Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cocktails versus Shooters

I like Living Social, the online deal of the day company that promotes events and special offers in your targeted location.  Quite often they have curios that you wouldn't normally think about so that when you go and have a great time, it all makes for a terrific occasion.

Of course being an instructional tutorial on making Classic Martinis didn't do any harm to its potential attraction either.

So when I saw the deal offered by the Bartending School of Ontario (a very grandiose title for a small shopfront on Danforth) called "Martini/Shooter Insanity" for $69 for 2 people, I thought this was a no brainer.

12 others had turned up for the event with at least 2, maybe 3 birthdays suggesting that it would turn out to be a fun evening.  I was a little alarmed to see that we were by far the oldest but the menu for the evening comprised a detailed list of classic cocktails and another page of what seemed like awful concoctions with names such as 'Swedish Pornstar'.  This sounded fun!

The teacher (what do you call a bartender who teaches others? Not exactly school but…) started things off with the Swedish Pornstar -- a mix of melon liquor and a couple of others that ended up looking a muddy green something which was really sweet and tasted like medicine.  I declined but the others, particularly the young ladies along the bar, chugged them straight back and shouted "Whoo-hoo".  This was a theme for the evening as it turned out.

Fortunately we then moved to the classic Martini, although the teacher did ask preferences for gin or vodka -- vodka won.  He told us that vodka was unknown in North America before the 1930's so the traditional cocktails (Martinis, Tom Collins, Manhattan, etc) were either gin or whisky based and that the Classic Martini was (a) gin based, (b) stirred not shaken -- shaking would bruise the gin and dilute it, and (c ) should be served in the traditional Martini glass not the buckets introduced by the Americans later on to super size the drinks.  

James Bond, he said, was a wuss preferring vodka and shaken over stirred showing his clear preference for watered down booze.  Fortunately for the teacher, 007 wasn't there so couldn't put him right in probably robust manner.

So wrong on so many levels: wrong glass, shaken not stirred… I feel used

I like my Martinis shaken as well, incidentally.

Next was a delicious Manhattan, a bourbon based drink that I requested… perhaps I'm starting to like Bourbon after all!  The teacher added a remarkable feature namely that of adding some smoke to the operation by setting light to some hickory chips and using a device to send a focused stream of smoke into the glass before the concoction was assembled…. and shaken.

Firing up the Manhattan

Served with a cherry in classic Martini glasses, this to me was the drink of the night.

"Ooh, never had this before," was the gallery's comment.

"Not bad, but I prefer Tequila shots," was another.

Reminded me of England.

And so the evening then turned… to shooters.  No tequila on display but there was no shortage of other booze which the teacher used in showing us how to make layered shots in a test tube… really.  Apparently in clubs this is the rage but the tubes have to have flat bottoms, not those rounded bottoms that no doubt are remembered from school chemistry lessons.  


This is because the nanny LCBO believes it encourages people to chug these shots too fast as you cannot put them down anywhere.  With a flat bottom, apparently, you have the opportunity of putting the tube down somewhere and not drinking too fast.  Now, just who is going to savor a drink containing 5+ colors of supreme alcoholic content tasting of Jagermeister … for at the end of the day, that is what all these fancy shots ended up tasting like but with a varying degree of ultra sweetness too.

Our efforts.  Jagermeister anyone?

"Whoo-hoo" as my fellow students said.

Follow my travel blog here on Track My Tour.

No comments:

Post a Comment