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How to Name a Cocktail

As bartenders and mixologists toil away behind their bars, they occasionally create inspiring cocktails that they want to share with the masses. After creation, the first thing that needs to be done is to provide the mixture with an etymological designation (i.e. give it a name). If the drink is truly unique, then picking a name is a trivial matter. If the drink is a variation on an existing cocktail,… [Continue]

Homemade Soda

The idea of making homemade soda from scratch sounds like fun, but it still requires a lot of attention to details. This is especially true when making the base flavour concentrate because 21 ml (2/3 of an ounce) of flavouring oils will end up making about 120L (30 gallons) of soda-pop! If you are okay with being accurate then you’ll find that homemade soda formulations are an awesome way… [Continue]

Layman’s Guide to the 100 Point Wine Scale

When I was at the Moscow Barshow (September 2011) I had the opportunity to judge the cocktail competition that pitted the best bartenders in Russia against one another. Robert "Drinkboy" Hess was also one of the judges and afterwards we had a discussion on the best way to rate cocktails in a competition. The discussion is ongoing and at some point we'll probably have some refinements, meanwhile… [Continue]

Age of Drugs

If you've read Fix the Pumps, you may have noticed that one of the reoccuring themes was the competition between saloons and pharmacies (bartenders and druggists) to hook the people on their tonics. Until 1906, when the Pure Food & Drugs Act was introduced, the local pharmacy / soda fountain had no restrictions on what they could… [Continue]

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