The bartender ... A cocktail of virtues and knowledge

The bartender and the origin of the word Cocktail

There are several versions of the origin of the word "cocktail", some of them are:

  1. The English term “cocktail”, from which our cocktail is derived, means “cocktail” in that language. Hence, the emblem of the cocktail bar is the tail of a rooster that shows all the colors of the rainbow.
  2. In many English taverns they mixed the rest of the liquor barrels (“cock-tailing”) and mixed them in a container, selling at a low price.

Definition of Cocktail

There are many definitions of "cocktail"; Among all of them, we prefer the one that Luigi Veronelli gives us: “A cocktail is a modified and frozen brandy”. This means that it is a brandy or distillate to which at least one product to "modify" it. Generally two or three products are added to modify the base brandy. This combination or mixture is frozen or chilled during its preparation.

Another definition: "The cocktail is a balanced mix of two or more drinks, which harmoniously dosed produce a different taste - new - and in which none of them stands out especially".

"A good cocktail, to deserve the name of such, must not only constitute a well-made combination of drinks, but also by its presentation, flavor and perfume, satisfy the palate and the spirit for which it was created."

Strictly it must be differentiated what is a drink Mixed drink from a cocktail. A mixed drink is a strong liquor (such as rum, gin, or vodka) combined with fruit juice. By this definition, the Screwdriver (Vodka with orange juice) is not a cocktail but a mixed drink. The cocktail is more elaborate, contains more ingredients and requires a greater degree of complexity in terms of preparation and presentation.


Although drinks similar to what we know today as cocktails date from the 1920th century, these became popular from the XNUMXs in the United States. Its popularity was due to the so-called dry law, when the production of alcohol, and the drinks that were obtained illegally were of doubtful quality and taste. Because of this, bartenders began mixing alcohol with juices and other beverages to improve (or mask) its flavor. Then the cocktail lost its popularity, especially outside the United States, and for a few years now, it re-emerged and became more popular than ever in all the countries of the world.

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Composition of a Cocktail

In accordance with the competition regulations of the International Bartenders Association, a cocktail cannot contain more than five products, including those used for decoration. It normally includes a base distillate, which is the preponderant element; two liqueurs to give color and sweeten it while lowering it; It can also have drops of lemon, bitters or some coloring and a fruit as decoration. In the case of long drinks, one of the elements is soda, soft drink or fruit juice. All of this is chilled in the shaker or mixing glass while preparing. In some cases ice chips are put in the glass in which it occurs.

Cocktails generally include three kinds of ingredients: An alcohol base, such as vodka, tequila, or whiskey. The main flavor is given by drinks such as vermouth, fruit juices or wine, and creams or eggs that modify the taste of the base. The third ingredient usually seeks to enhance the flavor of the base, and often adds color to the mix. The most common are grenadine or blue curacao among others. Finally, most cocktails have some type of decoration based on fruits or leaves (mint for example).

The normal content of a cocktail is three ounces (85 cl). Some cocktails, especially refreshing ones, can be 6 ounces or more. But in any case, the liquor content of a cocktail is 2 to 2‑1 / 2 ounces; this includes the base distillate plus liquors or wines used as a complement to "modify" the brandy. The ice that melts when you mix or shake, the drops or spurts of flavorings or flavorings and the fruit that is used as decoration, complete the 3 ounces of the cocktail. For long drinks, ice cubes and soda, soda, or juice make your drink 6, 8, or 10 ounces.

Cocktail Classification

Cocktails can be classified into three basic types: appetizers, long or refreshing drinks and digestives called pousse-café. Appetizers are generally dry.

The art of preparing a cocktail

  1. Always use good drinks.
  2. Adhere strictly to the formula and dosage indicated by its creator.
  3. By fulfilling this requirement, harmonic colors, pleasant aesthetic effects, and perfumes and flavors are obtained that fulfill the creator's purposes: to delight.
  4. Always use the glass or cup model that the creator of the formula indicates. Not only is it the right container, but it also has the exact capacity that must be drunk, according to the graduation of its different components.
  5. For the hobbyist. Ignore the criteria of friends or guests who always advise: "A splash of this or that, to change or improve the taste." Each formula is final and the product of the experience of its creator.
  6. Faithfully follow the accessory indications: refreshed, smoothie, etc., since they indicate, with the inclusion of ice, the temperature that the cocktail must have. Sometimes excess cold is produced by excess ice, which makes the cocktail runny.
  7. Don't use the same ice to make two different formulas. Ice should always be changed, and its pieces should not be larger than a walnut.
  8. Use a silver or white metal shaker, as well as mixing spoons and filters. Ordinary metal communicates its taste to alcoholic beverages and makes them unpleasant.
  9. In the mixtures, the indications must be followed to the letter, so that the different drinks, according to their respective densities, are placed in the order indicated in the formulas. This will obtain the desired results. Many times the hobbyist, relying on the mathematical axiom that the order of the factors does not alter the product, pours the liqueurs in a different order from that indicated in the formulas. This is a serious mistake in cocktails, since the drinks must be added according to the instructions. The densest in the foreground and the others in logical order. This is how beautiful decorative effects can be obtained, with the presentation of cocktails in which liquors of different densities are poured, superimposed.
  10. In cases where orange, lime or lemon peel is used, it is recommended that they be perfectly fresh, since otherwise they do not contain the juice that will transmit their perfume.
  11. Use the cocktail shaker indicated by each formula: Metal, when the cocktail needs to be shaken; glass, when it only needs to be stirred.
  12. Wash the shaker when preparing a different cocktail: The small leftover of a cocktail prevents achieving all the flavor of a different preparation.
  13. Strain the cocktail before serving: Unless otherwise indicated, strain the cocktail, removing impurities from the ingredients to improve the delight of the palate.
  14. Add ice to the whole cocktail: Except where otherwise indicated, add ice to all cocktails, since apart from refreshing the drinks, it softens the alcohol, fuses the liqueurs and enhances its aroma.
  15. Do not overcool the cocktail: When the amount of ice is excessive, the cocktail liquefies, lowers its graduation and loses flavor.
  16. Do not use the same ice in a different cocktail: The ice used in one cocktail acquires the flavor of this one and detracts from the bouquet in a different one.
  17. Make a good shake: The cocktail is shaken with energetic, uniform movements and always with the same intensity.
  18. Stir gently: Some beverages, because of their immense fusion, require only gentle stirring.
  19. Measure the drops: Some formulas indicate: ”4, 5 or 10, etc. drops…". To clarify the concept, it should be remembered that a small teaspoon of coffee holds approximately 5 to 10 drops.
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Barman's Decalogue

  1. The bartender is an artist and the cocktail bar an art that is nourished by spirit, flavor, aroma and color.
  2. The bartender's mission is to cheer, not to intoxicate.
  3. Make the customer a friend and not the friend a customer.
  4. Never offer a drink without a smile.
  5. Speak what is necessary, do not listen to what is foreign and forget the confidences of the friend.
  6. Be the cleanest, the most elegant, the friendliest, the finest, at all times and in all places.
  7. Don't cheat on your drinks or play with the confidence of your friends - always serve them the best.
  8. Be patient with those who help you at the bar, teach them your trade with love. Don't fool them.
  9. Lleva encendida la solidaridad professional y no permitas que nadie la quebrante.
  10. Feel the pride of being a Barman, but deserve it.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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