since February 2013 job Cook / Home bartender


Cream of Mushroom Soup a la Provence Recipe 12 Dec 2014
6:12 am

Nice recipe and beautiful illustration! :)

Product Choice is Important - The Sidecar Cocktail 11 Dec 2014
12:28 pm

“I recall one of the first times I went to the liquor store to “stock my liquor cabinet”. It was a tad daunting to try to make sense of all of the different bottles of booze and understand what I was needing.”

Totally nailed it. Exactly how I started building my cabinet back in the days! Again Robert, a fine video and an excellent topic to discuss.

From watching these videos from SSN I learned the rule of thumb “garbage in, garbage out”. So you made a cocktail using the cheapest ingredients available? Don’t expect a great drink.

I can remember the very first tequila bottle I bought (from an airport, was Sierra, with the red little plastic hat on it). In my defence, I didn’t know any better and spending 20€ at the time sounded like a bargain for a 1L bottle (because who would spend around 40€ [50$] for a “premium, smaller sized” tequila when you’re making sunrises?!). Without realizing what I was REALLY dealing with, I was satisfied for a very long time until I read what kind of monstrosities those non-100%-agave-tequilas are and how I could’ve made such better drinks.

Nowadays, I’ve learnt so much and broadened my knowledge of spirits in general. Before stocking ANY spirit in my cabinet, I carefully review the product and try to see “what it is really about” or “if I _really_ need it; is it versatile or is it good for just one particular cocktail and then it gathers dust in my cabinet?”. Also, like you said, “There are lower-cost products that you can use which can make cocktails as good”, this is very true when it comes to some cocktails such as the Irish Coffee. The blended whiskies are perfectly fit (I even recommend it) for such hot drinks! Of course, if one wants to experiment (like one time a person asked for an Irish Coffee made with Laphroaig 10yo), why not give it a try?

As for citrus juices, you are again 100% correct. Never…never go for the bottled one. Always use fresh. There is no substitute for a “on-the-scene” pressed fruit.

The part of a Sidecar being “approachable”, that is true. For a few friends that have come to visit me time to time, I’ve made either that or a Manhattan. The Sidecar is sweet enough to make the ladies smile and has that “oompf” men like. It’s an all-around cocktail and very versatile as well (as mentioned using different cognac or substituting the Cointreau for Gran Marnier).

One thing is sure, Cointreau is a 100% must in every self-respecting person’s bar cabinet. It’s universally a great liqueur, mixes well with pretty much everything and is of superb quality.

5/5 clip.

Don't Use Old Vermouth 25 Nov 2014
1:33 pm

Robert you said: “I’m stumped as to why liquor stores don’t carry them.”

I’ve never seen mini vermouths myself either. The only sweet ones are huge 1L bottles and the dry usually 0.5/0.7L ones.

I chip in my 2 cents and would GUESS that the mains reason mini-vermouths are not available is a practical one. Vermouth doesn’t cost nearly as much as liquors so it would only add a tremendous cost to manufacturers to try and pack thousands and thousands of them for retailers to sell. Moreover, for most people vermouth is enjoyed more than 5 cl at a time (they don’t see the cocktail aspect of it) so in addition of costing at lot of money to produce, people generally would not buy them.

It’s sad though.

Don't Use Old Vermouth 25 Nov 2014
11:35 pm

Wow well I’ll be damned! :) I seriously didn’t know such thing existed (especially regarding vermouths). Then again living in Finland we hardly ever have anything nice when it comes to alcohol products.

On a side note, I remember watching a clip of your colleague/pal Anthony where he discussed this similar issue. His and this video were real eye-openers. That’s why I haven’t made manhattans at home in a very long time since that would be a waste of good bourbon!

Whisky Tasting Notes 13 May 2014
1:31 pm

I have to say, bravo!

I myself have started my New Year’s Resolution 2014 as assessing, evaluating and appreciating the whiskies in the bar I work in. Being a novice I still have much and much to learn but it’s been fun so far.

Charlie does an excellent job explaining the procedure when tasting whiskies.

Water or Ice? 13 May 2014
1:34 pm

You’re spot on. I really enjoyed watching this clip; you present this elegantly and with great expertise. I’ve heard so many people say how one should drink their whisky but this really opened my eyes when you mentioned

“enjoying vs appreciating”

Keep up the good work!

(we always laugh at the bar should someone want the Higland Park 40yo mixed with diet coke :) )

Water or Ice? 19 May 2014
5:24 am

@bushmills boy
Actually, I’ve heard one story/saying that
whiskey <12yo = ice okay
whiskey ≥12yo = water

As said, _personal preference_. One of my colleagues mentioned that ice chills the whiskey too fast for the proper aromas to develop. With drastically younger whiskies it’s not _that_ critical but when the whiskey gets older and older, cooling it down too fast makes it lose its significant aspect; nose/aroma

@Singlemalt TV
Yeah, what I meant to say is was that no-one has ever ordered that combination (yet), but the mere idea of buying a measure of an almost half-century old single malt and mixing it with diet coke seems really funny.

"Ohhhh, Left!" - A Story of 86ing 12 Dec 2013
5:53 pm

Excellent story! :D

I got into the restaurant/bar business ~2 months ago and within the first one I had to be part of a little fistfight. Two guys from the bar next door came to harass/provoke two of our customers sitting at the terrace. My colleague went to calm them down (and tried to get them to leave) but what ended up happening that these two jokers from the bar next door started wresting and throwing chairs/punches at EACH OTHER! My pal went “f**k it” and shouted at me “buzz the alarm!!” where I looked at him rather dumbstruck…and replied…”...where?!” (I was never shown the little button under the desk when I first started)

Security came quickly and the best thing, put on their report “a little tussling between two men”. I can’t say that throwing outdoor bar chairs is called “tussling” :D

Welsh Coffee 5 Dec 2013
12:40 am

Haha he dropped a coffee bean at 2:26! :O Now the cocktail does not possess its perfect delightfulness!

Rum Ramsey Cocktail 6 Nov 2013
2:27 am

If *I* were to give options; either the havana blanco or any premium aged rum such as the El Dorado 12yo, for example.

Eagle's Dream Cocktail 24 Oct 2013
12:02 am

I’m really glad to see you left out the little cord - part from the egg white; that surely doesn’t belong to a nice cocktail!

I suppose you could substitute creme de violet with parfait amour? I remember you mentioning about this I think it was in the aviation cocktail that creme de violet is hard to get outside the states/UK.

Berries and Bubbles Cocktail 3 Aug 2013
1:32 pm

Nice! I have friends (2) coming over and luckily enough my wife picked up some raspberries yesterday and today as well.

Alas I don’t own any coupe glasses, the tall flutes oughta do it just as well.

You think freezing a few raspberries would do the trick as garnish and just drop them in the drink? Or are fresh better? The flute kind of prohibits the use of any sticks…

Berries and Bubbles Cocktail 5 Aug 2013
4:54 am

Gotta say, a wonderful summer cocktail! Especially towards the end it got sweeter/stronger, yummy!


(there’s the picture of the cocktail I made based on your recipe)

How to Not [email protected]%& Up a Daiquiri 19 Jun 2013
3:27 am

Jeffrey. A++ bro, A++.

I used ED12 and this cocktail turned out magnificent! Thanks for this! Bookmarked!

Amaretto Sour Cocktail 4 Mar 2013
11:17 am

What an entertaining clip! I have to make one in a few days.

Guion Cocktail 17 Sep 2013
3:08 am

So I made this cocktail just now:

I gotta say, not a “simple” drink to enjoy. As a pre-dinner cocktail this works beautifully! Gotta make a pair of these (instead of the usual Manhattans) next time I have friends over for a dinner.

Good job, Robert!

Bellini Manhattan Cocktail 5 Nov 2013
2:59 am

Wow I _definitely_ have to try this as well. Gotta give a big thumbs up for your bourbon choice!

Lemon Drop Cocktail 6 Mar 2013
10:15 am

I can’t really say I liked this drink. Mediocre at its best. Then again, what can one expect from a drink with the ingredients as shown? I liked your presentation, though. Makes this clip worth watching.

How to Fat Wash a Spirit 2 Mar 2013
3:30 am

Okay as mentioned, here are my results! But first of all I would like to give a big hand to you. Now when I look at it, doing this kind of molecular mixing was actually much fun! 

One thing I have to mention, should I ever do this again. The bacon quality does matter, as many have mentioned here on the replies. I personally had to use MANY bacon strips and like Maxwell said, a bit clarified butter as well. The amount of bacon fat was rather minimal compared to yours. Also next time I would use the oven instead of a pan.

The rest of the process was easy peasy (straining/bottling etc.) Here’s the process:

http://kuvaton.com/k/YrLT.jpg (I hope the link works)

Now instead of your chocolate-cherry-Ramazotti version I made an Old Fashioned with it.

2 oz. bacon infused Bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
.25 oz Maple syrup
dash angostura bitters
slice of orange

(stir w/ ice and strain)

And avot, here it is!

http://postimage.org/image/kdufy417h/ (I hope this link works as well)

5/5! The cocktail was brilliant!

Thanks for the inspiration!

How to Make Fruit Purees 12 Nov 2013
12:55 am

Hey a quick question, what would you suggest how long do these purees last in the fridge? Given you have the lemon juice + sugar as “antiseptics”, are we talking about several days here up to…a few weeks?

Tasting Rant - How to Taste Cocktails 26 Feb 2013
12:32 am

Mr. Boudreau,

Out of curiosity, during your career, how many times have you decided to make the customer a new cocktail after first tasting it yourself and thinking “Oh wow I can’t server this, it tastes horrible!”

Aviation Cocktail 1 Mar 2013
12:52 am

@ Seth,

I would shake this too, since it contains fresh juice (of a lime).

I made this cocktail the other week, albeit using parfait amour (there is no way I can get my hands to creme de violette/yvette). Tasted very good, all of the ingredients could easily be spotted from this cocktail.

Champagne Cocktail 4 Mar 2013
7:14 am

Greetings Mr. Hess!

For ages now I’ve been wanting to make a “champagne cocktail”. I’ve read it from many sites/books and what-nots…and today I finally bought a two-set of champagne flutes (for good champagne cocktails, still craving for those 50’s saucers though!) for this occasion (and it’s my wife’s birthday soon so we’d be enjoying some cocktails then, too).

A couple of notes I made during my cocktail creation.

1) The angostura + sugar you showed. While I think this is a good trick to know especially with any tall glass (since managing to pour angostura so it hits the sugar cube from the bottom of the flute is hard) I managed to spill some angostura. Well obviously the cube needs to fill the whole bottle end from the bitters. Another reasons why I’m a supporter of the “napkin+cube” style.

2) Well indeed I used sparkling wine (brut), they come in handy 1 serving bottles so I didn’t have to buy a whole big bottle for one cocktail.

3) I added a tad < of 1 oz. of cognac before pouring the sparking wine. It seems this “maneuver” makes mine a “classic” champagne cocktail

And this is how it went down:


5/5 Mr. Hess, 5 out of 5. I especially liked the part where the sugar starts to dissolve whilst drinking making the cocktail sweeter to the end!