Moxie's Classic Grill

moxiesIn the past week I have quit my previous bartending job and have started working for Moxies Classic Grill. Right now, there are nine days of training, with one day off, so my time is at a premium right now. This company looks very professional and the training is extensive. Most of the training involves "behavior" and memorization work, i.e. the whole menu, which is huge.

Moxie's has a good number of house cocktails, but nothing truly special. They do offer a drink called a "Bellini" but it is not a true Bellini. Hopefully, they will be open to suggestions (which they said they were during orientation) because I would like to make their cocktail list the best. Other than that little issue, they have a well stocked bar and pretty much any drink can be made upon request. They have a great menu, now they just need the cocktails to match.

Creme de Cassis may Benefit Your Mental Health

kir royal As I was browsing the Internet, I came across an article about black currants, which are used to make cassis based liqueurs and wines. In this article, it reports on a study conducted by some New Zealand researchers who found that the anti-oxidants in the black currant could prevent oxidative stress of human cell cultures. They then surmise that a range of functional products could be developed and sold for the benefits. Well, first there are product(s) that have been around since the 1600's and that of course that is Creme de Cassis. So here is some more info on this great liqueur.

The Hurricane Cocktail

hurricancis.jpgThis is a classic cocktail that is fruity and strong with the two star ingredients being rum and passion fruit. With other fruit juices added, this drink comes out like a type of fruit punch, with a big alcohol kick. It is believed that the drink was first created in 1939 at the Hurricane Bar in New York, but was made famous by Pat O'Brien in New Orleans. If you are in the mood for something tropical but are tired of Mai Tai's and Singapore Slings, give this cocktail a shot.

Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail

mixologist.jpgHaving been a contributing author to this book, I figured I should write a little about it. The idea for the journal was born at Southern Comfort Tales of the Cocktails and was the brain child of Robert Hess, Dave Wondrich and Anistatia Miller. While having pre-dinner cocktails, this group discussed how it was time to have a forum for professional cocktail enthusiasts. The idea developed into The Journal of the American Cocktail, and requests went out for papers to be included. I submitted a paper on Simple Syrup, which doesn't sound all that exciting, but with my background in chemistry, I highlighted some things that most people would be unaware, but could affect the quality of the cocktails being made.

Dirty Little Secret

dirty-little-secretThe B-52 shooter is one of the most popular shooters around. When properly made, it is elegant in its appearance and taste great. This one shoot has spawned a great number of copy cat recipes in its honour, and I am about to add another tribute to this drink. This version is called the "Dirty Little Secret" and is based on the three layer system, but the flavours are more harmonious than in the B-52 and anyone who likes vanilla would like this.

Cocktail Critic: Moloko Plus

cclogo.gifAbsinthe is a drink surrounded in mystery and has become some what of a hot topic lately. The belief that there are "special" properties, to this green liquor, is an attraction to many. This has created a new market for the "green fairy" drink and with the increase in cocktail popularity, it was inevitable that the two would meet one another. This meeting resulted in the creation of an absinthe based cocktail by Christopher S. called the "Moloko Plus."

Absinth Primer

AbsinthWith tomorrows edition of the Cocktail Critic featuring a drink made with absinth, it would be a good time to discuss some facts about absinth. Good quality absinth can be found in Europe and Canada, but is unavailable in the United States. There are products, such as Absente, which do not have the active ingredient in worm wood, thujone, present. Other liqueurs, like pastis, were developed after France banned absinth production. They are not a true substitute, because they are generally sweeter, less bitter and contain less alcohol. However, they do have the anise characteristic found in absinth.

Cocktail Critic Submission Guidelines

cocktail critic logoThe first edition of the cocktail critic was a success, but there were some questions on how the ratings were determined. The criteria for how the submitted cocktails are rated, is layed out in the following post to help clarify the issue. Scoring a Perfect 10 will be extremely difficult, as it should. The challenge is to create something new and unique. Many of the classic cocktails have used common ingredients in a cocktail, that are both widely available, taste good and are easy to prepare, which would have resulted in a high score. The best example is a Manhattan, which would probably score very high. Use that as template and your score will go up. Everyone is welcome to submit a recipe, and if you have one,please feel free to submit it to

Whiskey Lullaby

A lullaby is defined as a soothing refrain or song to quiet children or lull them to sleep. As adults we may forgo the soothing refrain and head for a great, soothing, cocktail to relieve the days stresses. Whisky or whiskey, depending on where you are from, is a popular choice for a late night tipple. The whiskey lullaby is a soothing cocktail, with a base of whiskey, obviously, and rounded out with vanilla.

Goombay Smash

goombay smashSmashes are drinks that usually contain muddled mint, but not always. Some examples of early smashes from the 1800's consist of a spirit, like whisky, gin, rum with sugar and mint. These were usually served in an old fashion glass. The modern idea for a smash is a drink with a good dose of spirit and a combination of fresh fruit juices. The Goombay Smash is popular example of this modern variation. This drink was created in Green Turtle Cay, the Bahamas at the Blue Bee Bar. This drink is now popular throughout the Caribbean. If you like rum, pineapple and coconut, this drink might be for you, however, this is not your mothers pina colada.

Cocktail: Chocolate Martini

With "martini's" being all the rage these days, it's not hard to identify the trend setting cocktails. The Cosmopolitan was a big trend setter, but the Chocolate Martini is also a contender. The Cosmo, as it is now know, was a fairly inventive cocktail, combining principals of old, with modern tastes. With the classic Chocolate Martini (1 part Vodka & 1 part Creme de Cacao) there isn't much to appreciate, nor is it a particularly complex drink. What it does have is chocolate, and who doesn't like chocolate. The key to a great Chocolate Martini, is a creative imagination, and David McCarthy is one of those people. David has submitted a couple of recipes, for the Cocktail Critic, that take the basic drink to the next level. Let's see if he hits the mark.

Introducing the Cocktail Critic

cocktailcritic.gifThis new section will be a regular feature on the Art of Drink website, which will be published every Thursday of the week. A user submitted cocktail will be review and rated. Each cocktail will be rated on the ingredients, preparation, taste, uniqueness and a bartender rating. The bartender rating is to indicate whether this cocktail is appropriate for a bar environment or just with friends at home. Some cocktails are great, but the cost and ability to make the cocktail in a bar environment are important issues.

The introductory review will be of a cocktail sent in by David McCarthy. David created a number of cocktails to bring the chocolate martini to a new level. Please feel free to submit you original creation, for review, to When possible, I will try to acquire the correct ingredients in the recipe, but some items may not be available, so I may have to substitute with similar ingredients. All comments and suggestion on these drinks will be appreciated and I’m sure the submitters would like to hear your opinions.

Unique Ingredients: Maltodextrin

maltodextrin Progress in any business or creative endeavor is very important. Without progress, the world would be a very boring place. In the food and beverage industry, unique or hard to find ingredients are the way progress is made. In many cases, texture is as important as flavour. The use of raw eggs is one way to add texture to a drink, but there is also another way. Using a natural carbohydrate (complex sugar) from corn, called maltodextrin or dextrose, you can add a unique, smooth texture to a drink. It can also help in stabilize the foam/head on cocktails. Both of these characteristics make for a better cocktail.

Rumona Rum Liqueur

rumonaAs I was perusing my local liquor store, I came across a product called Rumona, which is a sweet rum liqueur from Jamaica. I'm personally a big fan of rum, but unless you are buying aged rum, it can be a little hot and hellish to sip straight, or even on the rocks. But, a rum liqueur would have all the flavour of rum, without the burn. Seem like a good reason for me to buy a bottle, and I wasn't disappointed.

Simple Syrup for Cocktails

simple syrupAs the name states, simple syrup is pretty simple. However, it is a very important part of cocktails, and without a standard, many cocktails can become cloyingly sweet or overly sour. In the Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail I wrote an in-depth article on how to make simple syrup and some background information the types of sugar you can use. In this post I'm going to provide you with a couple of recipes to get you started, but if you would like more information, please feel free to pick up a copy of Mixologist.

Navan Vanilla Cognac

navan cognacNavan is a new product from Grand Marnier that infuses fine cognac with pure vanilla and a touch of sweetness from added sugar. This product is 'designed' for the hip and trendy crowd that revels in expensive products. Aside from the 'reason' Navan was created, it is still a great tasting product and if you like the Grand Marnier orange liqueurs and are a fan of vanilla, this product is for you.

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