- President Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite drink may have been scotch and soda. He would ride around his Texas ranch in an open convertible in hot weather. He drank his “scotch and soda out of a large white plastic foam cup. Periodically, Johnson would slow down and hold his left arm outside the car, shaking the cup and ice. A Secret Service agent would run up to the car, take the cup and go back to the station wagon (following the President’s car). There another agent would refill it with ice, scotch, and soda as the first agent trotted behind the wagon. then the first agent would run the refilled cup up to LBJ’s outstretched hand, as the President’s car moved slowly forward.”
- Don’t swallow in Utah! Wine used in wine tastings in Utah must not be swallowed!
- Adding a miniature onion to a martini turns it into a Gibson.
- The longest bar in the world is 684 feet (or about 208.5 meters) long and is located at the New Bulldog in Rock Island, Illinois.
- A drinking establishment is now located in the New York City building that once housed the National Temperance Society.
- A tequini is a martini made with tequila instead of dry gin.
- The body or lightness of whiskey is primarily determined by the size of the grain from which it is made; the larger the grain, the lighter the whiskey. For example, whiskey made from rye, with its small grain size, is bigger or fuller-bodied than is whiskey made from corn, with its large grain size.
- Each molecule of alcohol is less than a billionth of a meter long and consists of a few atoms of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen.
- Christopher Columbus brought Sherry on his voyage to the New World.
- As Magellan prepared to sail around the world in 1519, he spent more on Sherry than on weapons.
- Sixty-two percent of Americans report that they have used the service of a designated driver.
- The founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) no longer belongs to the organization. She resigned after it became increasingly anti-alcohol rather than simply anti-drunk-driving.
- Vassar College was established and funded by a brewer.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the U.S. in 1932 on a pledge to end National Prohibition.
- During World War II, reduction of consumption activists argued that soldiers should not be permitted to drink alcohol beverages. However, General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, insisted that such prohibition would be ‘harmful to the men in the service.”
- The consumption of alcohol was so widespread throughout history that it has been called “a universal language.”
- Opposition to the enforcement of Prohibition increased as people became disillusioned with the Noble Experiment. Montana became the first state to repeal its enforcement of Prohibition, doing so in 1926 (Prohibition lasted from 1920 through 1933).
- Shochu, a beverage distilled from barley, was the favorite beverage of the world’s longest-living man, Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan, who lived for 120 years and 237 days. He was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986.
- The U.S. Marines’ first recruiting station was in a bar.
- Only 30% of adults in the U.S. believe that drinking can form part of a healthy, balanced life. This is in spite of the fact that moderate drinking is associated with better health and greater longevity than is abstention.
- Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States, by act of Congress.
- One glass of milk can give a person a .02 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on a Breathalyzer test. That’s enough in some states for persons under age 21 to lose their drivers license and be fined.
- Letters from “increase alcohol taxes” can be used to spell “Alert: Halt excess excise taxes on alcohol.” Heavy taxes, which more than double the price of a typical bottle of whiskey, rum or other distilled spirits beverage, encourages the production and sale of dangerous bootleg alcohol.”
- Fermentation within the body is essential for human life to exist.
- At the request of a distiller, Louis Pasteur began his pioneering research by investigating the process of fermentation, by which all alcohol beverages and many other foods are produced.
- Fermentation is involved in the production of many foods, including bread (bread “rises” as it ferments), sauerkraut, coffee, black tea, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, pickles, cottage cheese, chocolate, vanilla, ginger, catsup, mustard, soy sauce. and many more.
- Martha Washington enjoyed daily toddys. In the 1790s, “happy hour” began at 3:00 p.m. and cocktails continued until dinner.
- Tom Arnold, Sandra Bullock, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Kris Kristofferson, and Bruce Willis are all former bartenders.
- Frederick the Great of Prussia tried to ban the consumption of coffee and demanded that the populace drink alcohol instead.
- President Lincoln, when informed that General Grant drank whiskey while leading his troops, reportedly replied “Find out the name of the brand so I can give it to my other generals.”
- Being intoxicated had desirable spiritual significance to the ancient Egyptians. They often gave their children names like “How Drunk is Cheops” or “How Intoxicated is Hathor.”
- The Pilgrims landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, rather than continue sailing because they were running out of supplies, especially alcohol beverage.
- The bill for a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the US Constitution was for 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and seven bowls of alcohol punch large enough that “ducks could swim in them.”
- During the reign of William III, a garden fountain was once used as a giant punch bowl. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy, 1200 pounds of sugar, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and five pounds of nutmeg. The bartender rowed around in a small boat, filling up guests’ punch cups.
- The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey and sweet vermouth) was invented by Winston Churchill’s mother.
- Desi Arnaz’s grandfather was one of the founders of the largest rum distillery in the world.
- If a young Tiriki man offers beer to a woman and she spits some of it into his mouth, they are engaged to be married. Hmmmmm…..that makes the single life seem a little more attractive.
- Among the Bagonda people of Uganda, the several widows of a recently deceased king have the distinctive honor of drinking the beer in which his entrails have been cleaned.
- Alcohol is considered the only proper payment for teachers among the Lepcha people of Tibet.
- The Chagga people of Tanganyika believe that a liar will be poisoned if he or she consumes beer mixed with the blood of a recently sacrificed goat.
- Beer is mixed with saliva and blood for a drink that is shared when two Chagga men become blood brothers.
- The national anthem of the US, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” was written to the tune of a drinking song.
- The shallow champagne glass originated with Marie Antoinette. It was first formed from wax molds made of her breasts.
- Beer was not sold in bottles until 1850; it was not sold in cans until 1935.
- In the 1600′s thermometers were filled with brandy instead of mercury.
- A raisin dropped into a glass of champagne will repeatedly bounce up and down between the top and the bottom of the glass.
- As late as the mid-17th century, the French wine makers did not use corks. Instead, they used oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles.
- The corkscrew was invented in 1860.
- The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, four feet from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State.
- In the 1800′s, rum was considered excellent for cleaning hair and keeping it healthy. Brandy was believed to strengthen hair roots.
- The purpose of the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle is to strengthen the structure of the bottle.
- In the U.S., a barrel of beer contains 31 gallons, which is equivalent to about 330 twelve-ounce bottles or cans.
- Bubbles in Champagne were seen by early wine makers as a highly undesirable defect to be prevented.
- Liquor stores in the US are called “package stores” and sell “package goods” because of laws requiring that alcohol containers be concealed in public by being placed in paper bags or “packages.”
- Methyphobia is fear of alcohol.
- The term “brand name” originated among American distillers, who branded their names and emblems on their kegs before shipment.
- The region of the U.S. that consumes the least alcohol (commonly known as the “Bible belt”) is also known by many doctors as Stroke Alley.
- In ancient Babylon, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead (fermented honey beverage) he could drink for a month after the wedding. Because their calendar was lunar or moon-based, this period of free mead was called the “honey month,” or what we now call the “honeymoon.”
- Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the liquid to determine the ideal temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, for adding yeast. From this we get the phrase “rule of thumb.”
- Dipsomania refers to an abnormal or insatiable craving for alcohol.
- In old England, a whistle was baked into the rim or handle of ceramic cups used by pub patrons. When they wanted a refill, they used the whistle to get service. So when people went drinking, they would “wet their whistle.”
- “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is commonly believed to be the only English sentence devised to include all the letters of the alphabet. However, typesetters have another such sentence: “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.”
- The word “toast,” meaning a wish of good health, started in ancient Rome, where a piece of toasted bread was dropped into wine.
- In English pubs drinks are served in pints and quarts. In old England, bartenders would advise unruly customers to mind their own pints and quarts. It’s the origin of “mind your P’s and Q’s.”
- Do you like isyammitilka or ksikonewiw? Those are the words for alcohol beverage among the Alabama and the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy tribes of Native American peoples.
- Alcohol consumption decreases during the time of the full moon.
- Drinking lowers rather than raises the body temperature. There is an illusion of increased heat because alcohol causes the capillaries to dilate and fill with more warm blood.
- Rhode Island never ratified the 18 Amendment establishing Prohibition.
- “Whiskey” is the international aviation word used to represent the letter “w.”
- Most vegetable, and virtually all fruit juices, contain alcohol.
- There are 83 dry towns and villages in Alaska.
- In West Virginia, bars can advertise alcohol beverage prices, but not brand names.
- There is a cloud of alcohol in outer space with enough alcohol to make four trillion-trillion drinks. It’s free for the taking. . . but it’s 10,000 light years away from Earth.
- The Mayflower, well-known for bringing the Pilgrims to the New World, ordinarily transported alcohol beverage between Spain and England.
- Wine has about the same number of calories as an equal amount of grape juice.
- Johnny Appleseed probably distributed apple seeds across the American frontier so that people could make fermented apple juice (“hard” cider) rather than eat apples.
- White wine gets darker as it ages while red wine gets lighter.
- “There’s no free lunch.” Pennsylvania outlawed free lunches in 1917 to prevent taverns from giving free sandwiches to customers who bought beer to drink with them. This led some shop keepers to sell sandwiches and give away the beer.
- During World War II, a group of alpine soldiers who were stranded in mountain snows survived for an entire month on nothing but a cask of sherry.
- White lightning is a name for illegally-distilled spirits. All spirits are clear or “white” until aged in charred oak barrels. Moonshiners skip the aging process to reduce risk of arrest, hence the name of their product. Moonshining is profitable because the taxes on legally-produced spirits are so high.
- It is estimated that the federal government takes in 14 times more in taxes on distilled spirits than producers of the products earn making them. That does not include what states and localities additionally take in taxes on the same products.
- President Jimmy Carter’s mother said “I’m a Christian, but that doesn’t mean I’m a long-faced square. I like a little bourbon.”
- President Thomas Jefferson was the new U.S nation’s first wine expert.
- It’s impossible to create a beverage of over 18% alcohol by fermentation alone.
- Temperance activists, who strongly opposed the consumption of alcohol, typically consumed patent medicines that, just like whiskey, generally contained 40% alcohol!
- In Malaysia, drunk drivers are jailed and so are their spouses.
- Spectators at Indy car races consume more blush wine than the average American, according to interviews of 200,000 adults in the top 75 markets. The inteviews also found that golfers drink domestic beer 64% more often than imported beer and that attendees of R&B, rap or hip-hop concerts are 94% more likely than the average person to drink champagne.
- The word “liquor” is prohibited on storefronts in some states of the U.S.
- Letters from “drink to your health” can be used to spell “ideal heart diet.” Drinking alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of heart disease by an average of about 40%.
- Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the US, stated that “It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing.”
- Beer and Bras. British men have been found twice as likely to know the price of their beer as their partner’s bra size. A poll reported in Britain’s Prima magazine found that 77% of males knew how much their beer costs but only 38% knew the correct size of ther mate’s bra.
- Sucking on pennies will have no affect on the results of a breathalyzer test. (Therefore, doing so makes no cents!)
- A labeorphilist is a collector of beer bottles.
- Between 1980 and 1996, over 2,300 anti-drunk-driving laws were passed in the U.S. If laws could solve a problem, there wouldn’t be any drunk driving today!
- Like to open a restaurant? Expect to pay over $35,000 for a restaurant liquor license in Philadelphia. Although that’s expensive, it’s a bargain compared to obtaining one in Evesham Township (New Jersey) at over $475,000 or one in Mount Laurel (New Jersey) at over $675,000. No wonder restaurants have such a high failure rate.
- Shakespeare referred (in Love’s Labour Lost, Act 5, Scent 1) to a game called “flap-dragon,” in which the players snatched raisins from a dish of burning brandy and extinguished them in their mouths before eating them.
- When re-arranged, the letters in “whiskey” spell “key wish,” those in “spirits” spell “sip it sir,” and those in “moonshine” spell “in no homes.”
- One brand of Chinese beer reportedly includes in its recipe “ground-up dog parts.” Make mine gin and tonic!
- In Bangladesh, $5 will buy a beer or a first-class train ticket for a cross-country trip.
- One or two alcohol drinks a day can be anti-inflammatory. (Of course, always consult your physician for medical advice.)
- The average number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine is 600.
- Gin and tonic can help relieve cramps. (Be sure to consult your physician for medical advice.)
- Move over, Mickey. Napa valley has replaced Disneyland as California’s number one trourist destination, with 5.5 million visitors per year.
- Paul Domenech, 34, was arrested for drunk driving, but was found innocent of the charge when he proved before a jury in Tampa, Florida, that the alcohol officers had smelled on his breath was from the mixture of rubbing alcohol and gasoline that he had just used in his performance as a professional fire-breather. Don’t try using this excuse. Better yet, don’t drink and drive.
- The largest cork tree in the world is in Portugal. It averages over one ton of raw cork per harvest. That’s enough to cork 100,000 bottles.
- The Soviet Bolsheviks (communists) were strict drys and quickly imposed national prohibition following the Russian Revolution.
- The pressure in a bottle of champagne is about 90 pounds per square inch. That’s about three times the pressure in automobile tires.
- The soil of one famous vineyard in France is considered so precious that vineyard workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave for home each night.
- Gin is a mild diuretic which helps the body get rid of excessive fluid. Thus, it can reduce problems such as menstrual bloating. (This isn’t medical advice, which should always be obtained from one’s physician.)
- The Grinch That Drank Alcohol. Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seus) was caught with alcohol in his room when he was a student at Dartmouth College and severely punished. Years later, the college awarded him an honorary doctorate.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims credit for more than 2,300 drunk driving and other alcohol-related laws in the U.S.
- Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s best known teetotalers or abstainers from alcohol; his adversary , Sir Winston churchill, was one of the world’s best known heavy drinkers.
- The favorite cocktails of several former Presidents are reported to include:
- Gin and tonic (Gerald Ford)
- Martini (Herbert Hoover)
- Rum and coke (Richard Nixon)
- Scotch or brandy (Franklin Roosevelt)
- Bourbon (Harry Truman)
- Abraham Lincoln’s 1833 liquor store license is on display in the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, Kentucky.
- When breathalyzers (blood alcohol content estimators) were first introduced, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15, or almost twice as high as the current standard of .08.
- National Prohibition led to a boom in the cruise industry. By taking what were advertised as “cruises to nowhere,” people could legally consume alcohol as soon as the ship entered international waters where they would typically cruise in circles. The cruises quickly became known as “booze cruises.”
- Give everyone a fair shot.
- If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say it.
- Use the BEST premium products and you’ll be the BEST.
- Be the solution to the problem,
not part of the problem.
- Don’t drink and drive; don’t let others.
- Respect salesmen, you’re one.
- Don’t take sides. You’ll make two enemies.
- Be NEAT.
- Wear a clean shirt everyday.
- Don’t cheat or steal.
- Keep your hands and fingernails clean.
- Use Mr., Sir, or Ms., when talking to strangers.
- Don’t be a part of a rumor.
- Keep your space clean.
- Don’t waste.
- Be on time.
- Help others when they’re busy.
- Don’t use the easy way. Use the right way.
- Don’t give up. Follow your dream.
- If you open it, close it.
- If you turn it on, turn it off.
- If you unlock it, lock it up.
- If you value it, take care of it.
- If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.
- If you borrow it, return it.
- If you break it, admit it.
- If you make a mess, clean it up.
- If you move it, move it back.
- If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it,
- If you don’t know how to operate it,
leave it alone.
- If it’s none of your business,
don’t ask questions.
- If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
- If it will brighten someone’s day–SAY IT!
- Be patient with your coworkers.
- Never put a glass in the ice bin.
- No smoking behind the bar.
- Never become better than your customers.
- Never touch the rim of the glass.
- Create a house cocktail.
- You’re a bartender, no one says, “hey mixologist”.
- “Hey bar chef”
- “Hey cocktailian”
- “Hey Master Mixologist”
- Foul language is not and never will be
a sign of a good bartender.
- Don’t cheat with your drinks.
- Use a scoop for ice, not hands.
- Don’t listen to what doesn’t concern you.
- The mission of a bartender is to cheer up,
not to intoxicate.
- Be proud you’re a BARTENDER.
The 10 Best Bartender Jokes You Will Ever Hear!
So this guy walked into a bar… I have heard about a thousand jokes like this, so to brighten your day here are a few of the best.
1. I was out drinking in a bar last night and a woodworm asked me: “Is the bar tender here? (I was told that this joke wasn’t funny enough…sorry…accept this replacement joke as an apology)
A woman walks into a bar and the bartender says “Hey where’d you get the pig?”
The women says “This isn’t a pig it’s a duck”
and the bartender says “No, I was talking to the duck!”
2. A man walks into a bar and asks, ‘Do you serve women in this bar?’
‘No,’ replies the barman, ‘you have to bring your own.’
3. A horse walks into a bar, he sits down and the bartender asks him, “Why the long face?”
Then a second horse walks in with jumper cables attached to it’s head, he sits down, and the bartender says, “I don’t mind the long face, but don’t you go and try to start anything!”
4. So this guy walks into a bar and notices there’s a bunch of meat hanging from the ceiling. the guy says ” hey bartender, I’ll bet you a $100 bucks I can jump up and grab some meat from that ceiling”. The bartender says, “I don’t know man, them steaks are pretty high”.
5. A guy runs in a bar and he asks the bartender for 24 shots of his finest whisky. When the bartender has poured the shots the guy drinks them down as fast as possible. The bartender says “wow I’ve never seen anyone drink that fast before” and the guy says “You would to if you had what I had” and the bartender says “What is it you have?” And the guy says “25 cents” and runs out of the bar.
6. Two penguins walk into a bar…a third penguin says “You’d have thought the second one would have seen it.”
7.There is this bear, right, and he walks into a bar. He goes up to the bartender and says “Can I have a large Gin and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tonic Please?”
The Barman replies “Yeah sure, but what’s with the big pause?”
The bear holds up his paws and says “I’m a bear!!”
8. A rabbi, a priest, and a bishop walk into a bar.
The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”
9. A ducks walks into a bar and asks, “Got any grapes?”
The bartender, confused, tells the ducks that no, his bar doesn’t serve grapes. The duck thanks him and leaves.
The next day, the duck returns and says, “Got any grapes?”
Again, the bartender tells him that, no, the bar does not serve grapes, has never served grapes, and, furthermore, will never serve grapes. The duck, a little ruffled, thanks him and leaves.
The next day, the duck returns, but before he can say anything, the bartender begins to yell: ”Listen, duck! This is a bar! We do not serve grapes! If you ever ask for grapes again, I will nail your stupid duck beak to the bar!”
The duck is silent for a moment, and then asks, ”Got any nails?”
Confused, the bartender says no.
”Good!” says the duck. ”Got any grapes?”
10. The Grand Finale…the best of both worlds…A bar joke with a pirate!
So, this pirate walks into a bar with a captain’s wheel crammed down the front of his pants and the bartender says, ‘why have you got a captain’s wheel crammed down the front of your pants?’ And the pirate says, ‘arrgh! It’s driving me nuts!
And for even more laughs, look at these Fun & Humor Bottle Openers! Always a great conversation starter!
Bust a bottle cap with this kick ass design from Joe Callahan.
Shaped like a revolver, this bottle opener is made of solid aluminum making it both durable and light weight. To open the bottle: simply hold it like you would hold a pistol, place the opener end on the bottle cap and turn sideways into the “kill shot” position to pop the cap.
This opener is a great conversation piece, a very sexy tool, and the perfect gift for any bartender or bar enthusiast.
Super heavy duty, this tool is guaranteed to last and rock your world!
Measures approximately 5.75 inches X 4.5 inches.
Employees Only wins World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Drink Selection
July 23, 2011
The big winners were Employees Only who took home awards for World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Drink Selection. It’s great to see one of our favorites get the international recognition it deserves. Danny Meyer’s much lauded Eleven Madison Park won for Best Restaurant Bar, and the place must have been short-staffed this weekend as it seemed like half the theater got up to accept the award. And for the first time in Tales history, the American Bartender of the Year award was a tie for first place, shared between Kenta “Ninja” Goto of Pegu Club and Sam “Bad Haircut” Ross of Milk & Honey (presenter Simon Ford gave them the nicknames, not us, we swear!). Gary “Gaz” Regan presented David Wondrich the award for Best New Cocktail/Bartending for “Punch.”
Last but certainly not least, the lovely Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club won for Best Bar Mentor, and was fittingly presented the award by her mentor Dale DeGroff. Little did we know that Ms. Saunders was to be married later that night at the Bartenders Breakfast bash and given away by Mr. DeGroff, with a brass band and procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen who have shaken cocktails under her tutelage.
Source: Metromix New York
And to make the best cocktails, make sure to check out our
This is the Basic bartender’s bar kit! it includes some of the most commonly used tools for work or the home bar at a great deal!
This kit includes the following:
-Steel Bottle Opener.
-28oz Mixing Tall Tin.
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-Steel Wine Key.
From Rome’s first wine bar to local aperitivo favourites, Lee Marshall takes us on a crawl of the capital’s finest drinking holes…
In a difficult-to-find corner of the supercool Pigneto district, which is toRome what Hoxton is to London, this friendly, stylish bar with wrap-around garden terrace was once a neighbourhood hangout patronised by old tipplers, young pool players and a slumming Pier Paolo Pasolini, who shot parts of his first film Accattone here in 1961. The current owners, who include English chef, Ben Hirst (no relation to Damien), have made the place over in a funky retro early-70s idiom. Necci morphs from local breakfast stop to light lunch venue, afternoon cafe, early evening wine and aperitivo bar and serious restaurant as the day progresses. Hirst’s cuisine uses local, mostly organic ingredients in updated osteria recipes like pan-grilled scallops with porcini mushrooms, red Viterbo potatoes and crispy guanciale bacon. At aperitivo time, €10 buys you a drink (cocktail, wine, or one of the bar’s speciality retro soft drinks – like Spuma Nera Paoletti, a sort of Italian Cola) and a plate of gourmet snacks. Special events are often organised on Sundays, like a once-monthly second-hand vinyl market accompanied by fish and chips – one of Hirst’s few culinary imports from his native land.
• Via Fanfulla da Lodi 68, +39 06 9760 1552, necci1924.com. Open daily 8am-1am
Bar del Fico
Photograph: ma che davvero on Flickr/All rights reserved
Named after the impossibly picturesque piazza outside, which itself takes its moniker from the fig tree that has stood here for as long as anyone can remember, this bohemian watering hole near Piazza Navona has always knowingly played on another meaning of the wordfico in Italian: “cool and trendy”. For many years it was cool precisely because it didn’t try too hard: an unreconstructed neighbourhood bar whose outside tables were frequented by wizened, chain-smoking Roman chess players, it was a fico sort of place to meet for aperitivi with friends. But a two-year makeover that finished in September 2010 made the decor fico, too, in a shabby-chic French bistro kind of way, arguably reducing Fico’s true cool quotient. Still, it’s all done with a certain panache, the new all-you-can-eat aperitivo buffet (free with a €5 glass of wine or a €8 cocktail) is well-attended – and crucially, the chess players are still there, oblivious to fashion shifts. Light lunches are served in the bar; in the evening, the bar’s restaurant annexe, around the corner in Via della Pace 34/35, does a mid-priced selection of Italian staples.
• Piazza del Fico 26, +39 06 6880 8413, bardelfico.it. Open daily 7am-2am
They don’t come much more “neighbourhood bar” than this. In the far northern reaches of the Prati district, this wine emporium and lunch stop opened in 1927, and the charming bottle-shop decor has changed little since then. Run by the personable Benito, Carso is frequented by local residents, lawyers from the area’s many legal offices, and TV people from the nearby RAI state TV and radio studios. Bus drivers and mechanics used to add some colour to the mix, too, until the bus depot across the road closed down. But it’s still about as far as you can get from tourist Rome, and the wine list is encyclopaedic (and made even better by Benito’s promise that he’ll open any bottle you like, even if you only want one glass). Food, served mostly at lunchtime (though there’s an aperitivo buffet for evening grazing), consists mostly of salads, cold cuts (bresaola, cheeses) and the occasional hot dish, like involtini di vitello (veal rolls). Though it’s closed on Italian football’s canonical match day, Sunday, Enoteca Carso’s proximity to the Stadio Olimpico, home to Roma and Lazio, makes it a good pre-match stop if you’re taking in a weekday evening fixture.
• Viale Carso 37/39, +39 06 372 5866. Open Mon-Sat 9am-10pm
Cul de Sac
Rome’s venerable Cul de Sac – in a busy square right off piazza Navona – was the city’s first proper wine bar when it opened in 1977, and it has changed little since those early days. It deserves a medal for keeping standards high in an area where tourist rip-off joints have become the rule. The few simple pavement tables are much sought after; in the long, narrow interior with its big counter full of interesting cheeses and cured meats, diners and imbibers sit on communal wooden tables under towering bottle-filled shelves. The vast selection of Italian wines here has few rivals in Rome. A glass of local white starts at around €2.30, but if you’re into wine ask the knowledgeable staff to suggest something a little more refined (there are dozens of by-the-glass options, going up to €8, though you’ll get more choice and better value if you order a bottle). Food consists of patés, hams and cheeses, local speciality dishes, simple pastas and good salads (their textbook Greek salad is a long-running favourite), all tasty, unpretentious and not badly priced for this area.
• Piazza Pasquino 73, +39 06 688 01094, enotecaculdesac.com. Open daily noon-4pm, 6pm-12.30am
L’Oasi della Birra
It may be called the “Oasis of Beer”, but this off-licence and popular aperitivo spot facing the market in the buzzing Testaccio district impresses as much for its wine selection as for its extensive range of Italian and international ales. A cavernous underground space has a bierkeller air with Alpine decor and beer-bottle-lined walls. Upstairs is altogether more Roman, with wines filling high wooden shelves and rickety wooden tables being congenially shoved back and forth by passing waiters as they struggle to hitch bottles down for clients; even better, a few outside tables give a front-row view of neighbourhood life on Testaccio’s market square. During the day L’Oasi functions as a takeaway bottle-shop, but from 5.30pm staff begin piling up a long table of substantial nibbles to accompany the aperitivi of homeward-bound students and workers; at €10 for a glass of wine or beer and a plate of goodies, this buffet – available until 8.30pm – is an excellent way to dine cheaply. Alternatively, or if you turn up later, there’s a proper dinner menu featuring huge bruschettas, platters of cheese and/or cured meats and some great salads.
• Piazza Testaccio 41, +39 06 574 6122. Open daily 4.30pm-12.30am
Bar San Calisto
The streets of Trastevere are some of Rome’s most tourist-trodden, especially of an evening when the picturesque district’s bars and eateries heave with foreign youth. But the Bar San Calisto is an exception. For seven decades it has resisted all pressure to smarten itself up for visitors, remaining the haunt of some gloriously louche local arty and intellectual types, plus assorted punks, hippies and alternativi of all descriptions. Peroni beer by the bottle, sans glass, is the habitués’ drink of choice at the tottering tables out in the cobbled square. But the coffee is good and the ice cream delicious, especially when servedaffogato – floating in a sundae glass of coffee or alcohol. The winter hot chocolate topped with whipped cream is legendary. Don’t expect charming service, or even communication in anything but the most impenetrable Roman dialect. But it’s a refreshing change from the usual multilingual smooth talk.
• Piazza San Calisto 3-5, +39 06 589 5670. Open Mon-Sat 6am-2am
This serious traditional wine bar is perfectly placed for getting a restorative glass of vinum in after a cultural slog around the nearby Roman Forum. The sober decor – mahogany bar front and shelves, cool marble floor, brass fittings – serves to focus one’s attention on the glass in hand, which you can choose from a few, nicely varied mescita (by-the-glass) options and over a thousand different bottles. Food is very much the supporting act, but the sit-down menu, with its accent on soups, cold cuts and cheese platters, offers a light and healthy variation on Rome’s rather heavy trattoria fare – though the delicious homemade desserts, including chocolate mousse and almond granita, help to make up any calorie deficit. Plenty of locals swing by just for a glass and a nibble at the bar, and if you’re passing by around 8pm on the way to dinner elsewhere, don’t hesitate to join them.
• Via Cavour 313, +39 06 678 5496, cavour313.it. Open daily 12.30-14.45pm, 7.30pm-00.30am, closed Sun in summer
Photograph: Eleonora Baldwin/romatuttigg.blogspot.com
This austere but quietly funky centro storico bottleshop is far more in with the local in-crowd than anywhere in nearby Campo de’ Fiori – a beautiful piazza that has sold its soul to all-you-can-drink happy hour dives pitched at visiting US students. Old guys stopping in for their daily tipple of draught Frascati rub shoulders with the architects, designers and fashionistas who have moved in to this chi-chi neighbourhood, and who might opt instead for a glass of Sauvignon from Alto Adige, or Sicilian Nero d’Avola. Punters tend to spill out into the cobbled street as there’s nowhere much to sit inside except perhaps for a couple of wine cases that haven’t been unpacked yet, and little except some rudimentary bar nibbles to encourage grazing. This place takes you back to what neighbourhood Roman wine bars used to be – essentially wine-oriented off-licences, where you might stop off for a glass while deciding which bottle to take to dinner that evening. Barmen-owners Marco and Giancarlo are a good source of wine advice, though it helps if you know your Sangiovese from your Nebbiolo.
• Via Monte della Farina 37, +39 06 688 06989. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-3pm, 6.30-10.30pm
Enoteca Provincia Romana
Occupying the former rear-entrance service rooms of Palazzo Valentini, seat of the Rome provincial government, this minimal-chic wine bar can – at lunchtime – feel a little like a bureaucrats’ refectory, to the point where beating the suits to a table, or even a sipping-and-snacking perch at the bar counter, becomes an arduous task (so it’s worth booking ahead). But there’s a reason they flock here: this is a showcase for the best of the wine and food – from bar nibbles to full meals – produced in the countryside immediately around Rome. The prices are fair, the quality is high and the Enoteca’s splendid position in a square adjoining centralissima Piazza Venezia, overlooking Trajan’s splendid column, is unbeatable. You can experience the province’s vinous output by the glass (€4-€6) or tuck in to a dish of, say, locally-fished octopus with potatoes so carefully sourced they practically tell you the name of the guy who sowed them. Combine your stopover with a tour of the magnificent Roman remains recently opened to the public inside Palazzo Valentini.
• Via del Foro Traiano 82-84, +39 06 699 40273. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11pm
Don your designer shades and join Rome’s perma-tanned hipsters for a cocktail or a glass of something bubbly at this oh-so-chic bar in Rocco Forte’s uber-luxe Hotel de Russie. Inside, plush purple armchairs give the place the air of a sophisticated club. Outside in the delightful garden courtyard local businessmen, style devotees and wannabe starlets imbibe in elegant wrought-iron armchairs amid potted palms, rubbing shoulders with the hotel’s glamorous clients and hoping for a glimpse of a visiting movie star. Health-conscious drinkers opt for the bar’s signature alcohol-free cocktails which start at €15; but serious topers go for head barman Massimo D’Azzedio’s award-winning alcoholic cocktails (from €19). With so much worldly traffic at bar level, the De Russie’s gorgeously lush “secret” garden just a short stroll uphill from the courtyard seems an anomaly, but it certainly adds a wonderfully green and leafy charm to the Stravinskij experience.
• Via del Babuino 9, +39 06 328 881, hotelderussie.it. Open daily 9am-1am
• Lee Marshall is a freelance travel writer who has been based in Rome for almost 30 years
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What is flair bartending?
Flair is a style of bartending that has existed for at least 150 years. Fabled American bartending legend Jerry “the professor” Thomas performed flair in the mid 1800s, whenever he made his famous Blue Blazer, pouring flaming scotch and water from mug to mug in a long, fiery stream. Any bartender who has ever put two or more bottles in one hand uses flair. Flair is simply efficiency of movement with a little pizzazz. Technically speaking, flair is the act of flipping, spinning, throwing, balancing, catching bottles, drinks, and various bar tools while in the process of making cocktails. Flair involves highly technical pours and cuts that ensure accuracy and no spillage while performing various tricks and moves. Speed bartending a form of flair in that the fastest, most efficient way to make drinks involves multi-bottle pours; inverted catches and grabs; stylish, martial-art like movements; and even behind the back throws and catches from time to time.
What is the working flair?
Working flair is the type of flair we encourage on day to day bar shifts: quick, light, and realistic moves that can be performed without slowing service. Most working flair involves glassware, one bottle, bottle and tin, garnish, or occasionally, two bottle moves. Working flair is always performed while making a cocktail or drink. Flipping empty bottles is not working flair.
What is exhibition flair?
Exhibition flair is flair performed for entertainment and competition purposes and generally involves longer, choreographed routines. Exhibition flair usually requires special preparation and set-up of bottles and other props. It is a style of flair that generally does not lend itself to every day bar shifts. However, there are a growing number of flair bars around the world that showcase exhibition flair as part of their operation’s entertainment. Working flair often involves multi-object flair including 2,3,4 and 5 bottle/tin tricks and routines. Exhibition flair can involve moves and routines performed while not in the drink making process.
Which style is correct?
There is no “correct” style of flair, just different styles. Certain styles are more accepted and more popular than others in different parts of the world. That is what makes flairing so exciting. Flairing bartenders of many different styles and helping to facilitate understanding, acceptance, and camaraderie amongst flair bartenders regardless of ability, style, or experience. We do believe that service should always come first, before flair-but that flair is a very fundamental part of being a professional bartender.
What is the secret to flair?
Do it. Practice (at home). Enjoy it. Break a lot of bottles.
How do I keep from spilling?
Physics. Centrifugal and Centripetal forces. Visualize and practice keeping the liquid forced or “pushed” to the bottom of the bottle. Most moves travel in “arcs” and should lead by the base of the bottle. There are no special “trick” pour spouts. Don’t try to flip bottles that are more than 1/4 full. You can flair bottles that are full, you simply cannot put a 360 degree flip on them. Practice. It will come to you.
How long does it take to get good?
How bad do you want it? Most bartenders can learn enough flair to make a little extra money on their shifts or place in competitions in a matter of a couple months. You just have to want it and be willing to do the work. With professional one-on-one training, you can shorten that time down to a few weeks.
Source: Flair Bartenders’ Association (FBA)
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Flair bartending is the practice of bartenders entertaining guests, clientele or audiences with the manipulation of bar tools (e.g. cocktail shakers) and liquor bottles in tricky, dazzling ways. Used occasionally in cocktail bars, the action requires skills commonly associated with jugglers. It has become a sought-after talent among venue owners and marketers to help advertise a liquor product or the opening of a bar establishment. Competitions have been sponsored by liquor brands to attract flair bartenders, and some hospitality training companies hold courses to teach flair techniques.
Flair bartending is sometimes referred to as “extreme bartending” or contracted to “flairtending.” The word flair became popular among practitioners in the mid 1990s. “Flair” is also used as a verb (e.g. “to flair”), referring to any trickery used by a bartender in order to entertainguests while mixing a drink. Flair can include juggling, flipping (bottles, shakers), manipulating flaming liquors or even performing close-upmagic tricks (also referred to as “bar-magic”).
Flair is showmanship added to bartending that enhances the overall guest experience. The ideas behind mixology and drink-oriented or service-minded bartending can still be upheld with the correct application of working flair. Recently, there is a noticeable rise in bartenders combining prominent mixology knowledge and working flair skills all over the world. Working flair and Exhibition flair are very similar on the grounds that they both require precision and practice, however the use of exhibition flair has become a competition oriented style where significantly greater risks are being taken. Working flair, which is much more common, focuses more on delivering drinks to customers while still ensuring visual entertainment.
The earliest record of a flair bartender is legendary/epic barman Jerry “The Professor” Thomas, who poured fiery streams of boiling water and flaming whisky and mixed an original cocktail called the Blue Blazer in the late 19th century.
Both working flair and exhibition flair can be seen in competitions, depending on the rules and regulations of each event. The important distinction between working flair and exhibition flair is not so much the level of liquid in the bottles (though that is a criterion) but the speed in which the bottle is thrown and/or the drink is made. Working flair usually incorporates a “flat” throw, which is when the bottle is released into the air without flipping. This gives an illusion of the bottle floating, but reduces the chances of liquid spilling. This also opens the bartender to be able to use similar routines, regardless of what bottle they grab, as the level of liquid is not a factor. The accepted definition of working flair is “flair that does not noticeably slow service,” usually involving bottles filled to various levels (as in a real work situation) that are quickly manipulated and then poured. Exhibition flair almost always involves bottles that are often pre-set with less than 2 ounces (60ml) specifically for flipping. Exhibition flair often involves longer sequences and routines, multiple objects, and performances choreographed to music.
The first open competition to have an exhibition round was the Quest for the Best Bartender in 1998.
The first open competition to have a working flair round was the Quest for the Best Bartender in the World in 1998.
There are different styles of flair bartending competitions. Legends of Bartending World Bartender Championships test the bartender on four disciplines of bartending, accuracy, speed, working flair and exhibition flair. The Blue Blazer and Independent Flair League (IFL) in Poland rewards flair and mixology together; competitors gain points for both flair and creative mixology. NATIONS International Flair Challenge and other competitions like Roadhouse World Flair, MBA, Athens Flair Open feature pure exhibition flair where the biggest and best moves are shown.
The earliest known competition for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday’s in Marina del Rey, California around 1985. Management noticed bartender John Mescall’s talent for juggling bottles while pouring drinks and decided to hold an in-store competition, which they later took national. Mescall was a bit hesitant, because other Friday’s bartenders saw his art more of a nuisance when they were forced by management to flair as well. He made a couple of “how-to” videos for TGI Friday’s and later worked with John J.B. Bandy in what was probably the first ever flairtending video, “Olympic Bartending”. The earliest world champanionship for flair bartending was held by T.G.I. Friday’s in 1987 for their bartenders, and was won by John J.B. Bandy, who went on to train Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown for the 1988 Movie Cocktail. T.G.I. Friday’s is credited for modernizing and popularizing flair bartending in the United States beginning in the mid 1980s. London and Orlando were the hotbeds of flair bartending in the early and mid 1990s. In 1991, T.G.I. Friday’s started its global competition called World Bartender Championship. The global competition has continued to today with divisional champions from across the USA, Latin America and European Divisions come to compete inCarrollton, Texas USA. Recently, Las Vegas has become the flair capital of the world, with London a close second. The countries currently producing the most top competitors right now are Uruguay, Argentina, Ukraine, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.
There are hundreds of flair bartending competitions around the world each year, most of which are local and not well publicized. In 2005 the Flair Bartenders Association (FBA) launched the FBA Pro Tour, a linked series of events where competitors earn points toward the title Pro Tour Champion at the end of the year. In 2007 there were 14 events on the Pro Tour with 7 of them located in the USA.
Five-Time World Champion Ken Hall and Jim Allison, president of the FBA, organized six of those seven events. The flagship flair bartending event is Legends of Bartending, which celebrated its 12th year in 2010.
Some the biggest flair bartending events all over the World includes
- Roadhouse World Flair in London, UK
- Underground Flair League (UFL) Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Legends of Bartending (Las Vegas, USA)
- Quest (Orlando – the oldest major flair competition in the world)
- Skyy Global Flair Challenge in 14 different countries incl. China, UK, Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, etc.
The newest major events to gain credibility among top competitors include:
- Underground Flair Space (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Umag Daylight (Croatia)
- Helsinki Onnela Flair Master (Finland)
- Brasil Open Flair (São Paulo, Brazil)
- Flair Vegas (Las Vegas, USA)
- Champions Flair Crash (Romania)
- IFL (Poland)
- US Flair Open (USA)
- The Blue Blazer Challenge (Las Vegas, USA).
Major events almost always have a prize money of US $20,000 or more, and most of today’s majors including Legends, Nations, Quest and Roadhouse World Flair in London.
The term flair bar was first coined by FBA co-founder and first president, Toby Ellis, in 1997. Ellis also started the first website devoted to flair bartending in 1997, Bar Magic. Ellis opened flair bars most notably in Las Vegas (Shadow, Caesar’s Palace), Hawaii (Jackie’s Kitchen), and South Africa (Sequoias), and has provided flair consultation and training for TGI Friday’s, Kahunaville, Caesars Palace, Isle of Capri Casinos, Winter Park Ski Resort, Tavern on the Green and on Food Network Television.
No woman has yet won a flair world championship, though the women listed here regularly place in the top ten at major competitions.
To date, there has not been a competition that has fielded all or most of the top active competitive flair bartenders. In 2008 the FBA Pro Tour split into Americas and World as close to half of the events were already in the USA. Each year the FBA adjusts the Pro Tour to make adjustments to the sport that are helping to create a fair and balanced competitive field.
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The Flair Bottle is an American made; high impact plastic 750 ml replica of a regular liquor bottle including weight and size. This is the tool of choice for all flair bartenders that wish to learn, practice and improve their skills as a professional flair bartender. Comes with a free pour spout (removable). American made means its made perfectly and at a great deal, no one beats our prices!
A cocktail shaker is a device used to mix beverages (usually alcoholic) by shaking. When ice is put in the shaker this allows for a quicker cooling of the drink before serving.
A shaken cocktail is made by putting the desired ingredients (typically fruit juices, syrups, liqueurs and ice cubes) in the cocktail shaker. Then it is shaken vigorously for around 5 to 10 seconds, depending upon the mixability of the ingredients and desired temperature.
There are at least three varieties of cocktail shakers:
- The Boston Shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a metal bottom and glass or plastic mixing glass. The mixing container and bottom are inserted into each other for shaking or used separately for stirring or muddling. A separate strainer, such as a Hawthorne or Julep strainer, are required for this type shaker if crushed ice is used. Without such a strainer, some bartenders may instead strain by narrowly separating the two pieces after shaking and pouring the drink through the resulting gap.
- The Cobbler Shaker: A three-piece cocktail shaker that has tapers at the top and ends with a built-in strainer and includes a cap. The cap can often be used as a measure for spirits or other liquids.
- The French Shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a metal bottom and a metal cap. A strainer is always required for this type of shaker, barring the separation method mentioned above.
The cocktail shaker can be traced to 7000 BCE in South America, where the jar gourd was used as a closed container. Egyptians as long ago as 3500 BCE were adding spices to their fermented grain concoctions before serving, to make them more palatable. In 1520, Cortez wrote to King Charles V of Spain of a drink made from cacao, served frothy and foaming from a golden cylinder.
By the late 19th century, the cocktail shaker as we now know it was in wide use, invented by an innkeeper who, while using two containers to pour drinks back and forth between, noticed that one container’s mouth was smaller than the other’s and held the two together and shook them “for a bit of a show”.
2 Examples of shakers from the 1950s. Left with spun aluminum cap, right with chromed steel cap
During the 1920s prohibition era in the United States, cocktail shakers were produced in many different shapes and designs, including shakers that looked like penguins, zeppelins, lighthouses and airplanes. Cocktail shaker skills and drink rituals became as important in the Jazz Agelifestyle as knowing the latest dance step. It was after prohibition however, that cocktail shakers really reached their zenith of popularity. They appeared in movies, and were associated with the glamorous lives of movie stars. Cocktail shakers became de rigueur symbols of sophistication and symbols of the good life.
On December 7, 1941, the era of the cocktail shaker faltered seriously, as the United States entered World War II and all non-essential uses of metal were redirected towards the war effort. The same companies and equipment formerly used to manufacture cocktail shakers were used to make artillery shells and other war materials.
In the early 1950s cocktail shakers enjoyed a brief resurgence as soldiers familiar with them returned and became part of the housing boom featuring ‘rec rooms’ with bars. By the later part of the decade though, shakers were quickly giving way to modern electric appliances that either added a mixing unit to the shaker’s lid or did away with the shaker entirely, with the introduction of the electric blender.
By the mid 1860s, the use of a pair of tumblers to mix drinks was common practice. The patent history involves improvements on this practice:
December 24, 1872 — #134,274 by William Harnett of Brooklyn, New York — Apparatus for mixing 6 drinks at once (six shakers on a turntable)
February 1, 1881 — #237,150 by L. H. Williams — mixer with leak-proof edge flaring
August 29, 1882 — #263,394 by A. Eggers — combination shaker which allowed the addition of a tumbler if desired
January 30, 1883 — #271,350 — W. H. Murphy — mixed beverage shaker which included a spring-loaded strainer
June 24, 1884 — #300,867 — E. J. Hauck — the first 3-piece cocktail shaker with a built-in strainer, just as is used today. This design also included an air-vent to allow for faster pouring.
October 30, 1877 — #196,605 — W. H. Trepus — air-vented from the bottom
September 30, 1924 — #1,509,981 — Louis W. Rice — fluted dome interior feature which could be used as a juicer called a “beverage shaker” instead of “cocktail shaker”.
April 7, 1925 — #1,532,681 — G. S. Bryce — 3-piece glass shaker with cork, a metal stopper, strainer and metal pouring insert. This was the standard design for the 1920s.
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