Jun 8, 2007

Happy Hour: A New Weekly Series

Since beginning Bar Stories, I have deliberately refrained from using the standard blog crutches: lists, regurgutation of others' news stories, etc. I'm not entirely guiltless, of course, but I've tried to keep it genuinely useful. This stems from my distinct belief that meaning matters™. I'm not knocking the fun drink sites that post random "stuff," or new-fangled recipes, or researched histories of old-timey cocktails, or anything else, because I read all those regularly. But because there are so many good ones, I've tried to make Bar Stories something different, and I like to think I've largely succeeded.

So all that said, I've got some changes in store, not least of which is a serious redesign to make the blog more interesting to look at (I really have no excuse, since I make part of my living as a graphic designer). Part of the redesign starts today: Bar Stories will offer regular and semi-regular subject-specific "columns." The first of these is Happy Hour, which will simply be a way for me to babble briefly about random drinks stuff and start offering more link love to my fellow drinks writers out there. First up:
  • Make Mine a 007: Someone (self-dubbed the Minister of Martinis) has taken the time to compile detailed statistics on James Bond's drinks of choice. It includes all the films, and the novels. Having just watched George Lazenby knock back a shaken-not-stirred Martini, a malt whisky and branch water, a Dom Perignon '57 and a beer in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I find it funny that the winning association with Bond is the Martini. [via Liquor and Drink]

  • Time Lapse Bartending: Here's a treat I thought would be boring until I watched the whole damn thing. Bartender Jimmy Patrick (Jimmy's Cocktail Hour) shares a video of a recent Tuesday shift, which was "not too busy, not too slow." Sped up as it is, it's easy to see good bartending in action. Note that he regularly checks in with each customer along the bar (spending more attention, presumably, on the solo drinkers while leaving the groups to chat amongst themselves), balances his service bar duties with his customer-facing ones, and generally uses his time to both chat with guests and get bar work done.

  • 9,000 Martinis and Counting: Wowza. Robert Heugel over at Explore the Pour has compiled a list of branded Martini ingredients and then mathematically calculated the number of possible variations on the classic cocktail. Even he admits the list is not exhaustive, but smokes that's a lot of possibilities (not to mention anything approaching variations on measures)!


kahealani said...

I did not know there was a mathematical calculation to making martinis I thought it was an art and measured by the "eye".

Jessie Jane said...

Although many bartenders don't physically measure out their alcohol and other ingredients, most do measure their pour using the "pour count" method.

Every tender has a different count, but most use 3, 4 or 6 and practice, practice, practice until they can measure out exactly 1.5 oz by counting to their chosen number.

jimmyp said...

Thanks for linking to my wee video!