The Cocktail Standards Vol.1

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February 14, 2013 by Woodystock


This is by no means a definitive list but instead the first of several lists regarding basic drinks that every bartender/drinker or chinese food restaurant waitress should know.  If you work in a place without a bartender but has a liquor license, it does not hurt knowing how to make the drinks that people ask you to make, they do in fact expect you to know so you might as well.

1.”The highball”

This “drink” will compete with domestic beer as the most commonly ordered thing that you will make.  In the same language that all beers are the same, just with different names, the same holds true with highballs. although they go under different names as well; vodka seven, jack and coke, rye and ginger, gin and tonic.  Although they are all different drinks with different ingredients, they essentially follow the same recipe.

In a highball or rocks glass, fill the glass 3/4 full of ice then add the following,

1oz of desired spirit

fill with desired pop.

add straw and lime wedge.

Thats it, as primitive as cocktails get.  Booze and pop with ice in a glass.  If someone asks for “something and something” this is the recipe.  It may vary between tall and short glass, more or less ice, NFL.

The original Highball was made of Scotch Whiskey and Soda (carbonated water)

2.) The Cuba Libre

Asshole will order this, as well as cape cods (which is just a vodka and cranberry juice)  and other stupid ass named, two ingredient cocktails. Following the Spanish-American War, a group of american soldiers were witnessed in a Havana bar toasting to a “Free Cuba” or “Cuba Libre”.  The cocktail that they were drinking was made up of Bacardi rum, Coca Cola and a wedge of lime.

1oz of dark rum, Bacardi was the original

fill with coke

add lime wedge.

ALWAYS remember this lime wedge, the same asshole who will call it a cuba libre will also complain endlessly to the entire planet that his cuba libre didn’t have a lime, although realistically it is only used by the drinker 8 out of 10 times.

3.) Tom Collins

In the late 1800’s, people would be approached on the streets of New York City and asked “Have you seen Tom Collins?” 99% of them did not know Tom Collins, as he was not a real person, and would be told by the speaker that he was around the corner (at which ever bar this sidewalk nuisance would be working for).  It was pure P.T. Barnum style promotion meant to inspire people to either head off searching for the elusive Tom Collins or to at least stick that name in the back of their head.

The drink was named after a combination of Old Tom Gin, a gin recipe popular at the time known for its neutral flavour and for Collins, the style of glass which the drink was made in.

There are two recipes worth nothing for the purpose of this article, the classic recipe and the bar recipe.  Bar recipes have emerged as an expedited form of classic recipes as many high volume bars, pubs and restaurants either do not carry the specific ingredients or simply don’t have the time to put several minuets into a single drink.

Classic Recipe.

1 1/2 oz of Gin.  The original recipe called for a gin that was neither too sweet or too dry.

1oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

1/2 oz simple syrup/ sugar syrup

3 oz of Soda water.

Serve in a whiskey sour glass and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Bar Recipe.

1oz of Gin.

1oz bar lime/lime cordial

fill with soda

Serve on ice in highball glass.

4.)  Paralyzer

Paralyzer in Canada or a Colorado Bulldog in the US, i have also found this drink to be called a .357.  Regardless, it is a simple variation of the black and white russians

1oz Vodka

.5oz kaluha or coffee flavoured liquor

fill 3/4 with coke

finish with 1.4 milk or cream.

Serve over Ice in a highball glass, garnish with a cherry.

Cream works better as it does not curdle, but leaves for a heavier drink.  Excellent summer drink, tastes like childhood.

5.) The Ceaser.

This is an absolute must for all Canadian bartenders, and it is your expertise and interpretation that will distinguish you against tap monkey, boston pizza drop-outs that argue to be bartenders. This is the quintessential Canadian Cocktail, it can be served with just about any liquor in any glass and with an insane plethora of spices and flavours.  But as the saying goes, you need to know the rules before you can break them.

Rim a tall highball glass with celery salt, personally I find that the more salt the better, but the ceaser is a very drinker oriented drink, so feel free to ask. Fill the glass with ice and add ingredients.

1oz of Vodka

3-6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.  Lee and Perrins is the standard

3-6 dashes of Hot sauce,Tabasco is the standard but I personally prefer Franks

Fill glass with Clamato Juice.  Dont even bother fooling yourself with any imitation, there is a reason Clamato is king, respect it.

One shake of salt and pepper

Garnish the ceaser with one, two or several of the following.  Lime or Lemon wedge, celery stick/stalk,olives, cocktail onions, pickled asparagus/bean, peppers, cheese, salted meats, prawns/shrimp, fruit or whatever you want.  The ceaser is closer to a meal in the way that it is prepared, in the sense that the recipe is built off of ingredients and flavours more common with food.  I have even seen quail eggs used as a garnish.

This recipe has been changed and manipulated a billion times and sometimes they are pretty good.  The trick to personalizing the ceaser is remembering that it is food and a not necessarily a cocktail.

Well people, enjoy.  Ill be back with more soon enough.



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