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Things To Know About The “Old Fashioned”

There is no other whiskey drink more satisfying than the Old Fashioned. It’s brown and boozy, a little sweet and a little bitter. With the cocktail revolution came the resurgence of classic cocktails across the nation but luckily, the Old Fashioned is one cocktail that has never gone out of style. Whether you’re new to the classic cocktail or you’ve been drinking them for years, here are few Old Fashioned facts to stir conversation and thoughtful sipping.

It is old

As the name suggests the “Old Fashioned” is really old, like 1806 old. The basic recipe was first mentioned in The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York, as “a potent concoction of spirits, bitter, water and sugar.” While this defined the word cocktail for many years, drinkers started ordering Old Fashioned in earnest in the 1860s.

It doesn’t have to be Whiskey

The most popular choice for Old Fashioned is certainly is whiskey and every time you order one at a bar you’ll get it in whiskey only but you can make it with any spirit.  It works well with brandy, mezcal, rum, gin and many other spirits.

It began as the Whiskey Cocktail

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail of evolution. There really is not a particular person to pin for its so-called invention. What we do know is that by the time cocktail recipe books began appearing in the late 19th century, what we basically would call an Old Fashioned today was often under the title of Whiskey Cocktail. Perusing the pages of different iterations of barman Harry Johnson’s “Bartenders’ Manual” is an excellent example of seeing that change over time. The 1887 first edition offers up the Whiskey Cocktail with gum syrup, ice, Angostura or Boker’s bitters, a couple of dashes of curaçao, and whiskey. By 1887, he ditched the Angostura. By 1900, he swapped the syrup for raw sugar and called for a couple of dashes of curaçao or absinthe. All iterations got a lemon twist expressed over the top.

Most popular cocktail in the US  

People of Wisconsin so much love their Old Fashioned that there are multiple riffs on the regular. Order it sweet, and you’ll get a gun splash of lemon-lime soda. Order it sour, and you may well get sour mix. Sweet versions also stand out for their extra punch of bitter with the sweet. There’s an Old Fashioned, and then there’s the Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet, a Wisconsin-centric concoction that goes heavy on the Angostura.

The sugar makes a difference

The argument about higher-proof spirits in cocktails comes down to balance. You don’t want to disguise ingredients; you want everything to be present. With the Old Fashioned, it depends on what you’re using as your sugar source and how much. If you only have one-to-one simple syrup to work with, don’t mind using younger bourbon between 80 to 90 proofs and try to go lighter on the sugar increment. If you are using the 91-plus proof and the whiskey is aged, try heavier syrup such as two-to-one Demerara sugar as the sugar source.

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Some Fresh & Fruity Cocktails

Turn to season’s best produce and make these cocktails with what’s available in the season right now. Making these fresh and fruity cocktails require only a little bit of preparation. So this coming weekend, stir, shake, or blend a few of these enticing cocktails for your friends and family.

Watermelon Martinis

Blend frozen watermelon purée with vodka and melon liqueur for a smooth, frosty cocktail. Garnish with a wedge of lime for a nice touch.

Pineapple Mojito

The mojito is a fantastic cocktail and a favourite for the lazy days of summer. The original recipe offers a great base to play with. The pineapple mojito is exactly what it sounds like. You can add both fresh and juiced pineapple to the classic rum, mint, and lime drink. With this tropical twist, it’s sure to get you in the mood for some fun in the sun.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Summer would not be the same without fresh watermelon and cucumbers. The two come together in a delicious cocktail that’s sure to impress everyone in your backyard barbecue parties. The watermelon cucumber cooler is the pinnacle of fresh fruit cocktails. It starts with freshly pressed watermelon juice and a mixture of cucumber. To this, the aromatics of Aviation Gin are introduced along with soda to make it nice and refreshing.

Rum Punch  

Pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine added together with a touch of nutmeg in this rum punch, creating a perfect tangy mix.

Rose Sangria Spritzer

Round out the summer meal by serving this light spritzer with grilled, smoky meats. Instead of dry red wine typically found in sangria, use rose wine, a lighter option that accentuates the sweetness of the fruit.

Blackberry Gin Fizz Float

This boozy blackberry float will surely please all the dessert lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. A must try for everyone.

Prosecco Punch

Fill up your punch bowl with large ice cubes oozing with berries. Then fill your muffin tins halfway with white grape and pomegranate juice mixture before dropping a few raspberries and pomegranate seeds in each.

Blackberry Malt  

Irish whiskey may not be your first preference for a delightful cocktail, but it can work wonders if you have the right ingredients. Perhaps what helps is adding sweet berries to the mixture, and that’s just what you’ll find in blackberry malt. This drink blends a single malt Irish whiskey with fresh blackberries, lime and syrup, topped with sparkling water. It’s a refreshing and great way to enjoy your whiskey all summer long.

Frozen Banana Daiquiri  

A favourite, banana daiquiri is a must for a hot summer day on the picnic table or patio. It’s one of the most popular daiquiri recipes out there and it’s guaranteed to be a hit among anyone you invite. The mixture is an easy one, fusing rum, triple sec, lime, sugar, ice and fresh bananas. When properly blended, the banana daiquiri is cool and refreshing, but not staunchly sweet.

Fresh Peach Bellinis

For fresh Peach Bellinis put dollops of peach puree into elegant glasses and then top them off with cold Prosecco.

Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler  

For your, Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler combine peach nectar and fresh summer peaches with light beer for a simple cocktail that’s ready to serve the crowd.

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How To Know You’ve Found A Good Bartender

Bartenders are not created in a day, they are made by spending time behind the bar learning and experimenting. One of the toughest roles to hire for is the bartender. It takes time to find, hire, and train the new bartender so they can fit in and be successful. As you search for the new bartender, several qualities and skills are desired and required for this position in a potential candidate, to ensure you’ve found the right person for the job. The top bartenders are serious about the craft. So serious that they set themselves up for booming evenings, to brag and make conversation that leads drinkers away from the usual and toward getting the best cocktail for into their hands.

One can always look for these skills and qualities to know that you’ve found a good bartender-

Do Homework

Even if you don’t know the pronunciation of many of the fancy drinks, don’t worry your good bartenders do. They do their homework properly. From the difference between styles of gin, styles of whiskey, what aging does to spirits, and why a spirit is or isn’t worth top dollar, they know it all. Some even know the history behind drinks. They have a wheelhouse of classics which they can make from the ingredients in their bar in case a guest requests for an off the menu drink.

Sharp Memory

Even the smallest bar requires a bartender to have a great memory to remember how to make all the drinks on the menu. During a busy weekend, you simply cannot afford to have a bartender that’s slow and struggling with the process. Often, a good memory can enable the bartender to remember the regulars as well.

Remain Calm

Being shaken quickly isn’t a good quality to have when it comes to being a bartender. Many things can go wrong even on less busy nights. Being able to remain calm, to analyze the situation and to react appropriately is the key. With so many things happening at once behind the bar, a good bartender is capable of dealing with various situations that they are thrown into. Also, being able to multitask is of great importance for the bartender.

Experimental  

Experienced bartenders always question the status quo. They have done the tinkering already; know how to adjust, and when to adjust as per guest taste and preferences. Your ace bartenders have opinions, preferences and integrity. They will field modifications with grace.

Friendly

Interacting with the customer is a key component of the job. Being social, outgoing, and friendly are characteristics that will help a bartender be successful, sell more drinks, and keep customers happy. Always remember that being friendly and outgoing are very important as the underlying job of a bartender is to sell drinks. Having a salesperson’s mentality can be a great beneficial trait to have.

Consistency  

Customers tend to know when things aren’t the same as the last time they visited, whether that’s food, drinks or service, and it’s very important to have your employees be consistent across all facets of their jobs.

Cleanliness

It is extremely important to keep the bar, utensils, and drinkware clean before, during, and after the shift. A disorderly and messy workstation leads to errors, mishaps and even serious violations of the health code so there is a certain level of cleanliness that should be maintained and required.

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