Cocktail Implements

Feeling Bitter about Christmas?

Bitterness is only a click away this Christmas.

Only Bitters is an Australian based website specialising in the little bottles that add the finish to so many a fine cocktail.

Many of the brands mentioned in recipes from around the world are only found with web search and a long wait. JD down in Melbourne decided that wasn’t good enough for the budding mixology movement that is happening down here, downunder.

There are currently 125 varieties on the site, and more to come.

While that’s far too many for most, there’s no denying the uplifting effects that a few drops can have on your favourite spirit or cocktail.

If you’ve never progressed much beyond Angostura, do yourself a favour and add a few drops of Brooklyn Hemispherical Sriracha Bitters to your next Bloody Mary, discover the chocolatey goodness lurking in tequila with Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters and pimp your summer Collins with Dr Adam Elmegirab’‰s Dandelion and Burdock Bitters.
Plus it’s the perfect stocking filler for anyone with a bent for booze.

Cocktail Implements

Bar on Wheels

Anyone who has placed at a World Class event will be well aware of the quality and prestige that come with wrapping your hands around the straps of one of Jim Meehan’s cocktail bags.

It was with some interest that I clicked on a link (more pics on this link) shared by Angus Winchester with a new project between Meehan and Moore and Giles leathers. A luxury tailgater in every aspect, this wooden trailer was put together for Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids and is quite frankly, a doozy.
Should you just have to have it, the woody will be auctioned in December in conjunction with World Aids day.


Cocktail Implements, The Glorious Recipe

Mr Meehans Opus

Proof that the Amazon bookstore is wrong. The PDT Cocktail book has been published and is alive and well on the streets of New York.

I was lucky enough to taste some of Jim’s drinks at Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand and listen to him present. Both the drinks and his chat were top notch, the man, and his bar have a unique approach to thinking about and making drinks. Always playful, always interesting, always delicious.

If you’re not standing next to Jim taking this photo like Jacob Briars was, you’ll have to order from Amazon and wait for the 1st of November, like the rest of us. At a list price of $25 US, you’d be mad not to take advantge of the economic meltdown and subsequent strength of the Australian dollar to pick your self up a copy.

Now you know what to buy me for Christmas.

Cocktail Implements, Spirit

Tropical Foam

There were days when fine foamy drink required a team of dedicated shakers to achieve an fluffy and long lasting consistency.

Fast forward to the advent of molecular gastronmy and the closing of proximity between bar and kitchen, quickly nitrous creamers came to the fore, charging emulsions that could be floated across the surface of a drink, quite literally adding a new layer of enjoyment to your tasty beverage.

And now, we stand on the welcome mat of a brave new world, with the launch of Bols Foam.

The delicate addition of fats and complex sugars to the existing Bols range, coupled with a nifty squirty nozzle, possibly lifted from the foaming facial cleanser industry, and you have a shelf stable alternative to tropical up your drinks, foam style.

The boffins from Bols go some way in explaining it in this video:

No word as yet on availability in the Antipodes, but the Bols site is showing Cassis, Blue, Banana, Amaretto, White Cacao & Peppermint.

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The earliest cocktail publication from New Zealand

Great little share over the weekend from BH Simpson over at Smoke & Oakum Gunpowder Rum. This little pamphlet was produced by Maling & Co in Christchurch, New Zealand, that’s Maling’s above in the picture, as it looked around the start of the 1960s. The Company began in 1907 and went out of business some time in the late sixities.

The pamphlet itself was printed at Somerset Print, a family owned print business that started in 1955 and even after the earthquake, is still in business today. I’d say from the graphics on the pamphlet, that this was a job from the first few years of doing business.

Still pretty light on the details, but this might be the earliest kiwi cocktail book. I’d certainly be interested in anyone able to shed some more light, or prove me wrong with an older item.

The embed below keeps giving me trouble, so if it’s not displaying, you can view it here.

Cocktail Implements, Spirit

The Bitter Truth

Expect more variety on the Bitter front in Australia. Red Dog in Melbourne are importing the Bitter Truth range. Hit them up on to secure a row of little bottle for your bar. Off licence sales are only available in Melbourne, so stock up if you’re down that way, and pick me up a bottle of Jerry Thomas’s Own.

They’re also bringing in the liqueur range, with Creme de Violette, Apricot Brandy and Pimento Dram opening up a whole stack of old timey recipes. The Elixier is also worth a look, particularly to lovers of the Amaro.

At home, Cocktail Implements

Objects of Desire

You can’t drink it, go there, or even buy it in Australia yet. That said, i think this Cocktail Set I saw on Luxist deserves a spot on this blog. 

The Cylinda line of Barware was designed by Arne Jacobsen (of egg chair fame) in the 1960’s and it’s just been given an surface update by Paul Smith. Three piece shakers aren’t generally the ones I gravitate towards, but I just adore the martini mixing jug. Perfect when you have a crowd over and need to stir up drinks for ten, or perhaps just have a slightly lazy evening in-front of some television.

They’re being produced by Stelton, and if you’re a Sydneysider, your best bet for owning these would come from from making contact with their reseller.

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Sven Almenning and his Cocktail Shakers

Sven is a bit of a local legend, running behind bars, and for his work with Diageo’s award winning Alchemy training program. The video offers what can be best described, really, as cocktail porn.

Great collection, and I love the glassware he’s got to go with it.