Creating a Hit List
Creating a cocktail menu for your outlet can be a pretty personal experience. A lot of operators have worked their way up through bartending, making a cocktail menu refresh a pretty hands-on experience. Some prefer to let their bar team take on some ownership and create a menu between them, where some like to outsource entirely. There’s no real right answer here, just what works best for you and the time that you have available, but creating a cocktail menu always comes back to the same thing: balance
Coffee cocktails have been on many menus for a while now, the espresso martini now an essential addition to every spirits-led bar. We ask Patrick Kempinski, Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2018 for Kenya, why his is so special
Tall, fast, profitable and unimaginably diverse - we're getting into it up to the highballs (and we promise that's it with the highball puns)
WHISKY & ANYTHING
Ervin Trykowski spent years honing his craft as a bartender in the best bars, and also set up the Glasgow Bartenders Club. He now works as the global Scotch Whisky Ambassador for Diageo, and here tells us why the spirit is the perfect foil for food.
…and be merry
Not everyone reading this will be trying to present customers with complex cuisine, but with a focus on some simple standards you start to learn that most food can be enhanced with the appearance of some spirits. Here are a few very basic flavour suggestions that can cover popular fare from the kitchen, particularly at a time of year when food sales are crucial
Essentially a rum sour. The Navy had a big role to play in the Daiquiri, they were mixing lime with sugar spirits as early as the era of Sir Francis Drake in a bid to fight scurvy
The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that should really adorn every cocktail menu.
Not content with a whole heap of history behind it, arguably more than any other classic, a competently made Old Fashioned is a reliable rubberstamp of quality for customers. If a bar can make an excellent Old Fashioned, chances are that the other drinks on the venue’s list can be deftly delivered too.
No other drink captures that moment, when the short arm strikes six (or indeed five if you’ve had a really horrible day) more magnificently. Staggeringly simple yet deceptively difficult to master, the Martini is unashamedly brazen in its booziness, transparent in both appearance and intention; clean-lined yet complex, a v-shaped salute to the tribulations, trudge and tyranny of modern life – and rightly considered as the king of the classic cocktails.