The Complete Bartender: Everything You Need to Know for Mixing Perfect Drinks

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9780425126875: The Complete Bartender: Everything You Need to Know for Mixing Perfect Drinks

From classic drinks to new taste sensations, The Complete Bartender is your total guide to great bartending and perfect party planning. The easy-to-follow recipes take you through the steps of preparing drinks of all kinds.

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About the Author:

Robyn M. Feller is the author of a number of nonfiction books.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

INTRODUCTION

BEING a skinny, blond lightweight, the first time I went to a bar, I had to sneak in illegally. It was a bar in the West Village, and I felt so cool—as if I had pulled a prank on the entire universe. I got kicked out for making out loudly with a patron rather than being an utter drunk, so I guess I get a bonus point for being a flirt and not an alcoholic.

My intimate relationship with liquor began in the city, despite the fact that I was raised in the Garden State. I got to know some of the newest and best drinks by hanging in the bright lights, big city, but it wasn’t until my stint at bartending school that I really learned the basics of the art heretofore known as mixology. As an actress and stand-up comic, I figured bartending would be a great way to make money at night and maybe even pick up a hot guy or two. My Jewish dad lovingly handed me the bread to pay for the class, but once I realized I might attract more loons behind the bar than I already did in front of the bar, I decided to keep my love for liquor a “nonoccupational” pursuit. Needless to say, my father was not too happy that his precious money had been squandered. To this day he still says, “Remember when you took that bartending course? You never even worked a day behind the bar.”

Thanks, Pops.

During the class, I applied my perky overachieving attitude to mixing drinks, just like I do with everything else in life.

“The drink has to be perfect. How do I know exactly how much to use?” I asked my instructor, a handsome dark-skinned hipster who wasn’t even trying to be a hipster.

He pushed his dark Buddy Holly glasses back up his nose and said, “There are no concrete rules in love . . . or alcohol. Just play around until it tastes right. Put your Type-A attitude aside.”

I was skeptical of his laissez-faire outlook, but I went with it, and so far, no one’s been hurt. And that’s just the point of this book. Except, perhaps, for hard-core bartending jobs at pricey restaurants, mixology is at best an inexact science. If it had to be precise, very few people would drink, and the world would be a miserable place (and perhaps less populated). There are always going to be differences in the way two people mix the same drink. Some go heavy on the alcohol, some go light. Some change the ingredients, some change the proportions. Lots of ice versus one or two cubes. You say old-fashioned, I say lowball. The goal is to make a drink that tastes good to you—and to your guests.

Get intimate with your liquor supply. Experiment with what you have using the recipes in this book, or try something new. The recipes—some new, some old, some adapted for today’s tastes—are mere guidelines. The step-by-step instructions are intended to make mixing a drink as easy as possible for you.

Because all drink and no play makes for a very unintelligible and dull boy or girl, I’ve filled this book with party-planning tips and ideas for creating the perfect home bar: the drinks, the ambience, and the attitude that will enable you to be a master mixologist and the perfect host.

And don’t forget: Try not to overindulge. While I love a good party as much as the next gal, I’m more concerned about your health, your personal welfare, and the well-being of your friends. Don’t let your friends drink and drive. And if health is your main concern when it comes to libations, never fear. In the age of Zumba and the juice cleanse, plenty of folks are drinking more moderately in the interest of fitness. This book offers plenty of ideas for lighter and nonalcoholic drinks that won’t make you regain the freshman fifteen.

Bartending can be lots of fun if you follow your instincts, do what you like, and provide your guests with a safe good time. Relax and enjoy yourself, and you’ll always be the life of the party.

Cheers!

STOCKING YOUR BAR

THE home bar should reflect your personal taste and reveal a little about what makes you you. Not everyone needs to stock every exotic liquor on the market just to impress a few visitors. If all you and your friends ever drink is beer, wine and straight vodka, well then, there’s your shopping list, my friend. But home bars can grow. Maybe you’ll start out with three items and gradually add a few different liquors and a flavorful liqueur or two. Then one day you’ll be browsing in a liquor store and you’ll pick up a small bottle of whatever it is you’ve been meaning to try—and so grows your home bar.

Your initial purchases, then, should be based on what you’ll use most and what you and your friends and family like. If you know what you want, you’re better off buying in large quantities, since larger bottles are generally less expensive per unit than smaller bottles. But there’s no need to go overboard when making your initial purchases; buy reasonable amounts, unless, of course, you are sure that you like something in particular. Then, by all means buy as much as you want, especially if you find it for a good price.

While every bar will be slightly different, here are some basic guidelines. Outlined below is a suggested shopping list for a starter bar. Make any adjustments you like.

The Basic Home Bar Checklist

LIQUORS

1 bottle bourbon (750 ml)

1 bottle brandy (750 ml)

1 bottle Canadian whiskey (750 ml)

1 bottle dry gin (1¾ liters)

1 bottle rum (1¾ liters)

1 bottle Scotch whiskey (750 ml)

1 bottle tequila (1¾ liters)

1 bottle vodka (1¾ liters)

LIQUEURS

small bottles of the following:

triple sec

amaretto

crème de menthe

Drambuie

crème de cacao

Bénédictine

Kahlúa

Cointreau

WINE AND BEER

1 bottle dry vermouth (small)

1 bottle sweet vermouth (small)

2 six-packs beer (1 regular, 1 light)

2 bottles white wine

2 bottles red wine

1 bottle rosé wine (optional)

1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine

The Home Bar of Champions

If the basic stocking suggestions don’t appeal to you, perhaps you’re looking for liquors that make a bolder statement. Well, take a look below. The spirits mentioned here are more daring—they go beyond the ordinary bartender’s collection, allowing you to be a mixologist’s mixologist. But you needn’t invest in the entire list right off the bat. Go slowly. Find out what you like by tasting, whether at friends’ homes or when you go out for a drink.

And if you like a drink you taste when you’re out, ask the friendly bartender for his or her number—for the drink recipe, I mean.

LIQUOR

1 bottle brandy

1 bottle V.S.O.P. cognac

1 bottle dry English gin

1 bottle Irish whiskey

1 bottle dark rum (Jamaican)

1 bottle gold rum

1 bottle light rum

1 bottle blended Scotch whiskey

1 bottle Tennessee whiskey

1 bottle gold tequila

1 bottle white tequila

1 or 2 bottles premium vodka (Russian or Scandinavian; store in your freezer)

LIQUEURS

small bottles of the following:

framboise, kirschwasser, plum brandy (slivovitz) or other flavored brandies of your choice

crème de cassis, sambuca, Galliano, Frangelico, Kahlúa, peppermint schnapps, peach schnapps or any other of your favorite liqueurs, approximately five bottles in all

WINE

3 aperitif wines, such as Dubonnet, Lillet, Campari

1 bottle cream sherry

1 bottle port

1 bottle madeira

several bottles of your favorite white wines, including at least one table wine and one dessert wine

several bottles of your favorite red wines, ranging from dry to sweet

2 or 3 bottles champagne and/or sparkling wine

Mixers

Whether you stock a basic bar or one with all the extras, you will need to keep on hand a supply of the following:

Bloody Mary mix

club soda

coffee

cola

cranberry juice cocktail

cream (heavy and light)

cream of coconut

Falernum

ginger ale

grapefruit juice

grenadine

lemon juice

lime juice (Rose’s is the most popular—it is not a substitute for fresh lime juice, however, since it contains a sugary syrup)

orange juice

orgeat (almond syrup)

passion fruit juice (or nectar)

piña colada mix

pineapple juice

seltzer

lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7-Up)

sour mix

tomato juice

tonic water

water (distilled or spring)

Odds and Ends

No bar would be complete without the miscellaneous ingredients and garnishes that make mixed drinks truly special. Don’t hesitate to include the following in your bar:

bitters (Angostura, orange)

cherries (maraschino)

cinnamon sticks

ice (three types: cubes, cracked and crushed)

lemons

limes

nutmeg

olives

onions (pickled pearl)

oranges

salt

sugar

Tabasco

Worcestershire sauce

BARWARE AND GLASSWARE

KEEPING the right tools on hand can make bartending a lot easier. And as anyone who works with their hands can tell you, the right equipment can make the difference between a hassle and a pleasure. The lists below suggest some of the utensils and serving ware that will help make your bartending experience a success.

EQUIPMENT

bar spoon (long)

can/bottle opener

champagne bucket

cocktail napkins

corkscrew (winged version or waiter’s)

covered cocktail shaker

cutting board

electric blender

ice bucket and tongs

juice extractor

lemon/lime squeezer

martini pitcher

measures/shot glasses (these vary in size—a jigger is 1½ ounces)

measuring cup

measuring spoons

mixing pitcher

muddler (wooden)

paring knife/bar knife

picks (for garnishes)

punch bowl and glasses

saucers for salt and sugar (if you need to frost the rim of a glass)

seltzer bottle

shaker set: shaker (mixing) glass and metal tumbler

speed pourers (optional)

strainer

straws

swizzle sticks

towels

Glassware

The trend these days is toward multipurpose glassware, so if you choose to have only one or two types, large wineglasses, rocks glasses and highball glasses are good choices. A description of the various types of glassware follows.

balloon (large wineglass) Ranges in size from 9 to 14 ounces.

beer goblet A stemmed balloon-type glass that holds about 12 ounces.

beer mug 12 to 16 ounces.

brandy snifter Best to choose those that hold 3, 6 or 12 ounces. They do come larger, though. For straight brandy.

champagne flute For champagne, champagne drinks or wine. Holds 4 to 6 ounces.

champagne saucer Also for champagne, but this type allows bubbles to escape more readily than the fluted or tulip type. Holds about 4 ounces.

champagne tulip For champagne, champagne drinks or wine. Holds 4 to 6 ounces.

cocktail This is your basic glass for drinks “straight up.” Ranges in size from 3 ounces to 6 ounces. The large ones can be used for frozen drinks. The 4½-ounce size can be used for martinis, Manhattans and stingers. Sturdy, solid stems are best since you can hold on to the stem without warming the drink.

Collins Ranges in size from 10 to 14 ounces. Used for Collins drinks, fizzes, exotic drinks like Mai Tais, Singapore Slings, relatives of Long Island Ice Teas and other mixed drinks that require a bit more room than a highball. Some Collins glasses are frosted for effect.

double rocks Holds 14 to 16 ounces. For larger drinks “on the rocks.” A gaining trend on the glassware scene.

goblet Approximately 12 ounces. Great for tropical drinks, blended drinks, frozen drinks. The 22-ounce hurricane glass can also be used for really mammoth drinks.

highball Ranges in size from 8 to 12 ounces. Good for most standard mixed drinks. Similar to a Collins glass, but shorter and wider.

martini Similar to a cocktail glass, but with a distinctive V shape. Nothing beats a martini in an actual martini glass. About 4 ounces.

hot drink mug 10 to 12 ounces. Used for hot drinks, hot coffee drinks, cappuccinos, Irish coffee, etc.

parfait A specialty glass, approximately 7½ ounces; can be used for drinks containing ice cream and/or fruit.

pilsner 10 to 16 ounces. Used for beer.

pony (cordial) Up to 2 ounces. Can be used for liqueurs, brandy and small pousse-cafés.

pousse-café A specialty glass for drinks that are “floated,” such as Rainbow Pousse-Café or Traffic Light.

red wine Holds 6 to 11 ounces. Is more rounded than a white wine glass, in order to direct the bouquet of red wine to the drinker’s nose.

rocks (stemmed or not stemmed) Ranges in size from 6 to 8 ounces. Also called “lowball” or “old-fashioned.” Used for drinks served “on the rocks.” If you don’t own shot glasses, you can use these to serve straight shots of liquor or liqueur.

sherry Holds about 3 ounces. Used for cordials and liqueurs. You can substitute the popular Spanish copita.

shot Ranges from a fraction of an ounce to 2 ounces (long shot). The standard shot measure these days is 1½ ounces (also called a jigger). Can hold one liquor or can be used for mixed shooters. It also comes in a two-sided metal measuring version, where one side holds 1 ounce and the other side holds 1½ ounces.

sour Also called a delmonico glass or a whiskey sour glass. Holds 5 or 6 ounces. Known for its use with sours of all kinds.

white wine Can also hold from 6 to 11 ounces, although generally a bit smaller than red wine glasses.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE

SOMEHOW, the ways alcoholic beverages are measured, in both the bottle and the mixing glass, have always managed to confuse most people. Just what is a fifth? Which holds more—a pony or a jigger? The charts below should help clear things up.

Bottle Sizes

Remember when you rolled your eyes in math class, wondering why you should bother learning the metric system? Well, your teachers must have known something, because on December 31, 1979, the sizing of liquor bottles in America was converted to metrics. I always knew I should have been nicer to my math teacher!

Spirits

Wines

Standard Bar Measurements

No, bar measurements don’t have anything to do with metrics, but they are confusing enough nonetheless. Keep this chart handy, though, and you’ll do all right.

GARNISHES

GARNISHES can add flavor or flair to any drink. Here are the garnishes you’ll encounter most often, plus a few special ones.

Types of Garnishes

bitters The leading name in bitters is Angostura, but orange bitters are sometimes called for instead.

celery A Bloody Mary would be incomplete without celery. And, hey, it makes the drink healthy—right?

cherries Maraschino cherries are most often used. They usually are red, but green ones exist, too. Maraschino cherries make great garnishes for tropical drinks and many sours, as well as the standard Manhatta...

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Descrizione libro Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Berkley.. Language: English . Brand New Book. From classic drinks to new taste sensations, The Complete Bartender is your total guide to great bartending and perfect party planning. The easy-to-follow recipes take you through the steps of preparing drinks of all kinds. Codice libro della libreria AAC9780425126875

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