The three biggest bartender myths – with Jumbles St. Pierre

1st August 2014
The three biggest bartender myths – with Jumbles St. Pierre

At European Bartender School, we are understandably excited about the renaissance of cocktail culture. But, as many of my colleagues tell me, there will be times when a bartender’s patience is tested with persistent ideas from customers that hold no truth. Jumbles St.Pierre, our very appreciated bartending instructor from EBS London will break some of them down for you below:

Jumbles St. Pierre: “Although Cocktail Culture is getting larger, most customers in bars still don’t really know what they’re doing when they’re at a bar. Fear not, because I’m here to educate! Starting with the sciency stuff, one of the most common disagreements between bartenders and customers revolves around ice.”


More ice in your drink is not a rip-off
“We’ve all had that customer trying to teach us that less ice means a stronger drink, to which I just can’t help but roll my eyes. You see, ice is supposed to keep your drink cold, and less ice will get warm faster, melting up your drink and leaving you with a lukewarm vodka-coke.”

Ice – all of it – actually has a purpose in your drink


“And I can see where this is coming from, most of you expect your drink to be full to the rim and anything else will feel like you’re being short-changed. But know this! If you ask us to top up your drink with more mixer, again, your drink dilutes much faster and you end up with a watery vodka-coke. The appropriate amount of ice means a cooler drink and a slower melting process. Your drink will be undiluted, cold and you can sip it for a longer period of time. Total win!”

Egg white in your cocktail does NOT mean salmonella
“Our next myth looks into cocktails, more specifically the ones containing eggs. Almost every customers gets all squeamish about the idea of raw egg white in their “White Lady”, and some think it’s an unnecessary ingredient. But know this! Egg white contributes next to nothing to your drink in terms of flavour. It’s main purpose is to that thick frothy layer on top of your drink which gives it the texture that is so awesome. Of course egg white has many other uses, and the bartender can be as creative as he pleases; LAB in Soho, London use their egg white layer to make a crème brûlée type of of ‘Burnt Breakfast Martini’.”

“The thing people worry about the most with egg white is the fear of salmonella. But know this! Over the years we have had some industry scandals but for some time now, eggs for human consumption come from vaccinated chickens. Health and safety is all over these products and it’s okay to have egg white in your cocktail. In fact, more and more bartenders are having a culinary influence over their drinks as people are now infusing spirits with bacon, popcorn and even whale skin. The time of the squeamish has passed.”


Jumbles is one of our highly competent instructors at EBS London. Would you like to see the available dates for a London course?


So how much hangover does Tequila cause?
“Now on to Tequila. One of the best sold shots in the UK and undoubtedly the most-blamed cause for a hangover, but it’s not always Tequilas fault. It’s actually something much worse: Salt. Often the actual cause of the hangover is dehydration, something which can be prevented easily if you have a glass of water between drinks, either that or avoid licking salt with every shot you consume.”

That salt shaker is not your friend…


“If you really want to talk about Tequila being the bad guy here, know this! One of the most popular tequila brands (that shall remain nameless) is barely Tequila at all. Original tequila is made from a plant called Agave, and true Tequila is made only from Agave – 100%. Unfortunately, food regulations requires only a minimum of 51% agave in a Tequila for it to be legal. From which they make up the rest of the 49% with artifices and impurities. And those are the ones that give you that throbbing head the next morning. Regulators demand that the agave percentage is displayed on the bottles you buy, so next time you browse the back bar for something to shoot, look past anything that rhymes with “home-made servo cold”.”

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