A Taste for Drink

200ATFD cover ebookTitle: A Taste for Drink
Release Date: November 28, 2013
Contributors: Ed Walker
Genre: ,
Pages: 221

This is a non-fiction bartending book written under another name.

Become the bartender everyone wants at their event.

Do you know why certain drinks taste good?

Do you want to know how to make something amazing for yourself and your friends with whatever is at hand?

Then this is your book.

Learn how to become a knowledgeable taster.

The purpose of A Taste For Drink is to inspire your own beverage creativity not force you to march in lock step with a specific set of recipes.

This volume provides you with the tools to make creative decisions rather than simply provide overused templates and recipes identical to a thousand other books that have gone before.

A Taste For Drink will quickly become an important adjunct to your arsenal of knowledge. Chock full of tasting technique this book will educate you in how flavors combine and affect your tastebuds.

  • Learn the proper way to examine and judge your drink.
  • Learn what makes a good drink good.
  • Learn why you mix in certain proportions.
  • Learn what flavors enhance or complement each other
  • Learn how to make flavored syrups to use for coffee, desserts, or alcohol.
  • Learn to create your own custom alcohol flavors by flavoring base alcohols.
  • Learn mixing techniques of professionals.
  • And so much more.

A Taste for Drink will quickly become the one source of information that you use to mine your other books for recipes and then deconstruct them to make new and exciting concoctions.

Following the advice of an expert on 'mixing on the fly' you will learn to identify flavors that complement or counteract each other. You will learn the art of mindful tasting and begin your journey to becoming the Bartender you always wanted to be.

Bartenders, home experimenters, and anyone who always wanted to understand why they like the drinks they like will receive benefits from this book.

This isn't a book for posh wine tasters, it's for the hard (or casual) drinker, the cocktail aficionado, the man or woman who wants to make and drink the tastiest beverages on earth.

Some of the topics covered in this book:

  • Beverage History
  • Tasting Glassware
  • Cleansing the Palate
  • Training Your Taste Buds
  • How Flavors Combine
  • Balancing Dominance of Flavors
  • What is Proof
  • Alcohol Intensity
  • Quality - Cheap vs. Expensive
  • Base Alcohols
  • Liqueurs
  • Flavor pairings
  • Flavored Syrups
  • Mixed Drinks
  • Proportion Control
  • Mixing Technique
  • Bar Glassware
  • The Value of Bar Recipe Guides
  • Mixed drink families
  • Mixed Drink Recipes
  • Homemade Flavors
  • Flavored Alcohols
  • Fresh vs Dried vs Frozen
  • Making Flavored Alcohol
  • Sanitize
  • Cordials
  • Simple Syrup
  • Ageing

Belly up to the Bar

Don’t worry, you haven’t picked up a tome dedicated to sobriety and warning you away from the evils of ‘demon rum’. Some people look upon alcoholic beverages as an evil on par with the worst imaginings of the Biblical Armageddon. Pshaw!

Alcohol is an ancient beverage that has been part of man’s civilization for as long as recorded history. It relaxes us, brings us joy and provides a lubricant for social interaction that is unparalleled. True, it can be misused, but then again so can an automobile but we’re not giving those up anytime soon.

Once upon a time I joined a trio of other young men who loved to mix drinks and share our concoctions with all those around us. Our skills became such that people in our social circles actively sought us out. Parties where we tended bar often produced a stream of inebriated bodies and large gaps in people’s memories. Partygoers called us the Four Bartenders of the Apocalypse.

The Bartenders each had their specialty:

  • One made a singular beverage that was like chocolate sex in a bottle.
  • The second made potent beverages that would make strong men gasp.
  • The third could duplicate the flavor of any known non-alcoholic beverage you could name using high proof ingredients.
  • I, as the fourth, had the ability to take any materials available and turn them into unique, tasty beverages.

This book is written to help you learn to create drinks through the understanding of how tastes combine and become a mixologist known and respected by all who sample your wares.

In my misspent youth, I tried my hand as a bartender in clubs but I quickly realized that there was no real economic security there and instead followed a different career path. That however didn’t mean I’d lost my love of mixing and the lure of the stage that is the bar. Instead I channeled my energies into mixing drinks and creating my own flavored spirits for my personal enjoyment and that of my friends and guests.

Large events or parties are my meat and potatoes. I'm given a chance to get behind a bar again and just entertain rather than worrying about pouring to keep sales flowing.  It is this type of environment that is conducive to experimentation and creativity.

Let me clear one thing up before proceeding too far. There are two terms in common usage to describe persons who create drinks: bartender and mixologist. I use these terms somewhat interchangeably in this book but they really are two different things – to some people. One person will tell you that a mixologist is just a bartender who wants to inflate their job description much like custodial engineer is just a fancy name for janitor. Others, myself included, will tell you that bartenders are people who pour drinks for pay and are knowledgeable in many recipes and bar showmanship. Mixologists normally do not perform their art for pay. This term describes the home dabbler who wants to try different tastes and experiment regardless of an audience.

I rarely tend bar for pay these days so I now lump myself into the category of mixologist. Use the term that makes you most happy, but keep in mind when at your favorite watering hole, if your bartender prefers one over the other; use the right one if you want to continue getting great drinks.

The most basic question to get us started is: why do we drink?

Humans drink for many reasons but central to all of them is pleasure. The goal of any mixing endeavor is to create something to imbibe that will cause you and your drinking companions to smile in pleasure and reminisce about the experience when a trigger scent or taste occurs at a later time.

Most drink related books provide tried and true concoctions to memorize and serve. That's all well and good if you just want to be another run of the mill barkeep but what about the person who wants to be the bartender? How do you get to the point of being acknowledged as Lord of the Libation, King of the Concoction?  To get there you need to be original; and practice, practice, practice.

Anyone can make a Screwdriver or, by flipping to the right page in a book, make a Zombie but not many people can just step behind a bar, look at what is available and create original, tasty drinks that keep people coming back for refills and talking about them after the event is over.

 

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