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From basic bar techniques to higher skilled foams and fat washing, leading Irish bartender Andrew Dickey runs through some techniques that will create depth and flavor and impress your customers!

The Basics

Every single bar mentor will tell you differently, "stir clockwise for 30 seconds, shake for 22 seconds, that Ramos Gin Fizz isn’t ready until you are crying with exhaustion!" So first things first, let’s look at some basics that will help with any serve you are creating.

My top 3 tips when making any serve:

Heightening Your Skills

So, now we have gone through some of the basics, let’s look at three higher skilled techniques.


Why: This is a great technique for adding flavors and textural differences in drinks, other than classic sour styles, that include egg whites. Foams are easily made and they can be used for any style of drink.

How to do it:

For airs which are light and fluffy, the best way to achieve this is by using Lecithin. Lecithin is a fatty substance found in egg whites and comes in powdered form. Follow these steps:


Why: Another craze that came back to the cocktail scene last year was homemade sodas. This again is a great way to add flavor and fizz to your drinks and give a classic serve a twist.

How to do it:

Homemade sodas are easy to create and can add a beautiful effervescence to long drinks or spritzers. All you need is a soda siphon and CO2 charges, which can easily be picked up online or at local home appliance stores. At the moment there are great local tea and coffee merchants that have great tasting fruit teas and the flavors match perfectly with some base spirits (e.g., Tanqueray No. TEN and a lemongrass and ginger soda that also contains hibiscus, pomegranate and juniper). Simply follow these steps!


Why: A technique that can really bring culinary flavors into drinks, including those that customers may not naturally associate with drinks.

How to do it:

Fat washing is incorporating fats and oils from fruits, poultry or dairy products into spirits. It adds unbelievable flavor and texture and can be a really impressive if done right! You can use bacon, butter, duck fat and coconut oil. Butter and bourbon is a must but being Irish, butter is a way of life! Follow these steps:

Practice – Foam & Airs

Margarita with a twist

For the Foam:


Add ingredients to a tin shaker and shake vigorously.

Fine strain into pre-chilled coupe glass and layer salted lecithin foam on top.

Practice - Carbonisation

The Mexican Rose


Place ingredients, except soda, into shaker and throw 6-8 times until chilled.

Strain into ice-filled Red Wine glass.

Add cucumber and rose water Champagne soda and stir.

Garnish with edible rose, cucumber or edible flowers.

For Soda:

1 Liter of cucumber and rose water (infuse 1 liter of water with chopped cucumber with 1.75 oz. rose water for 24 hours)

Add 1.75 oz. Champagne acid solution* and charge with two CO2 cartridges in soda siphon (*Champagne Acid -6g Tartaric Acid, 6g Lactic Acid mixed with 3.5 oz. water)

Practice – Fat Washing

Dutch Summer Punch (serves 10)


Add all the ingredients to punch bowl over block ice.

Stir and garnish with pineapple chunks, pineapple leaves, lime wheels and fresh mint.

* For coconut-oil-washed KETEL ONE® Family-Made Vodka:

Add 7 oz. of coconut oil to a pan and let dissolve on a low/medium heat.

Pour the oil into container along with one 750 mL bottle of KETEL ONE® Family-Made Vodka.

Leave in freezer for 6-8 hours until the alcohol and oil have separated.

Strain off the Vodka and you are ready to make punch.


These are just some techniques bars are utilizing and for any newbie bartender reading this it will be a lot to take in. We all start somewhere so please don’t be put off! Experiment with flavors and techniques and they will become a daily part of your routine. Enjoy!

(*One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol)