If we’re all going to become amateur mixologists in 2020 we’re going to need to work on our shop talk. Want your next party or virtual happy hour to go to the next level? We’ve got some cocktail FAQS to nerd out to. These facts are guaranteed to make you smarter and more interesting. (Well, we can’t actually guarantee that, but your odds are good.) Learn up and start the bar-side conversation off on the right foot.
Decanters make your whiskey look lovely, but it can make it go bad more quickly
Whiskey exposed to open air will start to decline in quality. An open bottle can last from 6 months to 2 years, but it will likely become unpleasant to drink before it goes entirely bad. Decanters actually speed up this process because there is less protection from the air.
Absinthe doesn’t actually make you hallucinate
To quote our friends at Lawrenceville Distilling Company (a great name in absinthe) – “Sorry to rain on your parade, but it does not. It is now understood that the pre-ban health issues associated with absinthe (hallucinations, madness, etc.) were attributed to alcohol poisoning, and the lack of regulation in production to turn out cheap variations with harmful substitutes.”
When should you light a drink on fire? No, really.
The pyrotechnic effects you see bartenders employ on some cocktails actually serves a purpose. Lighting garnishes on fire (which is what they’re doing most of the time) helps release more flavor into the drink and can change the natural flavor of the ingredient.
Don’t serve your drinks out of plastic cups… know your drinkware!
In cocktail making glasses serve a very particular purpose. For example, highball glasses and Champagne flutes funnel the bubbles in drinks to the top. This makes those fizzy drinks tasty and keeps them from going flat. Conversely, the wide opening on a lowball glass allows aromas in liquor to open up, which is why they’re useful for whiskey and other aromatic drinks.
Bitter is more than just an emotion.
You might have noticed your favorite cocktails include bitters, but you probably don’t know what that actually means. Bitters are liquids (usually neutral spirits) infused with aromatics like spices, herbs, fruits and even barks. Our friends at Quantum Spirits have a tasty collection you should check out.