Category: youtube
General Cocktails, Rule 2

Outstanding Video on Cocktail First Principals

I just want to highlight an outstanding new video from The Mixology Guys on the Small Screen Network's YouTube cocktail channel. Embedded below it is a brisk 90 seconds of slow-mo drink pr0n and four bedrock principals in making any drink the best it can be. For those who can't watch it for whatever reason, here are the four elements that go into a truly good drink:
  1. Mix Ingredients. You might say, "duh", but until you understand why this is important, you don't really understand the Dao of cocktails. The purpose of making drinks is to produce a potable that is better in some fashion than any and all of its component ingredients. A few years back, I went to a session at Tales of the Cocktail where some of my favorite big names in the liquor industry discussed how seldom they actually drank cocktails any more. The gist of the argument from much of the panel was, "the distiller's art has reached previously unheard of heights. There are so many beautifully crafted spirits out there, it makes sense to enjoy them on their own to fully appreciate them." Fair enough. There are indeed many truly fine, expensive bottles of whiskey, brandy, rum, and even gin out there that are so crafted as to make them immune to the "improvement" of the mixed drink. But if you can spend your life drinking nothing but ultra-premium liquor with naught but the occasional splash of water or ice, you are either a wealthy alcoholic... or a brand ambassador. (Some might argue that the difference is that brand ambassadors are seldom wealthy.)
  2. Dilution. Enough said. Until you understand the effects of dilution, you can't really understand how to make a really great drink. Anyone who sneers at dilution on general principals doesn't know the first damn thing about cocktails.
  3. Temperature. Make sure your cold drinks are cold. (And your hot ones actually hot.) Ever get into a really good argument with someone and turn back to your Sidecar, only to discover it has gotten warm? Ew.
  4. Aeration of Ingredients. This is both perhaps the best element of this video, and the only part I have a quibble with. For the vast majority of mixed drinks, air is critical to making it the best it can be, for the reasons they outline beautifully. But not for all drinks. I strictly adhere to the "clear ingredients—no shake" credo. I like my Martinis stirred. I will call Child Services and report you if you shake your Manhattans. I don't muddle fruit in my Old Fashioneds, so I also don't add any soda. Air is amazing in what it can do to for drinks that can benefit from it. 90% of the drinks I make can, and I take great care to ensure that I apply aeration liberally there. But please, please remember that this rule is NOT universal!
Beer, Funny, Stuff, Vodka

Fun With a Brita

[caption id="attachment_10909" align="aligncenter" width="550"]You are watching science in action, folks! You are watching science in action, folks![/caption] I'm continuing with my YouTube/Trivia/Humor blogging while I set up posts of a more substantive nature for Tiki Month.... This one is of a comedienne and a bicep aficionado who decide to do some practical tests about all those rumors you hear regarding what a Brita water filter will or will not do to a variety of liquids. Spoiler Alert: Several of the liquids are alcoholic, and they have a lot of time on their hands between samples while the Brita does its work. (Or doesn't, as the case may be. There are two major lessons to be learned from this video.
  1. Brita filters are very good at their job.
  2. If you want your Bud Light to taste like a premium craft brew, filter a little through a Brita, drink that, then the Bud Light will be freaking awesome in comparison!
Bartenders, Funny, General Cocktails, Rule 5

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 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. abc
Beer, Marketing, Rule 5

This Year’s Best Superbowl™ Ad You Won’t See During the Game

Anna Kendrick Behind the Scenes Newcastle
Anna Kendrick: Beer Commercial Hot? Anna-Kendrick-Black-Bra
I'm going with a tentative Yes.
Confession time: I am one of those people who watches the Superbowl for the ads. In fact, I usually DVR the Superbowl, and fast forward through the game to get to the commercials. Why? The last time I watched a sporting event live in which a team I actually cared about won that game was literally in 2011. Sportsfans, pay me to become an avid fan of your team's biggest rival.... But I still like the ads. Each year, the ad companies trot out their best ideas, and there always some heartwarming, hilarious, and weirdly fascinating results. Sure, there are still clunkers, but the ad industry's winners ratio in Superbowl ads is way better than the motion picture and television industries'. And a zillion people watch them, which is why companies spend so much to run those ads. And then, the best ones get replayed endlessly on YouTube for weeks thereafter. All of this has led to a new peripheral phenomenon in recent years, the Ad You Won't See On The Superbowl!11!!1! Companies or causes craft an ad to submit to the network to run on the Superbowl which is rejected. Usually its subject matter is self-evidently controversial enough that the NFL realizes testosterone-hyped families across America will get into literal fights over it and be unable to watch the other commercials. Sometimes the ad is perfectly innocuous in subject matter or product, but has a stray moment of unacceptable language or a gratuitous nip-slip or something. The point is, the ad was deliberately crafted to be rejected. Then the marketing company can run off a press release, filled with High Dudgeon™, about how the ad was banned. If, as is usually the case, it is a political cause, they scream "the NFL doesn't want you to hear this TRUTH!" And all their supporters rush out to tweet the YouTube link, and they get two million hits. If it is a product, they usually scream "the NFL censored our ad because it was so racy!" Then all the pubescent boys (here meaning males over the age of 12) rush out to watch the video for the nip-slip that ends up not being there anyway. This is a very successful guerrilla marketing tactic. These advertisers don't have the money, or at least don't have it to spare, to afford an actual ad on the Superbowl. It is also an increasingly obvious tactic, and even your average low-information American is beginning to see it for what it is. (Guys will still click on that nip-slip ad link anyway. We're predictable.) But most people now realize that the advertiser's ad is actually not on the Superbowl because they don't have the money as opposed to having been "banned", and now we see the next phase in the game. The Ad You Won't See On The Giant Game We Can't Name Because We Are Such a Plucky Little Group Who Can't Compete With The Big Money Guys, So Go With Us Because We Are Artisinal And Stuff style advertisement. Enter Newcastle Brown Ale, the PBR of the UK. An elderly working class brand now enjoying a hipster-fueled resurgence. This plucky little brand has released this "Behind the Scenes" video of their Superbowl ad that won't be, starring Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect. The whole thing is about how Newcastle's reach exceeded their grasp and they couldn't afford to run their ad on the Superbowl (along with some unconvincing worry about whether she is hot enough for a beer commercial), and now she has to go back to making indie movies or something. It is funny. And trust me, listen carefully to her description of the ad. It would have gotten all the YouTube hits. Cute, huh? And a great, creative way for a small company to leverage the Superbo... Giant Game With The Trademarked Name hype to their advantage. America really is the land of opportunity, huh? Yeah, about that... Newcastle Brown ale is owned by, um, this impoverished outfit. (H/T: Mary Katherine Ham at HotAir)abc