Friday, June 25, 2010
July 2010 Activity -- Bartending
"Cocktail Creations": A Hands-On Amateur Bartending Class
Bartender of America Bartending School
9651 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
The Bartender of America Bartending School is on Baltimore Avenue. A fact that was drilled into my brain as I was driving there with Dilettante Amy and we had the following Rain Man/Who's on First discussion:
Amy: What is the address of the place?
Me: Baltimore Avenue
Amy: Right, but what is the street address?
Me: Baltimore Avenue
Amy: (to her credit, very patiently) The street address.
Me: (emphatically) Baltimore Avenue!
Amy: (resignedly) Is there a building number on Baltimore Avenue?
Me: (sheepishly) Oh...9651
Dilettante Amanda was smart and just met us there. She came from a baby shower that had been held at a home with no air conditioning. On a day that the temperature reached almost 115 degrees. Holy boob sweat, Batman.
The Dilettantes made up the majority of this one hour class that focused on how to properly mix and serve different types of martinis. Our classroom was set up to look like a commercial bar with glassware, cocktail shakers, garnishes and even a soda gun at each station. And although the alcohol bottles lined up on the shelves behind us were real, they were all filled with colored water.
For the most part, we used the correct bottles of alcohol for whatever cocktail we were mixing (for a dash of realism), though, occasionally, we amused ourselves by putting together the grossest combination of booze we could think of (Dilettante Amanda's jagermeister and creme de menthe creation with a cocktail onion and cherry garnish comes to mind).
We went through exercises of counting out the proper pour and then measuring our results to see how accurate we were (a two-count is about half an ounce), practiced using a shaker, a strainer and making cocktails straight up or on the rocks, and then adding the proper garnish and setting the finished cocktail on the bar in front of us. As with anything, the pros make this look so much easier than it is. We had early visions of coming away being able to do Tom Cruise's "Cocktail" moves and realized quickly that we'd be lucky to count the pour without moving our lips.
We then spent the rest of the class focused on the valuable bartending skill of interpreting slur.
At the end of the hour, our almost impossibly good looking and very fun instructor, Mia, gave us a copy of the cocktail recipes we had practiced and tried to sell us a bunch of barware.
We followed up with lunch at the Hard Times Cafe in College Park. Unadventurously, drinking only beer.
By the way, during the entire class, we were being photographed and videotaped for the Bartender of America web site. Let us know if you see us there.