70 episodes

Want to take your bartending skills to the next level? Join VinePair managing editor Tim McKirdy for a weekly deep-dive into classic cocktails with America’s best bartenders. Cocktail College looks beyond the recipe and explores every aspect of mixology from ingredients and ice to shaking techniques, garnishes, and glassware — elevating your Martinis, Mai Tais, and everything in between.
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Cocktail College VinePair

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 135 Ratings

Want to take your bartending skills to the next level? Join VinePair managing editor Tim McKirdy for a weekly deep-dive into classic cocktails with America’s best bartenders. Cocktail College looks beyond the recipe and explores every aspect of mixology from ingredients and ice to shaking techniques, garnishes, and glassware — elevating your Martinis, Mai Tais, and everything in between.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    The Amaretto Sour

    The Amaretto Sour

    Examining another branch of the sour cocktail family, we're joined today by friend of the show Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Portland’s Pacific Standard to talk about his self-proclaimed “Best Amaretto Sour In the World.” We will also look at the evolution of sour mix, the subtle art of beating egg whites, and the exciting resurgence of liqueurs in the cocktail space. Listen on to discover Morgenthaler’s Amaretto Sour recipe — and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 

    Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Amaretto Sour Recipe

    Ingredients
    1 teaspoon of rich simple syrup (2:1) ½ ounce lightly beaten egg white 1 ounce of lemon juice ¾ ounce of cask-strength bourbon 1 ½ ounces of Amaretto Garnish: Lemon peel, brandied cherry
    Directions
    Add all ingredients to a shaker with several large ice cubes. Shake until chilled. Strain into a 10-ounce Old Fashioned glass. Top with ice and garnish with a lemon twist and a brandied cherry on a toothpick, tucked into the lemon peel.

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    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Hot Toddy

    The Hot Toddy

    Something sweet, something strong, and something hot — that’s all it takes to throw together a tasty Hot Toddy, according to Pip Hanson, beverage director of Minneapolis’ O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. Of course, this being Cocktail College, we’ll explore each of those components in much greater detail, and learn about Toddies (hot and cold) as a historic category of drinks. Listen on to discover Hanson’s Hot Toddy recipe —  and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 
     
    Pip Hanson’s Hot Toddy Recipe 
     
    Ingredients 
     
    - Boiling water 
    - 1 ⅓ ounces whiskey, such as Keeper’s Heart 110 proof 
    - ½ ounce milliliters piloncillo (unrefined raw cane) sugar syrup 
    - Lemon peel 
      
    Directions 
     
    1. Shock (heat) a handled Hot Toddy glass with boiling water. 
    2. Add sugar, lemon peel, and whiskey. 
    3. Mix well. 
    4. Top with 8 to 10 ounces boiling water. 
     

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    • 1 hr 17 min
    The Blue Hawaii

    The Blue Hawaii

    For many, the Blue Hawaii may conjure images of kitschy Hawaiian shirts and Jimmy Buffet concerts, but rest assured this cocktail has a rich, complex history that reaches far beyond its novel, neon blue color and elaborate garnishes. Garret Richard, chief cocktail officer at New York’s Sunken Harbor Club and author of the upcoming book, “Tropical Standard,” takes the hot seat today to discuss the Blue Hawaii’s history and lead us in remembering its creator, the late Harry Yee. Listen on to discover Richard’s Blue Hawaii recipe — and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 
     
    Garret Richard’s Blue Hawaii Recipe 
     
    Ingredients 
     
    - 1 ounce sour mix (recipe follows) 
    - 1 ½ ounces fresh pineapple juice 
    - ¾ ounce Denizen white rum
     - ¾ ounce vodka or coconut-oil-washed Plymouth gin 
    - ½ ounce Giffard blue curaçao
    - 1 tsp of gum syrup (or cane syrup)
    - 5 drops of saltwater solution (8 parts water, 2 parts salt) 
    - 12 ounces of crushed ice 
    - Garnish: pineapple leaf and wedge, orchid, and blue cocktail umbrella 
    Sour Mix
    - ½ ounce fresh lemon juice 
    - ½ ounce of lime punch syrup (lime juice, oleo saccharum sugar, citric, and malic acid, all to taste) 
     
    Directions 
     
    1. Combine sour mix, pineapple juice, rum, vodka (or gin), blue curaçao, gum syrup, saltwater solution, and 8 ounces of crushed ice in a large tin. 
    2. Flash blend for 3-5 seconds. 
    3. Put remaining 4 ounces of crushed ice into a Hurricane glass. 
    4. Pour blended mixture into glass. 
    5. Garnish with a pineapple leaf, pineapple wedge, orchid, and blue cocktail umbrella. 
     

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    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Sex on the Beach

    The Sex on the Beach

    More than just an evocative name, the Sex on the Beach is brimming with ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia, and arrives topped with a fun (if questionable) backstory. Leading us on a vibrant trip down memory lane is Houston’s Alba Huerta, owner of the James Beard Award winning Julep. Listen on to discover Huerta’s Sex on the Beach recipe —  and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 
     
    Alba Huerta’s Sex on the Beach Recipe 
     
    Ingredients 
     
    - ¾ ounce Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom 
    - ¾ ounce vodka 
    - 1 ounce fresh lemon juice 
    - ¾ ounce cranberry juice 
    - ½ ounce crème de pêche 
    - ½ ounce orange juice 
    - ¼ ounce simple syrup 
    - Garnish: dehydrated lemon wheel 
      
    Directions 
     
    1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. 
    2. Shake until well chilled. 
    3. Strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. 
    4. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel. 
     


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    • 56 min
    The Irish Coffee

    The Irish Coffee

    While simple in composition, the Irish Coffee is a bonafide cocktail and deserves to be treated like one. Helping us do so today is Jillian Vose, former bar manager and beverage director of the Dead Rabbit, and co-owner of Charleston’s soon-to-open Hazel and Apple. Listen on to learn everything you need to know about the Irish Coffee from one of the world’s leading experts on the drink —  and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 
     
    The Dead Rabbit and Jillian Vose’s Irish Coffee Recipe 
     
    Ingredients 
     
    - 1 ounce Irish whiskey 
    - 3 ¼ ounces drip coffee 
    - ¾ ounce rich Demerara simple syrup (2:1) 
    - 1 ounce freshly whipped cream 
     
    Directions 
     
    1. Add whiskey, warm coffee, and simple syrup to a warm, 6-ounce coffee glass. 
    2. Top with whipped cream. 
     

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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Sherry Cobbler

    The Sherry Cobbler

    While the Sherry Cobbler taps into the modern trend of lower-ABV cocktails, it’s safe to say that its golden era remains a distant memory. This drink was, as startender Harry Johnson noted in 1888, “without doubt the most popular beverage in the country.” Still, there remains much to enjoy and explore here, including the Sherry Cobbler’s role in inspiring themed bars across the Atlantic and spreading the practice of drinking through a straw. Melissa Brooke, bar director at New York’s PS, joins us to today to unpack all of this and more. Listen on to learn her Sherry Cobbler recipe —  and don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe! 
     
    Melissa Brooke’s Sherry Cobbler Recipe 
     
    Ingredients 
     
    - ½ ounce simple syrup 
    - 3 orange slices 
    - 2 ounces Lustau Amontillado sherry 
    - Garnish: fresh berries 
     
    Directions 
     
    1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. 
    2. Hard shake until well chilled. 
    3. Strain into a chilled highball or snifter glass. 
    4. Top with crushed ice. 
    5. Garnish with fresh berries. 
     

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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

Medn4me ,

Cheers to Tim

Everybody knows a good podcast takes much more than just a good topic, it takes a great host. Tim McCurdy is fantastic. He makes every subject Hey dude well well interesting, and lets every guest shine.

shitisplatanos ,

Cheers

Great conversation. Good flow. Such great information. And it’s not dry like so many food and bev podcasts tend to be.

Austin Schwerdt ,

Incredibly provocative and educational

First of all, Tim does an incredible job driving conversation and interviewing all of the guests. I love the diversity of bartenders interviewed. There is something special about listening to people dive into topics deeply rooted in their identity. So many aspects of crafting drinks go overlooked in chains, home bars, dive bars, etc. that the guests(and Tim, presumably) are so meticulous about from freshness of the ingredients, to dilution, ice size/shape, to sustainability. I love hearing how important these details are in drinks. I am a home bartender and people have been telling me my drinks are some of the best they have ever drank thanks to this podcast. There is so much history, brands, techniques, and new drinks I want to continue to try and learn about. Thanks for an incredible podcast!

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