Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gin: Martini or Old Fashioned...?

In lieu of World Gin Day,

     I present the following conundrum! 

To Tonic or Not To Tonic!
That isn't a question...
Is it a Martini or an Old Fashioned?

    Lemme clarify one thing, as a cocktail barman I, personally, don't enjoy thoroughly a Gin Martini or Gin and Tonic... call me silly, Gins On the Rocks... That's a different story, but what if... What if there were Gin Old Fashions...? What would their recipe be... Possibly the traditional Spirit, Sugar and bitters would suffice, but how would it play out... Would it very Gin to Gin and what indeed would the Gomme (Sugar Syrup) be made of, surely the standard concoction wouldn't do!

Lady's & Gentlemen 
Brockman's Gin Old Fashioned

      As you can sea, it's not simply Gin and a single type of Bitters. To make a perfect serve Brockman's Gin Old Fashioned I made a Secret Tonic Gomme and paired the Gin with a dash of Orange and Cranberry Bitters, with blueberries on a prism stick for Garnish. But what if...?

Shaken And Stirred...
A Refreshing Hendricks Old Fashioned!

    Above we have a very unique cocktail, why you ask... Because I don't have my own mixology hide away to infuse Hendricks Gin with Cucumber amongst other fantastically tasty ideas roaming around in this poetic bartender's insane head. 

     Shaken in a steal on steal (my personal favourite) we have a measure of Hendricks Gin, slices of Fresh Cucumber and our Secret Tonic Gomme! After a wee shake, the mixture is double strained into a stir glass or jar (as what is available to me, but NEVER STIR INSIDE STEAL... EVER!!! Go find a glass of any sort, steal just won't do, plus it makes you as the barman or host look unprofessional and unprepared). 

    In addition to the shaken ingredients we add another measure of Hendricks Gin and Tonic Gomme along with Coriander Bitters from Bitter Noobs... I mean Bitter Truth, Uh, yes... Them! We then add ice and stir for 10 - 12 Seconds. This is very important and I'll tell you why soon enough. After the 12th second we taste, is it perfect or is it missing something? Perhaps a dash more gomme, bitters or cucumber? If not, pour into a Rocks Glass of your choice and add ice (preferably Hand Cracked or a Sphere made in a Death Star Mold) and a slice of cucumber to garnish.

  I believe as with Every Gin so too with every Bourbon or Whiskey, you must find balance in your Old Fashioned with the right type of Gomme (Again, Sugar Syrup) and Bitters for your Main Spirit. For instance with SipSmith's Gin I would Stir the Drink in glassware with a Pickled Onion, Tonic Bitters, a Dash of the New Batch of Taylor's Falernum and One Dash of Absinthe to round off the Balance.

    My first and obvious Favourite Gin Old Fashioned is called The Reservoir, because it is a pallet cleanser, like the Hendricks Old Fashioned or a Sapphire Old Fashioned (Lillet Blonc, Tonic Gomme and Orange Bitters) it's best sipped between courses in a meal and Here is where I'll give you a recipe!

37.5ml Tanqueray Export Strength Gin
12-15ml Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
3 Dashes Bitter Truth's Orange Bitters
1 Dash Absinthe
Rocks Glass
Sphere to Garnish

The balance is there, but it's yours to find! 

      Professional Advice: As with most Stirred Drinks, like the Negroni, Manhattan, Old Fashoined or martini, you are going for perfect serve flavour, not necessarily how frosty chilled the cocktail is. So I advice my staff to Stir for 10 - 12 Seconds and then taste, how far off from perfect is it? Does it need something to balance it, then add it, if  it's still too potent, Stir Another 2-4 Seconds and taste again. 

     Since you are serving the Cocktail in a Rocks Glass with an Ice Sphere or Hand Cracked Ice, the drink will be kept chilled in the glass (as with Martini's or Coupe's the Glass Should be Frozen).

Monday, April 27, 2015

J.D & Coke...

As cocktail as you go eh...?

     Well at the Mal Bar deep within the underbelly confines of the boutique hotel Malmaison Glasgow, Where I currently reside behind... and often times in front of the bar, we serve a special concoction just for you!

The Jack Daniels #.07 & Coke
Old Fashioned

     Made with in house made Cola Bitters, Cola Syrup for the sweetner and finally Jack Daniel's Number 7 Tennessee Whiskey! Got the idea just last week, since we get a'lot of guests from out of town, North America specifically, where I'm originally Canadian from... So I decided to mix(ology) up something just for fun. A cocktail that would meet their desires, soothe their pallet and most importantly enhance the enjoyment of their night.

     Whipped up a batch of bitters, aged them for a few weeks and had also made some Cola Syrup to finish off the cocktail this Old Fashioned is something for the Jack Daniel's & Coke Lovers! Which happens to be the first alcoholic beverage I ever enjoyed at the age of 30. Yes, I am a late blooming barman serving cocktails and dram in the heart of Scotland and boy to I love it!

J. The Moustached Villain 

Friday, March 6, 2015


If at first you can't...

     Make any money as a poet, be creative and try something else. Though be relentless of passion, honest charisma and an authentic smile, always wearing the heart of compassion on your tattooed sleeve.

      After eight consecutive years of muddled middle management, human resources and administration I found myself disheartened by the lack of creativity, appreciation and most of all an out let for hope, which is to say, my smile and its reciprocation; I left Canada in search of a less bitter home, luckily I discovered the abounding sarcastic banter of Glasgow upon reaching the United Kingdom where I fit in beyond swell.

      After several meandering jobs from taking a pay cut instead of a lay off to coffee shop management and maestro I found a home; The Ox and Finch, 920 Sauchiehall Street; for those who are interested. This little beauty of an open kitchen quasi tapas style restaurant is a fancy abode, one which I eagerly return to for a visit amongst friends and a, no shelter for your taste buds, bite to eat!

      It was here, in my first true hospitality job where it was discovered that I truly love serving people. Not just coffee, as I did through University across Canada, but also beer, wine and excellent food. I quickly moved up from coffee maestro and bartender to management, serving guests throughout the restaurant and helping staff by leading by example; working hard!

     But something was amiss, the more I moved away from the incredibly manic work of the bar, the more I missed it. The revelation didn't light breaking bulb hit until I had made my first perfect cocktail. After realizing that Dry Martinis were fashionable with several regular guests I set out, via research and trail with error(!), to perfect my skill in the art of Martinis.

      It was there, in the midst of heartache, missing my below the atrium sky lit by glass mingling with twilight behind the bar at the Ox and Finch that a most incredible Manager, Cocktail Barman and Mixologist found me; Scott I owe you this dream! Who now runs the Porter & Rye 1131 Argyle Street, Glasgow, a quirky little steak house with magnificent meats and established drinks!

      Moving on, almost too swiftly from the Ox and Finch I found myself behind the bar at the reputable Blytheswood Hotel in Glasgow, where I would hone my skills under many hours of finger throbbing work from polishing, as a cocktail barman.

      It was there that I created my first drink, The Gin Old Fashion, a secret recipe I'll gladly share, as the palate cleansing drink that tastes of melting glacier water isn't for everyone. It's called The Reservoir, a digestifs best had between dinner and desert.

In earnest anticipation of,
Finding a path to dreams

Upon Opening

Hours Commencing of Ambient Debauchery, Sponsored by Yours Villainously Truly, Shall Be

Thursday  4:00PM - 12:00AM

Friday      12:00PM - 12:00AM

Saturday  12:00PM - 12:00AM

Sunday    12:00PM - 12:00AM