Bartender: Free pouring or jiggering? Just gimme me a great cocktail

on 07/11/10 at 10:55 am

Spirits

“So I apologize in advance for bringing this up, but a true cocktail nerd debate has been raging — and I mean, raging! — over at the Huffington Post since last week. It’s a version of the age-old Free Pouring v. Jiggering Debate, most recently stoked by a HuffPo blogger named Karl Kozel (“One of America‚Äôs foremost bartenders”). Karl is a long-time barman who began working behind the stick way back in 1973. Karl is a professed Free Pourer (“Cuz I’m as free as a bird now” he quotes from Lynyrd Skynyrd). Suffice to say that Karl doesn’t much the like the recent trend of bartenders in serious cocktail bars who use jiggers to measure their ingredients.

Asks Karl: “Who decided that hand jiggering cocktails was the best way to make a drink? Where did the art of bartending — which included perfecting one’s free pour become a nervous exacting science of ‘measuring’ each and every last drop of whatever goes into a drink. When did we emasculate the great skill set that was expected of any great barman?…if you are standing behind a bar and calling yourself a bartender, get rid of the jigger, and start relying on your abilities to make an honest and precise drink.”

Apparently Karl has made the Free Pour argument before and been shouted down. Earlier in his piece, we can almost feel the chip on his shoulder…”

{Full story via Washington Post}

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