Newsletter 56: Amaro Montenegro

Posted in Newsletters on November 30, 2014 by becca

Another great meeting in the books, this time we say Thank You to Kylee Van Dillen of Amaro Montenegro and the Crew at Social Costa Mesa for their wonderful hospitality.

Amaro Montenegro is a wonderful digestif, with hints of sugar-beet molasses, caramel, orange peel and persimmon.

We were treated to a punch, inspired by the classic Fish House Punch recipe, it’s recipe included orange and lemon oleo saccharums, Amaro Montenegro, apricot brandy, lemon and peychaud’s bitters.

Cocktails included a Low ABV cocktail featuring Amaro Montenegro, lemon, Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aéro d’Or, honey and an absinthe rinse, as well as an old fashioned style cocktail named “Toronto” with Amaro Montenegro, bourbon and vanilla bean syrup.

Low ABV Cocktail

Low ABV Cocktail

Toronto

Toronto

Our educational topic for the evening was on Bar Program retention. The craft cocktail movement is experiencing a rapid expansion here in Orange County, to help foster quality and lasting bar programs at our local restaurants and bars, we talked about how a bar manager can develop and run a lasting program and how to leverage those duties to earn fair compensation.

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Bar Program Retention Education

 

Our next meeting will be our annual Holiday Punch Party on Monday, December 8th at 7pm at a gorgeous location in Newport Beach. Our gracious sponsor will be Grand Marnier who will be bringing a fantastic lineup of their signature cognac-based liqueurs plus Kappa Pisco! *The location will be indoor and outdoor so dress warmly!*

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we have a limited capacity for the meeting and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to info@bartenderscabinet.com. Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter 55: No. 209 Gin

Posted in Newsletters on October 27, 2014 by becca

A big thank you to our friends at Playground, Jarred Dooley & Joe Valdovinos for hosting a wonderful meeting and a fun mix-off with No. 209 Gin!

We were honored to have Mr. Arne Hillesland, the “ginerator” for Distillery 209, who talked us through the production of No. 209 Gin, from the 100% Iowa corn distillate, to the botanicals added to their still named “Rosie”. He also tasted us on the original spirit as well as the Sauvignon Blanc aged and Cabernet aged varieties.

We were treated to awesome cocktails from the Playground bar including a mind-blowing Rootbeer Float that had everyone feeling like a kid again!

Thanks to OCBC members Brittney Musgrave and Joel Bean, we used awesome custom portable bars from Raise The Bar for our friendly mix-off. Ten bartenders mixed up original No. 209 Gin cocktails and presented them to our panel of judges, including OCBC board members, Gabrielle Dion, Matt Ellingson and Jason Schiffer, Arne the ginerator, and OCBC member Daniel Rubalcava. They tasted a lot of great drinks and the unanimous winner was Mr. Dan Oliver with his gin & beer collins topped with an egg white foam! Dan is now a two time mix-off champion, look out! Runners up were Joel Caruso (2nd place) & Greg Bayer (3rd place), recipes are included below:

Dan Oliver

Dan Oliver – Two Time Mix-off Champion!

Winner

Rosie Collins
by Dan Oliver – Red O
2 oz. 209 Gin
1 oz. Lemon Juice
¾ oz. Simple
1 oz. IPA Beer
Shake all ingredients above, dbl strain over ice into Collins. Additionally Shake 1 egg white with 1 oz. of IPA Beer and use that foam to top. Garnish Grapefruit peel.

Joel Caruso

Joel Caruso

2nd Place

Negroni Cello
by Joel Caruso – Pizza Ortica
1 oz. 209 Gin
1 oz. Contratto Bianco
1 oz. Gran Classico
Stir and strain over 1 large rock into a dbl old fashioned glass. Garnish lemon peel

Greg Bayer

Greg Bayer

3rd Place

West Coat Collins
by Greg Bayer – Uva Bar
1 ½ oz. 209 Gin
½ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
½ oz. IPA Beer
2 cardamom pods
2 orange peel
Muddle pods and fruit. Shake with remainder ingredients and dbl strain into dbl old fashioned glass. Garnish with grapefruit peel

 

Our November meeting will be held on Monday, November 3rd at 7pm in Costa Mesa. Our sponsor is the super tasty Amaro Montenegro! We will be presenting a How-To discussion on running a bar program, for those who would like to, for those already in the position and also for owners. The discussion will focus on what a bar manager should be expected to do to develop and run a lasting program and how to leverage those duties to earn fair compensation.

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we are limiting the capacity to 40 and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to info@bartenderscabinet.com. Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter 54: Anchor Distilling

Posted in Newsletters on September 30, 2014 by becca

What fun learning about Nikka Japanese Whisky! Thank you to Mr. Maurice Chevalier IV for all the amazing tastes he brought and the awesome tales of drunk sumo wrestlers and Rita Cowin, the mother of Japanese Whiskey. Make sure to join Facebook Group How Do You Take Your Coffey to share your recipes featuring Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky.

A presentation on Japanese Whisky from Mr. Maurice Chevalier IV

A presentation on Japanese Whisky from Mr. Maurice Chevalier IV

Our wonderful hosts from the Exhibition Room included owner Robert Molina and bartenders David Valiante & Steve Garcia. What a beautiful space to taste, learn & mingle!

Check out the recipe for Steve Garcia’s Milk Punch: MilkPunch_Scotch_OCBC. He recommends reading through it first to get a scope of the recipe before starting. For those of us at the meeting, we can promise it’s worth the effort!!

Punch

David Valiante’s Punch

We wrapped up the meeting with a talk and demo of free-pouring and jigger techniques with Ricky Yarnall.

A demonstration on free-pouring and jiggering techniques

A demonstration on free-pouring and jiggering techniques

Free Pouring & Jiggering

Each method has it’s pros and cons ranging from accuracy to speed and both techniques have their staunch defenders. To improve your skills as a bartender, you should be skilled at both methods and use them each for their different strengths. The main point to remember no matter what technique you use is consistency is key! In your bar, every bartender must be using the same methods correctly with the same tools to ensure consistency.

Using a Jigger:

  • The best set up is to have a set of two jiggers, one 1/2 : 3/4 and one 1 : 2 ounce.
  • Use the same brand jigger throughout your bar when you create, test and execute recipes.
  • Pour to the meniscus every time, it is the point with full surface tension. Pouring to the top vs pouring to meniscus can be the difference of up to a 1/4 ounce!
  • For better efficiency, learn to use the jigger with both of your hands.
  • Make sure you are using a clean jigger every time, rinse well after using thick spirits or syrups.

Free-pouring:

  • The only way to master this technique is practice. Buy an exacto-pour and test yourself and your bartenders before every shift.
  • Use spill stop 285-50 pour spouts on every bottle.
  • Pour bottles with a consistent motion, flip the bottle straight up to vertical and cut your pour by flipping it back down swiftly.
  • Learn to pour with both hands for better efficiency.
  • A four count should equal 1 ounce for any average spirit. Do not use the same method with viscous spirits or syrups.

 

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, October 6th at 7pm in Santa Ana. We will be exploring No. 209 Gin and it’s time for another friendly mix-off! 16 bartenders will be able to compete to win a trip to San Fransisco to visit the 209 Distillery!! Send in your request to compete with your RSVP and may the best drink win! A few rules: no homemade ingredients and recipe must contain at least 1 ounce of No. 209 Gin as the base spirit.

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we are limiting the capacity to 35 and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to info@bartenderscabinet.com. Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter 53: Bitter Truth

Posted in Newsletters on September 3, 2014 by becca

Great meeting in the books! Thank you to Joey Oehrlein and Emily Delicce of Casa in Costa Mesa, you were wonderful hosts. Dan Lasner brought some delicious and interesting products from Bitter Truth for us to enjoy! Everyone went home with a Bitter Truth Travel Pack- TOO COOL! We wrapped up with an informative presentation from Gabrielle Dion on Menu Planning, see below for some tips!

The drinks courtesy of Joey Oehrlein of Casa:

Recipes coming soon!

 

Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur Cocktail

Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur Cocktail

OCBC at Casa

OCBC at Casa

Menu Planning

Here’s some tips on planning a menu for your bar:

  • Know your demographic and include approachable drinks. List the most approachable drinks near the top of your menu
  • Chart you menu- drink names, glassware, style, garnish, color, housemade ingredients. This is a great way to ensure a good variety from your menu and avoid other issues with bar prep (i.e. multiple drinks with orange peels but no drinks with orange juice)
  • Find trustworthy palates to test your recipes- non-biased industry friends are best. Take feedback from eager-to-please apprentices or chefs (who sometimes have a very distinct palate) with a grain of salt.
  • The best feedback to ask for is “would you have two of these?”
  • Finding vintage or classic drinks and tweaking the specs for your spirits can be great staples for your menu. Let your bartenders submit drinks and tweak those as well.
  • Remember it’s not about your palate, it’s about creating the best menu for the guest.

 

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, September 8th at 7pm in Long Beach. Join us as we welcome OG-OCBC member Maurice Chevalier of Anchor Distilling! We’ll be tasting Nikka Japanese Whisky, Yoichi 15yr, Miyagikyo 12yr, Taketsuru 12yr, 17yr, 21yr, and Nikka Coffey Grain whisky. We’ll also spend some time talking about free pouring and using a jigger, speed vs accuracy and how it affects profit margins.

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we are limiting the capacity to 50 and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to info@bartenderscabinet.com. Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!

Newsletter 52: Campari

Posted in Newsletters on July 31, 2014 by becca

Thank you to Alex’s Bar in Long Beach and Chantel Leurs-Beeson from Campari! We had another awesome OCBC meeting tasting Bulldog Gin, Russell’s Reserve Bourbon and Appleton Rum and sharing some tips on housemade syrups. To re-iterate what the board shared at the meeting, it’s thanks to YOU, each and every member, that the Bartender’s Cabinet continues to be so successful here in Orange County. We appreciate having an enthusiastic and engaged group at each meeting and so do the sponsors. You guys keep coming out and we’ll keep bringing great sponsors so we can all continue to learn together!

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Campari Meeting

The drinks courtesy of Alex Hernandez of Alex’s Bar:

Recipes coming soon!

 

Bulldog Gin Drink

Bulldog Gin Drink

Jason Schiffer & Gabrielle Dion shared their recipes for Pineapple Shrub and demonstrated the techniques for making a shrub. Here is the handout with the recipes: A Tale of Two Shrubs

Shrub Demo

Shrub Demo

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, August 4th at 7pm in Costa Mesa. Join us as we welcome Dan Lasner who will be sharing some tasty products from Bitter Truth! We’re also in for a treat as Gabrielle Dion of The Mixing Glass presents a demonstration on Menu Planning.

As always, to maintain the quality of service, presentation, space, food and drink we are limiting the capacity to 40 and must insist on RSVPs. Please get your RSVP in early and send it to info@bartenderscabinet.com. Let us know if something comes up so we can make your spot available to someone else if you can’t make it.

Hope to see you there!