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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cocktails with Vodka

Vodka is a grain brandy. Of all liquors, it is best in cocktails because it has the mildest flavor. It is considered that a good vodka is the one that is completely colorless and without taste or smell. A mild flavor of vodka simply disappears (blends) in cocktails, and that is why the young especially love it and those who drink only in exceptional circumstances. Vodka doesn’t’ pass on "alcoholic flavor" on drinks. Because of that, it is difficult to measure the strength of Vodka cocktails, and if you drink them – be careful.

Vodka imported from Eastern Europe have expressed flavor and they are stronger than others are.  Stick to the following rule: drink original Russian or Polish vodka pure, and other in cocktails.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cocktails with Gin

With its specific, pleasant aroma, Gin is perfect for cocktails.  That is why the English call it “the heart of a good cocktail”.

Gin is produced from cereals, using dry distillation method. In the first stage of production, gin has no flavor. Flavor is achieved later with the help of carefully chosen accessories - natural flavors of vegetable origin, among which dominates blueberry then coriander, cumin, cinnamon and dried orange peel.

The most famous in the world is LONDON DRY GIN. It is made from corn, with double distillation. The most famous London dry gins are Beefeater, Gilbey’s and Gordon’s.

Gin is rarely served pure. If you do want to serve it in this way, pre-chill it well and pour into small liqueur glasses. Do not dilute pure gin with water or ice, like whiskey, only with tonic or carbonated lemonade.

Gin is most commonly linked with its most famous cocktail - Martini.

Cocktails with Whiskey

Whisky is made from grain alcohol (distilled from grain, usually barley and corn). Four countries are large producers of whiskey: Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the USA. While the Irish whiskey, Scotch whiskey and American bourbon are quite specific, Canadian whiskey and the US-Canadian rye whiskey are pretty faceless and bland, and therefore the most suitable for preparing cocktails.

Of Scottish blends, the most prominent are Johnny Walker, Black and White and Teachers. Many Scotch blends are produced in two versions: regular and deluxe. So, for example, there are Johnny Walker Red Label and Black Label. Deluxe blends contain, of course, higher percentage of expensive malts. The most famous names are Ballantine’e and Chivas Regal.

Malts are never mixed in cocktails. They are served on the rocks, with plain water or soda in a short tumbler (or in old-fashioned). True Englishmen do not even mix them with water and drink them from liqueur glasses.
In the same way and blends are served, especially deluxe ones.

As a cocktail base, the best are simple blends. 

Good connoisseur will tell you that Irish whiskey is quite different from the Scotch. There are two good reasons for this: the climate and the fact that it is not distilled twice, like Scotch, but three times, which makes it more palatable. Irish whiskey, like Scottish, must also before bottling stay in large wooden barrels for at least three years.

When you get your hands on Irish whiskey, do not miss the opportunity to make Irish coffee. You will discover that no other hard liquor mixes with black coffee in such perfect way as Irish whiskey.

Bourbon secret are barrels made of burnt oak in which it must stay for at least four years. In addition, bourbon must contain in malt porridge at least 51% of corn. Bourbon is not always single malt. Blended bourbon whiskeys are very popular, and for some cocktails, they are ideal base. Pure bourbon is served with lots of ice, or with a little bit of water.

As a cocktail base, the most popular is Canadian and rye whiskey.  Canadian whiskey is made from corn, with the addition of rye and barley, with modern methods of distillation, which makes it look very pale, and brighter than any other whiskey. Just before bottling, a little bit of caramel is added to it, to get a darker, more mature color. Rye whiskey, as the name suggests, has a rye base – it contains at least 51% of rye in malt porridge. Like bourbon, it must remain a long time in barrels of burnt oak, before bottling. This whiskey is produced in Canada and U.S. They are used primarily for mixing with lemon juice, mineral water and cola drinks. Such mixtures are served in tall tumbler, with lots of ice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Drinks you need to have.

The basic alcoholic drink that you must have in your bar to make most of cocktails are:

-    Whiskey
-    Gin
-    Vodka
-    Brandy
-    Grape brandy
-    Apple brandy
-    Tequila
-    Rum
-    Vermouth
-    Coffee cream-liqueur
-    Coconut liqueur
-    Mint liqueur: green and white
-    Sherry brandy
-    Apricot brandy
-    Maraschino (cherry liqueur)
-    Triple sec (orange liqueur)
-    Amaro: Amaro 18 Isolabella (bitter liqueur)
-    Istra Bitter (bitter liqueur)
-    Wine: red, white and pink
-    Beer: light and dark
-    Sparkling wine: Champagne

You can complement your bar with some occasional bottle of:

-    Whisky: Irish, bourbon and rye
-    Vodka: Russian and Polish
-    Cognac
-    Orange brandy Bel Ami
-    Plum brandy
-    Mandarinetto (Mandarin liqueur)
-    Kasis (currant liqueur)
-    Kummel (caraway liqueur)
-    Prosecco

Advices for Cocktail Preparation

Most bartenders - amateurs, are prone to experimentation. However, the only way to make a great drink is to literally follow the instructions. Here are some rules:

  • Ingredients should always be mixed with defined order. When the cocktail needs sugar, always put sugar first in the cup, and then add a few drops of water and mix until the sugar is dissolved, because the sugar dissolves much more difficult to in the presence of alcohol. Only then add fruit juice, but soda and other ingredients for dilution are added at the end.
  • Carefully follow the instructions in the recipe.
  • Mixing - clear liquors, gin and vodka, fizzy drinks - like champagne, and drinks whose ingredients have different densities, have to be mixed with ice really good.
  • Shaking - if the recipe specifies some ingredients that are not easy to mix, as eggs, cream, fruit juices, you should use a shaker or electric mixer to obtain a balanced, creamy mass. You should shake cocktails briskly but shortly, so the ice wouldn’t dilute the drink to much. You must shake the drink until it get cold enough, that is, until the outer wall of the shaker blurs.
  • Percolation - it is desirable to always percolate cocktails so that the crushed pieces of ice do not get in the cup.
  • Cool the glasses for all cold drinks, and warm the glasses for hot drinks. You should cool the glass by filling it with ice or immersing it in ice, or, keeping it in the freezer for several minutes.
  • Glass is heated by filling it with hot or boiling water, then leaving it like that for a few minutes, and finally draining that water.
  • Drinks with ice must always be prepared by pouring the drink on the ice, and never vice versa. Also, additives for dilution, such as soda, tonic, ordinary water, etc. .., are always added at the end of preparation.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Purpose of decorations on the glasses is to beautify the look of drinks and also be an integral part of the drinks.

Mixed drinks can be decorated in various ways – with small cocktail umbrellas, straws, fruit and vegetables, aromatic leaves and stalks of plants. Here are fruits and vegetables that are most commonly used:
  • lemon, 
  • orange, 
  • grapefruit, 
  • strawberries, 
  • cherries, 
  • raspberries, 
  • stuffed olives, 
  • celery stalks and 
  • mint leaves.
Besides nice look, they give cocktails and aroma. Mint leaves adorn a number of refreshing cocktails, and in the cocktail-style known as julep they are even an important ingredient. If you want to have always at hand a fresh branch, sow mint in a pot. 

Fruit that you are putting in cocktails must be of finest quality. If you are using canned cherries never use the so called cherries in brandy, because they will change the taste of drink and spoil it. Slice of lemon or orange can be cut and attached to the edge of the glass, or, imaginatively pricked on a cocktail toothpick.

In some mixed drinks a spiral of lemon or orange peel is placed. Their peel is rich in essential oils that otherwise have great application in medicine and cosmetics. When you use them it is necessary to avoid crops sprayed with pesticides. If it can’t avoid use only healthy, well-washed fruits. We make a spiral by cutting the fruit with the knife at the top and then with gentle turning we cut the thin strip of peel, about 1 cm wide, taking care not to cut the fleshy part of fruit. Lemon or orange peel spiral decorates the drink and gives it the desired aroma.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Sugar, sugar syrup and sugar decoration.

In most cocktails, one or more bar spoons of sugar is added. The problem with crystalline sugar is that it is melting really slowly. To avoid that use sugar syrup. Bartenders are using prepared syrup "Gomme" but you can also prepare it successfully at home.

Fill a bowl with 1/2 l of water along with 400 grams of sugar, and cook on medium heat. When the mixture boils, stir it about a minute and remove from the heat, chill it and pour into a clean cup. Until use, store sugar syrup in a cool and dark place. No matter how thick it is, i.e. with how much water it was prepared, it will be a lot easier to mix with other ingredients and at the bottom of the glass there won’t be any leftovers of un-melted sugar. If, among the ingredients of a mixture, are tea, coffee or wine, sugar can be boiled and with these liquids instead of water. In this case, it is not necessary to use sugar syrup.

Mixed drinks called crusta are always decorated with sugar. Many other cocktails, like the rich creamy Alexander, but and ordinary gin with orange juice also, will look far better in a glass with sweet sugared rim. Here is how you will do it: cut a slice of lemon and wet the rim of the glass with it. Pour sugar crystals into a shallow dish to a height of approximately one centimeter. Now, turn the opening of a glass down and press the rim in the sugar. Press softly until you get a uniform sugar crown. If you don’t like bittersweet taste of this crown, don’t wet the glass with lemon, but plain water or cool the glass in the refrigerator before immersing it to sugar.

You will do the same and when you are preparing cocktails with salted crowns - as is the case with the famous Margarita, cocktail with tequila.

If we mix sugar with grated chocolate, will get sugary-chocolate crown that we can use on some cream cocktails, or, on mixed drinks with milk and fruit. Instead of sugar, we can also use and various powders which are used for the preparation of instant drinks.