The Cocktailosphere has a new instructional YouTube video favorite, JaNee Nisonger of Maholo.com. Sometimes it takes a while for us to discover the greatness in these kind of videos. It took nearly a year before our prior guru from the American Bartending School, and his special garnish Daiquiri was discovered and brought to us by Jeff Morganthaler. In this case, JaNee’s work has been languishing in relative obscurity for almost four years, until it’s sudden notoriety this week. I’ve seen this 1st video being passed around by everyone in my FaceBook and Twitter feeds from USBG members to an Irish priest Notre Dame law professor.
Without further ado, let me present How to Make an Old-Fashioned:
I learned a lot from this video…
- Either sugar cubes or simple syrup will make a drink sweeter than the other one will. Which one, I didn’t catch.
- Using simple syrup instead of sugar cubes will make your finished drink “more liquidy”.
- Use “orange slice wedges”. More on this in a bit.
- Professional bartenders should use huge wooden spoons to muddle with.
- Be sure to use the special invisible Angostura Bitters that cannot be seen coming out of the bottle, even in extreme closeup.
- Use a glass as your ice scoop.
- “Three ounces” of bourbon will completely fill a pint glass.
- In other news, serve your Old-Fashioneds in pint glasses! (Perhaps you should also have this website engraved on the inside bottom of the glass)
- An Old-Fashioned is kind of like a Manhattan, but the orange makes it even better.
- To mix your Old-Fashioned, pour it back and forth between your pint glass serving vessel and your glass ice scoop which, by the way, isn’t large enough to hold it all. This allows you to make the required “messes all over the place”.
- Your finished drink should not fill your glass anymore, making it look like the bartender took a hearty slug or three for themselves before handing it over.
“Orange slice wedges”? This is what happens when you have an actress read a script, and she finds herself confronted with props that don’t match her lines. Yes, she is an actress. She was a bartender in LA, of course she’s an actor too. Here’s her IMDB page to prove it. Read it all. She also appears to have taken a shot at a country music career.
She also has a Masters Degree in education, and I imagine she’s since the time of this video moved on to a high school teaching something other than mixology.
My point in all the biographical info is to remind people that I’m having fun with this, but this train wreck of a video series was no fault of hers. Don’t blame her.
And yes, it is a series of videos, not just this one.
There are in fact a whole raft of these nuggets of cocktail wisdom from the Mind of Maholo. I especially like this next video on making a shot called (for good reason, I estimate) an Apocalypse Now. JaNee really doesn’t understand why someone would want one of these, since it isn’t “sweet, or even fruity”, but she soldiers on gamely, like an auto show spokesmodel who is showing off the new Chevrolet Self-Immolation.
They also did a second whole set of videos, I’m not sure which came first, in which she has, um, alternate wardrobe.
I wanted to finish with that video since it is at least not completely, horribly wrong. Yes, she’s given a pint glass again to serve a Tom Collins, a drink with its own class of glassware named after it. Yes, we see that same bottle of commercial sour mix that infests most videos in the series. (If you wanted to put in the time to determine the order in which the videos were made, just check the level of that bottle, as I think it’s the same one in all videos, no matter which dress she’s wearing.) Yes, they give her limes to garnish with. And yes, all the gin is still huddled at the bottom of the glass, hiding in horror from all that sour mix lurking above it like a wallflower at a middle-school dance, without so much as a stir from her to make it mix in.
But at least the drink is not half gin. And her discussion of the Collins as a class of drink is pretty spot on. And I’m not going to complain about the dress… If you click through to YouTube, beware of the comments, not only for reasons I think you can guess, but also because a number of the snotty comments from her supposed cocktail betters are just as wrong as the content.