don’t forget the blender
In the Asked & Answered section of this issue of NCB Mix, chef Kathy Casey sings the praises of blended drinks as they are served in the United Arab Emirates and other locations where the temperature routinely tops 100 degrees. She found layered drinks of blended fruits, even blended mint lemonade, to be popular concoctions there. It’s nice to hear that there are folks who appreciate the qualities a blended drink provides.
These days, except for the newly found reverence among some bar folk for flash-blended Tiki drinks, blenders are generally considered the bane of a bartender’s life, and those who seek out blended fare are annoyances. That’s too bad, since blenders, like any other tools, have their place in a lot of bars and nightclubs. The problem, usually, is that the same care is not given to blended drinks as has been bestowed on most other branches of mixology. Woe betide the bartender who can’t handle his bitters bottle, and yet one who can’t make a consistently tasty, frozen Pina Colada is given a pass these days. Me, I find when the temperature in Brooklyn hits 90-plus, like the day this is written, or when I’m in the Caribbean, the combo of ice, fresh fruit, rum and the blender create the perfect bar mise en place. Blender drinks from the 1950s and ’60s may not enhance a bar’s chic factor today, but blender driving is a skill that is, in my opinion, one in terrible neglect.