Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mojitos - The best mojitos ever

Mojitos one of the most crucial drinks for a bartenders. If you want to test your favorite bar abilites, ask for one of these cuban delights. If they do a great unforgetable mojito, drink it slowly, give them thumbs up and come back many times even with your loved ones. If they just do an overly sweet, not really fresh, pre-mixed mojito, then again give them your thumbs up, but only come back to these lousy bar when your mother-in-law is in town, or when you want to have one of your friends to stop talking to you.

If you want me to email you variation on these recipes, like blackberry mojitos, rhubarb mojitos, blueberry mojitos, Moscow mule mojitos and many others.


• Use silver rums, Cubans are hard to get in the US wiuth the embargo and all, but some caribbean rums like the Puertorrican rums will do. Avoid the Lemon flavored rums.
• Fresh mint and Fresh limes do have a certain shine.
• Top them with Soda water, champagne or a mix of both.
• Don't over muddle

The good one and the easy one

The good one

1 large sprig spearmint
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 spoonful of granulated sugar 
2 big slices of lime
1 oz of lime juice
2 oz white rum
3 oz soda or sparkling water
Splash of Prosecco or Asti
Crushed ice

On a short metallic shaker or a rock glass, muddle the spearmint (just the leaves), sugar, and mint for about 20 secs. Do it gently.
Fill a highball with ice, add the rum, lime juice (save the lime hull, you silly bartender), and the simple syrup. Roll the contents from the highball into the rock glass back and forward until the drink is well mixed. Served on the used highball, of course, throw the lime hull into the glass, top with Soda and add a final little splash of champagne (prosecco, asti, cheap champagne... I know we all are not Mr. Trump to spend money on champagne just for a little splash, but maybe buy a split of prosecco for a few drinks will be just fine.

The easy one

8 to 12 mint leaves
2 spoonful of granulated sugar 
1/2 lime
2 oz white rum
3 oz soda
regular ice

Gently muddle mint and sugar, fill glass with ice, squeeze that half lemon, add the hull to the glass, add rum, soda water and stir with a straw.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Old-fashioned Cocktail - A Cocktail legend

Finally something that you regularly see at the bar that is older than Joan Rivers. It has been around bars for a pretty good couple hundreds of years (the cocktail, Miss Rivers might've been around back then too, and probably both were on the menu, but while the cocktail gained poise Mrs. Rivers gained experience). OK, The Old Fashioned is really old and that is what i counts.


  • 1 cube of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon full of sugar
  • 1 dash of Orange bitters
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of Seltzer or soda water
  • 2 oz Whiskey (Rye preferred over Bourbon)
  • Ice
  • 1 Lemon peel
  • Orange slice and 2 Cherries as garnish (the original version didn't call for them)

  • Mix sugar with bitters until everything looks wet
  • Use an Old-fashioned glass (that's why they received the name, you might as well follow tradition and use it appropriately). 
  • Crush sugar softly with muddler
  • Add a short splash of soda water. 
  • Rinse inside of the glass with the mix
  • Add ice (1 large piece of ice is what I recommend, but use as little or as much as you preferred)
  • Add whiskey (rye or bourbon)
  • Stir gently
  • Serve with a stirrer

The Old Fashioned was actually considered a sling, since it has bitters, but since it seems bartenders got use to call it a cocktail and the tradition stuck. Since it was served in a short whiskey glass, its popularity requested the presence of these type of glasses in any bar, making the glassware use for it to become the popular Old-Fashioned glass, named after the drink.

The first use of the specific name "Old Fashioned" was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, Louisville, Kentucky. It has been said that it was invented by a bartender at a local Gentleman's Club.
One of its members was a well-traveled bourbon distiller, who requested it at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in NYC where it gained fame and popularity.


The oldest way - 1895
  • Dissolve a small lump of sugar 
  • Add short splash of water
  • use whiskey glass
  • add two dashes of orange bitters
  • small piece of ice
  • lemon peel
  • 1.5oz of whiskey
  • mix with small bar spoon
  • leave spoon in the glass

The 1900's recipe
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash Curacao
  • small loaf of sugar
  • Dissolve in two spoonfuls of water 
  • 1 piece ice in glass
  • Stir well 
  • twist a piece of lemon peel on top and serv

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lemon Drop Martini

This popular martini, but it actually based on a far forgotten drink, The White Lady (A gin based recipe, replace with vodka and you will have a Gentleman's Cosmopolitan, Replace the gin for brandy and you will have a Sidecar). 4 well-known martinis based on simple variations of the main alcohol while maintaining the accompanying ingredients. Their proportions on the recipe may vary according to the source and/or personal preferences.

There are many versions on this well-know shot/martini recipe. Some call for a equal parts on the four basic components, other recipes call for a dryer flavor, favoring the presence of vodka versus the secondary ingredients. Either way you will love the citrusy flavor and the sweet tones of a well done Lemon Drop Martini.

If you are in a rush and your homemade simple syrup dissapeared from your pantry or your fridge was raid and no lemons are to be found, if your Rose's Lime Juice has survived this catastrophe, feel free to replace them both with it. Fresh ingredients are preferred but this commercial lime juice will probably do just fine. No Rose's either?, then try the commercial Sweet & Sour Mix. Again, not my favorite idea but will do in a pinch.


Recipe 1 - Juan's Lemon Drop Martini (my own recipe)

  • 3/4 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz orange liquor (triple sec, countreau or even gran manier)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz sugar syrup
  • dash of Vanilla Liquor
  • dash of butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 egg white
  • lemon twist for garnish


Recipe 2

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz orange liquor (triple sec, countreau or even gran manier)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar syrup
  • lemon twist for garnish


Recipe 3

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz orange liquor (triple sec, countreau or even gran manier)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 toz sugar syrup
  • lemon twist for garnish



    • Pour the vodka, orange  liquor, lemon juice and syrup (plus egg white if you are going for recipe 3) into a shaker with NO ice cubes.Shake well for 15-20 seconds to "cook" the ingredients.
    • Add ice cubes and shake well to chill
    • Sugar rim a chilled martini glass
    • Strain into the aforementioned chilled martini glass
    • Garnish with the lemon twist
    • Zest a tiny bit of lemon peel (optional)

    I understand if you favored any one of the citrus flavored/infused vodkas currently in the market. Although they may add some depth to the final flavor, nothing really replaces the use of fresh lime juice and homemade simple syrup.

      Simple syrup recipe

      1 Part Water
      1 Part Sugar
      (I personally prefer 1.5 parts sugar)

      The higer ratio of sugar versus water will create a colloidal mixture making it a thicker yet almost tranlucid smooth liquid, softening the flavors and facilitating the mixing process when shaking/stirring your cocktails.

      Not so simple syrup

      Add lemon/lime juice

      Ascorbic acid or citric acid will reduce the presence of any possible bacteria, not onlt that , but it will give it a refreshing taste. Squeeze half a lime or half a lemon per every liter of simple syrup.

      Confectionery sugar versus refined sugar

      Confectionery sugar allows for a higher ratio or sugar to water (3:1) when you are diluting the components.

      Distilled water versus tap

      Tap water contains some purifying agents and additives that might be noticeable in the final taste. It is worth to use distilled water instead (filtered water might work too) when possible.

      Less than a drop of Vanilla

      Add one drop of vanilla per every 4 liters of simple syrup. if you are just doing small batches of simple syrup, you can use a simple smear of it. More a drop every 4 liters will be very noticeable since we are talking of liquid than mixes two very basic flavors.

      Strain and Bottle

      Cooling your mix right is very important. Set it aside until room temperature. If you need to speed up the process, then put some ice water in your sink and place the pan on it, to speed up the cooling process.