Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lesson 11: Martinis and Manhattans

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Free Online Bartending School, a great place to get bartending lessons online for free.

Today, we would like to go over Martini and Manhattan cocktails. So let's get right to it.

To start things off, here is a nice video on how to make a martini.

In the video above, the bartender goes over how to mix a martini, how to chill the martini glass, and what kind of garnish to use. The method that he uses to prepare the martini is very good, and will create a quality martini. Be sure to learn his methods. They will be your fundamentals in preparing a martini drink.

Martini cocktails can be divided into a few categories.
  • Martini
  • Manhattan
  • Modified Martini - Ex: Apple Martini, Lychee Martini, Chocolate Martini
  • Cosmopolitan
When you make a martini, be sure to use a martini glass. This is half of the fun. And without it, a customer will feel ripped off, and probably not tip you well. You have to keep in mind that a martini cocktail usually sell for about $7-15 a glass. Careful attention is needed so that the customer will feel as if the money was well spent.

Remember to chill the martini glasses by keeping them in a freezer, or use the chill method described in the video above.

When preparing a martini cocktail, it is also critical that you garnish the cocktails correctly. A customer will usually expect an olive, or at times a lemon peel in their martini. Without it, it really won't be a martini. So be sure to memorize the garnish of each of the martini cocktails that will be discussed below.

Another point to note is that when a customer orders a martini cocktail, they will likely tell you what brand of liquor to use for their cocktail. They'll say things like, Grey Goose Martini, Martini with Sapphire, Ketel One Cosmo, or Crown Royal Manhattan. You'll be expected to use that liquor to make the cocktail with.

One last thing to point out is that a thoughtful bartender may serve a "water back" with a martini cocktail. In other words, they'll give the customer a glass of water along with the cocktail since these drinks are pretty stiff. Depending on the customer they may or may not appreciate the extra mile, but it is a nice courtesy gesture that will earn you points to possibly get tipped more.

All that being said, here are the martini recipes you are expected to memorize. There are a few ways of making a martini. You may want to do a YouTube search on the keyword "How to Make a Martini." It's good practice to try it all, and see which method you like the most.

Also, martini glass usually look the same, but the actual sizes of it tends to differ pretty significantly. Be sure to adjust the recipe below to the martini glass that you will be using at your bar.

Martini Cocktail Recipes

2 oz. Gin
Dash (1/8 oz.) Dry Vermouth
Garnish with an Olive

Vodka Martini
2 oz. Vodka
Dash (1/8 oz.) Dry Vermouth
Garnish with an Olive

Dirty Martini
2 oz. Vodka
Dash (1/8 oz.) Dry Vermouth
1/8 oz. Olive Juice
Garnish with an Olive

2 oz. Gin
Dash (1/8 oz.) Dry Vermouth
Garnish with a Pearl Onion

2 oz. Whiskey
1/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Garnish with a Cherry

Perfect Manhattan
2 oz. Whiskey
1/8 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/8 oz. Dry Vermouth
Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Rob Roy (Scotch Manhattan)
2 oz. Scotch
1/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Garnish with a Cherry

Perfect Rob Roy
2 oz. Scotch
1/8 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/8 oz. Dry Vermouth
Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Southern Comfort Manhattan
2 oz. Southern Comfort
1/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Garnish with a Cherry

Apple Martini
1 1/2 oz. Vodka
1 1/2 oz. Apple Pucker
Garnish with a Cherry

Lychee Martini
1 1/2 oz Soho® lychee liqueur
1 oz Vodka
Garnish with a Cherry

Chocolate Martini
2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
Garnish with a Hershey's Kiss

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Rose's® Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Garnish with a Lime or Cherry

Lemon Drop
Rim Martini Glass with Sugar
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Garnish with Lemon

The above are either the classic recipes or popular recipes that should be part of your repertoire as a bartender. Practice making these drinks at a party so that you can perfect it.

With the advent of infused vodka in recent years, drinks that are considered modified martinis will continue to be invented for our drinking pleasure.

Okay, so until next time, good luck studying and cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lesson 10: Liqueur - Part 3

Hello everyone! Thank you again for coming back to Free Online Bartending School!

We appreciate your time to come back and visit our site. We're hoping that we can provide you with the most comprehensive information about bartending for free on our site. Please give us feedbacks, comments, and questions so that we can continue to improve this site.

In this lesson, we will go over the final part of the Liqueurs series. This lesson will focus on the liqueurs that are usually at a bar, but used less frequently. However, they are important to know since 10-15% of your customers will order these liqueurs on any given night.

With regards to liqueurs, if you haven't read the first two parts, I would recommend you go through them before reading this post:

That being said, let's finish off this lesson on liqueurs.

Unique and Less Used Liqueurs

Galliano - An Italian liqueur that tastes like a bit like licorice. It is yellow in color, and has a relatively expensive price tag. The bottle is said to be indestructible, so it can be a deadly weapon in a bar fight. The most representative cocktail using Galliano is the Harvey Wallbanger, a cocktail that we covered in our highball lesson.

Dom's B&B - A liqueur that's good for sipping. It is a mix of brandy and Benedictine, hence the name B&B. The liqueur is easy to sip since it's a bit sweet, and it doesn't have the harshness of a whiskey or brandy. If you're just starting out to drink whiskey, this might be a nice way to ease into things. The sweeter flavor will help to acquire a taste for whiskey, cognac, brandy, and scotch.

Drambuie - Drambuie is also similar to B&B in its taste. I will go as far as to say that I have a hard time telling the two apart. I do like to drink it though in a brandy glass like the picture below, or "on the rocks" in a rocks glass. It goes well with a cigar, so if you're smoking one, you might want to try Drambuie. The sweet taste of Drambuie tends to go well with the strong cigar flavors. Drambuie is considered a bit of an old man's drink (like the Dom B&B), but it's actually pretty good to drink.

Frangelico - A hazelnut flavored liqueur. It is usually used to make a cocktail with. You don't usually drink Frangelico on its own. It has a pleasant, sweet hazelnut taste, so when mixed properly, Frangelico makes a killer cocktail. Frangelico usually mixes well with creamy liqueurs, coffee liqueurs, and chocolate liqueurs.

Campari - Campari is one of those liqueurs that's an acquired taste. When you first try it, it'll taste like crap. It basically has a off-licorice taste. However, upon getting used to it, Campari will for some reason, start to taste pretty good. A representative cocktail using Campari are, Campari & Soda, and Campari Orange. They become a bit addicting after getting used to the taste of Campari.

Hpnotiq - Hpnotiq is a pretty new liqueur in the United States, and to be honest, I've never personally tried it. I'll need to go out and grab myself a bottle this weekend. According to Wikipedia, it is a liqueur with a blend of natural exotic fruit juices, premium vodka, and a touch of cognac. It was created in 2001, but has gained popularity in recent years. Created by a college dropout in 2001, it was sold for $50 million in 2003. Pretty interesting story.

Limoncello - An Italian liqueur that's lemon flavored. Usually served chilled as a shot or as a sipping drink after dinner. Lately, you see Danny DeVito with his own brand of it selling in restaurants.

99 Bananas - Obviously a banana liqueur. The only catch, it is 99 proof, or almost 50% alcohol content. It's a pretty strong liqueur. 99 Banana has gained some popularity in recent years as well.

Ouzo - Another licorice flavored liqueur. Greek people drink this a lot. I personally thought the flavor of Ouzo was a little too powerful for me. However, this is also an acquired taste, so once you get used to it, you can probably go party on down in Greece. Ouzo is intended to be served straight. There are a few cocktail recipes using Ouzo, but they are generally not very popular in the United States.

Zen - Green tea flavored liqueur found at some bars these days. It is made by Santory, the same company as the Midori. You may see this liqueur at an Asian restaurant, or Asian themed bars. There are several cocktails using Zen found on its website, but they are not well known in the United States. Only bars that have specific menus will likely make Zen cocktails.

All right, so that about wraps up the lessons on liqueurs. I hope you enjoyed learning about all the different liqueurs out there in the market today. And as a note, these are liqueurs that are known in the United States. There are many more varieties of wonderful liqueurs around the world that you will encounter as a bartender. Beverage companies also come up with a new liqueurs every year.

As always, I would recommend going out and trying out each of these liqueurs one at a time. It really helps to know what your ingredients tastes like when you bartend. You don't want to over mix something that's too sweet, or something that too strong in flavor.

As a bartender, you must become familiar with all of the liqueurs that I've mentioned, since that is what you will be working with when you become a bartender.

So good luck studying, and till next time, Cheers!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lesson 10: Liqueur - Part 2

Hello everyone! Thank you for coming back to Free Online Bartending School.

Right now, we are in the middle of our three part series on Liqueurs. We went over a few in the prior lesson, and I'm hoping to cover more in this one.

Part 2 of the Liqueurs lesson will focus on popular liqueurs that we use as a bartender.

So, without wasting any time, let's get into it right away.

Popular Liqueurs

Midori - A Japanese liqueur that tastes like Melon. It's a classic girl's drink in college. Midori Sour and Melon Balls are very popular cocktails that use Midori. If you're having a party, and want to start things off, this is a good one to use.

Bailey's Irish Cream - Bailey's is a very popular cream cocktail with an Irish Cream taste to it. You can drink it straight or on the rocks, or mix it with other liqueurs to make a B-52. It's one of my favorites to drink on the rocks. Lately, they have come out with other flavors like caramel, mint chocolate, and coffee. The caramel one was pretty excellent.

Apple Pucker - Apple Pucker is used to primarily make an Apple Martini with. It's got a strong green apple flavor. You can also mix it to make shooters with. DeKuyper is the brand that makes the popular Apple Pucker.

Amaretto - An almond flavored liqueur that is used for making Amaretto Sours with. It's not too heavy on alcohol, but full of flavor, so it's a good liqueur. Disaronno is the brand that makes the most popular Amaretto in the United States.

Grand Marnier - A strong orange flavored liqueur. It can be drank straight, and some cigar smokers drink this in a brandy glass. It has been popular these days due to the popularity of the Cadillac Margarita. You make a regular margarita, and pour a shot of this on top. It's really good.

Peach Schnapps - A peach flavored liqueur used to make cocktails like the Fuzzy Navel and Sex on the Beach with. This is also a classic girls cocktail since it's very easy to drink, and tastes great. Be sure to have a bottle if you're throwing a party.

Chambord - A raspberry flavored liqueur. This is used to make a variety of drinks, but a popular one is a champagne cocktail, Kir. There is also an alternate version of the Sex on the Beach that uses this liqueur - and it tastes great. It comes in a round bottle that's pretty easy to distinguish.

Jagermeister - A popular drink amongst the college crowd. It has a licorice like flavor, and usually drank as a shot. Commonly referred to as the "Jager." I personally love to put a Jager and some shot glasses in the freezer to enjoy an ice cold Jager shot. It doesn't freeze, but the ice cold shots will burn through your body, and it's an awesome sensation.

SOHO Lychee - SOHO hasn't really become that popular yet in the United States, but I've seen it more frequently lately at Asian restaurants and bars. A popular drink is a Lychee Martini or Lychee Grapefruit. Easy to drink, and feels a bit ethnic, so you'll definitely get some attention if you have this around.

All right, I think those are some of the most popular liqueurs that are out today. A lot of the liqueurs above, you will be using quite frequently at your bar. Be sure to familiarize yourself with them since it must become second nature to you in order for you to become a great bartender.

All right, we'll finish off this lesson on liqueurs by going over the other liqueurs that you may use a little less frequently.

So until next time, study hard, and Cheers!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lesson 10: Liqueur - Part 1

Hi everyone! Thank you for coming back to Free Online Bartending School!

We're trying to make this the #1 place to learn about bartending online for free.

In this lesson, we're going to deviate a little from our recipe memorization, and talk about liqueurs.

Liqueurs are different from liquors. It sounds really similar, but they are different.

Liqueurs are alcohol that is lower in alcohol content than liquors. They are typically sweet. And they have been flavored with some kind of fruit, herbs, nuts, or cream.

Liqueur, typically is heavier compared to a liquor since they have sugar added to it. A lot of the liqueurs are actually very sweet, and are almost syrup like. A popular example will be Bailey's or Kahlua.

Anyway, let's go ahead and start going over some of the most common types of liqueurs.

Triple Sec and Similar Tasting Liqueurs

Triple Sec - Orange flavored liquor with sugar. Very syrup-like and used to sweeten cocktails. This is a very popular ingredient to use for cocktails, and you will be using it a lot to mix drinks with.

Blue Curacao - Similar to Triple Sec, just blue in color. Used to make a Blue Margarita or a Blue Hawaii.

Orange Curacao - Very similar to Triple Sec. Personally, I've never understood the difference between the two. Some people have claimed that Orange Curacao is a tad sweeter, with more orange flavor. However, once you mix them into a margarita, it's pretty difficult to tell if it's Triple Sec or Orange Curacao. It's like Pepsi and Coke in my opinion.

Cointreau - Similar to Triple Sec, just made in France. The taste is subtlely different compared to Triple Sec, and it has more alcohol content in it (40%). Cointreau usually cost a little more, so we usually end up using Triple Sec as substitute in the United States.

Patron Citronge - Triple Sec like liqueur made by Patron. I personally thought that this one has a distinctive taste compared to Triple Sec. It has a stronger alcohol content, and some bars use this to make their margaritas with.

Creme de... Liqueurs

Creme liqueurs are very sweet liqueurs designed to add flavor into your cocktail. Easy way to think of them are like the syrup shots that we're able to get for our coffee at Starbucks. They are very similar to that in characteristics - just with alcohol in it.

Creme liqueurs are confusing, because it sounds like it includes cream in it. This is not true. The creme just refers to its consistency, which is very syrupy. There are no cream added to the liqueurs.

There are three major brands in the United States that produce creme liqueurs. They are BOLS, Hiram Walker, and Dekuyper. Hiram Walker is usually the most popular, and it is found at most bars in the United States.

Creme de Cassis - Blackcurrant flavored liqueur. Some light drinking girls like to drink Creme de Cassis with soda. It's a light in alcohol, and tastes great.

Creme de Cacao - Chocolate flavored liqueur. It's been used these days to make a chocolate martini. The intense chocolate flavor will surprise you when you first try it. Creme de cacao comes in clear and brown in color.

Creme de Menthe - Mint flavored liqueur. A well known cocktail is the grasshopper. There's also a shooter called the Girl Scount Cookie which is really good using this liqueur. Creme de Menthe also comes in two colors - clear and green.

Creme de Almond (Noyaux) - Almond flavored liqueur. Used for some tropical drinks like the Zombie. This is probably not the best practice, but I have substituted Grenadine in place of Creme de Noyaux when it was unavailable.

Creme de Banana - Banana flavored liqueur. Used for drinks like the Banana Daiquiri, or tropical cocktails. Depending on the bar you work at, you will either use this a lot, or not at all. Girls like drinks made with this liqueur since it's very sweet and easy to drink.

Sloe Gin - A berry like liquer made from sloe berries, which are a relative to the plum. Sole Gin is used for Sole Gin Cocktail, but overall it isn't a very popular liqueur, and you will only use it a few times a day even at a busy bar.

Coffee Liqueurs

Coffee liqueur seems to be a product of Mexico. They are a sweet flavored drink which tastes great when you mix it with milk or cream. Two major brands of coffee liqueur are Kahlua and Tia Maria. There are of course many more brands when you cruise on down to Mexico. It seemed like every tequila manufacturer down in Mexico, also produced a coffee liqueur.

Kahlua - Most popular brand when it comes to coffee liqueur. Mix it with milk for a Kahlua & Milk, or make a White Russian with it. Very tasty drink.

Tia Maria - A coffee liqueur originally made in Jamaica. When I tried it, Tia Maria tasted similar to Kahlua. I just stuck with Kahlua since it is the most popular brand. Tia Maria is made with rum.

Starbucks Liqueur - Starbucks have recently joined in on the popularity of coffee liqueurs by coming out with their own brand. It comes in two flavors coffee and cream.

All right, since this post is getting a bit long again, I'll make this into a 3 Part Series to cover all the liqueurs. As always, I do like to recommend going out and actually trying out the liqueurs since you need to internalize these things in order to become a good bartender.

Also, as a side note, I've posted something I thought was interesting yesterday.

I hope to periodically post things I find interesting that relates to our overall objective.

Okay, good luck studying, and until next time, Cheers!


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