Willy Shine Consulting Bars, Cocktails, Education & Events
Words and their definitions dedicated to all things BAR related.
An anise-flavored distillate made from a variety of herbal and botanical ingredients including grande wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Embraced by late 19th and early 20th century Parisian bohemian culture, absinthe was later vilified and subsequently banned in many countries due to the supposed “addictive and psychoactive properties” of the chemical thujone, present in wormwood oil.
The standard abbreviation for “alcohol by volume” contained in a bottled spirit. In the United States, the term “proof” is also used to specify the same information, and is indicated as twice the alcohol by volume number, e.g. 80 proof = 40% ABV.
The Agave plant is most famously know as the base material for making Mezcal or Tequila in Mexico. The Agave plant is not a cactus it is actual a member of the Lilly family and is a succulent. Agave is a close relative to aloe or yukka. There are hundreds of species of the Agave plant but the most popular would be the Blue Webber Agave in which you need to make tequila. Espadin is the species of Agave that is mostly used to make Mezcal.
Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave, including the Blue Agave (Agave tequilana), Salmiana Agave (Agave salmiana), Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave, and Rainbow Agave. Agave nectar is sweeter than honey, though less viscous.
Agave nectar is produced in the Mexican States of Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas, according to Mexican laws pertaining to certificate of origin; most is produced in Jalisco.
Amaro:[noun]; Italian, “bitter”. Amari (pl). An Italian herbal liqueur of the “digestivo” variety. Produced in several different regions via the maceration of various herbs, botanicals, citrus peels, and barks in either neutral grain spirit or wine in combination with sugar. The end result is left to age, and is generally measured between 16 and 35% ABV. Amari can range in taste from bitter to sweet, and are oftentimes described as having a “medicinal” aspect. As many Amari are believed to be born of ancient monasteries and crude pharmacies, most recipes are coveted by their manufacturers.
An orange-based bitter aperitif. Originally manufactured in Algeria and traditionally enjoyed as the base ingredient in the popular Basque classic “Picon Punch” or as an accompaniment to beer. There are currently two varieties on the market, both of which are bottled at less than half of the ABV of the original 1837 incarnation.
Angostura bitters, often simply referred to as angostura, is a concentrated bitters for food and beverages made of water, 44.7% of alcohol, gentian root, and vegetable flavoring extracts by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. The bitters were first produced in the town of Angostura (hence the name), and do not contain angostura bark. The bottle is easily recognizable by its distinctive over-sized label.
The recipe was developed as a tonic by German Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert (died 1870), a Surgeon General in Simon Bolivar’s army in Venezuela, who began to sell it in 1824 and established a distillery for the purpose in 1830. Siegert was based in the town of Angostura, now Ciudad Bolívar, and used locally available ingredients. Perhaps he drew on the botanical knowledge of the local Amerindians. The product was sold abroad from 1853 and in 1875 the plant was removed from Ciudad Bolivar to Port of Spain, Trinidad, where it remains.
Whiskey made from a mash of at least 51% apples that is fermented and then distilled, and generally bottled at 40% ABV, or 80 proof. A higher-proof, or “bonded” (bottled in bond under government supervision) variety is also available at 50% ABV (100 proof). Popular during the American Colonial period, Applejack likely originated from the French apple brandy Calvados and was commonly referred to as “Jersey Lightning” as it was often used as currency to finance road construction in the state of New Jersey.
The oldest variety of brandy distilled in France, produced in the southwest region of Gascony. Recognized for its complex flavors and rich color, it is distilled only once and aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels. Historically, Armagnac has been lauded for its beneficial contributions to the overall health of those who ingest it on a regular basis.
Spanish for “aged”, añejo rum is generally a blend of amber or gold rums that is filtered, and then stored in charred oak barrels. Barrel-aging requirements vary, depending upon the region of origin.
A good bar spoon is an extremely necessary tool for any good bartender. Besides being handy for extracting an olive from a jar, or aid you in layering a cocktail, it also shows that you understand that not all drinks are to be shaken.
An herbal liqueur developed in 19th century France based upon a medicinal beverage originated by monks at the Benedictine Abbey in Normandy. The recipe contains 27 plants and spices, which are distilled several times and then blended. The existing recipe remains a trade secret, known to only three individuals.
A “black” rum with rich, intricate flavor and distinct nuances of butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, and banana.
Blended Scotch Whisky:
A blend of single malt whiskies and mixed grain whiskies made in Scotland. The whiskies are aged separately, then blended and joined for several months in casks before being reduced to bottling strength.
Antoine Amedie Peychaud’s bitters was the first to be commercially produced. He operated a Pharmacy in the French Quarter in New Orleans. 1793- 1830. He was a natural mixologist who loved to entertain in the Pharmacy where he would mix cognac with a dash of his special bitters in a two sided egg cup called a Couetier. This drink was later named the Sazerac.
Angostura, which is the most commonly known bitters today, was created in Germany in 1824 by a German Army doctor: JG B Siegert.
Bitters is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that have been distilled with plants or roots for use as flavoring in beverages or for medicinal purposes. They serve as very effective digestives.
Bourbon (Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey):
An American whiskey named for its origins in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Produced from a mashbill containing a legal minimum of 51% corn. The remainder is comprised of either wheat or rye and is aged for at least two years in charred oak barrels.
From the Dutch brandivijn (pronounced “brandywine”) meaning “burnt wine”. The term “brandy” is used to describe any spirit that is distilled from fermented fruit juice. Perhaps the most famous distillate in this category is Cognac, produced by the distillation of fermented grapes.
Brandy distilled from a variety of over 200 specially grown and hand-selected apples in the Basse-Normandie region of France. Aged for a minimum of two years in oak casks.
As its namesake would imply, Canadian Whisky must be mashed, distilled, and aged in Canada for a minimum of three years. Most Canadian whiskies are blended multi-grain distillates containing a large percentage of rye in their mashbill, and therefore they qualify to be labeled as “Rye whiskey”.
A traditional sweetener made by the simple concentration of cane juice through extended periods of cooking in open kettles. There are very few producers of traditional pure cane syrup left on the market today.
Carpano Antica Formula:
Antica Formula is a red vermouth made from an original recipe by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the man credited with creating modern vermouth in Turin in 1786. Carpano originally developed vermouth by mixing herbs with a base wine and then sweetening it by adding spirit. His new drink proved so popular that soon his shop had to stay open 24 hours a day to satisfy demand.
Carpano had been inspired by a German aromatised wine and was a fan of German poetry. As a result, he named his new product after the German word for wormwood, wermut, which was frequently used to flavour wine at the time.
Antica Formula is richer and more complex than most red vermouths and will make an excellent Bronx, Manhattan or Negroni.
A sparkling wine made exclusively in the Champagne region of northeast France. Initially fermented with Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir grapes, sugar and yeast are added to induce carbonation during the crucial secondary in-bottle fermentation process known as the methode champenoise.
A French liqueur originally manufactured by Carthusian monks at the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the 1740’s. Chartreuse is distilled and aged with approximately 130 herbal ingredients. There are several varieties available; the two most commonly featured in cocktails being Green, and Yellow. Green Chartreuse has a distinctly vegetal or herbaceous quality, while Yellow Chartreuse is milder and sweeter.
One of the most popular cocktails during the latter half of the 19th century, cobblers are wine or spirit-based drinks made with citrus and sugar or citrus and curaçao OR citrus and maraschino and served over a generous portion of shaved or crushed ice. Cobblers are typically garnished with a lavish display of fresh fruit.
Giulio Cocchi’s original recipe Americano is more that just a simple aperitif in the town of Asti – in fact, it is the aperitif by definition, a piece of this century’s local cultural and gastronomic history. This is the original Americano, produced without a break since 1891 according to an entirely natural recipe: white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices, no artificial coloring, flavoring or additive of any kind.
Cocktail (Circa 1800):
Spirit, sugar, water and bitters
The First time “Cocktail” appears in print
The earliest definition of this type of drink comes from the May 13, 1806 edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, where the paper provided an answer to the question, “What is a cocktail?” It reads, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters — it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.”
The History of the Word “Cocktail”
In 1779 Betsy Flanagan opened an inn near Yorktown which was frequented by American and French soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Nearby the inn was an Englishman who raised chickens. Due to the political climate at the time, Betsy was none too fond of this neighbor and loved to promise her American and French patrons that one day she would serve them a meal of roast chicken. Her guests would often mock her because of these antics, claiming that this was all bravado and that she would never carry through with it. One evening Betsy saw an unusual number of officers gathering at her inn. Betsy invited them into the living room where they were served a grand meal of chicken, freshly “acquired” from the English neighbor. When the meal was over, Betsy moved her guests to the bar, where she proudly served up rounds of “Bracer” (which was a popular drink recipe at the inn). Betsy had decorated each drink with a tail-feather from the recently consumed chickens. To this, the officers gave three cheers to celebrate the defeat of this one particular Englishman. “Let’s have some more cocktail” one officer proclaimed. To which a French officer added, “Vive le cocktail!” and the drinking continued long into the night.
An evocative origin of the word “cocktail” comes from the term “cock-ale”, a heady mixture of spirits fed to fighting cocks in the 18th century to inflame them. The punters and cockerel owners would undoubtedly have drunk the same mixture.
Another version gives the invention to the medical profession. A New York newspaper unearthed the following explanation “from ancient print”. The old doctors had a habit of treating certain diseases of the throat with a pleasant liquid applied to the tip of a feather from a cock’s tail. In time, this liquid came to be used as a gargle, the name of ‘cocktail’ still being used to describe it. In the course of further evolution, the gargle became a mixture of bitters, vermouth, and other such liquids, and finally developed into the beverage we now hold so highly.
A distilled spirit that takes its name from the French town of Cognac, which is 250 miles southwest of Paris. In accordance with French law, Cognac must be made from at least 90% Folle Blanche, Colombard, or Ugni Blanc grapes. It must also be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged for at least two years in French oak barrels.
Referring to a style of cocktail whose namesake and subsequent category of glassware are derivative of the “Tom Collins”, widely popularized after its ubiquitous presence in a “Have you seen Tom Collins?” word-of-mouth gag that was going around America in the 1870’s and its appearance in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ The Bar-Tender’s Guide.
It is printed therein as being comprised of an iced and shaken beverage of lemon juice, gum syrup (or gomme, containing gum arabic—a natural emulsifier made of hardened sap taken from two species of the Acacia tree), and soda water with a base spirit of whiskey, brandy, or gin. The type of gin used in this drink is not specified, however the historical record would likely indicate that Professor Thomas may have called for Holland gin, or “Jenever” (aka “Genever”) based on the amount of said gin that was being imported into the United States at that time. A decade later, many popular “Tom Collins” recipes would adopt Old Tom gin as its spirit of choice, perhaps due to its significantly sweeter aspect and its popularity in England.
There is evidence in print of a gin-based punch made in England during the late 19th century with nearly identical ingredients to the “Tom Collins” (gin, lemon juice, sugar, ice, and soda water) called a “John Collins”, which was purported to be created and served by one Mr. John Collins, headwaiter at Limmer’s Hotel and Coffee House on Conduit Street, London. The “John Collins” eventually evolved to become a whiskey-based affair. Be that as it may, it is our humble opinion that the historical record does not indicate with incontrovertible accuracy that the “John Collins” pre-dates the “Tom Collins”.
A style of ice approximately two inches in width and four-to-five inches in length. This ice is specifically designed to accommodate cocktails being served in a Collins (or highball) glass. The Collins spear ensures that a cocktail will stay colder for a longer period of time and retain an optimal rate of water content (in comparison with more traditional methods of ice service) as the surface area of the spear is relative to the size of the glass and the liquid volume of the cocktail.
Combier Liqueur d’Orange:
The Combier story began nearly 175 years ago at 48 Rue Beaurepaire in the picturesque village of Saumur, 200 miles southwest of Paris in the heart of France’s historic Loire Valley.
Jean-Baptiste Combier and his wife, local confectioners by trade and operators out of their own kitchen, shared the dream of inventing something new, something that had never before existed, something with just the right spice, just the right smell and just the right taste – a flavor that was truly an original.
After years of preparation, practice, failure and discovery, time during which patience became the most tested skill of all, Jean-Baptiste’s quest ended with the perfect concoction in 1834: sweet and bitter orange peels from the West Indies, local spices from the South, alcohol from the North, and family-secret ingredients from the Loire Valley – a formula that became the world’s first triple sec: Combier Liqueur d’Orange.
A stemmed glass with a shallow and broad bowl traditionally used to serve Champagne. The curvaceous aperture of the Champagne coupe as we know it today is rumored to have been modeled on the cup of the breast of Marie Antoinette (Queen of France from 1774-1793). However, as this style of glass was designed in England sometime in the late 17th century–it clearly precedes Marie Antoinette (and her breast) by nearly a century. The coupe was later popularized as a vessel for cocktail service in post-Prohibition America at such legendary haunts as New York City’s infamous Stork Club.
Impurities that are carried with molecules of alcohol vapor during distillation. Derived from the base fruit or grain used in the original mash (or from other organic chemicals encountered during the fermentation and distillation process), congeners are the elements that give a spirit its distinctive taste and aroma.
Also called a column still, a Patent still or a Coffey still, a continuous still consists of two vertical columns that are able to sustain a constant process of distillation. This, along with the overall higher concentration of alcohol in the final distillate, are its main advantages over a pot still, which is only able to produce distillates in batches.
Crème de Cassis:
A French liqueur made from black currants macerated with alcohol and combined with sugar.
A style of ice that is similar to the shape and size of a pebble and is often used in juleps, cobblers, and fixes. Crushed ice is beneficial to achieving lower temperatures and optimal water content in the aforementioned cocktails, as the rate of cooling is governed by the quantity and average radius of the ice particles. Water content is also affected by other mitigating factors such as the temperature and material of the glassware, whether or not the cocktail in question was shaken–notwithstanding the kind of ice it is shaken with–in order to prompt a lower temperature and achieve the desired rate of dilution prior to being strained over crushed ice.
Double Rocks Glass:
A glass being larger than the standard Old Fashioned, Lowball, or whiskey glass, and generally containing between 12-to-16 fluid ounces (fl. oz. or oz. fl.). Sometimes referred to as a “Double Old Fashioned” glass. At the time of printing this menu, the Dutch Kills double rocks glass contains a maximum capacity of 13 1/4 fluid ounces.
Fernet is a type of amaro, a bitter, aromatic spirit. Fernet is made from a number of herbs and spices which vary according to the brand, but may include myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron, with a base of grape distilled spirits, and colored with caramel coloring.
Fernet-Branca, an Italian brand of Fernet made by the Fratelli Branca distillery, is usually served as a digestif after a meal but may also be served with coffee and espresso or mixed into coffee and espresso drinks. It contains 40% alcohol. It may be served at room temperature or on the rocks (with ice). A mint-flavored version of Fernet-Branca, Brancamenta, is also available.
Because of its list of ingredients, a number of home remedies call for Fernet-Branca, including for the treatment of menstrual and gastrointestinal discomfort, hangovers, baby colic, and (formerly) cholera.
A grain spirit distilled with several distinct botanicals; most notably juniper berries, but also including angelica (root and seed), anise, cassia, coriander, fennel, ginger root, grapefruit peel, licorice root, and orange peel, just to name a few. Created in the Netherlands in the 16th century, the name gin is derived from jenever, which is Dutch for juniper.
Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge:
A liqueur made from a blend of true cognacs and the distilled essence of tropical oranges. Aged in French oak casks.
A sweet red syrup traditionally used in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Grenadine was originally prepared with pomegranate juice and sugar, as the name “grenadine” comes from the French word grenade, meaning pomegranate.
1-1 Pom Wonderful & sugar
Spirit with mixer, soda or juice and optional bitters.
A basic, speedy long drink named after the highball signal raised at railroad stations allowing a train to travel at speed. Consisting of single spirit and a mixer, soda or juice with optional addition of bitters.
Highlands & Speyside (regions of Scotland):
As a predominantly mountainous and rocky area of the Scottish mainland, the Highlands are the least-densely populated terrain in all of Europe. In the heart of the Highlands is the Speyside sub region, where several notable malt whisky distilleries are found. The soft river water and the heather fields abundant in this area lend a discernibly gentle aroma of violets and honey to the whiskies made here. Some are aged in Bourbon casks and adopt a spicier quality, while others that are rested in Sherry barrels develop a richness that gives them a fruity and sometimes “chocolatey” aspect.
Primarily used as a flavoring and stabilizing agent in beer, to which they are known to impart a bitter, tangy flavor. The hop is a small genus of flowering plant that is part of the family Cannabaceae, which also includes the genera Cannabis (hemp).
Combine 2 parts honey with one part hot water. Stir thoroughly, and store in a glass bottle. This syrup does not have to be refrigerated.
Irish whiskey is believed to be one of the earliest distilled beverages in Europe, dating back to the middle of the 12th century. The word “whiskey” is actually an anglicized translation of the ancient Gaelic term uisgebeatha (pronounced “weez-gay-bay-thuh”) which means “water of life”. Irish whiskey is traditionally a triple-distilled blend of pot-stilled unmalted barley whiskey, pot-stilled malt whiskey, and column-stilled grain whiskey. However, unique to Irish whiskey is the designation “pure pot still” which refers to a single whiskey made from a batch of 100% malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still. Unlike Scotch whisky, the malt used in Irish whiskey is not toasted or kilned with peat, and therefore it does not adopt a smoky quality.
Islay (region of Scotland):
This variety of whisky hails from the island of Islay (pronounced “eye-luh”), which is the southernmost of the Inner Hebridean Islands located off the west coast of Scotland. These whiskies are classified as being exceptionally smoky, or “peaty”. This “peatiness” is an unmistakable characteristic of the Islay malts, due in part to the peat smoke that dries the barley used in distillation. There are strong traces of briny ocean mist, iodine, and seaweed in the flavor of Islay Scotch–attributed to the region’s adjacency to the salty spray from the rough waters of the Sea of the Hebrides.
Jamaica’s rum efforts have long been appreciated in cocktails for their rich, full flavor and sometimes alternately sweet and vegetal aroma. The use (and re use) of wild yeasts indigenous to the region has long been a tradition in the fermentation process of Jamaican rum, which is arguably a major contributor to its unique taste. This practice is not entirely dissimilar in process to the contributions of sour mash in Bourbon whiskey, where material from an older batch of mash is used to start fermentation in the batch currently being made.
A jigger is an indispensable tool for the budding bartender. A traditional jigger is a double-sided device. With a large measure on one end and a smaller one, generally half the size, on the other. It can be a common misconception that a professional bartender doesn’t need to use a jigger. Actually it will often be the most professional of bartenders who you will still see using a jigger, because they know just how important it is to properly measure ingredients when making a properly balanced cocktail.
Originally a Sling or Toddy (spirit, sugar, water, and grated nutmeg) of the minted variety, Juleps took their official name as a playful homage to a term once reserved for orally ingested medicinal syrup. Popular with Americans in the early 19th century, Mint Juleps were first made with Cognac and peach brandy, yet this cocktail has since evolved into a bourbon-based drink made with fresh mint and sugar. Mint Juleps are traditionally served in a frosted silver or pewter cup (sometimes referred to as a Julep mug) over shaved or crushed ice.
A variety of beer traditionally brewed in Cologne, Germany. It is of a straw-yellow hue and it possesses a profound yet pleasant hop character. Kölsch is top-fermented at 13-to-21°C (or 55-to-70°F) and then cold-conditioned, or lagered (see below).
A type of beer that is brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast at lower temperatures and for longer durations than those typically used to brew ales. In German, the term lager (pronounced “lah-grr”) refers to storing a beer at cool temperatures and does not necessarily imply bottom-fermentation. Cold storage of beer or lagering was a common practice throughout the medieval period in areas with cooler climates, such as caves.
Lowlands (region of Scotland):
The majority of Lowland malt whiskies are triple-distilled. Most of the existing grain distilleries are located in the Scottish Lowlands, and this region provides many of the malts that blenders use in order to develop a mellow quality in their whiskies.
A very distinctive type of beer typically brewed in the Pajottenland region of Belgium, southwest of Brussels. Lambic beer is produced by “spontaneous fermentation”, as it is purposely exposed to indigenous wild yeasts and bacteria. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive dry, vinous, cidery flavor and a slightly sour aftertaste. Lambic refermented in the presence of cherries (or raspberries) that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle results in the production of “Kriek”.
Referring to cocktails served in Highball or Collins glasses that are topped with soda water.
A sweet and dry liqueur made from Croatian Marasca cherries and cherry pits. Maraschino was a popular ingredient in 19th century punches and cobblers. It is also favored by diabetics for its use as a sugar substitute in cocktails.
Mash, mashing, mashbill:
A distiller’s “mash bill” is the grain type and proportion of each used in a particular spirit’s mash, i.e., its “recipe.” In brewing and distilling, mashing is the process of combining a mix of milled grain (typically malted barley with supplementary grains such corn, sorghum, rye, or wheat), known as the “grain bill”, with water, known as “liquor”. Heating this mixture in order to activate enzymes that will convert the starches to sugars. The sugars, having been run off from the mash ingredients, will later be converted to alcohol.
The general category of distillates of which tequila happens to be a sub-category. Hence, all tequila is mezcal, but mezcal is not tequila. The origins of mezcal are rooted during the Spanish conquest, when conquistadors experimented with the agave plant in order to produce a distillable fermented mash. Made primarily in Oaxaca, Mexico from the espadín species of agave plant (or maguey), mezcal is recognized for its intense smoky flavor resulting from the slow baking of the the agave piña (or heart) in clay ovens over hot rocks. These piñas are then crushed and mashed (traditionally by a stone wheel turned by a horse), and then left to ferment in large vats or barrels. Most mezcals are aged from one month to four years, but some can be aged for as long as twelve years.
A sugar component or a liqueur that lends texture and complexity while acting as a balancing agent in a cocktail. Usually measured at less than half of the volume of the base spirit.
A type of red wine made from the Montepulciano grape in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is typically a dry and fruity wine with soft tannins, and is therefore enjoyed while it is relatively young.
Muddle, muddling, muddler:
A technique that utilizes a wooden stick or “muddler” shaped like a pestle to grind (or muddle) fruit(s), herbs, and/or sugar cubes in the bottom of a shaker in order to release their flavor during the preparation of cocktails. The act of muddling is also performed directly in certain cocktail glasses, as in the case of the Old Fashioned Originally called a “toddy stick” in the Caribbean, this style of utensil and technique continues to be integral in the preparation of mashing cane for rum punches.
An alcohol-based bitter cocktail additive flavored with Seville orange peels, burnt sugar, cardamom, caraway seed, coriander, and several other botanicals.
Orange Flower Water:
Orange flower water, or orange blossom water, is a clear, perfumed distillation of fresh bitter-orange blossoms.
This essential water has traditionally been used in many French and Mediterranean dessert dishes, such as the gibassier and pompe à l’huile, but has more recently found its way into Western cuisine. For example, orange flower water is used in France to flavor madeleines, in Mexico to flavor little wedding cakes, and in the United States to make orange blossom scones and marshmallows. Orange flower water is also used as an ingredient in some cocktails, such as the Ramos Gin Fizz.
It has been a traditional ingredient used often in Middle Eastern cooking. In the Arab world, it is frequently added to hard or otherwise bad-tasting drinking water to mask the unpleasant flavor. Orange blossoms are believed to be used in this manner because they are seen as the traditional bridal flower and, therefore, symbolize purity (white, small and delicate).
There are many brands available that are made in Europe and the Middle East. There are also several brands made in the United States.
In Greece and Cyprus orange blossom water is called anthonero (ανθόνερο) while in Malta it is known as Ilma Zahar.
Orgeat syrup is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange-flower water. It was, however, originally made with a barley-almond blend. It has a pronounced almond taste and is used to flavor many cocktails, perhaps the most famous of which is the Mai Tai.
An aggregated accumulation of partially decayed vegetation that is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world, including Ireland and Scotland. Peat fires are used to dry malted barley for use in Scotch whisky distillation, contributing to its distinctive smoky flavor, often called “peatiness”.
Peychaud’s Bitters, originally created around 1830 by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a Creole apothecary from the French colony of Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, who settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1795, is distributed by Sazerac. It is a gentian-based bitters, comparable to Angostura bitters, but with a lighter body, sweeter taste and more floral aroma. Peychaud’s Bitters is an important component of the Sazerac cocktail.
It is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery of Frankfort, Kentucky.
Plymouth Gin is a style of gin that by law can only be produced in Plymouth, England, it being a Protected Geographical Indication within the European Union. The Plymouth Gin Distillery (the Black Friars Distillery) is the only gin distillery located in Plymouth in what was once a Dominican Order monastery built in 1431 and opens on to what is now Southside Street. It has been in operation since 1793. The established distilling business of Fox & Williamson began the distilling of Plymouth Gin in 1793: soon the business was to become known as Coates & Co. which it remained until March 2004. From 2005 the brand was owned by the Swedish company V&S Group, who also make Absolut Vodka. The brand is now owned and distributed by the French company Pernod Ricard as a result of the purchase of V&S Group in 2008.
A Portugese-style of fortified wine originating from the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal, also known as Vinho do Porto, and more commonly—Port. Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses a higher alcohol content than most other wines. This is caused by the addition of distilled grape spirits to fortify the wine and halt fermentation before sugar is converted to alcohol, and results in a wine that is usually around 20% ABV. Port is either barrel-aged in order to yield a slightly viscous wine (this process is known as “oxidative” aging), or it is aged in sealed bottles where it is not exposed to air. This is known as “reductive” aging, and it produces a wine that is smoother on the palate and generally less tannic.
The modern pot still is a descendant of the alembic, a distillation device believed to have originated in China and brought to the West by the Moors. The first Europeans to use the alembic for alcohol production appear to have done so in the early 12th century. The alembic derives its name from the Arabic al-inbiq, which translates as “still”. Pot still output contains more congeners than the output from column stills and thus produces a heartier distillate.
Punch (circa 1630)
Spirit, lemon, sugar, water tea or spice
One of the earliest types of mixed drink, the origins of the punch are believed to have been discovered in Eastern India by sailors of the British East India Company, who first recorded this type of mixed beverage and the word in British documents in 1632. The word “Punch” itself derives from the old Hindustani “Panch” meaning five flavorings usually based on spirit, lemon, sugar, water or tea and spice. Can be served hot or cold.
A dry sparkling wine produced from the Glera grape in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Unlike Champagne, Prosecco is made using the charmat method, in which secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks instead of in the bottle itself.
A style of ice produced by cutting down large blocks utilizing various hand tools and instruments expressly designed for such a purpose. As these pieces of ice are hand-cut, their approximate dimensions are between 2 1/4” and 2 1/2” on each facet. This ice is specifically designed to accommodate cocktails being served in a Whiskey glass or a double rocks/double Old Fashioned glass. The use of “rock” ice ensures that a cocktail will stay colder for a longer period of time and retain an optimal rate of water content (in comparison with more traditional methods of ice service), as the surface area of the “rock” is relative to the size of the glass and the liquid volume of the cocktail.
An aromatic white grape variety hailing from the Rhine region of Germany. Known for its flowery, perfumed aromas as well as for its high acidity, Riesling grapes are used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Most of these varieties are unoaked, and therefore enjoyed when they are young.
Rose water, itself a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume, is used to flavor food, as a component in some cosmetic and medical preparations, and for religious purposes throughout Europe and Asia.
Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, a process first developed in Persia and Bulgaria. Rose water is a by-product of this process.
A distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses, and sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. The roots of rum distillation took hold on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century when slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. The first true rums were later produced when the distillation of these alcoholic by-products concentrated the alcohol and removed the impurities. The most plausible origin of the word “rum” is as a truncated version of either “rumbullion” or “rumbustion.” Both words were in use at around the same time as rum became popular, and were both slang terms for “uproar” or “tumult”. The majority of modern rum production occurs in and around the Caribbean and in several Central and South American countries. As with most all other aspects of rum production, there is no standard legally mandated method used for distillation. While some producers work in batches using pot stills, most rum production is done using column still distillation.
Rye Whiskey, Straight Rye Whiskey:
An American grain distillate that in accordance with United States federal mandate must be made with a mashbill of between 51 and 100% rye and is generally aged in charred, new oak barrels. The remainder of the mash is usually malted barley and corn. Rye whiskey can be distilled no higher than 80% ABV, or 160 proof. The designation “straight” as in “straight rye whiskey”, is assigned to those aged for at least 2 years. Canadian whisky can legally be labeled “rye whiskey” should it contain a large percentage of rye in its mashbill.
A Spanish fortified wine from the southwestern province of Cadiz. The broader spirit category of Sherry is comprised of two basic subcategories: Fino (dry and light) and Oloroso (darker and heavier). Sherry is often aged for a minimum of three years within the Solera system, a process that blends younger wine with older wines in order to develop a complex flavor profile in a shorter period of time.
The final step in the preparation of a stirred or shaken cocktail is pouring and straining the drink into its proper glass, which should be done with style. There are two popular types of strainers used for cocktail service: the hawthorn strainer and the julep strainer, both of which are perfect companions for the Boston shaker set. The smaller julep strainer works efficiently with glass portion of the Boston shaker or a, and the hawthorn, with its metal tabs around the edge designed to rest on the rim, works well with the metal part of the shaker. Shaken drinks are usually strained from the metal half using a Hawthorn placed on top and pouring using one hand, and stirred drinks from the glass half with the julep strainer placed on top with the concave part facing up.
The Sling (Circa 1759)
Spirit, sugar, water
This type of drink was recorded in American literature Circa 1759. The term is an Americanism, deriving from an old Germanic phrase, “Schlingen” meaning to swollow quickly. The sling originally consisted of spirit,sugar and water often garnished with citrus peel and nutmeg.
The Cocktail (Circa 1800)
Spirit, sugar, water and bitters
The first printed reference of this term appeared in the early 1800’s in the “Farmers Cabinet”. It as defined in print in “The Balance and Columbian Repository” in 1806- “A cocktail is stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, bitters, it is vulgarly called a bittered sling”.
A distillate made from the Blue Weber variety of the agave plant in the state of Jalisco, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Tequila became North America’s first indigenous distilled spirit in the 16th century when upon the depletion of their brandy supply, Spanish conquistadors began to distill this agave-based drink out of necessity. Many tequila companies still employ a traditional method of extracting the agave juices from the heart of the plant, or the piñas, by crushing them with a Tahona (stone wheel). The agave juice (and sometimes fiber) called musto, is then gathered to ferment for several days in either wood or stainless steel vats as the sugars convert into alcohol. “Tequila” is the result of a secondary fermentation of this product. From here it can be diluted and bottled as is and sold as a “Silver Tequila”, or it can be transferred into oak barrels to begin the aging process in earnest. Tequila divided into the following categories based on age:
Blanco (“white”) or Plata (“silver”) is aged for up to two months in stainless steel or neutral oak casks.
Reposado (“rested”) is aged for a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak.
Añejo (“aged”) is aged for a minimum of one year, but less than three years in oak.
Extra Añejo (“extra aged”) is aged for a minimum of three years in oak. This category was established in March 2006.
Referring to a cocktail that is either shaken or stirred and served in a chilled coupe glass without the assistance of ice to prolong its integrity.
A fortified wine (a wine to which a distilled spirit has been added) that has been “aromatized”, or flavored with aromatic herbs and spices. There are three general styles of vermouth, in order from driest to sweetest:
Dry, aka “French
Bianco, aka “white”
Sweet, aka “red” or “Italian”.
The person accredited with inventing the original vermouth recipe is Antonio Benedetto Carpano of Turin, Italy in 1786. He christened his concoction “vermouth” after being inspired by a German wine flavored with wormwood. In the late 18th century, wermuth was the German word for the wormwood plant.
Dry vermouth, along with gin, is a key ingredient in the creation of several variants of the Martini cocktail:
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Dry or “French” vermouth
Stir, and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist, or an olive.
NOTE: There are various legends concerning the origins of the Martini. Some would suggest that:
It is derivative of the Martinez cocktail:
2 oz. Holland gin or “Jenever”
1/2 oz. Sweet or “red”/“Italian” vermouth
1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur
two dashes of orange bitters
Stir, and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.
NOTE: (The Bar-Tender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas, 1887)
The Martini cocktail was originated after the Martini & Rossi brand Martini Rosso vermouth was imported into America from Italy in the mid-19th century
- A bartender by the name of “Martini“ created the drink at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City in 1911. Located at 1466 Broadway, the bar at the Knickerbocker was known as the “42nd Street Country Club”
- None of the above
Sweet vermouth is generally enjoyed on its own as an apéritif. It is also found in several cocktails, such as the:
2 1/4 oz. Rye whiskey
3/4 oz. Sweet or “red”/“Italian” vermouth
two dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir, and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with either a lemon twist, or a cherry.
NOTE: (Manhattan Club, New York City, circa 1870’s)
Although sweet or red vermouths are sometimes referred to as “Italian” and white vermouths as “French”, not all Italian vermouths are red—and not all French vermouths are white.
“Very Superior Old Pale”. An age designation used in Cognac and Armagnac to indicate that the brandy is aged for at least four years in French oak casks.
A beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat. Wheat beers also often contain a significant proportion of malted barley. The main varieties are weissbier, witbier, and the sour varieties, such as lambic. German wheat beers are called weizen (“wheat”) in the western and northern regions, and weissbier or weiss (“white beer” or “white”) in Bavaria. Hefeweizen (“hefe” is German for yeast) is the name for unfiltered wheat beers.
Sometimes referred to as an Old Fashioned, Lowball, or Rocks glass, a “whiskey glass” is normally used to serve neat spirits or spirits on the “rock”. However, it is also the traditional vessel for the service of specific cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, from which it receives its name:
2 oz. Bourbon whiskey
one white sugar cube
four dashes of Angostura bitters
one barspoon (or 1/8 oz.) of soda water
Build in a whiskey glass. Saturate the sugar cube with the bitters, and then pour the soda water over the sugar cube. Gently muddle the sugar cube in order to create a slightly granulated paste. Add Bourbon, and rock ice. Garnish with an orange twist, and a lemon twist.
NOTE: (Adapted from “Modern American Drinks” by George J. Kappeler, 1895)
The Old Fashioned was popularized sometime in the 1880’s by Colonel James E. Pepper at the Pendennis Club in Lexington, Kentucky. He later carried its charms to the Old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Bar in New York City, where its fame was then presumably disseminated amongst the aficionados, resulting in its subsequent presence in countless cocktail manuals of import dating back to the early 20th century.
Whiskey glasses will generally contain between 6-to-10 fluid ounces.