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Best International Bar Nomination: VCC

t is that time of year when Tales of the Cocktail requests nominations for the best bars and bartenders from around the world. This year I will enthusiastically tip my hat to the Vintage Cocktail Club in Dublin Ireland. So why I am so enthusiastic about VCC? Well, read on and find out. In February 2015, my girlfriend and I decided that a trip to Ireland would be a fun way to escape the brutal […]

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Tavern Culture (1966)

Lately, I’ve been looking into old research papers on bars and the people who frequent them. One that I found fascinating is transcribed below and was published in 1966. The paper deals with a typical New York dive bar called the Star Tavern, the people who sit in the chairs and an Irish bartender. The paper was written by a psychiatrist who simply wanted to answer a question. He picked the bar and frequented it […]

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Bartending Pet Peeve Number One

When you work behind a bar, there are many things that the customers / guest don’t get to see or don’t understand. Sometimes we don’t want you to see things, it is part of the magic, other times we would like to let you know about something. Here’s one of those things that everyone should know. When you come to a restaurant and you are waiting in the lounge area until your tables is ready, […]

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Some Tips About Tipping

Recently there has been a lot of blog posts (Waiter Rant, Boozenews.ca, etc.) about tipping, and I figure I should throw my two cents into the ring. In general, tipping or providing gratuities, for a job well done by a server or bartender is a given in the food and beverage business. But it is always a crap shoot from the server’s point of view. Sometimes we get stiffed even though we provided exceptional service, […]

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Cocktail Hall of Shame

When you write a blog, you try to keep things interesting by writing about a bunch of different subjects. Most of the time I write about cocktails and drinks I like, or what’s popular. That can get old. So I decided that I should occasionally write about things I don’t like and see what we can learn from it. Hence, the Cocktail Hall of Shame. This may become a semi-regular subject looking at bad cocktails […]

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My First Bartending Shift

Every once-in-a-while I like to reflect back upon certain bartending moments in my life, and one that always comes to mind is my first bartending shift ever. I, like many others, started bartending by doing group events, mine happened to be a Christmas party. The job seemed simple, two bartenders would serve basic drinks to a group of between 300 and 400 guests from 6PM to 2AM. The catering company stated to me that the […]

Working Bartender Advice
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Advice for New Bartenders

The number one email question I get is “what should a new bartender know before they start their first shift?” or “what should a new bartender do to becomes successful?”. So instead of answering each question independently, I figured I could put together a good summary post that will get the basics out of the way. This is also a good post for anyone that frequents a bar because it will give you some insight […]

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Cocktail Menu / List – Aperitifs

In the quest for a well-balanced drink menu, I have included some basic mint based drinks, some classic cocktails, a few modern creations and then the aperitifs. The standard definition of an aperitif is a an alcoholic drink usually enjoyed as an appetizer before a large meal. It is derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means to open. Many aperitifs have a bitter component to them, but they don’t necessarily need that, but they […]

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Door 74

Around this big blue marble, stylish 1920’s era bars are making a discrete come back. The most recent addition is door 74, in Amsterdam, which is under the watchful gaze of Philip Duff. For those who know Philip, most would agree that he is a bon vivant with an insatiable appetite for cocktails and beautiful women. His worldly travels landed him right back in Amsterdam with the desire to put his preaching’s to practice. Partnering […]