The Curious Bartender: The Artistry And Alchemy Of Creating The

it was great – i could pour drinks, mix cocktails, act as a sort of tour guide, live-tweet throughout the day and blog about it, whilst still experiencing the highs and lows of the „real world“, and i could do it all from home. one of my favourite parts of the course was the ability to experience the art of creating cocktails for the first time: from having no clue about the ingredients, to experimentation, to trial and error, to finally understanding the basics of the formulas and working out what needed to be changed and why. overall it was a unique opportunity and something i will always be grateful for.

in the curious bartender, tristan stephenson explores and experiments with the art of mixing the perfect cocktail, explaining the fascinating modern turns mixology has taken. showcasing a selection of classic cocktails, he explains their intriguing origins, introducing the colourful historical characters who inspired or created them. moving on, he reinvents each drink from his laboratory, adding contemporary twists to breathe fresh life into these vintage classics. stay true to the originals with a sazerac or a rob roy, or experiment with some of his modern variations to create a green fairy sazerac topped with an absinthe air or an insta-age rob roy with the age on the side. also included is a reference section detailing all the techniques you will need, making this an essential anthology for the cocktail enthusiast.

in an age where so much of the world is transported via the instantaneous, technology appears to have accelerated our thirst for slower, richer, more humane drinks. the result is a new generation of bartenders that is bringing method and thought into the traditionally quick, reactive world of mixed drinks. it is a move that, in my opinion, has the potential to make us all drink smarter, fresher and more in tune with our own humanity and that of each other. so, in the spirit of 2010s natural movement toward smarter and more approachable cocktails, i wanted to recreate the smitten elizabeth david version of eggnog that i had been tasting in cocktail bars and bars like the worship street whistling shop.

the legend of eggnog goes something like this: in the 17th century, an english physician who worked in surry wrote about the effects of drinking a cure made with milk, vinegar, sugar, nutmeg, and eggs; the drink was then popularized and adapted by m d farr when he made it during his tenure as a governor of virginia. in the 18th century, eggnog became popular with the gentry, and in 1785 it was given its first recorded recipe in the new york evening post. eggnog was further popularized by the 18th century song „the egg and i cant get along,“ and the baltimore evening newspaper gave it a recipe including the requisite alcohol. in the early 19th century, frederick haik married into the irish royal family and started serving eggnog as a special treat for his guests. together with cider and port, eggnog was one of the three drinks allowed in the famous lineups at edwardian races.
in the late 19th century, in new york city, the milkman had to squeeze and test his milk to see if it was sufficiently mixed, because they didnt have the technology to separate out cream and milk. this whey had to be saved and turned into a drink called eggnog and was added to slake a then popular thirst. in the 1950s, the south beach diet was the first to mention that eggnog was an acceptable meal after a decadent dinner. at the turn of the 21st century, new york eggnog producer bobby flay married his own concoction.
in the 1950s and 60s, to make a stiff rum and sugar drink that didnt hit the ceiling, they added a shot of milk or cream or both to heavy cream and sugar and kept shaking. this was the beginning of the classic eggnog. most eggnogs are now mixed with milk, cream, and sometimes coconut. it was during this era that eggnog was confused with cocoa and given the name drink. when it comes to eggnog, there are two types of drinking: those who want the drink to be a thick, custard-like consistency, and those who prefer a lighter, airier consistency. in truth, there are few other differences between the two, but, then, who cares. the choice is yours.

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