Vol. 16 No. 48 - September 28, 2016
Creation of a craft bar
When you're involved in the operations of a business, any conscientious owner or manager is always aware of what's happening in their trade. At the very least, you want to be up to date with what's trending in your business at the moment. When we went out to eat, my wife would frequently remind me that she was having dinner with me, and I was more than welcome to include her in whatever it was that I was thinking about at the given moment. She was right though, I was usually busy observing something about the business and wondering how it could be improved upon.
Whenever Jason or any of his management team were out and about we all acted about the same. We would take notice of some aspect of an operation, and next time we were together we would discuss it. This method was particularly effective when you were in a different environment. The equipment and products used in New York City, for example, were not the same as those in New Orleans. Part of that difference could be attributed to the history of the area.
One of the best finds you could make in a given city would be a book including the history of some of the famous hotels with their restaurants and bars. Without a doubt, a book about famous bars of a century ago would definitely offer ideas and recipes for drinks of yesteryear. Now there's an idea. Lets make drinks that were famous in the past. Where do you find the ingredients for said drinks? Time to start exploring.
In order to be unique in the bar business, you need to offer some variety. Not only do the drinks need to be different, but the way that they are made, the brand of liquor used and the mixers used all have an impact on not only the flavor of the drink, but also on the guests' perception of your operation. When we researched which drinks we wanted to include on our specialty drinks, we had to make sure that the proper ingredients were available as well. Take, for example, tonic water. There are lots of tonics available, and the difference is noticeable, so it was important to select the one best suited to your brands of liquor and your specialty drinks. When we looked into the liquor brands that we had to choose from, we were just blown away. We had easily a dozen vendors to choose from, and each of those had hundreds of choices within each category. On top of that, we had to take into account the style, the age and the cost of each product. Needless to say, a great deal of time went into the selection of all of the liquors used to stock our bar. One thing was for sure, we weren't going to be your run of the mill bar serving a plain old drink.
We, as a group, all agreed that our bar was going to be an extension of our kitchen. All of the ingredients would be as fresh and as organic as possible. Juices are squeezed fresh daily and garnishes are sliced, cut and shaved to order whenever possible. It is hard to imagine a garnish prettier than a shaved slice of fresh ginger on the side of your glass filled with a smoked margarita. You're not going to find that combination in many places. Well, we've made quite a few decisions, but there are still more to be made, so until next time ...
2 oz. Jameson Irish Whisky
1 oz. sour mix
1 oz. fresh orange Juice
1/2 oz. egg whites
Combine all ingredients in a shaker,
shake vigorously and pour over fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice and dark cherries.