Bright Monterrey

Posted in Uncategorized on 22/08/2013 by mixanddream

Monterrey, city of mountains and business class of Mexico. Top nine for largest city in its nation, filled with a never-ending amount of gentlemen, and constant memorable moments.Image

         My first impression, what a great city, with a lot more to it then drug trades and violence, to be quit honest, Monterrey is probably the safest city of Mexico. Id confirm that, well at least I didn’t see anything bad happen and I did not feel unsafe at all. So no worries its pretty nice down there! Meanwhile lets get into this random adventure. Since I have a close friend who lives in Monterrey I was able to live in her day-to-day life so I got to have the full packaged life style. Including, family parties, unique food, church on Sundays, a little partying, and also certain things whom are better left unsaid. 😉Image

         As I first set foot I noticed three things. First: its very hot but thank god, no humidity. Second: men are gentlemen! Never did I have to open up any doors for myself, car door front door whatever you name it. They will just think of any possible way where they can help you and or simply do something for you, even when id be drunk id almost have some like personal body guard who would always make sure in anyway that nothing would happen to me. This was by far my favorite thing. Third: Religion is still big down there. Not that I disagree with this at all but I just personally haven’t practiced in a very long time. So going to church on a Sunday was quite the experience. I guess the more south you go the more religious it gets??

         The food I had in Monterrey: My favorite dish was a “sahimy of tuna” served on a crispy tostada with fresh and juicy red tuna, ginger and a splash of lemon. I had this at a restaurant called black market located in San Pedro. (They have some cool concept going on.) ImageAlso I’ve always loved spicy food, but here it’s pretty damn spicy. (Should have seen my face after my first bite into a full spoon of salsa on a tostada, priceless!) They have so many different types of salsas and various cute little tacos that you can have for breakfast lunch or dinner, delicious carpaccio and always plentiful of tostadas to mix in with the 10 different salsas you will have on the dinner table. I also tried two very typical meals that I had never tried before. First: Mole, (pronounced “molé”) which is just this brown looking thing that really has nothing to appealing to it, but tastes quite alright. It consists of chili, peanuts, chicken and chocolate all mashed up together to form this puree texture. The second typical food I tried was “Cabrito”, also known as goat meat. It was actually really good, very tender and tasty. Personally I like it better then chicken. I went to one of the largest selling cabrito restaurant. There presentation from the main window outside is the one of the picture bellow. Intense but nice. In all the food here is far better then three amigos…(obvious)Image

         I also tried some backyard fruits. Freshly picked off of a tree, pomegranate, which tastes a million times better then the ones found here with a yellow exterior instead of bright pink. The second fruit was Guayaba, it’s a little round ball, yellow colored. The skin is edible and has a sour taste; its inside is of a fig texture with a much sweeter taste. It’s a nice mix of sweet and sour.Image

         Now how about the bars I visited to add a little cocktail to this trip. I certainly went to a lot of local bars where it’s simply all about beer. I tried the El Tinieblo restaurant in san Pedro.  They had some great cocktails, good food and lots of shots. (Mezcal makes me so hyper and happy. J) In general though cocktails didn’t seem so big in Monterrey. For the rest I just noticed a few cool things. At a club named “pepper” I got the best service ever! The waiters fill up your drinks and light your cigarettes so you pretty much just sit back and worry about nothing. There also totally dressed in army suits so its just such a funny situation. The bars and clubs in Mexico almost all have live bands. Makes up for a nice ambiance. (Funny fact: on my first night out I went to a club with live music and the main singer was pretty cute but was one of those no good sweet talkers and he had a “drunken” thing for me that night. He turned out to be a total drunk mess but made my night real entertaining with all his repetitive conversations that lead to absolutely nothing lol such discomfort but hey that’s what drunk talk does for ya.)Image

         In all I really had a great time and I miss it everyday! L There is so much more to Monterrey, and so much more to my time spent there. I didn’t get to do everything but I did enough to know I loved it. I would go again anytime. The people I met there and the friends I made made every moment memorable. But hey it’s only the beginning of my adventures!  Gracias por su atencion!



Rum wisdom

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 18/04/2013 by mixanddream

ImageAll categories of Rum know a huge sales revival. It’s a fact that bartenders, can’t ignore. In this article I will not extend historical knowledge on Rum, as this spirit has a long story, related to much slave trade, colonisation of the Caribbean’s, treachery and revolution. I would like to give everybody a hint of what were rum cocktails before they were associated with oversweet frozen daiquiris, fruity mojitos and sacrilege Mai tai’s. There was a life a MUCH better one for rum before Pina coladas and tikis.

For those who think, ”I can’t do rum” I’m guessing you think that for the main reason of it being, because of a really rough binge session back in your teenage day with a cheap rum. Or just a bad experience with a catastrophic repetition of over diluted mojitos in a random boozer. Take a second to think again, Rum is like whisky, there’s just as many different types, with completely different flavour profiles, complexity, richness and smoothness. But you can’t really compare a light crisp Cuban rum, really briefly aged, with a good old rich and smooth Nicaraguan vintage. If the AOC rum agricole de Martinique is high proof crisp and vegetal, the Guatemalan rums will be more on the fruitier, caramel, spicier side.

Unlike many would think, pretty much all types of rum can be mixed. If the light un-aged ones are ok to be mixed with pretty much any juice, the life changing cocktails, will be made with old rums, and simple ingredients, warm liqueurs, bitters, vermouth…

Rum has been used to prepare what is one of the oldest cocktails still made today in modern cocktail bars. The Grog, consists of rum and water, sometimes lemon or lime, with nutmeg or cinnamon.  This was introduced in the British Royal Navy, in the middle of the 18th century. The idea is pretty much essence of the cocktail. Take a spirit, too strong and possibly too rough and dilute it down to improve the taste and lower the strength. Molasses were soon added. We’re not talking about Zacapa solera, we’re talking about proper pirate booze, roughly distilled, poorly aged and stored, possibly macerated with a couple of dead mice.  Sailors had a daily allowance of rum, originally half a pint, twice a day. Diluting it down was meant to reduce drunkenness on board and the indiscipline related to it.

 This is pretty much how everything started. This laid the bases for the mojito and the daiquiri, and then plethora of cocktails. A mix of hot sun, hard work, and a justified need of intoxication led the inventors of these drinks to blend the ingredients needed to create these recipes that have lived thru the ages.

So as we go on, if you are looking for something different than sugar rum and water, no need to drown yourself into gallons of juices and coconut cream. Before the tiki and the disco era were born, rum had a life. Fairly easy to obtain during prohibition thanks to the rum runners, and still accessible in Cuba for the drunks that were wealthy enough to afford the trip to imbibe despite their homeland regulations, it is the base of many incredibly tasty classics, that are mostly forgotten these days. We owe to prohibition a series of relatively simple drinks such as:

The Mary Pickford, created by a Cuban bartender for the American actress pioneering silent movie (the cheeky little bugger had now set the base on how to easily impress a female customer, we all have named a drink after a fit patron ourselves). Rum, pineapple juice maraschino and grenadine.Image

El Presidente, 4:2:1:0,5 slightly aged rum, red vermouth, Curacao (less sweet than triple sec), grenadine (home made please), created by one of these American bartenders who fled the Great ExperimentImage

Nacional special, again, slightly aged rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup, apricot brandy (4:2:1:1:0,5), and again, created by another Yankee bartender in CubaImage

Maybe among my personal favourites, The papa doble, or Hemingway Daiquiri, or Daiquiri #3, according to personal researches (not so pushed), 99% of people ordering this drink will be bartenders. Created for Ernest Hemingway, famous alcoholic bipolar diabetic regular at La Floridita, what a legendary chap. The guy wouldn’t have any sugar in his daiquiris, and liked it stronger and bitterer. It is really important that you use freshly squeezed juices on this one. If you wonder what your Mexican elbow is there for, it’s time to use it. White Cuban rum, freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.  Please report any bartender that you see adding sugar to it.Image

We could talk all night long about prohibition rum drinks, but that’s not the (main) point. I am just trying to awake you curiosity on drinks that you might not think of ordering or recommending. I like to compare these drinks to the good old vinyl records that you rediscover in your dads collection. Would you rather listen to 1D, or a good old Joe Cocker? Exactly. Remember, if these drinks survived the 18th amendment and are still enjoyed today, they must be somehow good.




Quatre glaçons dans le vent.

Posted in Uncategorized on 12/04/2013 by mixanddream

Agreed and agreed !!

Sweet happy & excited :)

Posted in Uncategorized on 12/04/2013 by mixanddream

Sweet happy & excited :)

El Tinieblo, premium mezcal made with a hand blown glass bottle and created in the depts of massive volcanoes. Been produced since 1865 in Tamaulipas, Mexico. By 1998 it came owner ship of A.P. Salinas who marketed it until this day. It is produced the classic way with no machines and all man crafted. They use espadin, Salmiana and American agaves. El Tinieblo has a pinch of a smoky smell a light taste of black sea salty, wild sagebrush and graphite. You can find the classic blanco, reposado and anejo, “my favorite would be blanco ☺”!!! For its true trademark from its connoisseurs El Tinieblo mixed with oysters, equals, a great balance of happy & horny! 😉 ENJOY!!!

El Tinieblo Listing, Montreal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 12/04/2013 by mixanddream

Mezcal… what you want to know

Posted in Uncategorized on 12/04/2013 by mixanddream

When I think Mezcal, I think :“that bottle with the worm in it?” .My first reaction is a total yuk. But, that thought quickly changed when I went to my first Mezcal tasting. It was the El Tinieblo, which was of an absolute amazing taste. It also made me open my eyes to many new things about this spirit and its time for me to share it. Image


         So, firstly, mezcal is not tequila, yet tequila is a form of mezcal. Why? Well this is for two main reasons. One of them is equal to their difference in region, and the second one is that mezcal is made or can be made of 11 different types of agave. 90% of it mostly being from the agave espadin. Oaxaca is the official home of mezcal and also Mexico’s poorest state.

         Now for the way mezcal is made. Traditionally , the agave plants will be roasted in underground wood fire pits. The agave hearts will be slow-roasted over wood fires. Since all of this is made without the help of any machines it can take up to several days to cook. The cooked agave will then be crushed with the help of a horse. Sounds almost wrong but it really isn’t. 😉 The horse is towing a stone wheel to crush it. It is then distilled in small-batch copper pot stills. If you hadn’t already noticed, mezcal is entirely made out doors, without electricity or any sort of giant machine. It’s kind of like working on a farm.Image

         In all, mezcal is a great spirit to learn to truly appreciate. Typically served neat, with orange slices and a rim of sal de gusano ,a salt ground with dried caterpillars who infest the agave. For certain people that must sound not so great. To be honest though, I tried it with the dried caterpillar rim and it really wasn’t that bad! I’m sure that if nobody had told me I would have never guessed. It simply tastes like salt. When you drink mezcal you have to be mad real with it and take it to the next level. Anyways, that pretty much sums it up! I’ll have a quick briefing on El Tinieblo and the bars and restaurants where you can find it in Montreal. It’s definitely worth giving it a try.     Image

Variations – Last Word

Posted in Uncategorized on 08/04/2013 by mixanddream

Real interesting variations to try out !! I love this.

The Straight Up

Last Word

The Last Word is one of my favorite classic cocktails. What makes it even better is the ease in which you can vary it up by substituting ingredients. This article highlights a few of my favorites.

Last Word is a prefect cocktail to experiment with substitutions. While there are endless options, this article focuses on a few of my favorites and touches on a some other substitutions you can try to further change the flavor of this style of cocktail. Overall, I like don’t like to mess with the ratios, as the balance between the ingredients is perfect in almost all cases using equal parts. Before we jump into a few variations, lets review the original Last Word:

Last Word 2Last Word:

.75oz Gin
.75oz Green Chartreuse
.75oz Maraschino
.75oz Lime Juice

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, lets get into a few variations.


Final Ward

View original post 460 more words

Marana Chacha

Posted in Uncategorized on 08/04/2013 by mixanddream


Maraschino based cocktail for the month which I came up with 🙂 we’ve got maraschino, pisco, lime, pineapple and almond syrup!! Come have a try at Lab !

Secrets of Rye!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 03/04/2013 by mixanddream

As in every single industry, there are trends in the bar life that develops and disappear every year. Some will last weeks, some years, some will be a proper rebirth. I’m talking here about home-made bitters, flavoured vodkas, barrel aged cocktails and so on… Some are not new. Some are rediscoveries. And I am talking here about… Rye Whiskey! Until a couple of years ago, not many bartenders would have been able to talk you through the upsell of your Manhattan to a rye. As we know, until early 2000’s, it was hard to get a proper Manhattan, including bitters. It’s only been about 10 years that bartenders came back to respecting traditional old school recipes, and using rye, as the originally prescribed.Image

So a quick analyse of this return to Rye whiskeys. The interesting flavour profile developed by the darker cereal is a reason good enough. But, as cocktail bars are opening every month all around the biggest cities in the world, there are more and more true, professional bartenders, with real skills and proper knowledge .Concurrence is around the corner, and you need to make a difference in your products, and chat. The return to old recipes, the respect of traditions long lost, and the clear (and justified) will to show off the skills (come on, you know it’s true), partially explains the recent booming of the sales in rye. Professionals can, and will, judge a good cocktail bar (also) by the selection of Rye. On the customer point of view, it becomes easier to awake their curiosity on what is known as a “grown-ups” spirit. You know, that average Joe with his date on a Tuesday early afternoon in your bar, well, he recently understood that ordering a cosmo or a pina colada for himself will not help him marking virility points.Image

A very basic legal reminder of the legal term for Rye. There are several categories with different legal requirements for each one of them.  Rye whiskey and straight Rye don’t have geographical boundaries within the US, just like bourbon. Also, Rye whiskey needs to be distilled from a mash made of at least 51% of rye, and just like bourbons it must have been aged at least 2 years in brand new charred oak barrels. To get the appellation “straight Rye”, it must be distilled at no more than 80% ABV (160 proof), and barrelled for ageing at a strength above 62,5% ABV. This will guarantee the preservation of the flavours during distillation and the strength of the spirit after several years of ageing.  Image

Canadian Whiskeys are usually believed to be the same thing as Ryes. That is just a misunderstood. They do contain rye, but in lesser proportions. The base is usually a corn spirit then blended with another whiskey that will act as flavouring. If you do make a tasting you notice they are less challenging, not as bold as their American counter parts.

Now rye is to cereal pretty much what pepper is to seasoning. It will give these spicy notes, boldness to the spirit that makes it more interesting for expert opened palates. The regulations on distilling and ageing make everything to guarantee a fully developed flavour, and it makes a truly significant impact as an ingredient for your classics. The product is bolder, spicier, less sweet, more complex. Just as you will find the difference between a smooth grey goose wheat based vodka, and a Belvedere rye vodka, the same applies to whiskeys. Wheat and corn predominant mashes will give you softer, more approachable spirits. You can even feel the difference trying 2 different types of bourbons. Both largely corn based, but one with more wheat (Maker’s Marks) and another with more rye (Woodford’s Reserve). The difference is notable.

How to drink it:

Rye can be drunk the way you want it. A bit of ice will help opening the flavours. They usually are at a higher ABV than average, so you might want to go easy on your little taste buds. If you are to mix it, or use it in cocktails, be reasonable. Go for classics, and don’t overdo it. No need to go crazy, you want to enjoy the thing at its best. Go for classics, pre prohibition, golden age, archaic era… And just to make it clear, Manhattans are to be made with Rye. And I insist on Rye there, and even if a bourbon, or a Canadian whiskey will do, keep it as a second choice, it just won’t be the same. These classics where born like this. In fact, before the spectacularly failed noble experiment (Prohibition), Rye whiskey was THE stuff. Not only to show around your knowledge and pair of balls, but if you open any old school cocktail book, you will see it mentioned specifically. RYE, not bourbon, nor Canadian whiskey, nor whatever. RYE! For a good reason. Try a Blinker (rye, grapefruit juice, grenadine, straight up) with Canadian Club. Nothing exceptional. Now try it with Sazerac, or Russel’s reserve. Dude! You know it’s the stuff. And the stuff had issues getting back on every bar’s shelves after the Volstead Act was repealed. Well that’s what we are here for. Making sure our patrons imbibe themselves with potable poison. Educate the drinking, expand the flavour horizons…Image


Gary reagan

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/04/2013 by mixanddream

Grand passionné de la culture bar Gary Reagan nous a fais part de sa philosophie et de son savoir, le lundi 25 mars 2013 à Paris. Écrivain de plusieur livre de bar notament ” Joy of mixologie”, The bartender’s bible”, ” Gaz Reagan’s 101 Best New Cocktails 2012″… ainsi le créateur du célébre Reagan’s orange bitter. vidéo à venir sous peut 🙂 IMG_2910regans-orange-bitters