Episode 034 - Cocktail Kryptonite

Cocktail Kryptonite Original.jpg

What’s shakin, cocktail fans!

Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast.

In this episode, we’re going to hear from five different home bartenders about cocktail techniques and ingredients they’ve struggled with, and how some have even managed to conquer their cocktail kryptonite.

But first, a couple announcements. 

We Won a Good Food Award!

Embitterment-Chocolate-Bitters Good Food.png

We’re pleased to announce that our Embitterment Chocolate Bitters are now our AWARD WINNING Chocolate Bitters. They are the recipient of a 2018 Good Food Award, which is a national competition judged by the Good Food Mercantile, which is a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to premium-quality natural and local foods.

We took home a winner’s medal in the “Elixyrs” category, alongside our good friends from Element [Shrub] and Shrub District, and our pals over at Catoctin Creek Distilling also took home a medal in the spirits category. Very strong showing from the DC area this year.

You can pick up a bottle of our AWARD WINNING chocolate bitters from modernbarcart.com, and to celebrate this tremendous honor, they’re now 20% off through the month of February (2018).

Announcing the Bitter-Sweet Box

Bitter-Sweet Box.JPG

You know, Valentines day is coming up. And personally, I’ve never been a big fan of selecting valentines gifts because it seems like they’re all just variations on the same tired box of chocolates. So this year, we’ve decided to do something about it.

Modern Bar Cart is excited to announce the launch of our Bitter-Sweet Box, which is a great Valentines day gift for the cocktail lover in your life. It’s got two 30ml bottles of Embitterment Bitters - orange and chocolate - as well as two premium chocolate bar minis from Chocotenango, which is a premium chocolate company based right here in DC.

There are two reasons why we love the Bitter-Sweet Box. First, if you buy from us directly online, it’s only $14.99 plus shipping, which is about the price of a decent bottle of wine. And second, it’s a really great gift if you’re looking for something a bit less cheesy or played out than the traditional stuffed animal or dozen roses.

You can purchase the Bitter-Sweet box on modernbarcart.com, or from select retailers here in DC, but if you’re thinking this is just a fleeting Valentines Day offering - THINK AGAIN. We’ll keep it in stock for ya year round, which makes it a great anniversary gift, birthday present, or get well soon token.

Featured Cocktail: The Chocolate Manhattan

Personally, I find that the best way to use chocolate bitters is to make a subtle spin on a classic dark-spirit cocktail, like the Manhattan.

Making one is extremely simple:

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey (or bourbon if you prefer)
  • 1 oz Sweet vermouth (here, go with Dolin or Carpano Antica)
  • Several Healthy dashes of Embitterment Chocolate Bitters

And all you need to do is stir those together over ice, strain into a stemmed cocktail glass, and finish it off with an expressed orange peel garnish.

It’s a beautiful drink, and the chocolate is a warm, subtle presence.

Today, we’ll hear from 5 different home bartenders about the struggles they’ve had with certain cocktail ingredients and techniques. And the metaphor I used to get them to open up about their difficulties was to frame it as “Superman and Kryptonite” situation - that one substance that rendered him powerless.

These are great stories, and we think you’ll learn a lot from the way these folks tested themselves against some tricky ingredients. Enjoy.

Cocktail Kryptonite

Charlie Berkinshaw Element Shrub.jpg
When I was living in Japan, my neighbor offered me sake that he had made in his house, and it was infused with a real live snake.
— Charlie Berkinshaw, Element [Shrub]
I know egg whites can do beautiful, wonderful things in cocktails, but uncooked eggs really freak me out.
— Valerie Ecehveste, cocktails+craft
Valerie Echeveste Cocktails and Craft.jpg
Maria Littlefield Owls Brew.jpg
There was something about the juniper [in gin] that made me feel like I was drinking a Christmas Tree.
— Maria Littlefield, The Owl's Brew
Absinthe is like truffle oil. It can really ruin a drink if you don’t put the right amount in, but it can also elevate your drink.
— Chris Kiertz, Socktails.co
Chris Kiertz Socktails.co.jpg
Alex Luboff Speaking Easy Podcast.jpg
I’ve tried a number of ways to make Jaegermeister really work in a cocktail. It’s almost like a personal quest to figure it out.
— Alex Luboff, The Speaking Easy Podcast