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Cocktail

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MAKING GIN AT HOME

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Original author: Melanie Tornroth
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Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail

Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail

Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail
Easy Ways To Beautify Your Cocktail

Picture your favorite cocktail in your head. Go on, take a minute. I’d tell you to close your eyes, but you’re reading this so that would probably be pretty ineffective. The point is, when you picture your favorite cocktail, before you imagine the taste of a well-aged spirit, the aroma of a fresh-squeezed lemon or the texture of an egg white foam, you imagined what the drink looked like first. I know that the perfect version of the perfect drink probably didn’t include a sad wilted sprig of mint or a half forgotten wedge of lime just tossed in either, right? 

In your perfect version of your most perfect cocktail, I’ll hazard to guess that it looked just as beautiful as it would taste. We drink with our eyes before we even get that glass in our hand and it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems to transform your cocktail into a thing of beauty. 

Here are some drink decoration ideas that can make your at-home cocktail a true work of art.

FROM THE GLASS UP

The first step in taking your cocktails to the next level is upgrading your glassware. I’m not saying that you need to go out and buy a whole new set of glasses, but consider adding a few choice pieces to your rotation. Estate sales, vintage shops, Etsy.com — are all great ways to find individual pieces that you just won’t find anywhere else  and usually at a huge bargain.) 

Hunting down these pieces gives you the chance to not only beautify your cocktail, but add some individuality to your collection. Best yet, you can add just one or two at a time, building an eclectic collection that represents you, rather than being saddled with a 12-piece set when all you really wanted was a couple of coupes.

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Why You Need a Cocktail Mixing Glass

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Original author: Erin Petrey
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How to Make Money Hosting Corporate Happy Hours

At some point, you’ll have to ask yourself “How much is my time worth?”  The answer is a fair amount, actually.  Start by thinking about what you expect to make in an hour as a bartender.  The session isn’t likely to be any longer than an hour– and might be quite less– but also factor in the time you’ll spend preparing (shopping, practicing, etc.).  

Some people will charge based on the number of people attending, e.g. $30/screen.  However, a flat rate can make everyone feel a little more secure in how much is being paid. If two people drop out at the last minute, you don’t want your fee to be a topic of conversation all over again – you’re supposed to be at the fun part!  

Also consider the size of the business you’d be working for and how much they might be able to afford.  A smaller, locally-based company may not have the same financial resources for this kind of event as, say, the local office of a large tech company.  For your first outing, asking $300 is a pretty decent place to start, knowing you can go up later as business increases.  

What’s also important, though (especially early on), is letting the potential client know that you’re flexible on price.  Some verbiage along the lines of, “For an event like this, I typically charge $XYZ, but I also want to make sure that it fits in your budget as well. I’m sure we can find a price that works for both of us,” can go a long way to putting a potential client at ease.

Original author: Rob Rugg-Hinds
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How to Host a Virtual Corporate Cocktail Happy Hour

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Original author: Carrie Jean Lipe
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The Official A Bar Above Cocktail Lover Holiday Gift Guide

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Original author: Julia Tunstall
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5 Reasons You Need Cocktail Picks for the Holidays

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Original author: Sean Ogle
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The Truth about Vodka: Are All Vodkas the Same?

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(Originally posted by Matt Kelly)
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Vodka, and Why it Deserves More Praise

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Original author: Jake Howard
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5 Smoky Whiskey Cocktails You Can Make at Home

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Original author: Jordan Steffen
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History of Vodka

Vodka’s early rise was limited by the existing distillation technology. Pot stills had to be cleaned between each distillation and were very inefficient for producing a clear, neutral spirit. The column still patented by Aeneas Coffey in the 1820s would revolutionize production. Column stills are able to distill continuously, eliminating the cleaning step; and they can distill to over 95% ABV, well above the traditional products such as Polugar at 38.5%.

One of the first producers to take advantage of this was Lars Olsson Smith in Sweden; he began advertising his Absolut Brannt or “completely pure” vodka starting in the 1879. Olsson’s brand name was later shortened to just Absolut.

This increase in efficiency was a boon for the Russian Tsars who raised money by auctioning off regional distillation rights, coming to a peak when Tsar Nicholas II ordered the construction of over 100 distilleries. As a result, Russian vodka consumption per capita peaked at 14 liters or 3.6 gallons of pure alcohol per year by 1914! That’s the equivalent of about 3 ounces of 80 proof vodka every day for every man, woman, and child.

Despite its incredible growth, vodka’s chance at becoming an international spirit would come to a screeching halt during World War I, the 1917 October Revolution and the nationalization of industry, which included distilleries. In the USA, the First Red Scare would come to a head in 1919 and Prohibition would arrive a year later, making it a bad time to try selling Russian alcohol. It would only begin making scarce appearances in European cocktail books in the late 1920s.

Following the repeal of Prohibition, vodka was still seen as a foreign oddity in the USA, drank primarily by immigrants and visitors from Russia and Eastern Europe. Charles Baker in the popular 1939 book The Gentleman’s Companion weighs in that “vodka is not necessary to a small or medium sized bar.” 

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How to Make a Layered Cocktail

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Original author: Jake Howard
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Smoked Cocktails and The Spirit of Innovation

Having trouble getting that smoky flavor? Here are a few additional tips.

Smoke will not adhere to a dry glass. Although the smoke may settle in the glass for a few moments, once it has dissipated into the air, it will be gone or barely noticeable within the drink. Smoke needs something to adhere to within the glass. 

One way of dealing with this issue is to rinse the glass with a liquid, whether with your cocktail’s base alcohol or perhaps another ingredient you would like to highlight. 

Smoking the entire cocktail as a whole once it’s already been made is another way to ensure that the smoked flavor will stick to the drink. Just remember: If you smoke a completed cocktail too long, you run the risk of over-diluting the cocktail or letting it “die” (allowing the ice to melt too much, watering down the cocktail before the customer has even had a chance to drink it).

Even ice can be smoked for a short period of time, allowing the smoke to penetrate the small pores and cracks within the ice, giving the smoke an almost time-release effect as the ice melts into the cocktail.

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The Best Cocktail Cherries for Your Money

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Original author: Sean Ogle
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How to Make Clear Ice at Home

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(Originally posted by Shannon Dean)
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How to Make Crushed Ice

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(Originally posted by Carrie Jean Lipe)
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How to make Smoked Ice Cubes

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Original author: Rob Rugg-Hinds
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Bitters & Alcohol: All about ABV and Non-Alcoholic Bitters

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Original author: Julia Tunstall
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Home Bar Inspiration: 21 Real Bars from Craft Cocktail Club Members

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Original author: Julia Tunstall
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A Rainbow of Cocktails: How to make Drinks by Color

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Original author: Julia Tunstall
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