Month: August 2012

Did you say “on the rocks”

It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking. If there’s ice in your glass, it’s holding all the power. Those little frozen cubes (or shards, or shavings) can make the difference between a perfectly chilled, flavorful cocktail and a watery waste of good liquor. Once you’ve chosen your spirits and picked out a recipe, it’s time to reconsider your rocks.The rise of the mixologist in recent years has ushered in a new era of hand-carved ice, glass-sized cylinders engineered to cool and dilute drinks at the perfect rate. But you don’t have to be a full-on frozen water enthusiast to get your hands on the right cubes — with just a few tips, you too can stop bad ice from ruining great cocktails.

MOSCOW MULE 

Mix ingredients in a highball glass with ice.

Consider the cocktail (or spirit). The purpose of the ice in the drink will determine the best sort to use. If you’re enjoying a spirit straight, and your goal is to enjoy the liquor in all of its purity, you’ll want to choose cubes that offer limited surface area — a few large, hard frozen, uniform blocks as opposed to a glassfull of oddly-shaped smaller ones — to ensure that you can finish the drink before the ice has melted. Scotch or other dark spirit drinkers (or anyone else looking for a cold drink with no dilution) can opt out of ice altogether, and select whiskey stones instead.Colder is better. Conversations about ice are often eye-roll-inducing, typically because of comments like this one. But it’s true: adding wet, already-melting ice to your drink is essentially like adding water right away. If you’ve mixed a perfect cocktail and want to keep it as is, don’t add ice that’s already halfway back to liquid. For cocktail parties at home, keep your ice in the freezer as long as possible, not in an icebucket at the bar.

Keep it fresh. Believe it or not, ice gets old in a hurry. It may stay frozen for months on end, but after just a few weeks in the freezer, it picks up the flavors and aromas of anything nearby. Protect your drink from tasting like salmon filets or even just like the freezer itself by replacing your cubes on a regular basis.Know Your Ice Types.Cracked — Great for mixed drinks that need a fast chill and good stir. Crack larger ice cubes by tapping them on a hard surface with a spoon.

Crushed — Appropriate for mojitos and mint juleps, crushed ice is great for when dilution is a desireable result — a little melt-off helps soften very strong flavors. To crush ice at home without a blender or ice-o-matic, place cubes in a plastic bag, wrap it in a towel, and tap with a hammer until you’re left with shards.

Cubed — Look for cocktail-specific ice trays that make ice cubes into, well, actual cubes; the larger the better. Achieve clearer pieces by using hot filtered water at the outset. For larger cubes to use for Scotch or other spirits, freeze water in small Picardie tumblers or jelly glasses, running hot water over the outside of the glass once frozen to release the large cylinder of ice.

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Learn the basic terms to order a “Classic Cocktail” like an expert!

 A bad cocktail  experience often begin with a disappointment to communicate. When it comes to ordering — or building — an amazing cocktail, it’s best to be at least a little experienced in basic bar terms.

Especially if you’re in the habit of ordering unclear drinks, you’ll increase your chance of getting what you love by knowing how to describe what you want!

COCKTAILS

Do you prefer your Manhattan up, or your Rob Roy perfect?  Your martini shaken or stirred?

Knowing the basic procedure of cocktail creation is your first step towards receiving a drink you’ll enjoy (and staying on good terms with your favorite bartender).

Cocktail

Perfect Manhattan

  • 2 oz Blended Whiskey
  • ½ oz Dry Vermouth
  • ½ oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 dash Bitters

Swirl with ice to chill, pour into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Chaser
A drink — either alcoholic or non — to be consumed directly after a shot. This can also be referred to as a back.

Float
To layer one type of liquor (or other ingredient) on top of another; the separation occurs due to the different densities of the liquids.

Garnish
A decorative piece of fruit or other solid ingredient not incorporated into the drink.

Neat
A liquor served solo in the glass, with no ice or other interfering ingredients.

On the Rocks

A single spirit or a cocktail served over ice.

Over
Similar to “on the rocks”: a liquor or mix of liquors served over ice cubes.

Perfect
A perfect Manhattan (or Rob Roy, for that matter) contains equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth (instead of selecting one or the other.)

Shaken
In a mixed drink, where the ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker, typically over ice. Leads to a frothy, well-integrated final product.

Sour
Typically a fruit juice — lemon or lime — added to a spirit as a mixer.

Splash
A small amount of any mixer (soda, say) added to a completed drink.

Stirred
Integrating spirits and mixers without the extreme, ice-breaking agitation of the cocktail shaker.

Straight Up
A spirit with no ice. Used interchangeably with “neat.”

Twist
A slice — or curl — of lemon peel run along the edge of the glass, and often left as garnish.

Up
Shaken or otherwise prepared with ice, but strained (now cold) into an ice-less glass.

Virgin
Non-alcoholic. Also known as a “mocktail.”

Well
A “well” drink is a mixed drink made with generic, or simply unspecified, spirits.

Learn the basic terms to order a “Classic Cocktail” like an expert!

 
Learn the basic terms to order a  “Classic Cocktail”  like an expert!
 
 A bad cocktail  experience often begin with a disappointment to communicate. When it comes to ordering — or building — an amazing cocktail, it’s best to be at least a little experienced in basic bar terms.
Especially if you’re in the habit of ordering unclear drinks, you’ll increase your chance of getting what you love by knowing how to describe what you want!
 
Image

Do you prefer your Manhattan up, or your Rob Roy perfect?

Your martini shaken or stirred?

 Knowing the basic procedure of cocktail creation is your first step towards receiving a drink you’ll enjoy (and staying on good terms with your favorite bartender).

Cocktail

Perfect Manhattan

  • 2 oz Blended Whiskey
  • ½ oz Dry Vermouth  
  • ½ oz Sweet Vermouth  
  • 1 dash Bitters

Swirl with ice to chill, pour into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Chaser
A drink — either alcoholic or non — to be consumed directly after a shot. This can also be referred to as a back.

Float
To layer one type of liquor (or other ingredient) on top of another; the separation occurs due to the different densities of the liquids.

Garnish
A decorative piece of fruit or other solid ingredient not incorporated into the drink.

Neat
A liquor served solo in the glass, with no ice or other interfering ingredients.

On the Rocks

A single spirit or a cocktail served over ice.

Over
Similar to “on the rocks”: a liquor or mix of liquors served over ice cubes.

Perfect
A perfect Manhattan (or Rob Roy, for that matter) contains equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth (instead of selecting one or the other.)

Shaken
In a mixed drink, where the ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker, typically over ice. Leads to a frothy, well-integrated final product.

Sour
Typically a fruit juice — lemon or lime — added to a spirit as a mixer.

Splash
A small amount of any mixer (soda, say) added to a completed drink.

Stirred
Integrating spirits and mixers without the extreme, ice-breaking agitation of the cocktail shaker.

Straight Up
A spirit with no ice. Used interchangeably with “neat.”

Twist
A slice — or curl — of lemon peel run along the edge of the glass, and often left as garnish.

Up
Shaken or otherwise prepared with ice, but strained (now cold) into an ice-less glass.

Virgin
Non-alcoholic. Also known as a “mocktail.”

Well
A “well” drink is a mixed drink made with generic, or simply unspecified, spirits.