A Letter to My Bartenders

May 18, 2014 § 2 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 7.01.38 PM

Photo Credit: Gabe Fonseca 2013


I have a new cocktail exercise for you guys to work on. Whereas the last drill was about creativity, this one is about economy and about better understanding each and every ingredient.
Miles Davis is widely considered one of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century. Although he was a virtuoso trumpet player who could belt out anything he wanted, he is admired and known for playing very deliberately without any unnecessary notes
He was only able to do this, because he so well understood every single note that it allowed him to express himself purely and with clear intention. This is how we should aspire to be with cocktail ingredients.
Each component of the drink should be well-thought out and exist with purpose. This exercise should be helpful in getting us to understand this in action.
With that said, here are the exercises in economy for you to complete:

2 ounces of a Single Spirit
3/4 ounces of Lemon or Lime
1/2 ounce of a Single Liqueur
1/2 ounce of Syrup
4 Ingredients Total

2 ounces of a Single Spirit
1/2 Fortified Wine
1/2 ounce of a Single Liqueur
Optional: Two Dashes of one type of Bitters
4 Ingredients Tops

2 ounces of a Single Spirit
3/4 ounces of Lemon or Lime
3/4 Syrup
Top with Club Soda
1 modifier in the form of: 2 Dashes Bitters or Muddled Produce
5 Ingredients Total

These drills are not here to stump you, so do not feel that you must create the next modern classic. Instead they are here to stimulate you and force you to think about economy.
You have until June 30th to come up with the three drinks, which gives you six weeks. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need any advice or guidance.
Best of luck, and I can’t wait to try your drinks.

“Telling yourself ‘Oh, you have all the time in the world, you have all the money in the world, you have all the colors in the palette you want, anything you want,’ I mean, that just kills creativity.” – Jack White



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§ 2 Responses to A Letter to My Bartenders

  • Have you posted the previous exercise anywhere? I’d love to see any you’ve done. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jessica says:

    This is great! I intend to challenge my bartenders using this. I am curious as to how you plan to follow up with them after everyone submits their creations. Any insight is appreciated!

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