Everyday in class we learn new mixed drink making techniques, after about 30 minutes of practice we then play a team planko challenge. Our instructor plays loud music (mock bar scene) and then shouts out one of the listed drinks. We, in teams of two, must make it correctly and as quickly as possible. Depending on the day, we have two or three chances to mess up. Talk about getting my competitive side rolling at 9am.
In the “well” shelf of the bar, that is the bottom shelf near the sink where the bartender can quick grab the house spirit, we have vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, rum, triple sec, dry vermouth, and sweet vermouth. No, they aren’t filled with the real spirit. The clear spirits bottles are filled with water while spirits with color such as the whiskey are combinations of water with a few drops of food coloring. But we do use real cranberry juice, sour mix, orange juice, garnishes, and liquids from the drink gun (water, sprite, and coke).
Below I’ve given an overview of some of the drinks/techniques we have been learning.
Stirred Drinks: Pour spirits into pint glass with ice, stir with long metal spoon, pour into chilled cocktail glass.
A Smokey Martini is your basic martini finished with a Scotch float.
Shakers –These drinks are make in the C. Collins, T.Collins, or pint glass, shaken with ice, and some are finished with a carbonated drink float.
Sour Mix: 50% simple syrup, 25% Lemon juice, 25% Lime Juice, we use a concentrated pre-mix, but during the summer month when citrus fruits are more readily available, our instructor recommends making it yourself.
There’s also Ivan Collins and Peppi Collins, both made the same way as Tom Collins but with Vodka and Tequila, respectively.
Shooters – These drinks are shaken in the pint glass then poured into shot glasses.
White Spider — 1 oz. Gin, 1/2 oz. Triple Sec, and 1 oz. sour mix
Gimlet — 1 1/2 oz Gin, 3/4 oz. lime juice
Ice Down Pour – These drinks are quite simple — pour over ice and serve.
Black Russian — 1 1/2 oz. Vodka and 3/4 oz. Kaluha
Tequila Sunrise — 1 1/2 oz. Tequila, Fill with Orange Juice, with a Grenadine float, garnish with an orange
Typically, if I were to get a spirits drink, I tend to stick to gin and tonics with a healthy squeeze of lime juice or bourbon and ginger ale. Those sweet cocktails are too much for me. What’s your poison?
Tomorrow, Day 8, we are doing “Around the World Challenge” where we each take a turn making a drink under the total time of 16 minutes, there are 17 of us in class…yikes. If a person messes up, they receive a planko chip and must restart the drink. Each chip is a 15 sec deduction. Only the person directly stationed next to you may assist in clarifying the technique and confirming which ingredients go into the drink. What’s the prize? 5 extra points added to our final grades. Fingers crossed that they everyone studied their recipe list!