Satisfying Summer Cocktails

Watermelon Punch

Watermelon Punch

3 cups seeded watermelon, cut into small squares

1 1/2 cups white vermouth

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups crushed ice

Put watermelon, vermouth, and sugar in a blender, processing until liquified. Add ice and process for three seconds more. Pour into chilled glasses, garnishing with a small watermelon slice.

Cherry Mojitos

Cherry Mojitos

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed lime juice

3 lbs. cherries

18-oz. black cherry or plain vodka

1 750 ml bottle sparkling water.

Bring sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Squeeze lime juice into a bowl, adding cherries (halved and pitted). Stir in the sugar syrup and chill for an hour. Put into a serving bowl and stir in vodka. Fill serving glasses with ice half-full and top with sparkling water to taste.

Cucumber Cooler

Cucumber Cooler

2 quarts water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup lime juice

1 cucumber, cut into slices, skin-on, ends removed

Combine water, sugar, and lime juice and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour into a blender and add the cucumber, processing until smooth. Chill. Garnish with a cucumber slice.


Carbomb Creation

irish-car-bombA Carbomb is a popular Irish drink, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.  It was created in 1979 by Charles B. Oat, retired bartender and current instructor of the CT School of Bartending, where I received my license.  During the last class, he always proudly tells his story:

It was a follow up to a shot he created in 1977 on St. Patrick’s Day.  The original shot (Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Jameson’s) was called a Grandfather because it was to toast to the many grandfathers in Irish history.  Charlie created this famous concoction behind the bar of Wilson’s Saloon, located in Norwich, CT.  However, the shot’s name soon changed to “IRA” because as you add the whiskey to the shot of Bailey’s and Kahlua, it bubbles up like an explosion.

In the midst of celebrating St. Patty’s Day at the saloon, and after downing a few shots chased with Guiness, the idea came up to actually drop the shot into the glass of Guinness.  “Bombs away!” was the last thing Oat said before he dropped his first shot, giving the drink its new name of “Irish Carbomb” or “Carbomb,” in other company.

For a while, the drink languished in Connecticut but was spread across the United States by the many Navy personnel who frequently visited Wilson’s Saloon.  Many years later, the drink became world renown because of the Guinness Corporation’s marketing blitz in the late 80s and early 90s.

Irish or not, it is a fun drink to try.

Here is the recipe:

½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream

½ oz. Kahlua

½ oz. Jameson’s

Pour into a shot glass.  (This is an IRA.)

Serve along with a half-filled pint glass of Guinness.

Fake ID=Busted!

tips1All bartenders are TIPS certified, which means that they are trained to prevent alcohol abuse and drunk driving, and, importantly, only serving customers of age.  Serving people under 21 could cost a bartender their job; therefore, checking for authentic identification is extremely important.

Here is a list of things to look for on an identification card before you serve alcohol:

  • The card’s expiration date – do not accept the card if it is expired!
  • Glue lines or bumpy surfaces – they usually indicate tampering!
  • The word “duplicate” on the card – someone else may have the original!
  • Text consistency – the typeset for the birth date and the expiration date should match the lettering used on the rest of the card!
  • The state logo – a state seal or logo that is partially missing or appears altered is another clue to a fake card!
  • Pin holes on the surface – bleach may have been inserted to “white out” certain dates!
  • The card’s reverse side lettering – even though the front may look flawless, often counterfeiters merely photocopy the reverse side!
  • The card’s size, color, lettering, thickness, and corners – compare it to your own identification card!
  • Make sure the photo, height, and weight on the card match the person who you may be serving.
  • For out-of-state identification cards, use and I.D. checking guide – especially in college and tourist communities!

If you spot one of these problems:

  • Ask for a second piece of I.D.  People with fake identification rarely carry back-up I.D.
  • Quiz the card holder about the basic information on the card, such as the birth date, middle initial (give the wrong one and look for hesitation), zip code, etc.

Bottom line:

  • If you are not absolutely convinced that the card is authentic, DO NOT serve the customer for both safety and job security purposes!!!

This is a good deal of information to remember for a new bartender, but it’s extremely important!