Cocktails & Spirits

SoBeWFF: Stocking Your Home Bar With Tony Abou-Ganim

The party follows Tony Abou-Ganim. One hour with the modern mixologist, and we felt like we'd signed up for grown-up spring break. As he himself said, "it's no coincidence negroni rhymes with Tony."

And in fact, we learned more from yesterday's "Stocking and Tending Your Home Bar" seminar than we did in four years of high school Spanish. Adult education at its best.

But what specifically did we learn from the master mixologist, who's spent his the last thirty years shaking, stirring and dreaming up concoctions for cocktail enthusiasts in Vegas and beyond? A lot.

Here's our top 10:

1. A vodka martini was once known as a "kangaroo." The title was invented to distinguish the new invention from its gin counterpart.

2. Vermouth is essentially aromatized wine. It starts to go bad in about a month. So much for that five-year-old bottle you've got sitting in your cupboard...

3. Crystal glassware is worth the price. A great cocktail starts with a great glass.

4. A strainer with a spring is known as a "Hawthorne strainer." Without, it's a "julep strainer."

5. Spirit-only drinks should ALWAYS be stirred. Margaritas, daquiris, etc. - shaken.

6. Ice is key to a great cocktail. It should be clear, tasteless, fresh.

7. The best simple syrup recipe? One to one, sugar and hot water.

8. Only drink 100% agave tequila. IE, Patron,1800, etc.

9. NEVER buy store-bought sour mix. The only acceptable sour recipe is two parts fresh squeezed lemon juice with one part simple syrup.

10. For drinks that have a spirit and a modifier (mixer), it should always be a two-to-one ratio. Two parts liquor, one part modifier.

Cheers to that. And check out Tony's website for all things cocktail.

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of LatestVeganNews.com.
Contact: Hannah Sentenac