Yes, making cocktails is more like baking.

On a similar vein, whats the one bartending tool you can’t live without?

I’m not the best free pourer in the world, so for me, the tool would have to be something to measure with. … Bartending is a lot more like being a pastry chef than anyone wants to admit, where it’s like, these little measurements, you cook it with ice, and it comes out of the oven.

via Mixing it Up with Teardrops Bar Manager Sean Hoard – The Barkeepers – Eater PDX.

A plea for Simplicity.

I’ve been spending more time looking at other people’s cocktail recipes lately. Certainly more so than creating my own cocktails, as evidenced by the lack of posts on this blog.

I’ve been re-reading David Wondrich’s contemporary classic Imbibe! on the origins of cocktails and the drinks of Jerry Thomas. I’ve been studying bar menus. The excellent Dutch Kills in Long Island City, NY posts their menu as a pdf for download here. And recently, I came across this video:

Even more than making me want that Caipirinha, one thing stuck with me. Andrew Bohrer (whose smart and angry Cask Strength cocktail blog is required reading) states the simple truth:

THE BEST DRINKS HAVE 3 INGREDIENTS.

Here are some 3 ingredient cocktails off the top of my head that you may recognize: Manhattan, Negroni, Margarita, Daiquiri, Caipirinha, Whiskey Sour, Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Cuba Libre, Champagne Cocktail. (No, I’m not counting ice or garnishes as ingredients.)

When I look back through this blog at drinks I’ve made, the least successful ones have more than four ingredients. So, I’ve been making, drinking and most of all enjoying simple drinks with three ingredients. You should too.

Or sometimes four; I can’t give up Sazeracs.

Old Fashioned 101

There is no slice of orange in an Old Fashioned.
There is no cherry in an Old Fashioned.
You do not mash up fruit of any kind in an Old Fashioned.
There is no seltzer, soda water, ginger ale, or lemon soda in an Old Fashioned.
There is no vermouth of any kind in an Old Fashioned.
There is no beer in an Old Fashioned.
There is no lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice or sour mix in an Old Fashioned.
There are no frothing agents in an Old Fashioned.
You do not shake an Old Fashioned.

via Old Fashioned 101.