As a journalist I‘m no stranger to the strange and bizarre, and I confess I heard the story many times over the years, but always put it down to urban myth, or the fanciful ravings of drunken bartenders. The fact that it persisted always intrigued me. So I started digging, more as a hobby at first, and many times I got excited only to have … Continue reading I Was There: The Night Someone Tipped
Bars are sensory places — the sound of the crowd, the taste of great cocktails, the smell of wood, leather, perhaps a smoking fire. But do you actually need all five senses to enjoy them? That’s the question that gripped me after four cocktails and three successive Jägermeisters. I asked myself, could you perhaps enjoy them more by ridding yourself of one, or even, all … Continue reading Drunk Experiments 2: Sensory Deprivation in a Cocktail Bar
I’ve been asked many times what the similarities and differences are between New Zealand bartenders and their counterparts in the USA. And it is a very good question. The similarity is that both make drinks. The difference is that US bartenders subscribe to the theory that the customer is always right, whereas in New Zealand they’re rarely under that illusion. So in the spirit of fostering … Continue reading Bar Wars: USA Vs NZ
These days it seems every rapper feels an all-consuming need to associate themselves with an alcohol brand. From vodka, to tequila, rum and cognac there is literally no booze they won’t whore, I mean endorse. So, in no particular order here are seven reasons they should reconsider that desperate marketing urge. 1) Claiming responsibility for creating it This is about as believable as a … Continue reading 7 Reasons Why Rappers Shouldn’t Pimp Drinks Brands
1) Queenstown has an official drink. That drink is Jägermeister. 2) The worst crime is throwing up in another bar’s wood bin. 3) The correct vessel for a cocktail is in fact a luke warm teapot. 4) The correct ratio of drinks consumed vs drinks payed for is approximately ten to one. 5) If you think 4.30am is a late finish you obviously didn’t work … Continue reading Fifteen Things You Only Know If you Worked bar in Queenstown
There are many hangovers on the market, ranging in strength and complexity from ‘just grab a couple of paracetamol’ to ‘might actually have given myself a disease’. But with all this choice, which one to choose? To find out we conducted the following controlled hangover trials; drink nothing but the singular type of alcohol in question, achieve a level of drunkenness where you would happily hump … Continue reading Drunk Experiments 1: Hangovers: We Road-Test Them.
Some products are irretrievably, unapologetically romantic; a smokey, single malt Scotch, a cold glass of crisp Champagne, a golden brown Cognac warming in the palm of your hand. Just like champagne cries out for a toast, or Scotch an impromptu Robbie Burns reading, Cognac demands something from you too; a moments pause, a little stillness in your world, a little reflection as you stare into … Continue reading Liquid Sophistication – An ode to Cognac
As a bartender I am no stranger to giving advice. At last count there were at least eight weddings, three divorces, two children born out of wedlock, five children born in wedlock and four very happy same sex marriages as a direct result of advice from your’s truly. So when I saw eharmony’s article this week on reasons to date a bartender I was of … Continue reading 15 Reasons NOT to date a bartender
Society has zenith points; cultural high water marks which stand as testaments to our achievements as a species; the building of Notre Dame, the abolition of slavery, the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. Then there is the flip side, our dark underbelly of cultural shame; the fall of the Roman Empire, the Spanish inquisition, X Factor. This is just as true in the … Continue reading Blue drinks – why they must be stopped before it’s too late.
As a lifelong bartender I’m constantly asked for recommendations on where to drink in different situations; from mates over from Australia for the week, to upcoming Christmas parties. The question I am of course most often asked is; where to drink in London in the event of a major zombie apocalypse? And in fact, is it even possible to combine fine cocktails and ambience … Continue reading Where to drink in London in the event of a Zombie apocalypse?