Self-Improvement (Behind the Bar)

(Via Bärenjäger)

Who doesn’t feel constantly occupied by something or other? I know of few people who are at rest, mentally or physically, even on vacation.

This summer I had the chance to truly unplug; virtually no phone or wireless reception. Oh the horror at first, but then my mind quieted down. I listened and leaned in for conversations; I ate serious food from nearby farms. While I doubt that pace would suit me 12 months a year, in just a week I was restored to a more productive being. Self-improvement, if you will.

Whether it’s reviving once respectable French conversation skills or accepting a challenge that pushes boundaries of physical or mental achievement, self-improvement comes in many forms.

A class offered in New York but once a year is the BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) 5 Day program. This week long, step-by-step program teaches key information pertaining to the history and craft of bartending, and attracts liquor industry and bartending professionals from around the globe. Lots of learning, sampling, and enjoying. It sounds cool, but this is serious stuff: the weak and meek need not apply.

Many behind the bar can whip up a Manhattan, yet tasting that standard bearer made by a bartender who knows rye whiskey is the traditional choice but mixes one for a guest preferring bourbon, you know you are in the hands of a true professional.

Accepting a challenge from within, Ms. Jessica Dure entered her first event, the 4th Annual Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur Bartender Competition. Jessie was honored as Crowd Favorite, making the incredibly delicious Good Ice for all to enjoy. Despite being nervous before the event, Jessie’s ultimate belief in herself made all the difference, and she walked away with a cool grand lining her pocket.

My self-improvement is ongoing: I have recently learned that a dry shake is the shake of liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with no ice. It is always used when making a drink with egg whites to ensure they incorporate with other ingredients to create a beautiful, frothy texture.

The Good Ice by Jessica Dure

¾ ounce Bärenjäger

½ ounce Perry Tot's Navy Strength Gin

¼ ounce lemon barspoon-crushed chamomile buds

1 egg white

2 ounces Istastegi Natural Cider

Combine Bärenjäger, gin, lemon, chamomile, and egg white. Dry shake, then shake with ice, adding Istastegi to the large shaker with all contents.  Give a quick swirl and double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist. 


- Allison Goldberg

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