Category - Bartenders

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The Academic-Cocktail Joke Nexus
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Negroni Week is Half Over! What Are You Waiting For?
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The Cocktailosphere Has A New YouTube Darling
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SideBlog: Cocktail Competition Genius
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Space Cocktails
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New Cocktail Blogging Tool

The Academic-Cocktail Joke Nexus

Via @BenK84 this morning, I discovered a wonderful Reddit thread containing all sorts of academic-related jokes. As a bonus, most of them are really funny.

As another bonus, I learned that in academic humor today, mathematicians occupy the same role that polish folk did in low-brow humor about fifty years ago. As you can read in these three jokes from the very top of the thread, the chief difference is that mathematicians likely deserve the “honor”…

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematicians have to build a fence around a flock of sheep, using as little material as possible. The engineer forms the flock into a circular shape and constructs a fence around it. The physicist builds a fence with an infinite diameter and pulls it together until it fits around the flock. The mathematicians thinks for a while, then builds a fence around himself and defines himself as being outside.

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician are staying overnight in a hotel. During the night a fire breaks out. The engineer wakes up, walks out into the hallway, and sees the fire. The engineer grabs a fire extinguisher and puts the fire out.
Later that night the fire breaks out again, but this time the physicist wakes up. The physicist walks out into the hallway and sees the fire. After calculating ambient temperature and air pressure, the physicist puts out the fire.
Later that night, the mathematician wakes up to the smell of smoldering embers. The mathematician walks out into the hall, and thinks for a minute. The mathematician then rekindles the fire from the embers, and goes back to bed satisfied that the problem has been reduced to a previously solved one.

A guy greeted his mathmetician friend at an airport, after catching up he said “So how did you get over your fear of flying?” The mathmetician responded “Well as you know I’m scared senseless of the thought of a terrorist being onboard, the chances of that happeneing are 1/10000 and I dont like those odds, so I merely put the odds in my favour” The guy asked “How did you do that?” The mathmetician opened his briefcase revealing a bomb, “The chances of two terrorists being on board a plane are 1/10000000″

Doug, why are you telling math jokes on your cocktail blog?
The drunks that visit here will all be confused.

Because there are also some great jokes about scientists, and especially mathematicians, walking into a bar.

An infinite number of Mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer and so on. After the 7th order the bartender pours 2 beers and says, “you fellas ought to know your limits.”

Give yourself an extra day to pay off your student loans if you got that one!

The thread of replies to these jokes are often beautiful, too. For example, in response to this joke, we get a normal person’s version of the joke:

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer. The second orders half a beer, and the bartender tells him that you can’t order half a beer.

And, since many bartenders are terribly over-educated and understand and enjoy this sort of nonsense themselves, here is a real bartender’s version of the joke:

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer, the second orders half a beer, the third orders a quarter of a beer and so on. After the 7th order the bartender says, “fuck off you little pricks.”

OK. I just wanted to share some ha ha today. Go back about your business.

And one last one for the road, to make sure you know the jokes at the thread cover all genres: “Your momma is so mean, she has no standard deviation.”

Negroni Week is Half Over! What Are You Waiting For?

Negroni Week: A Drink for Your Cause
Negroni Week is half over already. Have you had your Negroni today?

Sponsored by Campari, Negroni Week is one of the better organized and widespread bartend-for-charity events I’ve seen so far. Participating bars will donate one dollar for every Negroni (or Negroni variant) you drink this week to the charity of that bar’s choice. For a listing of bars near you, and the charities each is supporting, visit Negroni Week’s list of nearly 1,300 worldwide. Don’t worry, there’s a geographical filter. I’m proud to say that Central Ohio has almost twenty places to get your Negroni on for charity.

A good many people, including a lot of fairly avid cocktail drinkers, don’t really know just what the hell a Negroni is. In fact, the bar world seems to be split into two distinct camps, What the Heck is a Negroni? and How Can You Not Know the Negroni? Let’s see if I can flip a few of you, dear readers, from Column A to B.

The Negroni is one of the big magilla early Twentieth Century cocktails. Invented at the request of Italian Count Camillo Negroni by Fosco Scarselli, it is a classic three-ingredient drink, and it is as easy to make as it is challenging to drink. Here’s the recipe:
Classic Negroni

NEGRONI

  • 1 part London Dry Gin (Choose a classic, juniper-forward brand)
  • 1 part Italian Vermouth
  • 1 part Campari

Combine ingredients (typically one ounce per serving) in a mixing glass with ice and stir well until completely chilled. Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass with large, fresh ice. Garnish with your most elegant orange peel presentation.

I say the Negroni is challenging to drink because it is when you are not used to it. Some of the bittering agents in Campari are unique, at least to my palate, and I find it a difficult ingredient to work with, as opposed to many other amari. Plenty of other people just love Camapri to death, so your mileage will vary. In the past, I found the classic recipe above to be hard to enjoy.

Bitter and stirred types, please be aware that Doug is a Bitter Wimp!

I am not a bitter wimp! Um… but I do tend to prefer drinks where the bittering is there to enhance the other flavors, rather than being the dominant player. In the Negroni, the Campari is the primary spirit, with the gin and vermouth as modifiers.

Curio Negroni Week Kickoff Party
But do not give up on the Negroni, fellow not-bitter wimps. The great value of Negroni Week for me has been how it has opened up my eyes to the world of Negroni variants. I started off with a visit to Columbus’s premier craft bar, Curio, for a pre-Negroni Week kickoff. There they debuted their Negroni Week menu of five Negronis.

I will mention two of them in particular; both of which were delicious, and both of which would make a fine entry point into the Negroni arena.
Beet Negroni, inspired by the mad scientists at Curio at Harvest
The first is a Beet Negroni, with fresh beet-infused vermouth. I found, after first experimenting with them as a joke in other concoctions, that beets are really a pretty interesting cocktail ingredient. In the case of this cocktail, the earthiness mellows out the impact of the bitterness nicely, but it also damps down the clarity of the gin a bit.
Sparkling Negroni, from the wizards at Curio at Harvest
The second one that I particularly liked (I tried them all), was the Sparkling Negroni, which is merely the classic recipe with an added 2/3 part sparkling wine, served in a champagne flute rather than over the rocks. This is an excellent drink all by itself, and an excellent way to temper your palate in preparation for the classic Negroni. It sweetens the profile of the drink without tipping it over, yet still leaves the rest of the flavors clear and distinct and in their original harmony.

The rest of this week is a great time for you to visit your nearby serious cocktail joint discover the Negroni. Many have their own variants for you to try if you feel a little hesitant about diving into the big, bold, bitter original. But make sure you try at least on of the original before your experiments are done. I’ve found the classic version of the Negroni to be a heckuva lot of fun. With the right gin, and a good sweet vermouth like Antica, it is a marvelously balanced, refreshingly bright aperitif. It is still bitter as hell, but with only a little acclimation of your taste buds it becomes readily apparent why this is one of The Classics.

The Cocktailosphere Has A New YouTube Darling

JaNee Nisonger, "LA's Hottest Bartender"
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…

  1. Either sugar cubes or simple syrup will make a drink sweeter than the other one will. Which one, I didn’t catch.
  2. Using simple syrup instead of sugar cubes will make your finished drink “more liquidy”.
  3. Use “orange slice wedges”. More on this in a bit.
  4. Professional bartenders should use huge wooden spoons to muddle with.
  5. Be sure to use the special invisible Angostura Bitters that cannot be seen coming out of the bottle, even in extreme closeup.
  6. Use a glass as your ice scoop.
  7. “Three ounces” of bourbon will completely fill a pint glass.
  8. 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)
  9. An Old-Fashioned is kind of like a Manhattan, but the orange makes it even better.
  10. 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”.
  11. 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.
Read More

SideBlog: Cocktail Competition Genius

Cocktail Competition Genius. Bert Jachmann from Wein, Austria brilliantly solves the conundrum of how to make and use a hot infusion while under the time constraints of a cocktail competition.

Space Cocktails

The Zero-Gravity Cocktail Project from the Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation
I have written before that mankind cannot successfully make it all the way to Mars without taking along Gaz Regan. It’s Science. It’s Settled™. Forget it at the peril to the mission. Astronauts need a good drink, but once you establish that, the details get pretty intense.

NASA keeps doing study after study (of the Well, No Duh results variety) that show that astronauts would benefit greatly from a small belt or two from time to time because Space is boring, and stressful, and if you eat the food for so much as three days in a row you will find that you have “lost the will to live.” Most ordinary adults know that the solution to all these things is booze in rational amounts.

Ordinary adults, that is. When NASA was readying the first space station mission, they determined that sherry was an excellent choice to fulfill this basic human need, since it is stable in difficult conditions like zero-gravity. But then they caved to pressure from people who screamed about astronauts being role-models, and as such should not be seen drinking like Niles Crane. You will note that the Russians, in addition to such crazy expedients as retaining actual manned space travel capability, do allow their cosmonauts to have a drink for mental health reasons.

There is no way that you are going to get a crew of the alphaest of alpha males (and females) all the way to Mars, though, without sending along either some booze or dueling pistols. When the prohibitionists come back at NASA again, I suggest that they lock said protesters together in a metal can for five hundred days. They might go in Baptists, but they are a comin’ out Episcopalians.

But the therapeutic nature of a good drink is about more than just the ethanol intake. (Note that even the Russians don’t take up vodka, they bring along cognac.) It is also the joy of the aesthetic experience of a good drink that will help people make it to far destinations. Thus, to my way of thinking, the keys to the aesthetic drinking experience are variety and presentation.

If you want variety, that means your ethanol vehicle of choice is the mixed drink. Mass restrictions would restrict taking beer, and they would certainly prevent laying in any kind of broad-appeal cellar. But a relatively small number of low-mass ingredients can create a dazzling variety of cocktails. Thus my call to have Gaz sent to Houston for training, stat.

But, like everything else, the tools needed to prepare and consume a good cocktail, like everything else from pens to toilets, need to be updated or even reinvented for use in zero-gravity.

An essential tool, the shaker, appears to not have an elegant solution for zero gravity yet. The following video from Stoli should show any reasonably educated drink mixer the multifarious problems that surround trying to whip up a Pegu in outer space.

Clearly, there a significant effects from zero-gravity on most any beverage container/dispenser, as the following video reveals…

In all seriousness, terrestrial tools for mixing a cocktail are totally unsuited for space. Newton is going to bang the bartender all over the walls when he goes to shake. A strainer will do nothing but break up the drink blob and spray it all throughout the atmosphere. And gin does not mix well with integrated circuits.

Still, I think that re-engineering the mixing component will be fairly easy. I envision a flexible rubber box which you can fill with ice, then inject ingredients into. Attach it to an agitation platform affixed to the wall to mix and chill, then use a tube to dispense. Eject the ice into the recycler, and it is time for the next round. Astronauts will miss the Flair and Hard Shake experiences, but you can’t have everything.

The final piece is actually getting the maximum enjoyment out of your Space Martini™. To do that, it needs to look and feel like a Martini. You need a stemmed cocktail glass. To see why this presents problems, look at the video above. (The first one, not the one with the nice stems). But man is ingenious. Behold the Zero Gravity Cocktail Project, from the Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation.

zerogravity-cocktailglass-web-7Source: Make

Stem, check.
Click-in base so you can set it down, check.
Proper shape, check.
Open top, so your beverage will float out and ruin all the electronics on the space station, leading to the plot of Gravity 2, not so fast.

Look at all those ridges. Astronauts have discovered that when you have a crease in a container, the angle of which is less than 90 minus two times the contact wetting angle, surface tension will keep the liquid inside. More importantly, it will wick that fluid along the crease and you can suck it out, i.e. have a sip. The technology is based on the way liquid fuel tanks can restart a rocket in space. It has already been proven as a beverage drinking technology (in primitive form) with coffee cups.

Look at the cocktail glass. Its entire surface is a series of channels, each of which I’m sure is contact wetting angle-appropriate, which cover most of the inner surface of the glass. These all eventually come together at a single spot on the rim, which is, I’m assuming, the point from where you must drink. The only question I have is what material is the vessel made from? It obviously isn’t glass, as you can tell by looking, and I’m sure this is for prototype fabrication reasons. But if you are going to make a number of these, I’m assuming the final product can’t be glass either, for safety reasons. What can you make it of, so the rim is properly thin and cold to get the sipping experience just right?

I’ll wrap by noting that this technology is important for more that distant exploration. It’s going to make a difference in commercial space tourism as well. Over the long run, how many rich as Croesus tourists are going to any hotel, even one in orbit or on the Moon, where they can’t enjoy a quality Manhattan?

playboy-club-space-station-exteriorSorry, still not going unless I can get a decent Sidecar…

New Cocktail Blogging Tool


Fresh citrus in her drinks or no, she’s not going to feel comfortable in the Craft Bartending game until she grows a beard and gets some tattoos….

The picture atop this post is a stock image from GettyImages, as you can easily tell from the information displayed below it. It represents an important new potential in online publishing and an advance in thinking on Intellectual Property (the latter being a bugaboo around these parts). Getty recently announced that many of the images in its online catalog are now available to embed, free of charge in media outlets like this one.

For some bloggers, especially food and cocktail writers, third-party photographs are a non-issue, as they only post their own photos as an illustration of their hard, creative work. I post plenty of my own photos here, of course… some of which I’m pretty damn proud of. But in my case, as is the case of a huge swath of blogs on all subject matters, I also write about a lot more than just recipes, and Blogging 101 says that it is nice to have an eye-catching hero pic to illustrate the theme of the post. If I need an erupting volcano picture, or one of businessmen arguing over a widget, or indeed, one of a smoking hot brunette bartender cutting limes, I don’t usually have the subject at ready hand to photograph myself.

Previously, to post the specific image embedded above in that approximate size would have cost me sixty five dollars. At that price, the chances of my using that photo would have been nil. And even if I had dropped the cash on Getty to post it, that would have been, given the practice of the day now, the last Getty would likely have gotten from most any source. Why? Because had I posted it here in standard host it myself fashion, when any other writer googles “smoking hot brunette bartender cutting limes” they would be likely to get either my post or, of course, this article about smoking hot, brunette bartender Keith Waldbauer. And they would likely grab “my” picture from here and then post it themselves, maybe linking back to here. Worse, for Getty, professional marketing types who needed a full-resolution version (around $500+) would likely have a hard time finding where this vision of loveliness can be purchased, given the likely proliferation of blog posts about her that don’t link directly back to Getty. Or, you know, they might just call their Seattle office and have them hire Keith….

It is also important to note that there are a zillion bloggers, Facebookers, and Pinsters out there who neither know as much as I do about intellectual property, nor give a damn to find out. They just want that pretty picture to put on their page, and they do know how to right-click…. Getty is getting nothing but damage from these people.

With this new embed policy, Getty is showing some real foresight. In virtually no case will someone using one of these embedded images be someone who would have actually paid to use it in the past. But now Getty will maintain a direct link back to themselves in many, if not most instances of use. Look below the picture.

Hey Mister!
My social media buttons are down here!

Um, dear…
That doesn’t sound right. It usually is said the other way, and you sound as if…
Never mind! Never mind! Forget I said anything!
Please?

See the Twitter, tumblr, and embed buttons? Or just click on the pic and go right to the purchase page. If you are a blogger and want her picture, you could still just steal the picture by downloading it. Surprisingly, they don’t even try to block that. But why bother, when you can click one button and save your own bandwidth, and your time?

Thus, when the guy at the Citrus Marketing Association sees Blue Tube Top Girl and falls in love with her, he can get that picture, and others of her, for his new print ad with a few clicks.

Getty is showing that they are learning the Apple message about content, a lesson most content providers, to their stockholders’ detriment, stubbornly refuse to learn: The way to profit from your digital content is not to surround it with guard dogs, but to make it so easy to buy that people won’t bother to pirate it.

I’m happy to be an unpaid salesperson for GettyImages. I’m glad because of course, I’m not unpaid. I get access to lots of good illustrative pictures for my general interest posts. So the next time I want to write about wild, over the top, borderline illegal office parties, I can use just the right picture, like this.

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