Archive for the ‘REMIXOLOGY’ Category


September 12, 2019 1 comment

Steven Gallanter

15 Edgerly Rd, Apt. 8

Boston, MA 02115



Summary of Qualifications



-Unsupervised bartender with access to premise

-Uncork wine and champagne with appropriate protocol

-Formulate drink specials

-Tend bar for African, Brazilian, EDM, Eurohaus, Greek, International, Latin, alternative lifestyle, rock, swing, Broadway, Country & Western, disco, karaoke, house, hip-hop, oldies, reggae, R & B, classical and Top 40


-Arm and tray service at bar and tables

-Plating and garnishing

-Inform guests of specials

-Food service with appropriate protocol


-Guest list privileges and table reservations

-Provide guest with stationary and personal care items

-Suggest dining, tourism and entertainment options

-Assist challenged guests


-Collect contact information for promotional purposes

-Obtain complimentary bar supplies from salespeople

-Decorate premises for seasonal events

-Distribute promotional material to authorized outlets


-Troubleshooting of soda, refrigeration and HVAC systems

-Diagnosed need for water filtration system for soda and ice systems

-Reconfigured storage to conform to requirements

-Photographed grounds to successfully appeal violations to Boston Board of Inspectional Services


-Aloha, Micros, PosiTouch 6.36 POS systems


-CPR, First Aid and Emergency Oxygen, American Safety & Health Institute, 2015


MA Dept. of Fire Services, Crowd Manager Training, 2018


Boston Board of Elections, Warden and Clerk,

2002-2008, 2010-2019
















HAIKU 5*7*5* Walk-in

December 5, 2018 Leave a comment

I cherish the time

The smell inside the walk-in

Wet cardboard and lime

HAIKU 5*7*5* Fruit flies

April 8, 2018 1 comment

Red Sox hit pop flies

A sign of Opening Day

Sugar brings fruit flies

Nationalize liquor laws…Straight up!

January 28, 2018 3 comments

I am arguing in favor of nationalizing liquor laws, by which is meant laws pertaining to the hours of service licensee liability and the taxation of beverage alcohol.  These regulations are currently a mish-mash of Federal, state, local and regional dictums which are very contradictory yet serve entrenched interests.

My argument is not against the serving of commercial interests but rather that these interests should be brought together under one national doctrine.

Nor am I advocating alcohol consumption per se.  I am arguing in favor of national law regarding the sales hours and taxation of beverage alcohol.

Additionally I advocate a national policy regarding licensee liability.  Massachusetts follows the doctrine of Dram Shop liability which can make defendant licensees civilly liable for a claim by a plaintiff.  Additionally, this responsibility extends to the license itself as any crime permitted on premises is applied to the licensee.  I am in favor of Dram Shop liability on a national basis.

In 1984 Massachusetts(MA) adopted a phase-in, known as the “step years,” twenty one(21) for legal drinking with those already franchised as twenty(20) year-old legal drinkers “grandfathered” as legal with the age being increased annually until all in the state of MA were 21 or required to be so in 1986.

Even more than thirty years ago the contradictory nature of liquor laws was apparent as the N.Y. Times noted that MA governor Michael Dukakis said “we have to” change the drinking age so as not to lose an estimated $25.5 million in Federal funds.

Even more contradictory is that in 1973 MA had made eighteen(18) the legal drinking age following 18 year-olds getting the right to vote in 1971 via the Amendment XXVI.

Taxes on beverage alcohol are often cited as the rational for local liquor laws.  “Sin taxes” boast the advantage of being a voluntary sales tax for a product that is not essential.  Here in MA taxes are levied on wholesalers and passed along to on-premise providers and retailers.

MA currently taxes at a rate of $4.05 dollars per gallon of wholesale sales which ranks MA 34th. among all states.  On a more practical level this means that a one liter, 33.8 fluid ounce bottle is paying 33.8/128 ounces=$2.64 in MA state tax.  This example applies to 40% alcohol by volume distilled spirits.

However, neighboring New Hampshire has no state liquor tax and is thus able to undercut the prices of MA retailers close to the N.H./MA state line.

Has a MA person become a better person for not participating in what some describe as MA “confiscatory” liquor taxes by visiting N.H?

I think not.

Has the New Hampshire retailer done anything illegal?


Has the Massachusetts purchaser done anything illegal?


However, the mere expedient of crossing a state line should not result in a price that is any lower or higher than what wholesale prices and the market dictates.

Indeed, an examination of tax rates on distilled spirits reveals Washington to have the highest rate at $33.54 a gallon in stark contrast to N.H’s tax-free policy.  MA ranks 34th. in per-gallon rates as of 2016.

  ibid tax foundation

Another area of differences between states lies in closing hours for venues which serve alcohol.

However, even within states local laws differ.  New York City allows bars to open at 7 A.M. and serve until 4 A.M.

However, my hometown of Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y. permits 8 A.M. for opening and 2 A.M. for weekdays while restricting 4 A.M. to weekends and the nights before legal holidays.  (No citation available).

As per MA and N.H. with their taxation policies what we have here is an arbitrary set of laws established for no defined purpose whose effect is dismissive of consistency and hurts commerce.

While Port Washington is hardly the urban behemoth of New York City this is not morally sufficient to deny folks access to a legal product while burdening New York City with potential public safety issues.

New Orleans offers 24 hour alcohol service which is among the attractions of Mardi Gras.  Certainly, the New Orleans adult beverage business benefits from 24 hour service but folks not wanting to be subjected to non-stop revelry will be disinclined to reside in a city that might otherwise be a good location.

Yet, Baton Rouge, Louisiana restricts service to 2 A.M.

Once again there does not seem to be any substantive reason for such an extreme variance in service time.

It is worth mentioning that Louisiana ranks 43rd. in taxes at $2.50 per gallon of distilled spirits.

  ibid resources

In this way 24 hour service enables increased consumption thus enabling a relatively low tax rate.

It might be objected that varying laws are acceptable and even morally worthy as the Constitution specifies that unenumerated rights return to the states.

However, states’ rights were the basis for slavery and segregation, surely an ignoble tradition.

Moreover, drinking is not a ‘right’ in the Constitutional sense so nationalization would not be needlessly restrictive.

Yes, states have the right and the need to levy taxes but this should not be at the expense of legitimate commerce or circumventing Federal authority.

Indeed, the debate over ‘unenumerated rights’ of the IX Amendment have been going on since the ratification of the Constitution in 1787.

ibid constitution center

Additionally, both honest confusion and deliberate malfeasance are encouraged by this crazy quilt of regulation and anarchy simultaneously.  Localities desiring to make themselves appealing need to develop attractions other than unbridled drinking.

Conversely, there is scant moral justification in barring access to a legal product legitimately obtained.

Yet, all states abide by a 21 year-old requirement for legal drinking thus contradicting the argument of nationalization being too difficult to create and maintain.

  My argument is for the nationalization of all drinking legislation regarding liability, taxation and hours of service.

This national reform would yield benefits both tangible and moral.

A national liquor tax would remove onerous mandates that both stifle and increase business thus permitting market forces to prevail.

I argue that a national liquor tax have its proceeds divided by the proportion of sales tallied by each state and distributed per those percentages.  The digital technology of our 21st. century makes this a practical technique which would be implemented via the indirect subsidy provided by the lower taxed states having to meet one national standard.

Hours of service would be set nationally as well.  While drinking isn’t a ‘right’ in the Constitutional sense, I argue that it is immoral for authorities at the state or local level to set guidelines that grant or deprive drinkers access to beverage alcohol by the dubious virtue of location.

Public safety is best served by setting a consistent moral tone in the writing of laws that are clear and easily understood by all concerned parties.

I will speculate that the elimination of 24 hour drinking in New Orleans may well reduce that city’s homicide rate even as Mardi Gras tourist traffic would likely diminish.

I propose national hours of 8 A.M. to 3 A.M. with no exceptions for legal holidays.  Establishments would be free to close earlier but state or local legislation would not be able to impose a change in hours.

Consistent standards would enable tax collection, serve legitimate guests and lessen the excesses of the adult beverage industry.

Justice is best served straight up.


  AP.  “Bill to Set Drinking Age at 21 In Massachusetts Is Signed.” New York Times 5 Dec. 1984. Web. 27 March.  2017          drinking-age

  Tax Foundation.  “How High Are Taxes on Distilled Spirits in Your State?”  2016

  Constitution Center.  “Amendment XXVI Right to Vote at Age 18.  Constitution Center.  Web. 28 March 2017

  Constitution Center.  “Non-Enumerated Rights Retained by People” Constitution Center.  Web. 28 March. 2017

  Lane, Emily.  “With spike in violence, new Orleans had more shootings per capita than Chicago in 2016.”  The Times-Picayune, 27, Jan. 2017, Web. 28 March. 2017






HAIKU 5*7*5* Walk home

September 7, 2017 1 comment

Just don’t have a car

Fifty seven hundred shifts

Walk home from the bar


July 13, 2016 1 comment


Bourbon is Kentucky’s spirit and indeed the truest American spirit ie: hard liquor.

Bourbon is a barrel-aged distilled spirit made from fermented corn.  “Bourbon” derives its name from Bourbon County Kentucky, the eastern edge of French territory in the United States prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Bourbon can come only from Kentucky.  Jack Daniels, as every bartender should know, comes from Lynchburg Tennessee, and is a sour mash whiskey.

What true bourbons such as Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, have in common with Jack Daniels is that both are made utilizing the sour mash method.  In the sour mash method some of the cooked fermented corn, the “mash”, is used as a base for the next batch in order to pass along the yeast and flavor in a consistent fashion.  This process is analogous to the making of yogurt.

I began tending bar in 1982 and the bottles of Wild Turkey and Old Grand Dad stocked by my employer had perhaps 1 or 2 tipplers who drained them in an exceedingly slow fashion often mixed with Coke.  “Old man drink” is the phrase that comes to mind.  Bartenders then casually referred to Jack Daniels as a “bourbon.”  Few knew otherwise…and even fewer cared.

Bourbon’s public profile was limited to the annual TV gala of the Kentucky Derby where Southern gentlemen in straw boaters cavorted with Southern belles in oversized bonnets hoisting flutes of Mint Juleps.

During the ’90s bourbon advanced as Gen X, born from 1967-1975, aged out of dance clubs and into the lounges that proliferated towards the end of that decade.  During the ’90s back lit bottles of Evan Williams and Maker’s mark became familiar sights at Stephanie’s on Newbury and City Bar at the Lenox Hotel here in Boston.

Still bourbon did not have anywhere near the cachet’ of Irish whisky, let alone Scotch or cognac.  Appeal was limited to the United States.

2016 has bourbon increasing in sales AND quality AND international appeal as premium and small batch bourbons have joined Scotch and cognac in the contest for the taste buds and wallets of imbibers.

 In 2014 Japanese mega beverage corporation Suntory acquired Jim Beam for the astonishing price of 1.6 billion USDs!

In 1999 there were 455,000 cases of bourbon produced.  In 2015 there were 5 million cases produced with about 1/2 of that being exported.

Small batch and single-barrel offerings such as Woodford, Bulleit and Knob Creek, produced by Jim Beam, have earned slots on back bars and in the gullets of drinkers.

In that spirit I will introduce the Kentucky Colonel which was passed on to me by a brother bartender during last year’s Kentucky Derby.


1 .5 oz. bourbon

1 1/2 lime

3 oz. ginger beer

  1. Fill a 10 oz, glass with ice.

  2. Pour 1.5 ounces bourbon.

  3. Press the juice of 1/2 of a ripe lime.  The lime should be verging on yellow as this indicates ripeness and optimal juiciness.  Roll the lime firmly on a hard surface to break down the juice-containing segments to achieve optimal yield.

  4. Top with ginger beer.

  5. “Box” the drink into an empty glass and return to the original glass to insure a fluid mix of the ingredients.

  6. Garnish with a lime wheel perched on the rim.

  7. Drink up!

The flavor profile of the Kentucky Colonel is one that engages the tongue with the burn of bourbon, the citrusy acidity of the lime and the almost sweet effervescence of ginger beer.

One could make this with Rose’s Lime juice imitating the fresh lime and root beer performing the ginger beer part but this would lessen the thirst quenching action of the KENTUCKY COLONEL and you’re better than that, aren’t you?

My encounter with this concoction inspired a fantasy of being a winner of a NASCAR race and I don’t even drive!

My current employer would price this at $8 as Jim Beam is $7 with a $1 added for the ginger beer.

Old school, try Googling ‘Kentucky Colonel’, and tres chic in our Digital Decade at one and the same time the KENTUCKY COLONEL is a winner!





The Funkmaster Flex martini is the foster child of the Dr. Funk cocktail.


2 1/2 Oz. Myer’s Jamican rum

1/4 oz. Pernod anise liquer

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/4 oz. grenadine

1/4 oz. sugar

1 lime

Club soda

The Dr. Funk is made with crushed ice in a shaker.  The lime is cut in half, squeezed and the shells and sugar are added.  Shake well and pour all ingredients into a Tiki glass and top with club soda.

The Dr. Funk is an early 60’s Tiki bar favorite.  The Boston of the late 70s boasted the Kon-Tiki, named after the Thor Heyerdahl’s non-fiction book KON TIKI which chronicled the tale of floating from Fiji to America by raft, located in the Sheraton Boston slot now occupied by the SideBar.

Comm. Ave.’s Somerset building featured Aku-Aku’s “Polynesian” food and cocktails.  Both food and drink featured lots of sugar, copious amounts of Red Dye #2 and paper umbrellas.

The 80s brought the demise of these establishments leaving the Harvard Square and Fanueil Hall Hong Kongs’ to carry the flag of Dr. Funk.

As it does so often cocktail culture began strip mining the past in the 21st. Century as Lansdowne St.’s Tiki Bar and Kingston St’s, Peeping Duck brought a revival of faux Cantonese food and Tiki Bar drinks.

During my brief but educational tim at the Harvard Square Hong Kong we served the Dr. Funk, along with a variety of Tiki drinks.

The Funkmaster Flex was born of hip-hop.  At the dawn of the 21st. Century I was working once a week in a bar in one of Boston’s outer reaches.

(This tavern is no longer in existence)

A gentleman stepped to the bar and asked for a “hip-hop” drink.

Nice or nasty? “, I asked.

Nice AND nasty,” he replied.


When I was asked for a “nice” hip-hop drink the Henne Russian was my go-to.  2 parts Hennessy, 1 part Kahlua and a splash of milk.  On the rocks for clubs, which rarely permit glassware at hip-hop events much less stemware, and as a martini in more genteel environments.  The Henne Russian is a remixed version of the Brandy Alexander with the Hennessy lending the cache’ of hip-hop and Kahlua standing in for the brown Creme de Cacao of  the 1940’s classic.  (The Brandy Alexander’s classic version featured half-and-half which is too thick for modern mouths).

When “nasty” was requested my mix was the Beat Box, 2 parts Hennessy to 1 part Peppermint Schnapps.  The Beat box was a remix with a quickness of the classic Stinger again up-scaling from brandy to Hennessy and replacing white Creme de Menthe with Peppermint Schnapps.

A burn to the tip of the tongue with a long, sweet swallow to follow.

As detailed in my recipes for the Floratini and Metropolitan gender is a primary factor in cocktail preference.  Most men, with a few significant exceptions like burn.  Most women, with a few significance exceptions, like sweetness.  This determines the flavor profile of the drink.

Nice AND nasty!”


Bartending can accelerate the brain without resort to coffee or Red Bull  as your reputation and your employer’s reputation is hanging on every drop.

Funk is the root of hip-hop.  James Brown’s epochal “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” featured the baritone sax of Maceo Parker as the hook playing tag with the staccato guitar of Jimmy Nolen, ushering in an era.  Beginning with James’ throaty “Papa…” the chorus, verse, chorus, verse bridge structure reversed the constraints of pop and served notice that rhythm ruled.  The seminal funk of James Brown gestated into the Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 “Rapper’s Delight” and music would never be the same.

Nice AND nasty,” the guest repeated.


From the CD jukebox in the corner the Jay-Z/Jermaine Dupri hit “Money Ain’t a Thang” blared in all of its materialistic majesty.

“…bubble hard in my Double R…new whips…money ain’t a thang”, Jay-Z’s authoritative flow gave words to the cover art of HARD KNOCK LIFE PART II bringing car culture to the beat.

Nice AND nasty!”

My brain is in cocktail overdrive and all I can think about is cars!  (Disclosure: I don’t even have a driver’s license).  And then an idea made its way into one of unused sections of my cerebellum.  YO! MTV RAPS had begun featuring a segment featuring NY’s HOT 97 personality Funkmaster Flex displaying “tricked out whips”.  “Whips” are mentioned prominently in the Jay-Z/Jermaine Dupri jam “Money Ain’t a Thang” jam playing on the jukebox at that very instant.

So I took a chance that the gentleman knew who Funkmaster Flex was and declared:

“I’ll make you a Funkmaster Flex,” I said and began the mental process of remixology.

Cocktail knowledge is based on basing drinks on other drinks so I knew that Dr. Funk’s remix into Funkmaster Flex would stay in mind.

To make the drink “hip-hop” I substituted Hennessy for Myer’s rum.  The tavern I was working at did not carry Pernod which is just as well as the chartreuse coloration of Pernod French anise would detract from the Funkmaster Flex’s visual appeal.  I substituted Sambuca which is clear and offered the virtue of being hotter/nastier than Pernod.

As of late drinks have been served in ever larger glasses and seeing as how the tavern did not offer martini glasses, we were in the outer reach of Boston, I made the drink in an iced 16 oz. acrylic glass.  This necessitated using sour mix, O.J. and pineapple juice to create visual value and make it “nice“.  2 drops of grenadine gives the impression of added value and casts the cocktail in a lovely color that calls to mind Tropicana’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice.

“Here is your Funkmaster Flex!”

“Yo, this is nice AND nasty!”

Thus the Funkmaster Flex was born and it has been a player in my cocktail repertoire since back in the day.


1.5 oz. Hennessy

3/4 oz. Sambuca

1 oz. sour mix

1 oz. O.J.

1 oz. Pineapple juice

2 dots grenadine

Fill a martini glass with ice water.

Fill a 24 oz. shaker with ice.

Pour all ingredients into the shaker and top shaker with mixing glass.

Shake until the frost line climbs to the top of the mixing glass.

dispose of ice water in martini glass.

Break shaker and mixing glass into martini glass.

Garnish with lemon flag.


Oh yeah, feel free to rename this concoction. (“Nice and Nasty” would almost certainly fit the bill).  As always position the glass under the bar spots for maximum visual appeal.


June 11, 2013 2 comments

The Floratini was originally The Bronx.  The Bronx is perhaps the 1st. cocktail I discovered through research.

My usual tactic for a woman asking if I have a specialty drink is to ask “Nice or nasty?”

My experience has been that most women want “nice”, which is to say sweet.  As this blog attest the Birthday drink for Women/Erica/Pink Squirrel and the Birthday Drink for Women/Kelly/Girl Scout Cookie had already filled this market niche.

Contrarian impulses do reach the liver upon special occasions. When a women asked for “nasty” I would make a cognac based drink which all too often proved to be a little much.  Indeed when a female guest spied the Hennessy bottle in my hand she would protest a bit  and thus was less than satisfied.

Although cognac is an expanding category in mixed drinks it still scares off some female drinkers.  However,  women asked for “nasty” often enough that I had to have a potion in my repertoire to serve this need.

Thus was born the Floratini.

“Classic cocktails” was Googled and The Bronx was uncovered.  Reputedly invented at the Manhattan Waldorf-Astoria in 1905 by barkeep Johnny Solon it was a variation of the Duplex; a 50/50 blend of sweet and dry vermouth with a drop of orange bitters.

However The Bronx is more closely aligned with the Orange Blossom; gin and orange juice, and remixed into the martini I remixed into the Floratini.

The technology of 1905 made squeezing fresh oranges a necessity and not a nod to freshness as refrigeration was primitive and expensive.

Following the economic and technological leap of the post WWI era  refrigeration became commonplace in the finer restaurants of the Roaring 20’s.

Following the economic and technological leap of the post-WWII era home refrigeration became commonplace.

Indeed, consuming citrus juice on a daily basis was one of the hallmarks of the emergent suburban culture.

Juice drinks gained their cachet and widespread popularity during this time.

Remixology reinvents classic cocktails for modern mouths thus the Floratini as the orange juice becomes “Florida,” which also reminds me of a friend who described Miami as “the Bronx with palm trees!”

The Floratini

2 oz. gin

3/4 oz. sweet vermouth

1/4 oz. dry vermouth

1.5 oz. orange juice

Fill a martini glass with ice water.

Fill a 24 oz. shaker with ice.

Pour all ingredients EXCEPT dry vermouth into the shaker.

Top shaker with mixing glass and shake vigorously until the frost line climbs to the top of the shaker.

Dispose of ice water and rim martini glass with sugar.

Break contents of shaker into martini glass.

Pour just a tad of dry vermouth into the Floratini with great ceremony.

Tips for shaking:  Hold the shaker in your “off” hand with the mixing glass on top.  This creates visual appeal and adds subtle showmanship to your drink as savvy guests realize you are ambidextrous.

On a more functional note the tricky part of break pouring is using the mixing glass to filter the ice fragments and this is best accomplished with your dominant hand.

The addition of the dry vermouth at the end of the creation of the cocktail is mostly for show.  Gazing lovingly at the libation before administering the final touch adds to the entertainment value for the guest.

Crucial to the presentation of the Floratini is color.  The sweet vermouth’s maroon color darkens the orange juice a shade.  The color to be painted is about that of Tropicana’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice.

To maximize the visual appeal place the drink directly under the spot lights that hang above many bars.

The Floratini tastes good!  Women who crave a little bite will get a sting of gin softened by the sweetness of orange juice.  The viscosity of the sweet vermouth gives a nice mouth feel that amplifies the flavor profile.

Remixology: The reinvention of classic cocktails for modern mouths.


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