Advanced Bartending Techniques
As we celebrate the first day of April, I thought it was the perfect time to drop some actual knowledge.
I've been exceptionally busy the last few months between starting a new job writing for Skurnik Wines, finishing the final run of service at Pouring Ribbons, and organizing/executing pop-ups. I know content has been a little light around here as a result. Well, worry not because I'm back with the hard-hitting deep dives and educational resources you have come to know me for.
This month we'll be going over three advanced bartending techniques. I have gathered this information over the years from all over the world and would like to share my amassed knowledge, lest it be lost to obscurity. So without further ado, let's get to it!
A garnish should always elevate a cocktail, not just visually, but it should ideally provide an aromatic component to complement or echo the ingredients in your glass.
Enter: Lemon Pig, the most aesthetically pleasing and functional garnish in existence. Lemon Pig is actually a universal garnish that will elevate any and all drinks, from an Old Fashioned to any sour.
Here's how to pull this one off:
Gather your materials: 1 lemon, 2 cloves, 4 toothpicks, and some carving tools!
Using a peeler, carve the lemon pig's tail by peeling a pigtail twist in a circle around the back of the lemon (aka less nubby end).
Insert two cloves into the front (aka the nubby end/nose end) for the eyes.
Make two quarter-sized cuts behind the eyes for the ears (you want your lemon pig to hear all compliments directed their way).
Insert your toothpicks so your lemon pig may stand on its own.
This is one of the most difficult garnishes to execute, but it is well worth the time and energy. It is important that you make it cute! Do not serve your guests an ugly Lemon Pig. Take the time to curl that tail and don't settle for the aluminum foil hacks you may have seen elsewhere on the internet.
Throwing a huge party? Why don't you whip up a big batch of punch and toss a half dozen Lemon Pigs in the bowl? Or maybe the next time you make yourself a Mai Tai, do yourself a favor and ditch the stupid spent lime garnish and plop a Lemon Pig on that crushed ice!
The Micro Shake
From the Hard Shake to the Reverse Double Dry Shake, bartenders are always looking for new and efficient ways to properly chill, dilute, and aerate their cocktails.
Today, we'll discuss the Micro Shake, a truly next-level technique that requires years and years of practice to master.
What you'll want to do is brace yourself and power up. Transfer all of your energy to the tins in your hands as if forming a Hadouken. As you dial in your concentration, you may begin to violently vibrate as the energy flows through you and into your tins. You must be careful not to physically crush the tins at this point. When an adequate frost forms on the tin, you know the drink is now expertly chilled and diluted.
And yes, this technique will net you a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz every time, high-top fade and all.
Daiq, Daiq, Goose
Now, this final technique is more of an advanced morale booster. In fact, it's less of a technique and more of a game...a game you can play with your co-workers and guests alike!
It's not uncommon for bars to offer cheeky shots of a cocktail split several ways. The most common and fun of these are the tiny Daiquiri shots known as Snaquiris. I mean, who doesn't love a lil nip of icy cold Daiq while sweating it out behind the bar or on the floor?
Now here's where it gets really fun! Turns out, if you shake a filthy, dirty Martini (I'm talking 2:1 spirit:olive brine) hard enough and pour it into shot glasses quickly enough and serve them in a bar that is dark enough, there is little to visually discern this tiny Martini from a Snaquiri.
So go ahead, betray the trust of your friends, co-workers, and guests! Fool them into thinking they're getting a delicious daiquiri, only to watch their reaction as the savory combination of vodka or gin and olive brine fills their souls with joy. At least, I think that's what that reaction is.
And yes, I used to actually do this during busy shifts at Pouring Ribbons. It got so bad that the bottle of olive brine at the bar was labeled "Olive Brian" before eventually just "Brian," much to the confusion of new hires.
Stay safe out there, y'all!
*No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post