What Bartenders Should Know About Tea

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Tea is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It’s also a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can (and should) be a part of every bartender’s arsenal, according to tea experts Robert Schinkel and Sarah Scarborough.

I talked to two tea experts who gave a Tea 101 education for bartenders, along with advice for how to incorporate tea into cocktails — at Tales of the Cocktail.

Meet the Vermouth Sleuths

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Vermouth was a crucial building block of the American bar scene. Early versions of the Manhattan and martini were made with twice as much vermouth as either whiskey or gin. But World War II cut off access to imports and squelched demand for European brands. More than 50 years later, the classic cocktail revival inspired bartenders to seek out high quality European vermouth once again. And when they couldn’t find it, bartenders turned to Haus Alpenz.

I wrote about the Vermouth sleuths at Haus Alpenz over at Tales of the Cocktail

Cocktails Made With Yogurt

Cloud Hopper yogurt cocktail

Cloud Hopper Cocktail at GreenRiver in Chicago (photo: Kailley Lindman)

Yogurt: It’s not just for breakfast.

Because of its health benefits, yogurt has taken over the dairy section. Greek, Icelandic, whole fat, non-fat, goat, cow or sheep — there are more varieties of yogurt at most markets than all other milk products combined. But the next frontier for cultured dairy is behind the bar.

I wrote about yogurt cocktails for Tales of the Cocktail (also includes a recipe for Top of the Monk’s Honey Almond & Chevre Fizz!)

DIY Bottled Cocktails

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Bottled Cocktails by Wendy Rose Gould

Lots of bars have jumped on the trend of serving housemade cocktails that they’ve bottled. You can do this at home. (I haven’t, but it’s on my to-do list!)

Tales of the Cocktail has a great photo tutorial about how to bottle a cocktail (with recipes, of course). If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes!

Is Banning Cell Phones at Bars Bad for Business?

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My latest for Tales of the Cocktail goes into the question of whether or not bars should (and could) ban customers from using cell phones.

Bartenders see it all the time: a customer who spends more time with their phone than with their friends. Social media has become such an integral part of life — and a marketing strategy — that most bars are hesitant to ban smartphones altogether.

Is Banning Cell Phones at Bars Bad for Business