Tag Archives: Bartender

Synthetic Alcohol is on the Horizon, and it Promises to Do Away with Hangovers

Scientists in London claim to have developed a synthetic alcohol that will get you tipsy, without resulting in a hangover the next day.

David Nutt says that he and members of his team have already tested the substance on themselves, and now some pesky safety trials are all that stand between you and a night out without worrying about the hangover.

While thoroughly intrigued, this bartender remains skeptical that such a chemical will remain devoid of longterm side effects. In the mean time, if you want to avoid a hangover just drink 1 glass of water after every 1 alcoholic drink you consume.

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Prohibition Exploded the Prison Population

America’s Prohibition did very little to stop its citizens from drinking. What it did accomplish in spades however, was turning tens of thousands of people into criminals.

From 1914 until the eve of Prohibition in 1920 the population of U.S. prisons remained between 4,000 – 4,800. Just 9 years later over 12,000 people sat incarcerated.

The constitutional act that made the country dry would be repealed 4 years later. What a waste.

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The Old Fashioned Cocktail Originally had a Confusing Name

As David Wondrich argues in Imbibe! the evolution of the cocktail began with the simple combination of alcohol & medicinal herbs, and ultimately culminates in the Old Fashioned: humanity’s first true cocktail.

Today we refer to it as an Old Fashioned, but originally when you wanted to order one you would ask the barkeep for a Cocktail. As time went on bartenders fiddled with the recipe and fancied it up in a thousand different ways.

When persnickety ‘Cocktail’ drinkers grew tired of the new manifestations of their favorite drink they would order an, “Old Fashioned Cocktail, dadgumit!” Later on the word cocktail would come to refer to any mixed drink.

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The True Origins of the Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule craze hit the United States 2 years ago. People went crazy for that tart & refreshing Ginger-Lime-Vodka combination that needs to come in a copper mug in order to taste right.

The only problem is that the Moscow Mule craze actually hit the U.S. 78 years ago in 1941. Oh, and the “need” for a copper mug originated as a marketing gimmick.

Three entrepreneurs literally sat around drinking to the woes of their failing businesses: ginger beer, the Smirnoff distillery, and in ill-advised copper mug investment. When they asked the bartender to mix a drink with their products (ginger beer and vodka) the Moscow Mule was born, and since the copper-mug-guy was there they decided to claim that the drink ought to be served in one.

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Old Fashioned Ice

Do you remember when you saw spherical ice for the first time? Also, were you aware that there are molds out there to create ice-spheres?

These ice spheres recently leapt to the forefront of the craft cocktail movement. And I will freely grant you that they are pretty cool.

The bartender who introduced me to these trinkets played the part of a veritable Columbus discovering a new world-shaped piece of ice. However ice-spheres are at least 120 years old. A Chicago Chronicle article in 1899 recommends having ice, “Frozen to order in balls which fit nicely into the glass.”