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Cocktail College

Techniques: Highbrow Hacks for Lowbrow Drinks

Season 1, Ep. 39

In this techniques episode, friend of the show Jack Schramm returns with a host of hacks to bring simple cocktails up to high-class bartender standards. Listen on to learn everything you need to know about carbonation, acid adjusting, liquor temperature, and a cheeky little technique known as "the sink" — and don’t forget to subscribe!

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  • 103. The Warday's

    The genre of split-base classic cocktails is a lot thinner than you might imagine. And, honestly, it’s questionable whether today’s drink, The Warday’s, can even be considered a classic, such is its relative anonymity. But it is past time you get to know this 1930s gin and apple brandy mashup. Here to explore it with us is Eryn Reece, a New York-based bartender, qualified spirits expert and judge, Speed Rack National Champion, and Tales of the Cocktail Dame Hall of Fame Inductee. Listen on (or read below) to discover Eryn’s Warday’s recipe — and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe!  Eryn Reece’s Warday’s Recipe  Ingredients - 1 ounce Calvados, such as Lemorton - 1 ounce London Dry gin, such as Beefeater - ¾ ounce sweet vermouth, such as Carpano Antica - ¼  ounce yellow Chartreuse - Garnish: lemon twist  Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. 2. Stir until cold and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. 3. Garnish with a lemon twist.  
  • 102. The (Re)Martini

    It's Mr. David Wondrich. It's the Martini. And this ain't no riff or re-run. Instead, we're revisiting this most iconic of classics at Cocktail College, and we're doing so with one of the biggest names in the business. For decades, Wondrich has been at the forefront of chronicling and uncovering cocktail history. He is a James Beard Award-winning author, the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, the resident Spirits & Cocktails historian and advisor at Flaviar, and co-host of the Fix Me a Drink podcast.Listen on (or read below) to discover Wondrich's Martini recipe — and don’t forget to like, review and subscribe!  David Wondrich’s Martini Recipe  Ingredients - 3 parts London Dry gin, such as Tanqueray - 1 part dry vermouth, such as Noilly Prat - 2 dashes orange bitters - Garnish: lemon twist  Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. 2. Stir until cold and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. 3. Garnish with a lemon twist.
  • 101. What Ever Happened to the ‘Beer Cocktail Boom’?

    Take yourself back, listener, to the early 2010s. Craft beer has reached a crescendo. The cocktail movement has fully established itself. And so, for the better part of a decade, “beer cocktails” were being dangled as a dazzling new hybrid form of mixed drinks that might take on. That was the idea, at least. But then…well, it never really took off. What went wrong for this new frontier of hybrid drinks? And why have we never covered beer as a bonafide ingredient, fitting of this show? Here to shed light on those questions and re-examine that basically forgotten period of promise is VinePair’s very own contributing editor, Dave Infante. You might already be familiar with Dave, as the host of VinePair's sterling "Taplines" podcast, which offers weekly deep dives into moments of history and meaningful movements within the beer industry. Consider this week's episode an all-VinePair mashup, with Snakebites, Bulldogs, and the much-heralded "Beer Cocktail Boom." And don't forget to like, review, and subscribe!Articles mentioned in this episode:Frank Bruni: "Cockatails With a Buzz"CNBC: "Get Ready for a Beer Cocktail Boom"Robert Simonson: "The Mexican Bulldog Lets the Mixing Take Place as You Sip"Maro's "Challenge THE BULLDOG!":
  • 100. Episode 100 Special: (Re)Defining the Cocktail

    "A stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters." Over 200 years since their publication in a New York state newspaper, those 13 words continue to stand as the very definition of the cocktail. They ring true when dissecting everything from an Old Fashioned to a Martini, Manhattan, Sazerac, or Pisco Sour. But do they capture the full essence of 21st-century cocktails or is this iconic definition due a modern-day re-examination? We're joined today by Greg Boehm, CEO of Cocktail Kingdom and the Cocktail Kingdom Hospitality Group to explore just that. We'll also learn about his background as an antique book collector and publisher, and the impact his work has had on the modern cocktail landscape. It's our 100th episode special, listener, so please don't forget to like, review, and subscribe!
  • 99. Techniques: Garnishes

    Garnishes: Form or function? Foundational part of a drink's creation or afterthought? These are but a sprinkling of the topics we’re exploring in today’s techniques episode, where we're joined by New York-based Leo Robitschek, a James Beard Award-winning author and beverage director, and partner at Sydell Group. Listen on to discover Leo's considered, distinctly culinary approach to garnishes, and don't forget to like, review, and subscribe!
  • 98. Techniques: Bitters

    Angostura. Peychaud's. Orange. Chances are, that might be the extent to which your cocktail bitters experience extends, and if that is the case, you're missing a trick. Because as today's guest explains, bitters are an essential cocktail seasoning and a requirement in every drink. That guest is Sother Teague, beverage director at New York's Amor y Amargo and Overthrow Hospitality; host of "The Speakeasy" podcast; and author of “I’m Just Here for the Drinks.” And today's show is an ode to this complex category of ingredients, and a one stop shop for everything you need to know about using them.
  • 97. The Alaska

    We’ve covered multiple cocktails named after cities and neighborhoods before but this week marks the first drink named after a state — and it’s a classic. Trey Sanford, bar manager of Anchorage’s South Restaurant + Coffeehouse, joins us to break down the Alaska, an iconic mix of gin, yellow Chartreuse (if you can get your hands on it), and orange bitters. Listen on (or read below) to discover Trey’s Alaska recipe — and don’t forget to like, review and subscribe!  Trey Sanford’s Alaska Recipe  Ingredients - 2 ½ ounces Amalga gin - ½ ounce Yellow Chartreuse - 2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters - 3 drops saline solution (80:20 made with high-quality sea salt) - Garnish: orange twist  Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. 2. Stir until cold and strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. 3. Garnish with an orange twist.  
  • 96. Reinventing the Ramos Gin Fizz

    Most of what’s notable about the Ramos Gin Fizz comes before you take a sip — namely, its striking appearance, which arrives as the product of a painstaking, 10-minute preparation time. But what if there was a way to eliminate the muscle-straining extended shake and, as a consequence, put the Ramos on a permanent cocktail menu? At The Gem, in Bolton Landing, N.Y., Richie Boccato and team have done just that. Better yet, they’ve managed to do so without fancy equipment or molecular techniques. Listen on (or read below) to discover Boccato’s reinvented Ramos Gin Fizz recipe — and don’t forget to like, review and subscribe!  Richie Boccato’s Ramos Gin Fizz Recipe  Ingredients - ⅜ ounce fresh lemon juice - ⅜ ounce fresh lime juice - ⅞ ounce demerara syrup (2:1) - 1 ounce heavy cream - 1 ½ ounces Old Tom Gin, such as Barr Hill, Hayman’s, or Greenhook - 4 or 5 drops orange flower water - 1 ½ teaspoons pasteurized egg white powder - Pinch (tip of teaspoon) charcoal salt  Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a blender with a heaped scoop (8-10 ounces) crushed ice. 2. Blend on a high setting until chilled and all ingredients fully incorporated. 3. Pour intoe a chilled Collins glass. 4. Garnish with an orange “rose,” made with a mint sprig and a cherry on a bamboo skewer.  
  • 95. The Godfather

    While Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” continue to enjoy critical acclaim more than 50 years after its release, the same can’t be said for its namesake cocktail. But just because the disco-era mix of Amaretto and Scotch was traditionally cloying and unbalanced, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of a 21st-century upgrade. Joining us to teach us how to do so is John Ware, bar director of New York City’s Forsythia. Leave the gun, take the cannoli, and listen on (or read below) to discover the Forsythia Godfather recipe — and don’t forget to like, review and subscribe!  John Ware’s Forsythia Godfather Recipe  Ingredients - 1 ¼ ounces blended scotch, such as Speyburn - ¼  ounce smoky whisky, such as Puni Alba Malt - ⅔ ounce amaretto, such as Disaronno or Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira - ¼  ounce Ostinato Secco Dry Marsala - ½ teaspoon honey syrup (2:1) - 1 teaspoon Reisetbauer Hazelnut eau de vie - 4 drops of saline solution (5:1)  Directions 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. 2. Stir until cold and strain into a chilled rocks glass with a large rock of ice. 3. Garnish with a brioche pastry (filled with Chantilly pastry creme, topped with powdered sugar) and Cantucci (almond biscotti) on the side plate.