Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to make the Benton Park Swizzle

There once was a cocktail called the Queen's Park Swizzle. It carried all of the familiar ingredients of the Mojito, but with the addition of Angostura Bitters, floated on the top. And well, I suppose it calls for crushed ice, specifically, and typically has the mint leaves sunken on the bottom. But these are just minor details!

The Benton Park Swizzle looks pretty damn classy. Doesn't it?
One day, someone decided to create the same cocktail, but by floating Fernet, rather than Angostura. The variation was named the Benton Park Swizzle. And it's featured today on the Bottle Opener. Where did it come from? Nobody knows... Or, I don't at least. After roughly 5 minutes of intense research, I could find no original source for this cocktail. But learn how to make it below!

The Benton Park Swizzle
  • 2 oz Amber Rum
  • 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 8-12 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge and Mint Sprig
Start off by muddling the mint leaves in simple syrup to a mixing glass, and then add lime juice and rum. Stir the ingredients around a bit, and pour it into your cocktail glass, with the addition of crushed ice. Stir the cocktail a bit again, and prop the leaves up on the side of the glass for added theater. Top the rest of the glass with ice, and garnish with lime wedges (you can put one in the drink if you wish) and a mint sprig, before floating the lovable Fernet Branca on top.

And as always, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Career Bartending Part 2; Make a Manga Resume Using the Instamag App

In my last article about resumes, I talked about how to develop skills, and show a level of professionalism that'll help you stand out in a sea of flashy smiles and rocket scientists (okay... maybe not that last one...) This time, I'm going to guide you to the realm of putting your resume out on Social Media, or how to use Social Media to make an attention grabbing resume. Specifically, I'll be looking at how to make a resume using the Instamag app for Android and iOS.

This is one of the icons for Instamag.
Am I the only one who sees a creepy
robot eye?
Instamag is a pretty cool app, designed for taking a series of photos and turning them into a magazine. You can use any number of the built in templates to create different styles of gimmicky magazine resumes, but I decided to start with the Manga template. Why did I go with this template? Because it conveys a number of things about me that I want to be communicated in my resume. First of all, I am a geek, and I love geek culture, which extends to both comic books, and Japanese pop culture. You may think that this sort of mind set clashes with all the hoopla I raised about professionalism in my last post, but that's a grave mistake. I'm communicating my creativity, and my ability to think outside of the box, and also setting a standard for what kind of person I am, and will continue to be in my career. It also continues on the train of thought of trying to get into your ideal working situation, hopefully, by surrounding yourself with like minded individuals.

If I could make this image my resume, I would.
This image contains I want you to know about me!
it also communicates nothing about me.
Once you select this particular template, you can continue by adding 3 to 7 photos, per page. For text portions, I took screen shots of stylized text in various documents, and took a screenshot of my personal website (, and set them up on two pages. I also added some photos of cocktails I've made, which shows some proof of my ability to bartender. It can sometimes be weird attaching a photo of you behind the wood, but in a picture heavy resume like this, it's perfectly normal. Well, as normal as normal gets in a manga resume, anyway.

I also included one screen cap from Archer, which may be a little bit risque; I decided to roll with it in this version of the resume, anyway, but beware of using humor like this. It can cause a lot of damage to your efforts. This particular image contains a scene in Archer, with a screen cap "Sour mix? In a Margarita? What is this, Auschwitz!" Hilarious to me. Perhaps hilarious to you. Not necessarily hilarious to Mr. Finkelstein. Heck, it would be downright offensive to a lot of people who either don't agree with, or care about the context. Use images like this with caution!

If the person reading your resume is a fan of Sterling Archer, this could go over very well.
Or not.
Another thing that makes Instamag's Manga templates great is that you can add stickers and speech bubbles. In this way, I can narrate certain images in my resume to portray my voice, and add yet another level of humor. You may be scratching your head and asking why to use so much humor when you're trying to look professional. Well, it's simple, really. If you can make someone laugh - not at your misery, but at your sense of humor and ability to make light of yourself - then you are speaking to their heart and soul in some ways. Taking yourself seriously is pretty important, but if you take yourself too seriously all the time, you'll just seem like a stuck-up douchebag. Who wants to hire that guy or gal?

This is one of the few still photos of
me bartending. It's not the greatest photo,
so I'm not shy to make a point of making
fun of myself.
When you come up with a template that you like, save it to your Google Drive (or whatever the hell cloud service you're using to back up your stuff) and circulate it to your personal computer. Make a long version of your manga by using an application like GIMP, and then upload it to Pinterest, with appropriate keywords. Take various screen caps from your resume and post them to your Instagram, completing the resume over time. Make sure that when you do this, you leave information for how to get in contact with you, such as your e-mail address, your personal website address, or your LinkedIn page. You can also add your resume to that blog I told you to make last time. Sort of like how I'm adding my resume here.

Lastly, don't forget to network with people on these various social networking services, or contact people from your existing network and ask them to take a look at your resume. Don't be afraid to get an opinion about the resume from your former bosses or references. Ask them if they'd hire you if they got a resume like that, and if not, ask them where you went wrong.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Yukon Shine Auragin Review

A few things about Yukon Shine Distillery

Yukon Shine Distillery was brought into existence as the brain child of Karlo Krauzig. In 2009 he started the distillery, and today it is represented by two spirits (a vodka and gin) containing a three grain spirit blend, with the premier ingredient being Yukon gold potatoes fom the Yukon. During the filtration process, the spirits are also filtered through Yukon gold nuggets, producing a product that truly is of the Yukon in as many areas as possible.

My experience with Yukon Shine

I exhibited three cocktails for Yukon Shine
at the Art of the Cocktail in Victoria.
In 2014 I decided that I wanted to take a more active role in the craft spirits scene in Vancouver. This started when I tried out for a cocktail competition in July 2014. The competition was put on by the Gin Society and the Canadian Professional Bartending Association at Grain Bar in the Hyatt Regency of downtown Vancouver. I submitted a cocktail recipe using Yukon Shine's Auragin and I was chosen to represent them at the event. I went on to win the third place prize at that event.

I went on to represent Yukon Shine twice more. In the first instance, I went to Victoria to exhibit three craft cocktails using the Yukon Shine products at the Art of the Cocktail event in August. My last opportunity to represent Yukon Shine was in November, at the BC Connect trade show, in Vancouver.

Over this time period, I've gotten to know the products quite well.

Yukon Shine Auragin

Auragin is Canada's own award winning microdistilled gin. Quite frankly, I believe that it is the best Canadian gin, and ranks fairly high against other top rated gins out there.

The first thing you'll notice about the nose is that the recognizable juniper odor is much less prominent than your standard London Dry Gins. With this one, there is the familiar essence of coriander, but the most relevant aroma is that of citrus peels. While most of the botanicals are sourced directly from the Yukon, obviously the addition of grapefruit peel is one of the few ingredients that come from another place. Nevertheless, the grapefruit, and lemon zest are a welcomed scent among the more earthier spice tones.

The citrus comes off even stronger in the body, and lingers throughout the finish. Watering the spirit down tones the juniper even more, and notes of anise, licorice, vanilla, and pepper appear in the mid body. The finish is somewhat short, though, pleasant. One would wish the finish to be somewhat longer, as it is such a smooth experience throughout the tasting.

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