Advice on Perfecting your Craft

In todays day in age bartenders are proficient and highly skilled at making drinks. In order to be the best you have to know all different styles of cocktails and be up to speed on contemporary drink styles, flavors, and most importantly trends. A lot of elements factor into your skill level, and we're introducing you to five important keys. 
1. Educate yourself on the basics. 
Read books (Bartending 101, 1,000 recipes, etc.) and watch skill videos online. Youtube is your best friend. There are countless masters of mixology online giving away their tips and tricks for free. 
2. Bar-back before you bartend.
Knowing your bar is important. This teaches you to be fast, clean, and to stay organized. Learning liquors in the process is fundamental. 
3. Mis en place.
Depending on if you're in a dive bar atmosphere or 5-star restaurant, this may or may not apply to you. Organizing and arranging items that you expect to use during your shift for easy access saves endless amounts of time. Whether this is plating silverware to the side, or double stocking on items you know run fast, this step will make or break your speed. 
4. Learn to free pour AFTER you master your jigger.
Practice learning your 1/2oz to 4oz pours. You should also learn to bump pour. Knowing precise measurements and being able to eyeball them provides quality control and ensures each cocktail is made exactly the same, perfect every time.
5. Remember your regulars.
Always remember what your regular customers like to drink! It keeps them coming back, tipping larger each time. When customers come back and ask for you, managers notice the attention and the lasting impressions you leave with customers. This may help you in the long run. 

Drinks with Egg Whites

We know eggs in cocktails sounds weird, but wait! Egg white adds viscidity and texture to cocktails and drinks such as sours. Sours specifically taste their best when made properly with egg white! A way of use may be to add an attractive foamy head which can be produced by using a dry shake. Although appealing to the eye; beware of hazards. Raw eggs can be detrimental to your health if not properly handled so most people choose to use pasteurized egg whites.
Are you familiar with the smell that hard boiled eggs give off when freshly cracked? Nobody wants a fart smelling cocktail! An excellent bartending tip to hide unwanted aroma's are to mask them with other fresh elements. For example, egg can be masked with a dash of bitters dropped into the foamy head. Another way to express a more appealing smell to the cocktail is with citrus zest oils. By cutting a twist of lemon or lime over the drink you open up more engaging scents for your sensory as well as provide a more visual appeal for the glass. 
When Too Much is Too Much
Too much egg white in a cocktail is unhealthy and hazardous to your health. From a medium sized egg only half of the white is necessary. 15Ml/0.5Oz is plethora. Consider using an egg separator which is a tool that separates and retains the yolk for you. This helps avoid contamination of leftover shell pieces floating in your drink. It also helps to dry shake your egg whites before use to slightly loosen them and administer a foam effect.

Liquor vs. Liqueur

Most of the alcoholic beverages you find behind a bar are distilled spirits like vodkas, tequilas, and whiskey. Then you have the flavored liqueurs. As you begin to navigate your way through exploring cocktails you'll be introduced to many spirits that are essential for any well stocked bar. Liquors are any alcoholic beverage that has been distilled. This just means that it has gone through the process of distillation from either wine, a fermented fruit, plant, or starchy material. (If you'd like to get technical, yeast + sugar = alcohol + C02. Liquid made of two or more parts is separated into smaller parts by adding and subtracting heat from the mixture.) With this in consideration-vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, etc. are considered liquor and base spirits. On the contrary, liqueurs are sweetened distilled spirits. They're a subcategory of liquors, and respectably where many cocktails get their signature flavors from. They come in various different flavors, almost every one imaginable! Sour, sweet, spiced.. we could go on forever. Something to remember: All liqueurs are a type of liquor, but not all liquors are liqueurs. 

History of Blue Curacao

If you've ever been on a beachy vacation then most likely you've seen an assortment of blue colored drinks either with umbrellas or tropical fruits not too far from the rim. What makes blue curacao so popular? Aside from the famous vibrant color, ironically it's an orange liqueur. The Latin name translated means "golden orange of curacao" but it also goes by the Spanish nickname "crème de ciel" (cream of heaven). In 1527 the Spanish brought Valencia Orange seeds to Curacao, which is a small Caribbean island next to Aruba. The Valencia orange descended to the Laraha orange which eventually migrated back to the Iberian Peninsula where people experimented more with the bitter fruit. The people found out that the oil extracted from the crushed peel smelled good, and by the late 1500's a distillery was opened to develop liqueur from the Laraha peel. By 1634 the Dutch took over curacao and started developing a pipeline to spices for the bitter orange, and in 1896 a Jewish family took over the company where they remain the only facility that produces genuine blue curacao liqueur. Senior & Co. are currently located in Willemstad. Other companies of course exist, but none use the Laraha orange. 
How Blue Curacao Is Made
The Laraha Orange peel is submerged in water and alcohol to soak for several days before the peel is removed. Spices like sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves are added. The peels are placed in a gunny bag with spices to be heated in a 120-year-old copper still for 3 days. After cooling, water is added and distilled for 3 days. For a blue hue, E133 Brilliant Blue food colorant is added. The original drink however was colored blue with the Butterfly Pea Flower.