by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal

by David Klemt

Código 1530 Mezcal bottle

Move over tequila, rum and gin, because this year the drink of the summer is something different.

Summer 2022 is the Summer of Mezcal.

Traditionally, sure, we’re led to believe that lighter spirits (white rum, gin) are best for the hotter months. Of course, dark rum is another route people often take during the summer.

However, mezcal is on fire at the moment. In fact, it has been for the past few years now. So, why not feature it on your summer drink menu?

Mezcal adds depth and complexity to classic cocktails, engaging guests by offering new flavors. And, of course, mezcal is also a fantastic starting point for modern drinks.

Below you’ll find six summer mezcal recipes from Collin De Laval, company mixologist for Código 1530. He turned his attention to Código 1530 Mezcal Artesanal for the Summer of Mezcal.

To learn more about Código 1530 and De Laval, check out Bar Hacks episode 57. Cheers!

Código 1530 La Palomita

La Palomita

  • 1.5 oz Código 1530 Mezcal Artesanal
  • 0.75 oz Lime juice (fresh, of course)
  • 0.25 oz Aperol
  • 4 oz Yuzu-lime soda
  • 0.25 oz Simple syrup
  • Lime wheel or wedge to garnish

Prepare a cocktail glass with fresh ice. In a shaker, combine Código 1530 Mezcal, lime, Aperol and simple syrup. Shake well, pour into cocktail glass, top with yuzu-lime soda, and garnish with lime wheel or wedge.

Código 1530 Tropicana


Combine all ingredients in a shaker and prepare a cocktail glass with fresh ice. Shake vigorously, pour, and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Código 1530 Mezcal Margarita

Mezcal Margarita

Prepare a cocktail or Margarita glass with fresh ice, then combine all ingredients in a shaker (also with ice). Shake, pour, and garnish with a lime.

Código 1530 Mezcal Ranch Water

Mezcal Ranch Water

Combine Código 1530 Mezcal, lime juice, and agave nectar in a cocktail or highball glass with ice, top with soda water, and stir.

Código 1530 Mango Mezcal Paloma

Mango Mezcal Paloma

In a shaker with ice, combine Código 1530 Mezcal and all three juices. Shake vigorously, strain into a highball glass with fresh ice, top with soda water, and garnish with grapefruit peel.

Código 1530 Mezcal Espresso Martini

Mezcal Espresso Martini

If you own, operate or are on the leadership team at a bar—or if you’re a bartender or server—you know the Espresso Martini has once again found itself having a moment. So, while you’re building out your summer mezcal menu, don’t forget this trendy drink.

Add all the liquid ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour into a Martini glass (consider preparing by chilling if you don’t already) and garnish with coffee beans.

Images courtesy of Código 1530

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: June 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: June 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and June is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For last month’s list, click here.

June 4: National Bubbly Day

Fine, so maybe sparkling wines aren’t weird. Sometimes I just add holidays that have the potential to be fun while driving traffic and revenue to these lists.

As I’m sure you’re already guessing, National Bubbly Day is the perfect time to make your guests aware of your sparkling wines. Bubbly is even more attractive to guests as temperatures rise.

June 5: National Veggie Burger Day

There’s no question that plant-based food items are only growing more popular with consumers. This is the day to showcase your veggie burgers and other meat and dairy alternatives.

June 10: National Herbs and Spices Day

Without herbs and spices, where would F&B be? Task your kitchen and bar teams with creating dishes and drinks that are made better with herbs and spices. Tell your bartenders to break out the torches and light the rosemary!

June 13: International Axe Throwing Day

If you’re an eatertainment venue, bar, or restaurant with an axe-throwing setup, this is one-hundred-percent your day to shine.

June 14: International Bath Day

There are a few different ways to design a promotion around this holiday. One, you can feature distillers who specifically produce gin expressions labeled “Bathtub Gin.” Ableforth’s, for example, is one such producer. Two, you can purchase bathtub-shaped drinkware. Three, you can combine the first two for an LTO pour.

June 16: National Dump The Pump Day

It’s not exactly a secret that gas prices are rising across the nation. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be too difficult to encourage your guests to arrive at your business by bicycle, scooter, skateboard, foot, electric car, or other means of conveyance that doesn’t use gasoline or diesel for fuel.

June 20: American Eagle Day

Interested in a holiday that requires very specific planning? Try American Eagle Day.

One way to celebrate is to design a promotion around award-winning Eagle Rare bourbon. And no, they didn’t pay us to mention them. They just make really good whiskey that works great for this holiday.

June 25: National Leon Day

There’s an entire contingent of people who simply can’t wait for Christmas to come around each year. In fact, they don’t think it’s fair that they only get to celebrate it once a year.

National Leon Day is celebrated every June 25th because it’s the midway point to Christmas. So, forget Christmas in July—celebrate Christmas in June with your guests and specialty LTO menus.

June 29: National Waffle Iron Day

Your guests may be surprised to learn the number of foods that can be waffled. Create an LTO menu that showcases how creative your kitchen team can get with waffle irons. For bonus points, include your bar team with waffled garnishes.

June 30: National Social Media Day

I suppose it was only a matter of time from social media reaching ubiquity to this form of media having its own holiday. Mashable launched the first National Social Media Day in 2010.

Create post-worthy F&B items, come up with your own hashtags, and ask your guests to post pics using those tags to promote your business.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: April 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: April 2022

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s engaging and informative book selections will help you develop next-level culinary, beverage and marketing skills throughout 2022.

To review February’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef

This book is scheduled to be released on May 17 of this year. I anticipate this cookbook by Chef Kwame Onwuachi, which includes 125 recipes, to come flying off the shelves. In addition to more than 100 recipes, Chef Onwuachi connects his personal journey to food, culture, and places. Pre-order My America now!

Paddy Drinks: The World of Modern Irish Whiskey Cocktails

Jack McGarry, Sean Muldoon, and Jillian Vose are back with their latest Dead Rabbit book. The trio’s latest release, Paddy Drinks, shares Irish whiskey drink recipes you’ll find on the actual Dead Rabbit menu. However, that’s just one portion of this informative book. Inside are whiskey flavor wheels, tasting notes, illustrations depicting whiskey production, and more. And if that’s not enough for you, David Wondrich provides the foreword.

Founder Brand: Turn Your Story Into Your Competitive Advantage

In Founder Brand, Dave Gerhardt explains why your brand’s story is one of the most valuable assets you own as an entrepreneur.

From the Amazon listing: “This is a tactical guidebook that first shows you how to tell your story, then how to put your story to use as a marketing strategy. You’ll learn how social media provides a bridge between you and your customers, the platforms that are appropriate for your business, and how to measure results to truly determine value.”

Finding Mezcal: A Journey into the Liquid Soul of Mexico

You don’t have to be a veteran bartender or spirits expert to know that mezcal continues to rise in popularity. Written by Ron Cooper, founder of artisanal mezcal brand Del Maguey, Finding Mezcal includes 40 cocktail recipes from bartenders and chefs; photographs; Cooper’s own artwork; and much more.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

Industry expert and KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey wrote this informative and conversational book. This is the perfect read for aspiring or seasoned bar, pub, lounge, or even restaurant owners, operators, and managers looking for that competitive edge in operations. If you’re looking for both fundamental and in-depth planning methods, strategies, and industry focused insight to either start or grow a scalable, sustainable, memorable, profitable, and consistent venue in today’s cut-throat industry, Bar Hacks is written just for you

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: April 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: April 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and April is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For last month’s list, click here.

April 1: National One Cent Day

Please, please, please tell me you’re not going to indulge in an April Fool’s Day “prank” today. Instead, consider—if your jurisdiction will allow it—getting rid of dead stock for a penny with a purchase of a food and/or beverage item. You won’t get rich doing it but you also won’t be sitting on stock that’s just taking up space.

April 2: National Handmade Day

An easy riff on “handmade” is “housemade.” So, on this crafty holiday you can easily promote the housemade items on your menu. Make your own bitters? Promote it. Craft your own sauces? Let the world know.

April 6: National Tartan Day

No, it’s not “weird” to wear tartan. And no, it isn’t weird to celebrate anything and everything Scottish. However, this isn’t exactly the best-known holiday, so we’re including it on this list.

This is an easy one: Encourage your guests to wear tartan, take photos, and post it on social media (tagging your business, of course). Create a promo highlighting a Scottish whisky and/or gin and you’ve got a winner.

April 13: National Make Lunch Count Day

It’s fairly easy to celebrate and program on this holiday. The entire point of this day is to make lunch the best meal. Operators, you should know exactly what to do to execute a promo for this holiday.

April 15: National Take A Wild Guess Day

Who among us hasn’t taken a wild guess for a prize? We all know how this works: A jar or a convertible (why not, right?) is filled with jelly beans, gumballs, etc. People guess how many of said item are in said container. The person who guesses the closest wins a prize.

April 19: National Hanging Out Day

Talk about the perfect day to encourage your guests to spend a morning, afternoon, evening or night at your business with their friends. This holiday can be as simple as coming up with a few F&B promotions that will keep butts in seats for a while.

April 23: National German Beer

Hey, can you guess how you should celebrate this day? Hint: The clue is in the name.

April 24: National Pet Parents Day

If you allow dogs and other pets inside your venue or on the patio, this is the time to celebrate pet parents. Just remember when creating your promo that you need to include pet-safe F&B items.

April 27: National Tell a Story Day

As an operator, you know the importance of telling a story. Whether that story is that of your brand’s, a brand you feature, or a food or beverage item, it’s a powerful engagement technique. So, you can use this holiday to tell your brand’s story or encourage your guests to engage by telling their own stories. In fact, this is a great day to help facilitate connections between guests.

April 30: National Sense of Smell Day

Experts estimate that anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of taste is smell. Creating a promotion focusing on our sense of smell can be complicated but the payoff can be huge. So, activate your reps and see how they can help you show your guests the power of their sense of smell.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Who Was the Legendary King Gambrinus?

Who Was the Legendary King Gambrinus?

by David Klemt

Beer mug overflowing with foam and beer

Just who is Gambrinus, the cultural icon beer lovers honor and celebrate on April 11, King Gambrinus Day?

Most simply, he’s an excellent excuse to enjoy a pint. More importantly, he’s a fantastic reason for operators to execute a beer promotion to drive traffic and revenue.

But who was Gambrinus? And was he actually a king?

Let’s dive in!

A King?

Gambrinus may want a word with Budweiser. After all, they’ve claimed the title “King of Beers” since around the 1950s.

If one runs a search for Gambrinus and scans the results quickly, he was a king. Although, other sources identify him as a duke. Or maybe he was a count.

Intriguingly, he’s often referred to as the inventor of beer. Sometimes, he’s lauded as the patron saint of beer.

Gambrinus is also known as the embodiment of joviality, conviviality, and incredible feats of drinking. Legend has it, he could put away 144 beers in a single sitting.

And how did he become credited with this most magnificent of creations? In a completely natural way, of course.

As the totally reasonable story goes, Gambrinus was taught the secret to brewing beer over 500 years ago by the Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis.

However, a German historian has said this character was based on another mythical character: Gambrivius. This German king, who may also have been named Gampar, also learned beer brewing by Isis and Osiris.

In other words…Gambrinus very likely never existed.

Gambrinus, Cultural Icon

Real or (most likely) not, Gambrinus is deeply embedded in beer and brewing culture.

There are breweries, restaurants, and bars that feature Gambrinus—as a king, of course—around the world.

In fact, if one takes a look at a can of Victoria beer, they may find the fabled king in the logo. He’s wearing regal finery and holding a beer aloft, admiring it.

And should anyone find themselves in Porte Alegre, Brazil, they’ll find Restaurante Gambrinus. Guess who the restaurant’s name pays homage to.

Of course, the king has made it America. Reportedly, Pabst Brewing has commissioned at least three Gambrinus statues. The first iteration was crafted in 1967 and is named King Gambrinus, Legendary Patron of Brewing.

So, fine—King Gambrinus Day doesn’t honor a “real” king. Is that such a bad thing? What we’re really celebrating on April 11 is beer itself.

We’re paying homage to brewers, breweries, and beer lovers across the globe. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating what some call the nectar of the gods, and others call the drink of kings.

Before April 11, take a look at your beer menu and program. Review how your bar team pulls and serves a pint. Make certain you know what beer-loving guests want to drink, and have plenty on hand.

Let’s all raise a pint to Gambrinus, king, duke, count, or mythical figure. Cheers!

Image: engin akyurt on Unsplash

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Single Malts for International Whiskey Day

5 Single Malts for International Whiskey Day

by David Klemt

Bottles of Glendalough Distillery 7 Year Old Mizunara Finish on top of a barrel

In case it isn’t yet obvious, March is full of an array of wonderful cocktail and spirits holidays perfect for restaurants and bar promotions.

So, it’s pretty impressive that we can end this month with International Whiskey Day. Or, if you prefer, International Whisky Day.

Wondering which you should use, “whiskey” or “whisky”? Well, there’s a (mostly) accepted method for distinguishing the two.

As some spirits aficionados and historians explain it, if a country has the letter “E” in its name, so should the word “whiskey.” No “E”? Then it’s “whisky.”

Or, and this may be controversial, you can just use whichever you prefer. Or perhaps use the spelling that’s on your favorite label. Alternately, if executing a promotion with a sponsor, ask their preference and use it.

At any rate, we all get to celebrate uisce beatha (Irish) or uisge beatha (Scottish) on Sunday, March 27.

Below you’ll find some suggestions for bottles to showcase on International Whisk(e)y Day. Cheers!

American Whiskey

Obviously, there’s a glaring issue with trying to choose a single bottle of whiskey to represent the US. In short, there are dozens (at a minimum) of bottles from which to choose.

So, to make things easier (on me, I suppose), I’m limiting this list to single malts. Look, I had to draw a line somewhere.

Honestly, this doesn’t make things incredibly simple. You may find it surprising to learn that the US has the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC). Not only that, but the commission has nearly 100 members.

To promote and protect American single malt, the ASMWC defines this whiskey as:

  • made from 100-percent malted barley;
  • produced at one distillery;
  • mashed, distilled and matured in the US;
  • matured in 700-liter or smaller oak casks;
  • distilled to no more than 160 proof (80-percent ABV); and
  • bottled at 80 proof or more (40-percent ABV).

There are, thankfully, several dozen bottles to choose from to represent American single malt whiskey. For my list, I’m selecting Westward American Single Malt Whiskey Cask Strength.

Produced in Portland, OR, this double-gold winner is the 125-proof version of Westward’s original single malt whiskey. Bold, assertive, rich, and complex, this bottle embodies this American whiskey category.

Canadian Whisky

When it comes to whisky, Canada is known for its blends. Canada’s whiskey world is also known for bold but smooth rye.

However, there are distillers paying homage to their Scottish roots and traditions. These masters of their craft are working hard to put single-malt Canadian whiskies on the map.

In particular, craft distillers in Vancouver are producing single malts that deserve the world’s time and attention.

Now, when it comes to Canadian single malt, I’m a neophyte. However, I believe you and your guests will appreciate my selection.

Commodore Canadian Single Malt Whisky is crafted by Odd Society Spirits. The distillery is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Compellingly, Commodore is produced with malted barley grown in BC. Weighing in at 92 proof, expect pepper and tobacco on the palate, balanced with dark fruit and sweetness.

Irish Whiskey

Another country known for its blends is Ireland. Jameson, Bushmills, Red Breast, Powers… Each distillery produces world-famous, revered blends.

However, Ireland crafted several styles of whiskey over the course of many centuries. Single malts were certainly among them.

Of course, that style fell to wayside as the thousands of distilleries in Ireland shut down decades ago. Luckily, some modern-era distilleries are tapping into centuries of Irish distillation history.

Among these is Glendalough Distillery, our guest for episode 71 of the Bar Hacks podcast. Co-founder Donal O’Gallachoir reveals their latest expression, an Irish single malt finished in exceedingly rare Japanese mizunara casks.

So, for my Irish single malt selection, I choose Glendalough 7-Year-Old Mizunara Finished. You can learn more about this bottle and Glendalough listening to the podcast linked above or reading this article.

Scottish Whisky

If it’s difficult to choose just one American single malt whiskey, it’s nearly impossible to land on only a single single malt Scotch.

Do I choose the highest age statement (and an immense price tag)? Is the smart move the “most accessible” bottle? A peat monster?

What about the most traditional bottle? The most experimental? In the end, I opted for a single malt whisky that falls into the latter category.

At this point, we expect to see Oloroso sherry, port, and bourbon cask finishes. What’s a bit more unusual is a rum cask finish.

So, I’m going with the Balvenie Caribbean Cask. This 14-year-old single malt spends 14 years maturing in American oak casks. Then, it’s finished in ex-rum barrels.

The result is a unique and compelling whisky with notes of banana, cocoa, brown sugar, fresh fruit, and toffee.

Australian Whisky

When he started Starward, founder David Vitale had one mission: Craft the whisky that would come to define the entire category. No pressure.

To accomplish this mission, Vitale and company aim to capture Australia’s terroir in every bottle of every expression.

Their barley is sourced in Australian. Local malt masters (malters? maltsters?) malt said barley. The yeast comes from local Australian brewers.

And it doesn’t stop there. Any ingredient used to craft Starward Whisky must be within one day’s drive of the distillery. That distillery is located in Melbourne.

Why Melbourne? Because it’s the Foodie Capital of Australia. Why does that matter? Because Starward is also meant to be enjoyed with food.

You can learn more about Starward and David Vitale on episode 63 of Bar Hacks.

So, which bottle did I choose? Starward’s very first whisky, the single malt Starward Solera. If you and your guests want to experience Australian single malt, this is where to start.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these bottles. If you’re celebrating International Whiskey Day, life is great. Enjoy!

Image: Glendalough Distillery

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8 Glendalough Distillery Cocktail Recipes

8 Glendalough Distillery Cocktail Recipes

by David Klemt

Glendalough Distillery Wild Gin Irish gin

Offer your guests something different for your St. Patrick’s Day promotion with Glendalough Distillery cocktail recipes.

Without a doubt, you should have plenty of the expected Irish whiskeys on hand. However, Glendalough Distillery Double Barrel, Pot Still, Wild Gin, and Rose Gin are extraordinary Irish whiskeys and gins.

Each spirit the distillery crafts honors the art of Irish distillation, a craft that stretches back centuries. What’s more, each whiskey Glendalough crafts is single malt—there are no light-bodied blends in their lineup.

To learn more, check out episode 71 of the Bar Hacks podcast with Glendalough Distillery co-founder and national brand ambassador Donal O’Gallachoir.


Glendalough Distillery Double Barrel Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The Lough Inn

This highball is made with Glendalough Double Barrel, a single-grain Irish whiskey aged in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Oloroso sherry casks.

  • 2 oz. Glendalough Double Barrel Single Grain Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Spiced honey syrup (see note)
  • 1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • Soda to top
  • Lemon wheel or slice to garnish
  • Mint leaf to garnish
  • 1 cup Honey for spiced honey syrup
  • 0.5 cup Water for spiced honey syrup
  • 4 Cinnamon sticks for spiced honey syrup
  • 1 pod Star anise for spiced honey syrup

Add ice to a highball glass, then add first three ingredients. Top with soda water. Garnish with lemon wheel or slice and freshly torn mint leaf.

For spiced honey syrup: Add honey, water, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to pot. Bring to a boil, then stir. Strain into container.

Glendalough Distillery Pot Still single malt Irish whiskey

Pot Still Highball

Deceptively simple to build, this cocktail highlights the terroir of the land surrounding Glendalough Distillery.

  • 1.5 oz. Glendalough Pot Still
  • Soda to top
  • Grapefruit peel to garnish
  • Mint leaf to garnish (freshly torn and slapped, of course)

Prepare a highball glass with an ice shard, spear or cylinder. Pour in Glendalough Pot Still whiskey, then top with soda. Glendalough Distillery recommends a 1:2 ratio, Pot Still to soda. Garnish with mint leaf.

Glendalough Distillery Wild Gin Negroni cocktail

Glendalough Negroni

The foraged botanicals in Glendalough Wild Gin add even more complexity and depth to the classic Negroni. In fact, the flavors work so well this recipe maintains the Negroni’s crucial 1:1:1 ratio.

Prepare an Old Fashioned with ice. Add first three ingredients to glass in the above order. Add more ice if necessary. Stir, express orange peel, and place as garnish.

Glendalough Distillery Wild Gin Irish gin

Glendalough Wicklow 75

Bubbles make everything better and everyone happier.

Add all ingredients to shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into Champagne flute, top with Prosecco, and garnish with lemon twist.

Glendalough Distillery Rose Gin Irish gin and cocktails

Glendalough Rose G&T

This simple classic receives a huge visual and aromatic boost from Glendalough Rose Gin.

  • 2 oz. Glendalough Rose Gin
  • Tonic to top (the higher the quality, the better)
  • Lime slice
  • Mint leaves

Add ice to glass, then add Rose Gin. Top with tonic, and garnish with lime slice and mint leaves.

Glendalough Distillery Rose Gin Fizz

Glendalough Rose Gin Fizz

One way to elevate the highball is to use a striking pink-hued Irish gin.

  • 1.5 oz. Glendalough Rose Gin
  • 0.5 oz. Elderflower liqueur
  • Raspberry & Lime sparkling water to top
  • Lime wheel to garnish

Add ice (spear, shard or cylinder for impact), Rose Gin, and liqueur to highball glass. Stir, then add sparkling water to top. Garnish with lime wheel.


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Glendalough Rose Collins

Boost the classic Collins with Glendalough’s striking rose-petal gin.

  • 1.5 oz. of Glendalough Rose Gin
  • 1 oz. of Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 0.5 oz. of Sugar syrup (1:1 ratio, hot water to sugar)
  • Soda to top
  • Lemon peel to garnish
  • Cherry to garnish

Combine first three ingredients in a shaker with a cup of ice. Place an ice shard, spear or cylinder to a highball glass. Shake until well chilled, then strain into glass. Top with soda, and garnish with lemon peel and cherry.

Glendalough Distillery Rose Gin Hibiscus Rose

Glendalough Hibiscus Rose

Refreshing and flavorful, the hibiscus tea syrup plays incredibly well with Glendalough Rose Gin.

  • 1.5 oz. Glendalough Rose Gin
  • 0.5 oz. Hibiscus tea syrup (see note)
  • 0.5 oz. Lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • Prosecco to top
  • Dehydrated lemon wheel to garnish
  • Rose petals to garnish
  • 33 oz. Water for hibiscus tea syrup
  • 16 oz. Sugar for hibiscus tea syrup

Add first three ingredients and ice to a shaker. Shake until well chilled and double strain into a coupe.  Top with Prosecco, and garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel and rose petals.

For the hibiscus tea syrup: Steep seven hibiscus tea bags in 33 ounces of water for 15 minutes. Add 16 ounces of sugar.

Images & Recipes: Glendalough Distillery

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Heritage & Innovation: Glendalough

Heritage & Innovation: Glendalough Distillery

by David Klemt

Glendalough Distillery 7 Years Mizunara single malt Irish whiskey and glasses

Glendalough Distillery’s five founders are on a mission to honor Ireland’s rich distilling history and heritage.

As Bar Hacks guest Donal O’Gallachoir describes them, the whiskeys Glendalough crafts are remarkably different. O’Gallachoir, co-founder, national brand ambassador, and cheeky bottlewasher, aims to elevate Irish spirits.

More accurately, Glendalough’s founders want to return Irish whiskey to its rightful, historic place. That place? Among the top whiskeys in the world.

As you’ll learn, Glendalough will elevate your St. Patrick’s Day menu. In fact, these whiskeys and gins will elevate your entire menu, period.

Centuries of History

On episode 71 of Bar Hacks, O’Gallachoir briefly but compellingly shares Irish whiskey’s story. As he tells it, it was once estimated Irish whiskey accounted for up to 90 percent of world whiskey consumption.

That’s easy to believe when you factor in how Irish whiskey production can be traced back to at least the sixth century. There’s also the fact that Irish distillers were crafting, as O’Gallachoir puts it, “a wealth of styles.”

Unfortunately, a terrible string of wars—literal and economic—all but eradicated Ireland’s distilleries. When I say eradicated, I mean that when Glendalough Distillery opened in 2011, it became the fourth or fifth distillery in the country.

There used to be 200 licensed distilleries in the country, along with around 1,800 unlicensed distilleries. For decades of the 20th century, there were only two to three licensed distilleries in operation.

So, it makes sense that consumers outside of Ireland think the country produces only one style of whiskey: Irish. Meaning, light-bodied, sweet, and meant to be thrown back as a shot.

O’Gallachoir is well aware of the compelling paradox of modern Irish distillation. If the blended style of Irish whiskey most people know today hadn’t kept the industry alive, Glendalough and its expressions may not exist today.

Distillation Innovation

All Glendalough whiskeys are single malt and chill filtered. This stands in stark contrast to blended Irish whiskeys, the current dominant (modern) style.

Glendalough is, to oversimplify it, honoring centuries of Irish whiskey production. Single-malt Irish whiskey was what we would now label super- or ultra-premium. The difference between Irish and Scotch whiskey was the latter’s smoked, peated profile. The former was once preferred worldwide.

Glendalough is dedicated to crafting super-premium Irish whiskey. Doing so means they don’t make things easy on themselves.

Glendalough Distillery Double Barrel single grain Irish whiskey

Let’s start with Glendalough’s Double Barrel expression.

As the name suggests, this whiskey is finished twice. First, it’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Second, it’s matured in Oloroso sherry casks. Eschewing blends, Glendalough studies the science of different types of barrels to craft its styles.

Glendalough Distillery Pot Still single malt Irish whiskey

Of course, they also honor Irish distilling heritage through another expression: Glendalough Pot Still. To say no other style of whiskey embodies Irish production like pot still doesn’t do this distillation method justice.

In fact, Irish pot still whiskey is geographically protected; it can only be crafted in Ireland. However, when it comes to honoring Ireland, Pot Still doesn’t end there.

Glendalough initially ages Pot Still in ex-bourbon barrels. However, it’s finished in Irish oak. Truly, this expression captures the terroir of the mountainous region Glendalough calls home.

In other words, Pot Still is a super-premium taste of Ireland in a bottle.

And then there’s the distillery’s newest expression.

The Red String of Fate

About two weeks ago, Glendalough released their latest innovation: 7-Year-Old Single Malt Mizunara Finish.

7-Year-Old Single Malt Mizunara Finish in Wicklow, Ireland

Whiskey aficionados will recognize mizunara instantly and begin scheming to add this bottle to their collections.

Mizunara, Japanese oak, is renowned for several reasons. The wood imparts incredible flavors unlike those from other barrels. But, like all things rare and magical, mizunara is also incredibly challenging.

The challenges begin with the trees themselves, which can take hundreds of years to grow fully. This oak doesn’t grow straight, so crafting even one stave can be difficult.

Then there’s the water content. Mizunara translates to “water oak,” and it’s not an ironic nickname. The water content of mizunara is sky high, and it’s also highly porous.

It takes fantastic skill and experience for coopers to craft mizunara barrels that don’t crack or leak. To learn more, please click here to hear O’Gallachoir tell the story of Glendalough traveling to Hokkaido in Japan to form a relationship with an independent cooperage to craft Mizunara Finish casks.

Incredibly, the latest Glendalough expression isn’t a limited-edition release. Rather, this joins the core lineup and will be released twice per year. Be on the lookout for batch 001.

It seems that Glendalough whiskey and mizunara barrel coopers were fated to find one another. In fact, the red thread on each bottle of Mizunara Finish pays homage to the Japanese legend of the red thread of fate.

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to find one another. It grows shorter and shorter as their paths collide.

Going Wild

You may recall that I said Glendalough doesn’t make things easy on themselves. This is evidenced by their gin.

Unlike other distilleries, Glendalough started with whiskey distillation and later pursued gin production.

Glendalough Distillery Wild Gin Irish gin

They also forage for the ingredients used to craft their Wild Gin. If it’s not within ten miles of the distillery and growing wild, it’s not in the bottle.

According to O’Gallachoir, it takes a year to produce one bottle of this gin. Rejecting easier methods of production like automation, each batch of Wild Gin is crafted by taste and aroma.

Glendalough Distillery Rose Gin Irish gin and cocktails

Then there’s the visually and aromatically impactful Rose Gin. Crafted to honor Glendalough’s head distiller’s mother Rose, this is a rose-petal gin.

Now, you may assume it’s like drinking a bottle of decades-old, overpowering, rose-scented perfume. However, O’Gallachoir assures me this is absolutely not the case.

Instead, this striking bottle is intensely floral but balanced, and undeniably unique. O’Gallachoir suggests trying it in a Bee’s Knees.

In just over a decade, Glendalough has elevated Irish craft spirits. There are more innovations to come and I can’t wait to try them.

To learn more about O’Gallachoir and Glendalough Distillery, please listen to episode 71 of the Bar Hacks podcast.

Image: Glendalough Distillery

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: March 2022

5 Books to Read this Month: March 2022

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s engaging and informative book selections will help you develop next-level culinary, beverage and marketing skills throughout 2022.

To review February’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s jump in!

We Are All the Same Age Now: Valuegraphics, The End of Demographic Stereotypes

David Allison, founder of the Valuegraphics Project and author of this book, has been a guest on the Bar Hacks podcast twice. First, on episode 46, and again on episode 67. During both appearances, David explained the power of understanding people based on their values. What people have in common is far more powerful and effective than focusing on what divides us. Rather than continuing to point to harmful demographic stereotypes, the Valuegraphics Project focuses on values, psychographics, and standard demographics.

Pick up We Are All the Same Age Now to learn more and change your mindset.

Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ

When I visited South Carolina last year, I had a short list of restaurants I wanted to visit. Bar Hacks guest Brooks Quinn recommended pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston so I could try South Carolina barbecue. I’m glad I asked Brooks because the food was incredible. So incredible, in fact, that I overate and had to to do my best to walk off my resulting food coma.

Those who want to learn the art of South Carolina barbecue—or just great barbecue in general—need Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ book in their lives.

Smoked Cocktails

Beyond imparting wonderful flavor, we all know one of the greatest benefits of smoking a cocktail: Everyone who sees and smells the process is going to want to order one. While Smoked Cocktails is aimed at the home bartender, there’s plenty of useful information for operators, managers, and bar staff. Author Frank Marino shares the steps for smoking cocktails; identifies “cocktail families”; details more than 100 recipes; and more.

Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health

Chef Gregory Gourdet is the chef/owner behind Kann, a restaurant in Portland, OR, set to open its doors this year. The live-fire concept marries Haitian cuisine, ingredients sourced in Oregon, seasonality, and sustainability. When the Top Chef finalist went sober, he sought a healthier lifestyle. As a chef, he pursued that lifestyle in part through cooking. Everyone’s Table focuses on global cuisine that feature superfoods and high nutrient density while delivering delicious, decadent flavors. The 200 recipes in this book may not contain gluten, dairy, soy, legumes or grains but they’re still mouthwatering.

Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World’s Spirit

For the past several years now, several spirits experts and rum aficionados have made the same hopeful claim: This will be rum’s year. Finally, they say, rum will get the respect its due and topple vodka, tequila, and whiskey to grab the top spot. However, that has yet to happen. Well, yet to happen in North America, anyway.

Rum was once the world’s spirit, and maybe this year will be its year. In Rum Curious, revered spirits author Fred Minnick shares not only the story of rum but also his tips for conducting an effective rum tasting. With guests more curious than ever, engaging rum tastings may help springboard rum to the top of the spirits list.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: March 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: March 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and March is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream—it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day!—to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For last month’s list, click here.

March 2: National Old Stuff Day

There are a couple of ways to celebrate this holiday. Both require a bit of tact. On the one hand, you could showcase your big age-statement spirits. But on the other, you could lean into this holiday and try to move dead-stock spirits.

March 3: National Cold Cuts Day

People like to joke that packaged cold cuts and cheese singles make for a more “basic” form of charcuterie. This could be a great day to steer into that joke and build a simple, fun, and affordable charcuterie plate.

March 5: Cinco de Marcho

Now, we don’t support overserving. It’s not safe, it’s not responsible, and it can result in severe legal ramifications for operators and their teams. That said, Cinco de Marcho occurs just shy of two weeks before St. Patrick’s Day. The point behind the holiday is to get ready for St. Patrick’s Day. So, it could be a good idea to highlight your Irish whiskeys, gins, and beers in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day to leverage the interest in them for longer.

March 14: National Potato Chip Day

I really shouldn’t have to tell you what to do on this day. If you have the ability, show off your house-made potato chips. Other than that, if you sell chips by the bag, build a drink-and-chip LTO around them.

March 15: National Everything You Think is Wrong Day

Whew! That’s a bold statement, one that’s sure to get some blood boiling and arguments started. This probably isn’t the time to talk politics with guests. If you’re bold enough to tackle this holiday, maybe create a trivia night around the facts that most people tend to get wrong about different spirits, beers, and wines.

March 18: National Awkward Moments Day

Life is full of awkward moments. You probably witness quite a few each week within your four walls. For this holiday, encourage people in your area to treat themselves to a good meal and/or drink to try and forget their latest awkward moments.

March 22: (Inter)National Goof Off Day

It’s unfortunate that simply trying to have a good time is considered “goofing off.” But, that’s where we are, apparently. This is the perfect holiday to encourage your guests to enjoy an afternoon, evening or night at your place to escape their stressful lives, if only for an hour or two.

March 25: Waffle Day

You may be surprised to learn the sheer number of foods you can waffle. Well, this is the holiday for you and your kitchen team to build a specialty waffle menu to blow your guests minds. Interestingly, this is the day Sweden celebrates Waffle Day. So, if you can’t do it this year or simply want to repeat it, National Waffle Day is celebrated August 24.

March 28: National Something on a Stick Day

You can waffle a lot of foods but I’m willing to bet you can put way more foods on a stick. I smell an LTO menu…

March 31: National Tater Day

Roasted, fried, air fried, mashed, smashed, baked, twice baked, riced, totted (I dunno, I’m hungry writing this and want tater tots)… Celebrate everything a potato can do on this holiday dedicated to the humble spud.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash