Thursday, November 29, 2007

Manhattan, here I come!

Okay folks, here's the first of many classic recipes to be shared here. Everyone has their favorite spirit, and for me, that spirit is Whisky. I generally sip Scotch Whisky straight or with a sprinkle of mineral water to open up the palate. If I wanted to do shots or an adventurous whisky cocktail I would tend to choose an Irish Whisky as I feel they form a better base for multiple/stronger ingredients. However, when it comes to a simple, classic cocktail, there is no better base in my mind than Bourbon or Rye. What is better than a proper Mint Julep, Sazerac, Old Fashioned, or my favorite, the Manhattan.

Now, the name of the cocktail doesn't lead one to think of Bourbon necessarily, but the originators at the Manhattan Club for which it's named used Bourbon for a clever reason. The event that sprouted the creation of the Manhattan was a fundraiser for a presidential candidate who was a "Bourbon Democrat," a term that is long since forgotten.
In any case, none of us choose a cocktail based on its political tendencies, but rather on it's taste, and this is a great way to taste Bourbon.

Here is the Tin Shaker recipe:

Manhattan Cocktail

2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whisky (I use Maker's Mark Black Seal, or Black Maple Hill)
3/4 oz Peychaud's Bitters
1/4 oz Grenadine (just a smidge)

Chill the cocktail glass (it's not just for Martinis, friends) first. In a boston glass combine all the liquid ingredients, then fill the glass with ice. Take the handle end of the bar spoon, and place it into the middle of the ice and you'll find you'll be able to easily swirl the ice and ingredients. Tip: you should make little or no noise and all the ice should not move up and down much. We do this to mix the ingredients together very well as well as to chill the drink with just the right amount of dilution and also to prevent (cuss word) ice shards breaking off into the drink! Thus we must stir the drink for a good full minute (it's not that long, especially if you're conversing with a friend or customer).

Now, once you are satisfied with the consistency and taste (yes, you should taste the drink before serving it), strain into the chilled glass and garnish with a cherry. You can use a maraschino, but I prefer a fresh cherry because I don't like mushy edible garnishes. And a final Tin Shaker touch, flame an orange zest over the drink, and zest the rim of the glass as well. Now Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


TearDrop Lounge in Portland, OR is celebrating Repeal Day (the end of prohibition) with an eventful evening full of great cocktails and entertainment on December 5th. I unfortunately cannot attend since I live in California, but you can believe I'll be there next year (plans are in motion to relocate back to the "homeland").

Since I can't go this year, you should go in my stead and use the password: "Moonshine" to get $5 cocktails all night at a PROPER cocktail bar! (Yes I am being snooty)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Welcome to the opening post of the Tin Shaker blog. I am a professional bartender, bar-chef, mixologist, bar scientist, or whatever you want to call me. I have over ten years of experience on an international level, working extensively on both sides of the pond in a widely varied list of establishments. I started out as a bar back way back in the mid 90's in Tampa, FL and eventually became a trusted and respected bartender trainer for the largest hospitality company in the UK.

I have worked EVERYWHERE in between.

Through this blog, I will facilitate discussion amongst professionals and enthusiasts, discussing everything from cocktail preparation, new products, bad restaurant experiences (generally not the bartender's fault ), and anything that the readers and myself feel like discussing at the time.