Build a Better Bar Part 3: Tools and Tomes


Martinez

1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
Few dashes orange bitters <Regan’s>

Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This classic is considered to be the father of the Martini, or at least a heavy influence on what would later become the more popular “Gin and Vermouth” drink.  Ever since discovering it a few years ago I have always enjoyed the sweet/dry interplay between the gin and vermouth.  A wonderful lesser known classic indeed.


We’re wrapping up this month’s Build a Better Bar series by talking about essential tools as well as some of my suggestions for worthwhile resources to keep around the house. First, let’s tackle the tools.  While you can get away without most of these, your life will be much easier with them.

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Mixology Monday: No Ice, No problem


32 Degrees

1 1/2 oz Dark Rum 3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Aquavit Barspoon Absinthe

Rinse a rocks glass with the absinthe, then discard. Combine remaining ingredients in the rocks glass, stir to combine. This is a room temperature cocktail that doesn’t require ice.


My first Mixology Monday is the reason for this early week post, and the theme is “Brace Yourself”.  Playing host is the good doctor at Doc Elliot’s Mixology.  As he put it, “the challenge is to create a cocktail that will buttress oneself for Winter’s outdoor adventures.” This proved to be especially prescient as the entire eastern seaboard was blanketed by winter storm Jonas this weekend (amazingly, here in Boston, we only ended up with a few inches), so these cocktails will no doubt come in handy. Continue reading

Build a Better Bar Part 2: Through the Drinking Glass


Supersonic Parachute

3/4 oz Bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Shake with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon twist


 

There are really only two things you need to know about glassware.  1) With just some cocktail glasses, rocks glasses, and Collins glasses, you can serve a wide variety of drinks in their preferred natural state.    2) You rarely need to pay full price for glassware.  Let me explain. Continue reading

Build a Better Bar Part 1: Poppin’ Bottles


Training Wheels

1 1/2 oz bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass


 

I’m gonna drop some serious knowledge right here.  The drinks you make are only as interesting as the bottles in your bar.  Admittedly, this is not rocket science, but figuring out what bottles to stock can be a daunting endeavor.  Think of it like cooking.

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Home Improvement


Two to the Fifth (Plus Four Pennies)

1 1/2 oz Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz coffee liqueur <Galliano Ristretto>
1/4 oz bourbon <Woodford Reserve>

Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass


For this week’s drink, I decided to go the low alcohol route.   It was my birthday yesterday, and I celebrated by going back to my roots with a trip to a new brewery that opened up nearby, and then had a beer with dinner.  Of course a cocktail was still in the cards, but I figured something a bit more mellow would be a nice end to the day’s festivities.  While I’ve had some delicious low alcohol cocktails at bars, I rarely make them at home.  This seemed like a good time for a challenge. Continue reading