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Jan 26

Molecular Bartending Class with Josh Durr

It’s Cocktail Week here at My Wine Education. I know, we love wine. And next week you’ll be getting a slew of wine reviews. But this week, in honor of my second trip to Las Vegas in a month, it’s all cocktails. Enjoy!

Back in December, Kevin and I were lucky enough to take a class at The Party Source from Josh Durr. Josh is the cocktail consultant who helped put together Tonic on 4th, including creating the drink menu and ice program. Josh is from Louisville, where he is a partner in Molecular Bartending, LLC. He has created cocktails for Brown-Forman, Southern Wine & Spirits, Republic National Beverage, and, of course, Tonic.

The class was geared toward the professional, although everyone present was a consumer, with the exception of everyone’s favorite local bartender, Molly Wellman. And really, I think Molly was just there to have fun – she already rocks at all of this stuff. The rest of us? We eagerly asked all manner of questions and drank some rather flawless cocktails.

A few key notes I scribbled down:

  • Buy Carpano vermouth; it’s the original vermouth. If your vermouth smells musty, it’s bad. Keep it refrigerated when not in use. Keep in mind that vermouth is 75% wine, so it will oxidize.
  • Cold draft ice is perfectly square and dense. Yep, Tonic makes their own ice – check out your cubes next time you’re there. Josh even brought his own ice to The Party Source. He recommends using filtered or distilled water, double-boiled, and frozen in stainless or non-absorbent containers, not silicone. To top that off, he suggests you have an ice-only freezer and when storing your ice behind the bar, don’t stack the cubes on top of each other. Separate them in layers instead. I know it seems like a lot of trouble for your home, but it works great in a bar.
  • When muddling mint, get the oils out by squishing, not tenderizing. That’s right; if you pulverize your mint with the muddler, you’ll just bring out the bitterness.
  • Some basic bartending tools include a Boston shaker (tin to tin chills faster), an OXO measuring cup, and a double strainer.
  • A Punch will always include 5 ingredients: strong, weak, sour, sweet, and spice to make it nice.
  • Don’t shake your Manhattans – stir them.

Overall, I left the class very excited about Tonic. I love classic cocktails and really, I’ve had some horrible Manhattans. I’ll be reviewing Tonic later this week. My thanks to Josh for an amazing class! I’ll be publishing some of his cocktail recipes over the next few days, starting with the Manhattan.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:11 am in Cocktails | Permalink | Comments (11)

11 Responses to “Molecular Bartending Class with Josh Durr”

  1. Julie says:

    Is Carpano available at the Party Source or anywhere else? I ended up with Noilly Pruitt the other day.

    Also, I realized (as I was making Manhattans on Saturday night) I’ve always stirred. I’m still drinking the damn things on the rocks– because there is a “right” way and then there is the way a person likes it– but apparently the only shaking goes on at bars.

    Now, to grab a copy of the Joy of Mixology!

  2. Julie says:

    Pratt, not Pruitt. Need more coffee.

  3. Josh Durr says:

    Love the Post. Thanks for coming out it was a lot of fun.

    I will be teaching two classes a month starting in Feb. to consumers at Tonic. As well as be teaching a class on Gin this summer at Party Source. I will be sure to send you the class schedule over.

    Lets start a movement on getting those bartenders to stir there Manhattans & Martini’s.

  4. Shannon says:

    This class sounds interesting…I just went to Tonic with my girlfriends on Saturday and had a GREAT time. I recommend the Augustus to Hollis. Delicious. Let me know when you’re going, I’d love to go again!

  5. Courtney says:

    I must be living under a rock but I just found your website and now feel like I have about a week of reading to do. Love this post and you’ve got me really wanting to take a class with Josh Durr now.

  6. [...] and was so mad that it was gone, that I was determined to never go to Tonic. Period. Then I met Josh Durr, the cocktail consultant for Tonic. His skill with a cocktail shaker swayed me, and later the same [...]

  7. [...] the class we took from Josh Durr, he made us each a Manhattan. Now, the Manhattan is my favorite cocktail, but I’ve had a lot [...]

  8. [...] on the calendar, you’ll see things with a Valentine’s theme starting to pop up. In my Molecular Bartending post last week, Josh commented and said he’ll be offering cocktail classes at Tonic soon as [...]

  9. [...] March – Wine Festival week, to be exact – Kevin and I took a Bartending 102 class from Josh Durr at Tonic. We learned how to make mint juleps and I ran right home and wrote up this post. (I [...]

  10. [...] After that, blog readers just like yourself will be pouring. (Thanks gang!) Not enough for you? Josh Durr, cocktail master extraordinaire from Tonic on 4th, will also be [...]

  11. [...] 2010 – Wine Festival week, to be exact – Kevin and I took a Bartending 102 class from Josh Durr at Tonic. We learned how to make mint juleps and I ran right home and wrote up this post. Photo [...]

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