Know Your Bartender

Just wanted to post this link because I found it absolutely hilarious. Actually, the whole site is hilarious. Brilliant writing throughout. And if you haven't bought the book, you should.

What kind of bartender are you??? Me? Somewhere between Bar God and Professional. I'm trying hard to move away from Bar God status though.

The Union

My entrant to this Mixology Monday event, hosted by Gabriel over at Cocktail Nerd, marks my first post (gulp) with an original cocktail. As I've mentioned in this space, I don't really consider myself overly talented when it comes to creating new cocktails. I'm no Jamie Boudreau, who seemingly creates three stunningly innovative cocktails per day (I'm sure he comes up with at least one before he's even brushed his teeth in the morning...that dang Canuck!).

Like any proud papa, I'd like to share this cocktail's backstory. Once upon a time we had a bartender at Union who made up a drink called Le Vie en Rose. He misted a cocktail glass with rosewater, then mixed up Absolut Mandarin with Chambord, strained it into the marinated cocktail glass, topped up with bubbly then plopped a rose petal atop the drink. Rose aromatics, a bit of bubbly candy in the glass and a rose petal. . .sheesh, you can imagine how popular it was. Once that bartender left, the drink left with him. The new bar manager and our floor manager didn't like it because the scent of rosewater dominated the bar (and the cabinet where the mister was kept). This disappointed legions of fans, some of whom went out of their way to get one.

I've always wanted to bring this cocktail back, only doing it differently to appease my own palette, and that of my newly betrothed. I wanted to refine this drink for Christine, as a cocktail meant to celebrate our engagement. After some experimentation, Cameron and Anita came in and tried it and came up with a wonderful name, The Pistola Rosa, along with a few helpful observations regarding the composition. Unfortunately, Christine seemed a little bummed, since the name didn't reflect romance or our matrimony. Unbeknownst to her, I think I finally came up with a name, one that also mirrors the name of the restaurant.

So here it is, The Union.

4 mint leaves
2 drops rosewater
2 barspoons cremé de cassis
Muddle above in a pint glass
Add 2 oz Hendricks gin, fill glass with ice then stir
Pour into a cocktail glass, top off with 1 oz prosecco or other light bubbly
Garnish with a single rose petal

No pic of it just yet, since I broke my camera and it's off being repaired. It should come back this week and I'll post a picture of it then, because it really is a pretty drink.

Know I just have to come up with a drink that uses the wonderful name Cameron and Anita came up with. That is, if that @&*#!!! Boudreau doesn't beat me to it.

Well, Howdy AOL Readers

Just want to take a moment to welcome AOL food and drink blog readers to my darkened and frequently neglected corner of the internet.

For the five or six of you who read this site regularly, let me announce that my friend Kat Kinsman has brought me aboard as a contributor to AOL and their food and drink blog site. Should be great. I believe we're calling the column Raising the Bar (har!!).

Essentially, the gist is to give readers ideas on how to expand their repertoire when they walk into a bar.

And for that, I'll be playing the bartender.

I raise a Sazerac in your direction, my friends. I encourage you to peruse the cocktail blog sites listed on the left. They are the best of their kind; all of them are brilliantly written and chock full of knowledge. Good people to boot. Welcome to our little subculture, the drinks are great here.


(ah, Jeffrey has pointed out how useful it would be for me to post a link. Doh!!! Smart guy, that Jeffrey. You can find the first post here, along with a familiar shot of my smarmy mug).

A Shout Out to Cameron and Anita

That wonderful duo, Cameron and Anita from Married With Dinner popped into Union last night, which for me turned an otherwise unremarkable Labor Day Friday night into something special. I was lucky enough to borrow them from Murray and the Zig Zag crowd for a couple hours and they humored me by sampling a few new cocktails I'm experimenting with, providing incredibly useful commentary and ideas on how to refine them. I've never considered myself very talented when it comes to inventing new cocktails, preferring instead to concentrate on educating myself (and my guests) on forgotten and under-ordered classics. I have to admit, I was a little nervous, same as when Murray or Kacy happen to pop up at the bar. They are, of course, very gracious and fun to talk with, and I'll definitely take them up on their offer to tour San Fran's bars (as much fun as it is to have them at the bar, I imagine it'll be even more fun to be on the other side of the bar with them).

Thanks again for popping in, Anita and Cameron.