene,while still in construction mode interested on lookers were peeking in and commenting on the construction and asking on the opening date,to which Paul replied….soon,would you like a coffee?
So we gave away a lot of coffees to onlookers while i was training the guys,not a bad way for word to get around and free press,the word got around so fast that a food critic came by to check out deVille.I also dropped by Phil and Sebastians and checked out their new set up as they now have a synesso and an fb80 on the go,also i dropped by cafe beano while i was there and had a coffee,i didnt get a chance to drop into bumpys but the next trip to Calgary ill make sure ill check them out.A big disappointment on the crawl was cafe Artigiano,we ordered 4 lattes and mine had to be the super hot one and i wasnt able to drink it,although the cafe was busy it seems the consistency was out.
Unfortunately i wasnt around long enough to attend Calgary’s barista jam which was held a few days after i left,it wouldve been fun to hang out with the local talent,Calgary will be hosting their first regional competition for the upcoming canadians.
I will post photos of deVille when Paul sends me some pics so stay tuned,and if your in Calgary drop in on the guys,they’re located in the arts central building downtown

What the hell is going on with this weather on the west coast?

I was looking forward to more snow falling here in B.C. during february,but no…

All we get is warm rain now,which is melting the snow,which is quite annoying,this time last year we saw a decent dusting throughout february which kept the runs nice and soft.

Although on the other side of the country its in the minuses,toronto is -25,i think i watch the weather channel toomuch these days and its starting to annoy me when its snowing everywhere else.I guess not riding in the last 2 weeks is getting to me, and the thoughts of being in fernie with all that champagne powder and hardly anyone up on the hills gets me slightly wound up,although i wasnt fortunate enough to experience the waist deep powder they got a few weeks before,i did get to ride knee deep stuff

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walking back home from a session,i wish i had someone with a ski doo to tow me round through all this snow as it was all untouched wouldve been a laugh

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cedar bowl

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hardly anyone on the hill was a plus,being able to do big carves without danger of taking anyone out was one hell of a ride

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Its been so long since the last time i wrote about cocktails.
So ive been surfing for some videos or so of cocktails just to get some inspiration from bartenders,and what i found almost made me sick,bartenders killing classic drinks such as this offering from mojo.com with their version of the irish coffee.doesnt really have that much substance on the drink apart from slapping it all together

Compared to this offering from Angus Winchester,Mixologist extrodanaire and i believe he’s into molecular mixology as well,which is crossing over from food,coffee and now into cocktails which is quite exciting.

Angus’s delivery and short history on this drink (daquiri),is a pleasure to watch,to see a talented bartender deliver this drink well with the step by step guide on technique,a good way to learn if your a budding home mixologist.

A good book for any budding mixologist would be Craft of the Cocktail by Dale De Groff,a great read and a must for any working bartender

Been Playing

Posted: March 13, 2007 in Cocktails, Coffee

So,i went down to B.C. Liquor on the weekend,as it was raining quite heavily and was bored shitless at home,so i decided to blow some cash buying a few things to play with and get my creative juices flowing.
I ended up walking out of there with a bottle of Glayva,Hendricks Gin,Soho Lychee liquer and a bottle of Cacaca 61,not my preferred brand but it’ll have to do for now.

After enduring the walk home in the rain,i was thinking through what i could make with my newly acquired spirits that would go well as a coffee cocktail,so i brewed some Kenya from Intelligentsia in a french press.While i was waiting around for the coffee to brew i went hunting in my fridge to see what i can use,and i found some blueberry jam,some thyme,apples to juice.

With the coffee now brewed i poured out a cup to slightly cool while i made some sugar syrup with the thyme.
I then used about a teaspoon of blueberry jam into my mixing glass along with the same amount of thyme sugar syrup to the mix and added 30ml of the brewed coffee,so i then added some of the Hendricks and soho and stirred with ice till it cooled down enough to taste.To my amazement the taste resembled flat cola,if i had a little bit of soda to charge the drink it wouldve been interesting.

Mix number two,almost using the same ingredients as the first one,i replaced french pressed coffee to a shot of espresso,I also used Black Cat from Intelligentsia,and this time i added fresh apple juice,i shook it with lots of cracked ice till it was good and cold.Strained it into a cocktail glass.

The flavour i got kinda thew me off as i wasnt expecting it.What i got was Chocolate,reduced balsamic vinegar and a hint of thyme.I gave it to Kylie to do a tasting to see what flavours she picked up.Her first reaction was chocolate,and a slight coffee flavour and asked if i had used chocolate in the mix and so i told her that i hadnt used chocolate at all,and she was quite surprised.So ill do a lot more playing around with that till i get the right ratios to get a mostly chocolate finish to the drink so stay tuned……

Espresso Eggnog

Posted: December 26, 2006 in Cocktails, Coffee

For this installment, I will tackle a holiday drink: eggnog – with coffee, of course!

Now, I’ve tried to resist the temptation of this rather festive drink, as I’m not too fond of its heaviness with all that cream. And with so many versions of eggnog out there, it’s hard to try them all without getting sick from the intake of cream and, for that matter, raw eggs.

But eggnog is a holiday tradition that goes too far back to ignore. Of course, mixology wouldn’t be complete without a little trip down memory lane, so… let’s take a look at the history of eggnog and how it came about.

The History

Eggnog had its start in the Middle Ages as an English drink known as a “posset,” a hot beverage of sweetened, spiced milk curdled with ale or wine. A variation on the posset, the “caudle,” was a similar concoction of warm spiced ale or wine, sweetened and thickened with bread, grain, or eggs. These drinks were not only enjoyed during the holiday season but were thought to be helpful in curing colds and fortifying one’s health. It is for this reason, perhaps, that some historians suggest that the word “coddle” (to comfort or pamper) is derived from “caudle.”

By the late 1700s, the earliest versions of eggnog as we know it were being created. It was a drink of the upper class; after all, eggs, milk, and even brandy weren’t readily available to the average Londoner at the time, and there was no refrigeration. In colonial America, however, eggnog became very popular, as dairy was plentiful, and so was rum. Rum came in from the Caribbean, and it was far more affordable than brandy, which had a heavy tax on it.

George Washington, the legendary first president of the US, is said to have been quite proud of his personal recipe for a powerful “dry sack posset.” The recipe called for a combination of eggs, milk, cream, sugar, brandy, rye whiskey, rum, and sherry. It was then set aside in a cool place for a few days, during which the recipe directs to “taste frequently.” Fortunately, it seems the alcohol had the effect of delaying the spoilage of the other ingredients.

Before long, Washington’s potent recipe became part of US military tradition. During the Christmas season of 1826, a group of young cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point dared to sneak the ingredients for a spiked eggnog into the Academy, in the name of holiday celebration. At first, they were successful in avoiding detection, but rumors of their plan had reached the ears of the superintendent, and officers were sent to check on the cadets. What followed is the not-so-famous “Eggnog Riot.” Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederate States of America, was among the instigators. At the end of it all, six cadets resigned, nineteen cadets were court martialed, and one was charged with attempted murder.

It wasn’t until the Victorian era that this drink finally gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Toasting the health of one’s friends and family with a cup of eggnog became an essential part of holiday socializing in both England and America. By this time, it was being served as a cold drink, prepared in large quantities in anticipation of holiday callers.

As for how eggnog ultimately came by its name… that is a subject for debate. According to some sources, “nog” is a shortened form of the word “noggin,” which was an ancient name for a small wooden cup – hence, “eggs in a small cup.” Another source claims that “nog” is derived from an Old English word in the East Anglian dialect meaning “strong beer or ale.” Yet another source suggests that “eggnog” is a slurred abbreviation of “egg-n-grog,” “grog” being a colonial American word for rum. In England, it is also called “egg flip.”

The Drink

Whatever you may call it, the basic recipe for eggnog is generally the same – eggs beaten with sugar, milk or cream, and a spirit. However, there are many variations of the recipe found around the world.

In Puerto Rico, the drink is called coquito, and the recipe calls for rum combined with fresh coconut juice or coconut milk. Mexico’s version is called rompope. Reputed to have been invented in the convent of Santa Clara, it is heavily dosed with Mexican cinnamon and rum and is sipped like a liqueur. In Peru, biblia con pisco is made with a Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco.

Meanwhile, in Germany, they serve biersuppe, a drink made with ale with the consistency of soup, and eierlikoer, which combines egg yolks with brandy, cognac, and/or grain alcohol.

Naturally, there are also versions that include coffee, which is why we’re talking about eggnog in the first place! I have heard of eggnog lattes, but I’m not convinced with the beverage; and buying pre-packaged eggnog, although it is convenient, takes the fun out of it all. So here’s a recipe that combines the best of both worlds, espresso and a homemade eggnog.

Classic Eggnog with a Twist – The Recipe

Glass: Wine glasses will do nicely for this drink. We’re using a Riedel Chardonnay glass in this how to.

The ingredients:
2 large eggs
3oz Demerrera sugar
1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
2oz brandy
1oz spiced rum
8oz whole milk
2oz of cream
2oz of espresso
Cinnamon sticks for garnish.
Ice (optional)

Step by Step

In this step by step method, we’re skipping what is probably the most important step – chilling the mixture before serving – truth is, we couldn’t wait! So we crushed up ice (smaller ice will chill a beverage faster because there’s more surface area on the ice). But I highly recommend sticking the mixture once done in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 hours before serving.
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All the ingredients
Here’s all you need to make this drink – eggs, espresso, ground nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cream, milk, blender, spiced rum, brandy or calvados, and wine glasses.
Eggs in the blender
First, add both eggs to the blender, and blend for two full minutes to really aerate and emulsify the eggs.
Continue Blending
At the 2 minute mark, add your sugar and keep blending for another minute. You can use this time to pull your double espresso shot.

Mixing other ingredients
Pour your 2oz cream into your 8oz of whole milk, away from the blender. We’re going to reduce the “shock” on the espresso.
Adding Espresso
Add espresso to your cream / milk mixture.
Adding Nutmeg
Add the nutmeg last, then stir the mixture vigorously for few seconds.

Adding to Blender
Add the mixture to the blender, making sure all the nutmeg gets out of the pouring pitcher.
Adding the Booze
Next, add 1 ounce of the spiced rum, and 2 ounces of the brandy to the blending pitcher.
Blend and serve!
Blend the mixture for at least another minute, then place in the fridge for 3 hours. If you’re in a rush like we were, you can crush ice first, and pour straight from the blender into your wine glasses. Enjoy!

Seeing as this is the holiday season, enjoy, drink responsibly, and always have a designated driver.