Apr 30, 2012

Speech Writing & Mixology

I was working with a student this week to help him improve his writing. He and I wrote from speech prompts to strengthen his ability to write off the cuff.  He wrote a speech about being in a drumline, I wrote a speech about making a drink. Let me know what you think!

As a bartender, I've been trained to make drinks. Any bartender will tell you that making drinks is easy, you simply follow the specific steps and serve the beverage to the customer. A gin and tonic, for example: fill a collins glass with ice, pour in two ounces of gin, fill the rest of the glass with tonic water. Put a lime garnish on the rim. simple. However, the showmanship, presentation and service are what truly make a great cocktail.

I like to make martinis. It's a simple drink that has become synonymous with high class and good taste. Even though its origin is disputed, most historians agree the Prohibition Era is the reason the drink became so popular. During the 1920s the illegal manufacturing of gin was so popular that gin-based drinks were the choice of most underground bars. The simplicity of the beverage only added to its fame and I think James Bond did the rest when he first asked for one "shaken, not stirred."

Making the drink is not difficult. You start with a shaker filled half way with ice. Then, you add an ounce and a half of gin and a half ounce to an ounce of dry vermouth. Here's where the service comes in. Double check with your customer because people like varying degrees of vermouth in their martini. The less vermouth, the "dryer" the martini. Next, cap the shaker and shake (or stir) it up! You want to be able to feel  some of the chill of the ice through the shaker. Then, you pour the mixed concoction into a martini glass. I like to drop the necessary olives in the bottom of the martini glass prior to the pour so that the drink fills up around the garnish. I feel doing that adds to the level of showmanship. I also move the shaker up and down and in a circular motion as I pour to give the sense of an "even pour."

That is how I make a martini to not only create the drink for the customer, but to also make a demonstration of its creation which adds to the overall presentation of the drink.

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