5 hard-won lessons for any Bartender

5 hard-won lessons for any Bartender

Do anything long enough and you’ll start to see the familiar patterns form that help make the job easier. In line with that; here are a few of my most hard-won observations on being a modern bartender. 1. Hospitality first Biz Markie once said: “Hip hop is the culture, rap is what I do.” Similarly, my mantra is that bartending is the profession, of which making drinks is a component. It’s not about the drink….

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Warren Bobrow – Cannabis Cocktails

Warren Bobrow – Cannabis Cocktails

Warren Bobrow is standing outside Café Beignet in the French Quarters of New Orléans. As we’re looking for a spot to start our interview, I ask him if showing his book off at TOTC brought him to the city. He responds that his family lineage can be traced to the city going back some 300 years. He speaks of the culture and architecture of the city, and specifically its graveyards. Then he flashes a knowing smile…

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Cuba Libre, and why there are no bad drinks..

Cuba Libre, and why there are no bad drinks..

My Cuba Libre Story Were you ever at a rum bar, ask for a Daiquiri and then been told : « Sorry but we don’t do that here. Just pick a drink from the list !» Or have you ever heard a bartender refusing to make an apple martini because he believes it is simply “no good”? What about the Cuba Libre? In my opinion, these situations happen too often. As a bartender, I consider making my patrons happy…

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Vermouth: A fundamental of Bartending

Vermouth: A fundamental of Bartending

Vermouth basics and history The term comes from the Germanic ‘Wermut‘ or wormwood – a salute to one of the core botanicals found in many Vermouth. Although people started drinking aromatized wines as medicine thousands of years ago, that use waned in the end of the 18th century. Consumption as an apéritif, or cocktail ingredient, exploded in Italy and France there after. Whether wormwood technically needs to be in a modern vermouth is a hotly debated…

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Lost Mango Nut | Why Scotch and Mango deserve each other.

Lost Mango Nut | Why Scotch and Mango deserve each other.

When I dig into a new drink idea, I typically try to work from the constructs of an ingredient. Today it was Mango. No grand plan, the mango was ripe, it was in the fridge and it was calling for use. Second, I look to the spirit. I’ve recently moved so the “home bar” is not what it has been, but there are some gems. The Lost Blend by Compass Box is as complex as it is…

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Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, an oasis on Hornby street

Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, an oasis on Hornby street

The “Hotel Bar” in Canada took a bit of a beating in the 90’s and early 00’s. By all accounts, it fell into obscurity and lost its way. After thoughts to a high thread count and a hearty meal. Now, Vancouver is at the forefront of the resurgence of the “Hotel Bar” in Canada. The Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver is true to form and has set themselves on the world stage of service and hospitality. When…

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The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book | The Peacock

The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book | The Peacock

The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, one of the most important collection of pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes, has finally been given a makeover. Frank Caiafa, manager at the Peacock Alley, the lobby bar at New York’s renowned Waldorf Astoria, has dusted off A.S. Crockett’s bar books, and augmented them with his own recipes, as well as many other classic drinks omitted in the 1930’s manuals. The results are nothing short of amazing: Caiafa managed to condense years of research…

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Gordon Glanz, Odd Society Spirits

Gordon Glanz, Odd Society Spirits

It’s a bright, hot April day in Vancouver and I’m speaking to Gordon Glanz, the owner of Odd Society Spirits about his 3-year-old distillery. Glanz is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, and that’s where he developed his interest in distilled spirits.  “For some unknown reason we used to distill our water at home”, he says with a chuckle. “I’d use my moms water distiller to make spirits from wine that I made. It was pretty awful,…

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El Ritmo, by Giancarlo Jesus

El Ritmo, by Giancarlo Jesus

The Diamond’s Giancarlo Quiroz Jesus is the Canadian finalist for the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition with his fantastic El Ritmo cocktail. This Tuesday, he’s embarked on a trip that will take him to Montreal, Miami, Puerto Rico and ultimately San Francisco, where he will compete against bartenders from all over the world for the grand finale of Bacardi Legacy. Gian managed to take a few minutes to chat with us just before he left Vancouver to share with us some stories…

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Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo | The Mai-Tai Spritz

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo | The Mai-Tai Spritz

Looks like spring has finally arrived in rainy Vancouver, and bars are finishing working on their new seasonal menus. To make things easier, Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau‘s latest book, has just been released and will surely inspire bartenders with a few light and refreshing options. There’s no question the Aperol Spritz has become a modern classic. Baiocchi, author of the James Beard-nominated Sherry, and Punch founder and editor-in-chief. Pariseau,…

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