Monday, February 7, 2011

Wow, it's been a long time...

I don't think I ever thought I'd let the blog go this long without posting. The last year or so has been a bit rough. I'm on my third job since I posted last (including the one I'd just gotten that day).

I'm now working as a bartender at Winslow's BBQ, located at the City Market in Kansas City, Missouri. First opened in 1971 (the year after I was born), the Today Show once called it, "one of the top rib joints in America." Not bad. :)

One of the things I like about this place is the bar top. It's copper. One of the few that I've seen that hasn't been wood. And it's big. One of the projects I've been helping with since I started was polishing it. I'm trying to restock my supply of elbow grease. And I wouldn't mind the polish so much if it didn't STINK so bad. But it looks tons better now than it did when I first saw it. When I interviewed, the owner told me that we would be doing a lot of work in the bar this year, making it a priority. This makes me happy, since making the bar a priority means money in my pocket.

Another thing I like is that they listen to ideas I may have about making things better. Just as an example, one of the managers asked me what my "signature shot" was. A bartender's signature shot is something that they're either known for or like to make a lot. If you've gone through the post archive, you've probably figured out that the shot I like making the most (even if it can be a pain in the butt to make sometimes) is an American Flag (layered shot of grenadine (bottom), white cream de cocoa, and blue curacao (top)). I made him one and even though it (a) had been a long time since I'd made one and (b) was harder than usual to make with the sticky pour spouts, it turned out well enough that he took a picture of it to send to his wife and also said we could put it on the menu for holidays like Memorial Day and Forth of July.

Now, I'd also like to thank my friend Jessie for the shout out she gave me today. I've got her blog (Rose Valley Ranch: Life on the Funny Farm) listed under "Stuff I Read," but if you're lazy like I am sometimes, you can just click here. She's smart, funny and loves animals just as much as, if not more than, I do. I've taken to keeping a browser window with her blog open all the time just so I don't miss anything. It's good stuff.

I think this time around I'm going to not only share recipes, but also share stories about stuff that happens at work. If I come up with a recipe at work and we put it on the menu, I will not be sharing it in as much detail as I normally would. The simple reason for that is by not sharing the ounce amounts and other details it gives you more of an incentive to come in and have me make it for you, thus putting more money in the boss's pocket and mine too.

I'd also like to take suggestions for either recipes or post ideas. Basically, if there's something you'd like to learn more about, post a comment or send me an email and I'll get right on that. :)

It's good to be back and, as always, please drink responsibly.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve and Champagne

It's New Year's Eve and at midnight people will be toasting the new year of 2010 with champagne. Now, if you're looking to do something with the champagne rather than just toast with a glass of the bubbly, you're in the right spot. Today, I have recipes that include champagne as one of the ingredients. For the designated driver or other non-drinkers (like those under 21), simply substitute sparkling grape juice.

Leading off on our menu this evening is the Bellini. As with most champagne drinks, you'll probably want to use a champagne flute. You'll first drop in 1 tbsp of pureed peach (or another fruit you like) into the bottom of the glass and then fill it with champagne.

Next on our list is the French Lift. Fill a champagne flute halfway with champagne. Pour in a dash of grenadine, and then fill it the rest of the way with sparkling water. Garnish it with 3-4 blueberries.

In the third spot in the order today is the Bird of Paradise. This time, you'll fill a wine glass 3/4 with ice and then fill that 3/4 with champagne. Fill the rest with pineapple juice leaving room for a dash of grenadine.

And in the cleanup spot in today's lineup is the Death in the Afternoon. Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute and drop 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters on it (the bitters are optional). Next, pour in 1 oz. of absinthe before filling the glass with champagne.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday and remember, please drink responsibly.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drinks for Christmas

I know it's been a while since I posted, but I've had some things goin' on. Anyway, if you're having a holiday party and want some drink ideas appropriate to the season, you're in the right place.

First up today is a drink simply called the Holiday Cocktail. Take a mixing glass with ice and pour in 1/2 oz. of Cointreau, 1/2 oz. of vodka and 1 oz. of cranberry juice. Shake and strain that into a champagne flute and add 3 oz. of champagne. That sounds like it might taste good. If you try it, let me know if you like it.

Next on our menu is the Mistletoe Martini. Chill your martini glass ahead of time with some ice and a little water. That will actually help it chill faster. In your mixing glass, pour in 1 oz. each of the following: coconut rum (Malibu or Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay), melon liqueur (e.g. Midori), pineapple juice and sweet & sour mix. Dump the ice water out of the martini glass and strain the drink into it. Be ready for a kiss for that one.

Third on our list is the Candy Cane Martini. Chill your martini glass the same way you did for the last one. In a mixing glass with ice, pour in 2 oz. of vanilla vodka, 1 oz. of white chocolate liqueur (Godiva should work wonders) and 1 oz. of peppermint schnapps. Shake it and strain it into your chilled martini glass. Not quite done yet. You top it with 1 tsp of grenadine for the color and garnish with a mini candy cane.

And, finally, we have the Santa Shot. This is a layered shot, so ask a bartender to make this one for you. In your shot glass, it's equal parts (and in this order) grenadine, green creme de menthe and peppermint schnapps. Christmas colors in a glass.

That's it for now and remember to have a safe and happy holiday season and drink responsibly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Non-alcholic Drinks

Every once in a while, someone will come into your bar that won't drink alcohol. They're either a designated driver or simply don't drink for any number of reasons.Today, I'll go through some drinks that you can serve those customers that may need to refrain from anything intoxicating.

First on the list is the Arnold Palmer. If I can't drink, I'll usually have one of these. Fill a mixing glass with ice and pour in equal parts of iced tea and lemonade. Shake it. You can garnish with a lemon if you'd like.

Next on the menu is an Egg Cream. In a tall glass, pour in 2-3 oz. of chocolate syrup. Fill the glass half way with milk, then the rest of the way with soda water. Stir it and you're done.

Let's continue with the Beach Blanket Bingo (the drink, not the movie from the 60's). Fill a tall glass with ice and pour in 3 oz. each of cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. Fill with soda water and garnish with a lime.

And finally the Virgin Mary. Fill a mixing glass with ice and put in the following: 1 tsp of horseradish, 3 dashes each of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, a dash of sweetened lime juice, 3 dashes each of celery salt and pepper and 1 oz. of clam juice (optional). Fill it with tomato juice and pour from one glass to another until it's all mixed up. Garnish with a lemon, stalk of celery or cocktail shrimp.

That's it for now. Please remember to drink responsibly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time (and Work) Savers

One of the worst feelings is throwing a party and not getting to enjoy it because you're making everyone's drinks all night. Now, if you're not hiring a pro like myself to work your party, you can still have a good time and not have to make drinks all night by mixing up big batches of some popular cocktails and putting them in bottles and then putting them in the fridge.

Now, for each of these recipes, you'll need two things. One, a 750ml bottle (you can either buy one or clean out an empty bottle and take the labels off) to pour into and, two, a funnel, so you don't make a mess all over the place. Each of these recipes will make 4-5 drinks.

The first big batch recipe is for the Cosmopolitan. Pouring into your bottle, put in 10 oz. of citrus vodka, 4 oz. of Cointreau (or triple sec), 2 oz. of fresh lime juice, 1 oz. of cranberry juice and 5 oz. of water. Water? Yes, water. You're adding in water to compensate for the water that would be added from shaking the drink in a mixing tin and the ice melting while you do that.

Next, a recipe for the classic Sidecar. Pour in 12 oz. of brandy or cognac (cognac is simply higher quality brandy), 3 oz. of Grand Marnier (orange and cognac-flavored), 3 oz. of fresh lemon juice and 6 oz. of water.

And finally, a recipe for the Manhattan. Pour in 12 oz. of whiskey, 4 oz. of sweet vermouth, 5 oz. of water and 1 tsp. of Angostura bitters. For a Rob Roy, just substitute scotch for the whiskey.

That's it for now and remember to please drink responsibly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Suggestive Drink Names...

Real life called and they wanted me back for a little while... :)

Today, I thought I'd go through some suggestive drink names like the BJ (don't need this blog getting blocked for p*rn) and, one of my favorite drink names of all time, the Long Sloe Comfortable Fuzzy Screw Against the Wall with Satin Pillows the Hard Way. Try saying that one five times fast after having a couple of them.

We'll start today with the BJ. This is a layered shot and the recipe I would use has 1/2 oz. each of coffee liqueur and amaretto and topped with whipped cream. Now, to drink this properly may require some coaching (if you don't know already). You start by putting your hands behind your back and bending over at the waist, picking the glass up with your mouth (a couple of head bobs are optional). Tilt your head back and swallow as much of it as you can. When you're done, put the glass back down on the bar without using your hands and trying not to have any of the drink go back into the glass (that can be kinda gross).

Next up is the Purple Helmeted Warrior. Fill your mixing glass with ice and pour in 1/2 oz. each of gin, Southern Comfort, peach schnapps and blue curacao, with a dash each of grenadine and sweetened lime juice. Shake it and strain it into a shot glass (depending on the size of the shot glass, you may get 2 shots out of that).

We'll follow that with the ever-popular Sex on the Beach. Now, there are a few recipes out there with that name, but this is the one I use. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour in 1 oz. of vodka, 1/2 oz. of peach schnapps and then fill the glass with equal parts orange and cranberry juice. Shake it and strain it.

And finally,
the Long Sloe Comfortable Fuzzy Screw Against the Wall with Satin Pillows the Hard Way. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour in 1/2 oz. each of gin, sloe gin (strawberry-flavored), Southern Comfort, and peach schnapps. Fill it with orange juice (I'd leave a little bit of room at the top). Shake it (pour it back into the same glass if you want) and top with 1/2 oz. of Galliano (licorice-flavored) and a dash of Frangelico (hazelnut-flavored) and a dash of whiskey.

That's it for now and remember to please drink responsibly.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baseball Themed-Drinks

Didn't think it'd be this long between posts, but I was having some health issues (sinuses can be a pain in the head, literally, and a pain in the ass, figuratively).

I was watching the Rising Stars Game (basically the all-star game) from the Arizona Fall League on tv and thought I'd find recipes for drinks named for things you think of when you think of baseball.

First up, what's a baseball game without a Hot Dog? The one I think I can drink involves just 2 ingredients. In a tall glass with ice, pour in 2 oz. peppered vodka and fill it the rest of the way with grapefruit juice.

Next, if you're having a hot dog at Fenway Park, you'll be looking out at the field and see The Green Monster. In a tall glass, pour in 1/2 oz. each of vodka, Southern Comfort, melon liqueur (like Midori), and peach schnapps. Add a dash of blue curacao and then fill the glass with equal parts beer and hard cider. Garnish it with a hot dog, peanuts or popcorn.

Finally, baseball's often been described as American as Apple Pie. I've got two recipes for that, a two-ounce cocktail and a shot. To make the cocktail, fill a mixing tin with ice and pour in 1-1/2 oz. of vodka or apple vodka and 1/2 oz. of apple cider or juice. Strain that into a chilled glass and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. To make the shot, pour equal parts apple brandy, cinnamon schnapps and Irish cream. To get it to work right, pour them down the side of the glass, in the order that I've listed them in.

That's it for now, and, as always, please drink responsibly.