Friday, November 21, 2008


Vodka outsells all other spirits 3 to 1. Vodka is void of a distinctive flavor, taste or smell which makes it the easiest spirit to mix anything with. Vodka can be made out of anything that has sugar or starch such as potatoes, grains, corn or rye. Vodka comes from the Russian word "voda" which means "little water". The classic cocktail, Moscow Mule introduced Smirnoff vodka to the United States in the 1940's. Popular vodka brand names include Grey Goose (France), Ketel One (Netherlands), Stoli (Russia), Absolut (Sweden) and Sky (San Francisco).

Absolut was the first on the scene to introduce flavored vodkas. Any guesses on which was the first flavored vodka to be introduced? It wasn't Absolut Citron or Absolut Mandarin, but Absolut Peppar in 1979. Absolut Citron wasn't put on the market until 1988. It is said that Absolut Citron created the Cosmopolitan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Busting Bar Myths #1: Grenadine

When I ask people what they think grenadine is they always say.....cherry juice.


Grenadine is a red syrup that was originally made from pomegranate juice, cherry juice and sugar. Not just cherry juice like most people like to believe. In fact, grenadine actually comes from the French word, "grenade" which means pomegranate. Now grenadine consists almost entirely of a high-fructose corn syrup base. Yummers!

Grenadine is used to make drinks like "cherry" cokes, pink lemonades, shirley temples and tequila sunrises.

So if someone asks you what grenadine is, you can tell them the correct answer. It isn't really just cherry juice. It's actually pomegranate juice with a bunch of sugar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My First Bartender Competition

On October 20th, I entered my very first bartender competition.

I know. It's been awhile since the competition and my last blog entry.

The competition was at Elixir here in San Francisco and was sponsored by Square One Vodka. We had to use the new Square One Cucumber vodka (which is quite tasty on it's own I must say). The competition itself was pretty cool. Five, city lady bartenders who all had to design their own concoction using the product. We had to not only come up with the drink, but batch it out for a crowd of 50 plus. It's hard enough coming up with a cocktail, but making it for 50 people to enjoy is something else. Lots of pressure. On top of that, this was the same day that I taught my very first bartender school class. October 20th was quite a big day for me.

My Winning Cocktail:

Some Like It Hot

Square One Cucumber Vodka
St Germain (elderflower liqueur)
Muddled basil, cucumber and serrano chili
Fresh lemon juice

Shaken and served chilled, up in a cocktail glass with a cucumber and serrano chili garnish

I didn't take first place, but my drink did win the "Best Hair of the Dog Cocktail" and I walked home with a super cool goodie bag. My drink also made the cocktail menu at work.

Boo Yah!