The HOTTEST new trend in Bartending in 2019
Updated: Mar 29
As Cocktails For You we travel around the world almost on a weekly basis searching for new ideas, techniques & ingredients to share with bartenders all over the world. It is our pleasure to reveal the literally ‘HOTTEST’ new trend in bartending for 2019.
The LoggerHead Poker Although technically this technique goes back to the 17th century in the creation of the original ‘Flip’ cocktail there has been no bar globally that had recreated the practice in the 21st century. There have been those who attempted using modern wizardry but it our pleasure to reveal the pioneer bar that has not only brought back the ‘Red Hot Poker’ cocktail technique but has championed & modernised it to be enjoyed by cocktail connoisseurs worldwide.
The Loggerhead bar Artem Skapenko is the co-owner of one of the leading cocktail bar in Kyiv, Ukraine. He had initially stumbled upon the technique in a book from David Wondrich regarding old bartender tools for bartenders. There is discovered the original method to making the Flip cocktail & for him this entire technique was a game-changer in his bartending career. He had seen bartenders champion old spirits, bitters & syrups but had never encountered anyone who had taken on the use of the technique of using a red hot poker in the creation of the original Flip cocktail. Inspired by this discovery he made it his quest to recreate the technique & bring it back into use.
On the 12th of December 2015 is a special date for Artem because after years of searching he finally managed to track down an antique Loggerhead poker with an age range from the 1740s to 1780s that is still present proudly displayed in his bar. In honour of tool & technique he decided to name his bar after the forgotten piece of history. All of the pokers produced by Loggerhead for use in their bar are still based on this ancient original find.
Then began the real test for the young bar owner because how would they be able to create a machine in a square space of 3.5 metres that would be able to heat a metal poker up to 1,000 degrees Celsius safely for human consumption & consistently. A metal poker would need to be heated to 850 degrees Celsius before it starts to turn red & they eventually stumbled upon a small smelting machine used for the low-scale production of jewellery. The machine was imported, turned on, the prototype poker was inserted & as it was inserted into a classic blazing cup there was FIRE. Mission success!
The problem is that because no one had been playing around with the original technique for over 200 years & it isn’t featured in any classic bartending manuals from the likes of Jerry Thomas or Harry Craddock. Not to mention that one was drinking with the LoggerHead in Ukraine since all mentions of the original Flip cocktail come from New England or Britain. There is no guide, there is simply an insanely hot piece of metal & all the ingredients in the world to play with! Originally the ‘Flip’ cocktail was a pretty simple concoction but the guys from LoggerHead took it to the next level with their ‘Red-Hot Chilli Poker’ cocktail:
The basic formula listed was a combination of rum, strong ale & molasses/sugar most definitely feeling more like a hot alcoholic meal in a glass than a cocktail as we know it nowadays. Regardless Artem sees it simply as a combination of swapping out the base components for similar ingredients. He takes it also one step forward attempting to help balance the cocktail with a sour component to really bring balance to the drink in the end & believe it is simply up to the bartenders creativity when it comes to the final product.
The future is here & the future is RED HOT!
Just like the 'Japanese Hard-Shake’ or ‘Throwing Drinks’ were trends in the preparation of drinks that have become very in-vogue over the years the preparation using a red-hot poker is very much in the same vein. Theatrical preparation of cocktails has always been popular with guests hence the use of dry ice, fire & elaborate garnishes has never failed to disappoint. The red-hot poker technique is one of the founding pillars of bartending & can be argued that the drinks made with it fall under the category of ‘cocktails’ even if they weren’t named as such. The rule of 3 ingredients is a cocktail means that the drinks made at that time period would’ve been described as cocktails in the 21st century.
The best part of re-discovering this old techniques is that the drinks it creates are unique & can be only be replicated with this method. They don’t all have to be flips & blazers either as the instant caramelisation of the ingredients at 1000 degrees changes the flavour profile so that after you can use the new mixture in a cold drink such a sour. We at Cocktails For You believe that this trend will explode in 2019 ushering in an era of drinks around the world!