Take the Traditional American Mixology Quiz!

I sometimes get inquiries from bar-tenders as to whether they would actually learn anything from an Elemental Mixology Course.

The answer is always, “Yes.”  It would be a resounding ‘yes’ even if the bar-tender asking were Eric Alperin, Matthew Biancaniello, Julian Cox, Aidan Demarest, Vincenzo Marianella, etc.

In fact, I would give any of the bar-tenders I mentioned a money-back guarantee to take either the Standard Mixing Course or the Master Mixing Course.  If they could look me in the eye at the end of the course and tell me that they had not leaned plenty, I would be happy to refund them.

Well, we know that won’t happen.  But, what about the less-famous bar-tender that isn’t sure whether there is really that much to learn?

I have set up a Traditional American Mixology Quiz.  Anyone who scores a perfect 100 percent on the quiz might already be familiar enough with traditional, pre-prohibition, American mixology that they would be wasting their time and money at Elemental Mixology.  Everyone else would have their understanding-and-making of mixed drinks revolutionized and impassioned by the course.

Find out if that includes you.  Take the twenty-question Elemental Mixology Traditional American Mixology Quiz!

Rare Citrus in Drinks at Elemental Mixology

Dampier Cocktail

Above: The Dampier Cocktail garnished with half a finger lime on the rim.

During the Experimental Mixing Symposium this past Saturday, a good number of drinks were made by the students using some relatively-unusual citrus that I had on hand.  The two species that made the biggest impression were Citrus junos (or, more accurately Citrus ichangensis x. Citrus reticulata), the yuzu (or Japanese citron); and Citrus australasica, the finger lime.Unusual Citrus

Everyone loved yuzu juice in drinks.  It is about as sour as Eureka lemon juice, but with a very different flavor — a little delightfully funky and with hints of vanilla.  I think that every drink made on Saturday using yuzu juice as the sour element was enjoyed by all.  The season for ripe Yuzu fruit is from late November until about the middle of December.  The Mud Creek Ranch people usually have some for sale at that time.  During the rest of the year, bottled yuzu juice must be used.  As long as you are willing to pay for first-pressing juice imported from Japan, the quality should be fine.  For mixing in drinks, avoid any yuzu juice that is second pressing or features English words on the manufacturer’s label!  Also avoid the little bottles that contain salt as a preservative!  You want 100% pure, first-pressing, yuzu juice.  Here is one to look for:

Yuzu Juice

Bottled yuzu juice also lasts at good quality for much longer than lemon juice.  The bottle we used on Saturday was opened eight months ago and was still absolutely delicious.

When I think of yuzu drinks, I first think of the great drink made last December in session six of the Standard Drinks Course by chef Tony DiSalvo, then a student.  Thank you, Tony!  For lack of a better name, I call it the Salvation Sour.  The name Sushi Sour has also been suggested and this drink would surely go better with sushi than any sake served in any way!  One student exclaimed, “Now I want sushi!”  In addition to yuzu juice, you will want Hendrick’s gin and arraks punsch extrakt (with which you can compound your own superior Swedish punch liqueur by mixing it with an equal part of vodka):

Salvation Sour Ingredients

Here is the recipe.  Click on the image to enlarge it.  If you get together the ingredients, I guarantee that you will love this drink — and that it will blow away anything made by some professional ‘bar creature’ with his infused arugula syrup and oily walnut bitters.

Salvation Sour

Now, from all of the rare citrus drinks made this last Saturday, two really stood out for me.  The first one I call the Dampier Cocktail.  I imagined it and, tasting it with my mind’s tongue, suggested it to the students.  It is nothing more than a Gin Cocktail accented with the tart finger lime.  We tried it with twice as much finger lime and it was good, but somehow the flavor of finger lime went from an interesting and unusual accent to a less interesting lime hammer.  Imagine a vaguely finger lime version of the sour known as the Gimlet, and that’s about what it was.  I preferred the true cocktail version.  Here it is.  Click on the image to read the naming logic in the note below the drink.

Dampier Cocktail

Another good drink was made by student Rachel Blum.  It was the Yuzurinha — a Caipirinha with yuzu instead of lime.  I expected that to be good, and it was.  But, the drink that surprised me by being so delicious was the result of student Chris Hain’s inspiration to make the Oxford Milk Punch with yuzu instead of lemon.  I suggested that Chris use honey mandarine (in season now and on hand on Saturday) instead of the orange juice in the Oxford Milk Punch.  This drink was truly good.  I call it the Cavendish Milk Punch for reasons legible in the notes below the recipe if the image is clicked on.

Cavendish Milk Punch

I have kept the Salvation Sour to my courses since December and really thought about not sharing any of these newer drinks with a wider audience.  I don’t like it when hard-to-find ingredients become even harder to find!  But, these drinks are just so damned good that I could not justify keeping them from anyone.

Those of you who bother to get the ingredients and make these drinks will discover why they must be shared.

New Page: Where to Get a Drink from Elemental Mixology Alumni or Friends

I am routinely asked where one can get drinks like those made in Elemental Mixology Courses.

This might not answer that question exactly, but I have posted a list of bars (or restaurants with bars) where Elemental Mixology alumni or friends make drinks or manage.

If you are an alumni or friend of Elemental Mixology and I have neglected to include you in the list, send me an e-mail message making your case to: andrew@elementalmixology.com

Experimental Mixology Session

In addition to exploring techniques this weekend in the Experimental Mixology Class, we will, of course, be using ingredients not often used in drinks.

Citrus 2014 03 05

Thanks mostly to the folks at Mud Creek Ranch, today I picked up the following fruit for the Experimental class:

Orange Lemons (a orange-colored mutation of otherwise-normal lemon)

Italian Lemons



Daisy Mandarines

Panama Oranges (sour)

Moro Blood Oranges (better-tasting than most Moros)

Tahitian Pomelos

Tong-Dee Pomelos

Duncan Grapefruit



If you are in the class, expect to work with some these!

Master Drinks Course Raffle


The first Elemental Mixology Master Drinks Course will be held this year.  It is a ten-session course starting Sunday afternoon on the first day of June.

One spot in this course will be raffled off.  Any person who has already taken an Elemental Mixology Drinks course, or is taking one that will end before the Master Drinks Course begins, may enter the raffle by sending an e-mail message to me (andrew@elementalmixology.com) and requesting as much.  Kindly remind me of which course you took, and when (in general terms — I know some of you may have taken courses as long ago as 2007).  Each person who contacts me as requested will be issued a unique raffle entry number.

The deadline for contacting me, with your previous attendance information, and requesting a raffle number shall be by midnight on Friday, February 21st.

Since the raffle is limited to those who have already attended other drinks courses and their legal drinking age has been previously established, there are few other rules, except that the winning spot may not be transferred to any other course.  Subscribers and apprentices will be part of the Master Drinks Course, already, and need not enter unless their regular subscription or apprenticeship will already be finished by the time the Master Drinks Course begins.

The drawing will be done using a random number generator at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 1st in the NipJoint Bar (the Elemental Mixology bar).  All entrants may attend the drawing in person to witness it.  If the winner is not present, he or she will be notified immediately by the fastest mode of communication available (text message or e-mail message, depending upon available contact information).

Enter now, and good luck!

New Discount for the Holiday Season

Great Deal

The Big Three Package Deal discount has been added to the Elemental Mixology Storefront.

Anyone purchasing one spot each in the Standard Drinks Course, the Liquor Course and the Fabrication Course at the same time who enters the coupon code THREEINONE will get a $100 discount.  This discount will probably not be permanent, so make use of it now!