Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Maybe a misleading title.

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I taught my first solo cocktail basics class on April 8th at Rock Lobster. Seeing as how being an actual teacher would involve someone else’s curriculum, this seems like a great way for me to share what I have learned about making cocktails with some other industry professionals without having to cater to what some aging bottle flipping, blue drink loving dork says is bartending.

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I had this class coincide with the changing of the cocktail menu at Rock Lobster so that I could train my staff as well as open it up to the public so that everyone benefits. The drink you see above is what I’m calling The Improuved Whisky Cocktail. It is pretty close to the cocktail of the same-ish name in Jerry Thomas’ book, but made with Crown Royal and less sugar syrup, because of Crown’s sweetness.

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I went through why drinks are made certain ways and where they came from, passed some books around and then started making some drinks from the new list.

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Other than the above mentioned Improuved Whisky Cocktail (spelled like that on purpose) I went through the Julia Sullivan, which is a cilantro infused gin and tonic, the Spicy Papa, which is a take on a daiquiri but using Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and All Gone, Quinn!, which is an Algonquin but using Bulleit Bourbon in place of rye.

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Once we were finished with the Rock Lobster list, I asked all in attendance if there was a drink that they had gotten ordered from them but weren’t sure about. So we went through a Bourbon Sour, a Sazerac, a Manhatten, an Old Fashioned and a Margarita in the hopes that there will be some consistency, not only behind the bar at RL but at other places in the city.

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Everyone seemed to take something away from it and hopefully I got some people excited about drinks that are more interesting than anything with coke in it. I will more than likely being doing either another class like this, or an expansion on this one in the next month or two, so if you are interested, please get in touch.

Phtos by the always lovely Jessica Blaine Smith

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You might win something, though I’m not sure what yet. But take a picture of my coaster, wherever you see one of them, and with whatever drawn on them you want, and then tweet it to me @josh_lindley with the hashtage #coasterboy.

Fun times, right?

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We are going to Mexico.

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I have never been anywhere that English (or French I guess) is not the default language of the citizens. I am excited and scared and nervous but mostly happy to be going somewhere with someone.

The closest thing I equate this feeling to is when Mark Spicoluk and I were e-mailing each other in 2002 about how we were going to quit our jobs and start touring Canada with his band Closet Monster. His job: Bassist for Avril Lavigne. My job: announcer on 102.1 The Edge (clearly one of us had more at stake than the other). He was in Japan at the time and had just played to 40,000 people opening for O-Town and I had just accidentally called some guy’s band nickleback (it was not Chad Kroeger). We needed something to change and given who we were at the time, driving back and forth across Canada with a bunch of friends made the most sense.

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Now, 11 years later I realize that my life is stable enough to not have to abandon everything for floors in Riviere du Loup or Kamloops.* That said, I really like the idea of going somewhere where I know nothing, and no one but my travel companion. I find myself imagining how things might be, but then I stop myself because no matter how I imagine a beach on the west coast of Mexico, it will not be that way when I get there. So I stop imagining and just get excited.

I like the idea of going somewhere as a genuine vacation. The reason is to go and spend time, somewhere foreign with someone I want to spend time with. With touring, it was always (kind of) work and the idea was to make that my life. That life didn’t work for me and now I approach traveling to some place(s) I’ve never been before way differently. I am going as a sponge, not as a rock, hoping to make a mark and leave with everyone knowing we were there. I just want to see new things, do new things and get a tan…cough.

So there will be a break in blog posts, but a flood of them when we get back. See you soon.

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*- During the years where I was touring consistently I made some lifelong friends, and really learned what it is to keep someone in your life, even without seeing or hearing from them for months at a time. I loved doing this and would never trade my experiences for anything, they all led me to where I am now.

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If this photo looks familiar it’s because I also used it when I posted about my coasters (have you seen them around yet?)

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Anyway, the drink sitting on my face is The Algonquin. Like many other classics, this one is named after the hotel where it was first served, or at least given a name. The proportions, again like many other classics vary, but I like it as 2 parts whiskey ( for the picture we used Rittenhouse, duh, but I have seen recipes that call for blends), 1 part dry vermouth and one part pineapple juice. Shake it and fine strain it and serve it straight up. The reason I like this drink so much is because it predates almost anything tiki, but still has pineapple juice in it. So it’s a rich, boozy drink, but with an incredible fruit nose.

If you want to learn more little factoids like that, contact me about coming to my cocktail basics class (naming things has not been my forte lately) next Monday, April 8th. I will be going over everything from why drinks have the names they do, why they are served the way they are served and how creating a drink requires some real thought to have it work out well. If you came to any of the Sunday School classes you get the idea, but if you didn’t, this might be a great way to catch up. It will only cost you thirty dollars and take about 3 hours of your time. Get in touch.

Photo by Jessica Blaine Smith 

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