Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Encanto Pisco Opportunity

Hey everyone.. Short post today!! The good people over at Encanto Pisco are giving bartenders a chance to go to Peru and work with the Master Distiller as an apprentice. Check out the Video Featuring Duggan McDonnell who owns Encanto Pisco, and Dave Nepove our National USBG President.. Sounds like a great idea, a great opportunity for a lucky bartender! GET ON IT!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mixing it up Mondays!

Alot of times when I work, people ask me how I come up with recipes. Or can they have my recipes so they can make my drinks at home. Usually its during the busiest time of the shift so I can't ever get right to it.. So since I'm back writing, on Monday's Ill post one of my recipes for a cocktail, whether it was something I was playing around with at home, or submitted it in a competition...

So the 1st one I can only lay claim to 50% of the brainstorming to come up with the recipe, but its a good one. Late last year Effen Vodka brought the Art of Design competition to the Hard Rock Hotel here in Chicago. It was an iron chef type of event, and we were randomly selected into pairs to come up with a cocktail and present it to the audience and judges. Note we only had about 30 mins tops to get everything together. I was paired with my main man Orlando( A Great bartender from the Underground Lounge here in Chicago) who we had never met before the event and we went to work. Funny part about the story was that we had a game plan, but all the ingredients that we wanted to use were taken before we could grab them. So we took mix and match approach and we created the WINNING cocktail called the "Abstract".

1.5oz Effen Black Cherry Vodka
1oz Red Pepper Infused Simple Syrup
.5 Thatchers Apple Ginger Liqueur
.5 Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
Egg white
Garish with Thyme

Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake Vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Place the Thyme right in the middle and enjoy. And then it should look a little something like this.......

 It sounds like it shouldn't go together, but when you taste it an array or flavors explode into your mouth. Hence the name the "Abstract" The premise of the competition was the Art of design, and well sometimes abstract art is the best type of art. Its what the artist saw and conveyed to you. Well this cocktail is what we saw, and we conveyed it to everyone at the event. Try it at home and let me know how it tuned out..

Until Next Time
Mr. Mixologist

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Shake It Up Competition

Competition Season is upon us. The winter and early spring months bring on a slew of Cocktail Competitions and the "Shake It Up 2012" competition at the NCB show in Vegas is a BIG one.  These competitions are a chance for bartenders to come together, show your creativity, and learn from some of our counterparts. The prizes aren't bad either.. Some are monetarily, alot of cool swag from the sponsoring companies, and just a chance to rub shakers with some of the industry best. I remember my very first competition. I was nervous as HELL!!! Found out that a couple of my judges were Andy Seymour, and Angus Winchester. Needless to say, I didn't win that comp, but the experience and the chance to have my cocktail critiqued by 2 of the BEST in the industry was an invaluable experience. So get your cocktail recipes in and hope we all make it to Vegas. The plugger below has the official rules....

See you in Vegas!! Get to Mixing it up!!!!

Until Next Time
Mr. Mixologist

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hot Happy Hour Cocktails

Happy New Year everyone! I have neglected my readers on here for way to long.. Expect alot of new posts, some reviews Ive been promising, event pics, and vids and all the new developments that ended 2011, and are continuing thru 2012 and beyond.

Now here in Chicago we have been having an unseasonably warm winter. It almost felt like spring for the last couple weeks. But the last couple days the bottom finally fell out!! Its COLD AS A MOTHER IN LAWS WORDS right about now. Snow, wind, ice, slush, we got hit with it all at the same time... What to do when its cold like this? The traditional Vodka/Cranberry, Rum/Coke, Margarita is not really in season. Why don't you warm up with some "Hot" Cocktails. There are many Hot cocktails that can be made with Tea, coffee, hot water, etc so here's 3 that are my personal favorites and some I'm sure you all will enjoy as well...

Irish Coffee 
Whiskey( Jameson is my preference)
Cream(Bailey's is my preference)
Brown Sugar

Now there are many different variations of this cocktail, but I like the original which calls for Brown sugar instead of white. So the prep consists of pouring the Coffee in a mug. Add Whiskey, and a Tsp. of sugar and stirred until dissolved. Layer the cream on top, using the back of a bar spoon. It should sit right on top of the coffee and the drink should be sipped thru the cream. This can be a very tasty way to warm yourself up on a cold day!\

Hot Toddy
Hot Water

Who hasn't had one of these? This has been a tradition in my family to kill a cold for years.. Actually my 1st ever encounter with alcohol came in the form of my uncle giving me one of these when i was younger! Thanks Unc! It is a mixed cocktail where you take some boiling water, add a little whiskey( Old Grandad is my preference) Hot water, squeeze about an ounce of fresh lemon juice, and about half an ounce of Sugar and honey. Now Ive heard some people like to add a dash of cinnamon or garnish with a cinnamon stick, to add to the flavor.

And finally one of my NEW favorite hot cocktails and Today is the NATIONAL day for this cocktail, the Hot Buttered Rum.

Hot Buttered Rum
1 small slice soft butter
1 tsp brown sugar
Optional spices to taste: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice
Vanilla extract
2 oz Dark Rum
Hot water

All I can say is this is Deliciouslessness(yes I made that word up!) in a glass!! I like Rum, actually I love Rum! And if you've been out all day, on a cold Chicago winter day and you come in and whip one of these up, makes for a great evening. Muddle your butter,sugar,vanilla, and your choice of additional spices, Add your Rum, and hot water. Give it a good stir and enjoy!

So here are a few of my favorite hot cocktails, and hopefully during this cold Chicago Winter you'll be able to enjoy one from time to time. And if you ever catch me at the SL Sports Lounge working a shift and you want to warm up, feel free to ask for one. Ill make it just right for you :)

Until Next Time