kottke.org posts about cocktails

Death & Co cocktail bookMar 27 2014

Looking forward to this one: a cocktail recipe book from Death & Co, an East Village cocktail joint.

Featuring hundreds of recipes for signature Death & Co creations as well as classic drink formulas,Death & Co is not only a comprehensive collection of the bar's best, but also a complete cocktail education. With chapters on the theory and philosophy of drink-making; a complete guide to the spirits, tools, and other ingredients needed to make a great bar; and specs for nearly 500 iconic drinks, Death & Co is destined to become the go-to reference on craft cocktails.

Classing up the Long Island Iced TeaMay 28 2013

Ben Crair visited some of Manhattan's fancier joints and ordered a decidedly unclassy cocktail: the Long Island Iced Tea.

11 Madison Park is either a very good restaurant or the absolute best restaurant in New York City. It depends on whom you ask. But don't ask me: I've only had a drink at 11 Madison Park, and that drink was a Long Island Iced Tea. It came in a highball with four perfect cubes of ice and a wedge of lemon. It cost sixteen dollars and tasted just like college.

"I haven't served one of these in six months," the bartender told me. Like his peers at the other fine New York bars and restaurants where I have lately been ordering Long Island Iced Teas, he had repeated my order back to me: "Long Island Iced Tea?" His neck muscles tightened, giving bloom to a gritted smile. That smile said: "The customer is always right." I confirmed the order, and he obligingly prepared it. Later, when we struck up a conversation, he told me the last person to order a Long Island Iced Tea at 11 Madison Park "was definitely not from New York."

True story: the guy who invented the Long Island Iced Tea is named Bob Butt.

The kottke.org holiday gift guideNov 27 2012

This flexible ice cube tray that make large ice cubes is literally (literally!) the best thing you can give anyone (anyone!) this holiday season:

Big Ice Cube Tray

First of all, it's $10. Your homemade Old Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours will stay delightfully undiluted with large ice cubes. Your kids will say, "Holy shizzle, look at the size of those fracking ice cubes! Swaggy fresh! {emoji drinking glass} {emoji smiley} {emoji thumbs up}" The Instagramming of your at-home cocktails will get 20% more faving action. The tray is cheaper and probably easier to use than these spherical ice molds (which, admittedly, I had never seen before and do look pretty cool and I think I might have to get them yup just pushed the Add to Cart button so I will let you know how it goes). Your friends will gape in wonder at your seemingly fancy-cocktail-bar-grade at-home cubes and ask you where you got such a wonderful contraption and you can tell them, hey lady I don't ask you about your secrets just drink your drink.

I mean, it's no Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens or IGI Certified 18k White or Yellow Gold Comfort Fit Round-Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring (1.25 cttw, H-I Color, SI1-SI2 Clarity), but what is these days really?

How to make an Old FashionedFeb 22 2012

Cocktail enthusiast Martin Doudoroff explains how to make an Old Fashioned without using any of the "various bad ideas" (e.g. "There is no slice of orange in an Old Fashioned") that have crept in over the years.

Sugar (and the scant water it is dissolved in) mellows the spirit of the drink. Not much is required, just a little, as the quality of today's spirits is so much higher than it typically was when the Old Fashioned was born. A little splash of simple syrup generally suffices. Gum syrup, rich simple syrup, demerara syrup, brown sugar syrup, sugar cane syrup (the variety filtered of molasses solids) all are great choices. Agave syrup or other neutral diet-sensitive sweeteners may suffice.

Honey, maple syrup, molasses or other strongly-flavored sweeteners do not belong in an Old Fashioned, which is not to say you cannot or should not create nice variations on the Old Fashioned with them.

(via ★kathryn)

The physical toll of fancy cocktailsDec 03 2010

With the current popularity of the craft cocktail bar, massive ice cubes, and vigorous cocktail shaking techniques, comes the risk of injury.

"When they're shaking a drink, it's very similar to the motion of a pitcher, or a tennis serve or throwing a football," said Lisa Raymond-Tolan, an occupational therapist in New York. "It's the same motion, back and forth, back and forth, rotating up high. You have a heavy weight at the end of the arm, out in the air. It's not just the shoulder. It's the wrist as well."

One of the bartenders at Varnish, Chris Bostick, shook his cocktails so vigorously that he ripped out the screws that had been inserted in his clavicle after a snowboarding injury. He was sidelined for weeks.

Maybe instead of Tommy John surgery, they'll start calling it Johnny Walker surgery.

Big cocktail ice cubes at homeNov 11 2010

Many of the fancy-dan cocktail bars serve their drinks with huge ice cubes so that even slow sippers don't have to deal with over-watery cocktails (less surface area = slower melting). If you want to do the same thing at home, get yourself the impressively named Tovolo King Cube tray; it'll churn out an infinite number of 2-inch cubes for about $8. (via american drink)

Speaking of ice cubes:

Ice Cube soda fountain

Bubble gin and tonicAug 24 2010

One of the drinks that the Alinea crew is tinkering with for Aviary (a cocktail bar with food pairings) is like bubble tea crossed with gin and tonic.

(via svn)

Shaking cocktailsNov 30 2009

Kazuo Uyeda demonstrates his hard shake:

From an article in the NY Times about cocktail shaking:

Mr. Uyeda, who owns a bar named Tender in the Ginza district, is the inventor of a much-debated shaking technique he calls the hard shake, a choreographed set of motions involving a ferocious snapping of the wrists while holding the shaker slanted and twisting it. According to his Web site, this imparts, among other things, greater chill and velvety bubbles that keep the harshness of the alcohol from contacting the tongue, while showering fine particles of ice across the drink's surface.

Tags related to cocktails:
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