The Cookbook Approach To Cocktail Design

Culinary cocktails, homemade mixers and fresh, local ingredients have been trendy in the bar industry for the past few years, and there is no reason you can’t take the same tack at home after work or hosting a party for friends. I most often resort to the “cookbook approach” when creating new cocktails.  When I …

Holiday Cocktail Party in Vermont (with Hot Punch Recipe)

I’ve been tasked with bringing my cocktail knowledge back to Vermont this month, where I can attest, a good drink is scarcer than hen’s teeth, as they say in the Northeast, and finding a bottle of Fernet Branca is harder than Chinese algebra (another favorite Vermont colloquialism).  My parents have asked me to play bartender …

Stocking The Home Bar

The LibationLab guide to stocking your home bar.  There are “minimum” (to avoid embarrassment) and “expanded” (to impress others) versions in each of 4 categories with notes.  It works well as a shopping list/checklist. 1. Alcohol Respectable Minimum: Keep a bottle each of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, brandy, Cointreau, dry and sweet vermouth. Expanded …

How Do You Take It?

Simple vocab guide for commonly confused terms used when ordering spirits: neat or straight: served at room temperature, without water or ice, in a short, stemless glass. straight up or up: shaken or stirred with ice, strained, and served in a chilled, stemmed cocktail glass. Of course, on the rocks is on the rocks.