Wine, Beer & Spirits

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Whiskey & Spirits For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Enterprising drink-makers have been distilling alcohols from myriad sources for centuries. Although some of the laws, ingredients, and technology have changed, the process of distilling alcohol into whiskey [more…]

California's Main Varietal Wines

You can probably find more than a dozen distinct types of varietal wine from California if you scour the shelves of a good wine shop. A handful of wines are by far the most popular, most widely available [more…]

Texture and Flavors of California Wines

A driving force behind the popularity of California wine is their flavor. Generally, California wines are very fruity (that is, they have aromas and flavors that suggest fruits) and very flavorful [more…]

Major California Wine Regions and Their Specialties

Here's a quick look at the major California wine regions and their specialties. California wine country is gorgeous and welcomes more and more visitors each year: [more…]

California Wine For Dummies Cheat Sheet

What is it that makes California wine so special? Wines from California constituted almost 60 percent of all wine sales in the United States and 90 percent of all U.S. exports, according to 2012 statistics [more…]

Classic Cocktail Recipes That Are Great for All Occasions

The cocktail recipes listed here are classics for a reason: They taste good. Whether you’re a professional bartender or just someone who likes to throw cocktail parties at home, you should know how to [more…]

Necessary Supplies for Your Bar

Bartending, even at home, requires lots of supplies, mixers, and garnishes. In addition to beer, wine, liquors, and liqueurs, a decent home bar should have the following supplies if you plan on serving [more…]

A Basic Bar Setup for a Limited Budget

Setting up a home bar can become quite costly. The variety of liquors available today is mind-boggling. How do you pare down your shopping list to the essentials? Some bartenders may scoff at the idea [more…]

Bartending For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Good bartenders pride themselves on being knowledgeable about cocktail recipes and proficient in the art of properly serving their guests and patrons. With a healthy repertoire of popular mixed drink recipes [more…]

Identifying Gluten-Free Alcohols

The gluten-free movement is gaining momentum as more people are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance or simply choose to avoid consuming gluten. But many people who are following a gluten-free [more…]

Checking Out the Origins of Classic Cocktail Names

Cocktail names seem to get more creative every year. But back in the cocktail’s heyday, drinks were often just named after the person who concocted them or the place where they were invented. What follows [more…]

10 Drinks to Try and 10 Drinks to Skip

Cocktails can fall into two categories. Some are strange and delightful; a few are strange and, honestly, awful. But cocktails get invented and catch on even though they offend the palates of most people [more…]

Bartending Glassware Tips

People generally expect bartenders to serve certain drinks in certain kinds of glasses. The problem is that there are more standard bar glasses than most people [more…]

Bartending Basics: How to Shake a Drink

As a bartender, you will probably be asked at some point to shake a drink. The main reasons for shaking drinks are to chill a cocktail, to mix ingredients, or to put a [more…]

Bartending Basics: How to Cut Fruit for Garnishes

Many drinks require fruit garnishes. Your guests expect the garnish, so you can't forgo it, and you have to do it well. Presentation counts, big time. You may mix the best drinks on the planet, but if [more…]

Bartending Basics: How to Flame an Orange Peel

Flaming the oil of an orange peel enhances the orange flavor in a cocktail, especially one made with Lillet, an orange-based aperitif. After this technique was introduced to bartenders in New York City [more…]

How to Open Wine and Champagne Bottles

Opening wine and champagne bottles doesn't take much skill — just a little practice, but any bartender should know how. And the more you practice, the more wine or champagne you have to drink. Score! [more…]

How to Set Up a Home Bar

Here are some pointers on how to set up your home bar. Whether you are serving guests in your home for a cocktail party, or setting up a bar for wedding guests, these tips will help keep it running smoothly [more…]

What You Need to Stock Your Home Bar

When setting up your home bar, always use popular name brands. These brands aren't always the most expensive, but they tend to be the most recognizable and your guests will get a quality product. [more…]

Serving and Calorie Measurements Bartenders Should Know

Regardless of what you are serving at your event, bartenders should make themselves familiar with some common measurements and serving sizes. Being prepared with this knowledge will make you more prepared [more…]

Bartending Basics: What is Proof and Distillation?

When you read about the production of alcoholic beverages, you see terms like proof and distillation thrown around. Proof is the strength of an alcoholic beverage. In the United States, the scale is 200 [more…]

What Bartenders Should Know about Bourbon

Bourbon is the best-known and probably the most popular whiskey produced in the United States. It has an amber color and a slightly sweet flavor. By law, straight bourbon must be made from at least 51 [more…]

What Bartenders Should Know about Rye Whiskey

Distilled at no more than 160 proof, rye whiskey is a fermented mash or grain containing at least 51 percent rye. It's matured in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Rye has a strong, distinctive [more…]

What Bartenders Should Know about Canadian Whisky

Canadian whisky (spelled without the e) is a blend of aged grain whisky and heavier-flavored blended whiskies; it's aged in oak casks (usually white oak barrels) for a minimum of three years. No rules [more…]

What Bartenders Should Know about Aperitifs

Aperitif comes from the Latin word aperire,meaning “to open.” An aperitif is usually any type of drink a bartender would serve before a meal. Most aperitifs are usually low in alcohol and mild-tasting. [more…]

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