All of the posts on this blog fall into one of two main categories: cocktail recipes; and everything else. For ease of site navigation, I have arranged the menu system at the top of every page accordingly. The bottom line contains links to cocktail recipes. The top line contains links to everything else.
I expect that many people will be primarily interested in the cocktail recipes. But it is the other posts which are the real heart of A Cocktail Education. These are the posts which explain why cocktails are made in a certain way. They explain the philosophy and essential nature of cocktails. They provide the knowledge of ingredients and techniques which underpin this subject. These are then applied in the individual cocktail recipes.
There are several different methods for organizing and indexing cocktails. In most cocktail books they are grouped by the spirit type they are based on. On cocktail menus they are often divided into the Classic cocktails you’ve heard of before like a Tom Collins or a Cosmopolitan, and the House cocktails which are specialities of the bar in question. Very occasionally you even see cocktails organised by epoch of creation.
Rather than choose one single index scheme I’ve gone for three. I organize each and every cocktail by Taste Profile, by Status and by Spirit Group. You’ll find the drop down menus for each of these groups on the bottom line of the main menu at the top of each page.
For example, the Mojito can be found in: Light and Refreshing Cocktails; Classic Cocktails; and Rum based Cocktails.
The spirit based grouping is pretty straightforward. If a cocktail’s primary spirit is rum, you’ll find it in the rum based cocktail section. It comes in handy when you’ve got a bottle of rum and you’re looking for inspiration for what to do with it.
The status based grouping is pretty straightforward too. Almost every cocktail you’ve ever heard of will be a Classic – which is likely why you’ve heard of it. But there are plenty of other great cocktails I’ve encountered over time which have yet to attain that status. These I refer to as House cocktails. Finally, there are My Creations – my personal contributions to the cocktail world.
The grouping of cocktails based on similarities in their taste is a less common method. However, it is integral to my method of training bartenders and teaching this art form. For every cocktail I explain the taste profile which defines it, and group cocktails together in this way. The Axes of Taste post provides your entry point into this way of thinking.
The top line of the menu bar provides links to posts on all of the other topics covered in this blog. The Cocktail Ingredients sections provides a more in depth look into the various spirits, liqueurs, fruits, juices and other ingredients we might use to make cocktails. While the Tales from the Bar section contains anecdotes and stories to add depth and wit.
But the heart of A Cocktail Education are the twinned sections on Cocktail Theory and Philosophy and Bar Techniques and Practicalities. The knowledge contained in these sections is what it’s all about. If you are in any way serious about learning how to make cocktails then this is where you should begin. The knowledge contained within these sections can then be applied to individual cocktail recipes for very tasty results.
Please note that while I intend this blog to grow into an all encompassing resource of cocktail knowledge, this will take time. If you can’t find a particular recipe at this time, then in all likelyhood I just haven’t got around to writing it up yet. Please check back later.