Category: Miscellaneous

What to Expect in 2013 According to Professor Cocktail

Everybody likes predictions — especially when the predictor gets things horribly wrong and looks like a dolt. So here are my predictions for the spirituous world in 2013. Bookmark this page so you can come back in a year and see how I did. An end to whiskey insanity: The past few years have been crazy … Read more

Thoughts on Grading Spirits

When I started Professor Cocktail it seemed natural to assign letter grades when reviewing spirits. It just makes sense: the professor gives grades. But as I've written a bunch of reviews over the past year, I've grown to question the usefulness of a grading scale for booze that mirrors the familiar classroom model. I've asked … Read more

The Myths of the Bar, Debunked

The New York Times recently tackled a collection of beloved bar and spirits myths, debunking them with the help of some well-qualified experts. Among them: Older is better: “It’s absolute nonsense,” said Ronnie Cox, director of the Glenrothes, a Speyside Scotch. “It’s not about oldness, it’s about maturity. Age doesn’t mean anything other than that whiskey’s been in … Read more

Drinking during Prohibition

Yesterday (December 5) was the 78th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, the thirteen-year Dark Age in which it was illegal to produce or sell alcoholic beverages in the United States. (Interestingly enough, it was not illegal to consume alcohol.) December 5th is celebrated in many of the nation's bars as Repeal Day, one of … Read more

Vote for the 21st Century Harvey!

Martin Miller's Gin is running a contest to choose the best new cocktail that "trades up" on a maligned classic drink from the 1970s and '80s. My entry is called the 21st Century Harvey and is an updated twist on the Harvey Wallbanger. It's made using Martin Miller's gin, Cointreau, Licor 43 and Orange Bitters. … Read more

The World’s 50 Best Bars

A poll was taken of 100 bar professionals from around the world to produce a list of the world's 50 best bars. Obviously lists like this are a little silly. Such things are subjective and prone to cronyism, and also vary depending on the respondent’s criteria and state of inebriation. Still, I love a good list, … Read more

Angostura’s winning bartenders – and a delicious new recipe

Angostura Bitters announced yesterday the winners of their 2011 North American Cocktail Challenge. The three bartenders who will move on to represent North America in the Global Cocktail Challenge are David Delaney Jr. (from Still & Stir in Worcester, MA), Rachel Ford (Empellon in New York, NY) and Ryan Maybee (The Rieger Hotel in Kansas City, MO). … Read more