Essential Bar Tips: Surprisingly Overlooked Advice

Welcome to the first in a series of posts that I’ll call, “Obvious Bar Tips!”

These will cover surprisingly overlooked advice that everyone probably knows, or should know, if they’ve been creating craft cocktails (say that fast 3 times!) for some time, but might not be obvious to the folks who are new to the game.

Obvious Bar Tip #1 – Sample That New Bottle of Liqueur!

Before you start adding this wondrous elixir to your cocktails, you’re going to want to know its flavor profile. Is it:

  • Sweet?
  • Herbal?
  • Bitter?
  • Complex?
  • Subtle?
  • Overpowering?

Once you know the liqueur’s flavor profile, you’ll be better informed on how it will shape the overall flavor of the cocktail. You might find that the liqueur you purchased is better suited for a different cocktail than the one intended. For instance, I recently purchased a bottle of Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur, thinking it would be syrupy and sweet like the Gran Gala I always use, despite the description on the Mandarine Napoleon website. Not so! Because it is infused with botanicals such as clove, nutmeg, and green tea, it has a complex herbal flavor with a dry finish. Delicious, but not quite what I was expecting!

Armed with this knowledge, I crafted a delightful (according to my wife) cocktail that we enjoyed with our Sunday evening nosh. I’ll be posting that recipe soon, right here on Bourbony. If you’re a Bourbony subscriber, you’ll get access to it first, so make sure you’re signed up!

Bob Sawyer


Hi! I’m Bob!

If it’s got bourbon in it, I’m drinking it. And if it’s really good, I’m gonna figure out how to make it, and share it with you. Because I’m good like that.


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