Tag Archive: Tipsy Tech

Tipsy Tech

In December, I completed the Tipsy Tech fall course in Austin, Texas with the Bear Moon baker (Paula) and Jenny, our service manager.  It was a great semester of information, as well as giving us a chance to visit some great Austin bars!  The course was a great way to open up our eyes to what is out there…in terms of cocktails, drinks, bars, and the bartending community as a whole.

The course is open to any and all bar professionals, weekend-warrior bartenders, cocktail enthusiasts, industry writers, foodies, history buffs….anyone who wants to delve into the history and practice of cocktails and mixology.  It’s a weekly series of lectures, guest speakers, spirits tastings, as well as a visit to an Austin area distillery.  Our class visited Treaty Oak Distillery in Austin, makers of Treaty Oak Platinum Rum & Waterloo Gin.  On the final day of class, in December, we sat down for our final exam.  I’m happy to report that I received an email from David Alan congratulating me on my test score.

I scored a 98 on the test!


I was second in the class, behind Paula, who scored a 99!

It was a fun and informative semester of driving up to Austin every Tuesday night, meeting some great people and trying out some of Austin, Texas’ great bars!


The Tigress, Austin Texas

After our Tipsy Tech class in Austin this Tuesday night, we were invited by our instructor David Alan to a special event at The Tigress Pub.

The Tigress Pub is a small neighborhood cocktail bar on North Loop in Austin.  It’s got a great vibe and simple, understated decor.  I guess the word that would describe it best would be “cozy”, which makes sense since the establishment is VERY small.  Small bar, one corner booth, a few two-top cocktail tables jutting out from the walls and a drink rail around part of another wall.  Definitely a place to chill and enjoy some expertly made cocktails.  Wish I was still living in Austin!

Last night David invited us to attend the “release party” of a barrel-aged cocktail (Widow’s Kiss) made by his colleague, co-founder of Tipsy Tech and fellow bar craftsman, Lara Nixon and Pam Pritchard, Tigress’ owner.

Lara & Pam created a large batch of the cocktail, Widow’s Kiss (Applejack Brandy, Green Chartreuse, Benedictine & Angostura Bitters) inside of a wooden (oak) barrel and then aged it for about thirty days.  The marrying of the liquors/liqueurs and the aging of the cocktail (inside of a used whiskey barrel) adds a different dimension that couldn’t be experienced by just walking up and ordering a Widow’s Kiss.  Barrel-aging is a way to tweak a cocktail’s flavor profile and create something new, different and interesting.  Much of our class made it over to The Tigress Pub after class and we were able to try this cocktail.  The trip to The Tigress Pub gave us a chance to speak to Lara and Tigress’ owner Pam, herself a Tipsy Tech graduate.  It also gave us a great example of what is possible, in terms of presenting classic cocktails with a new and interesting twist.

A short video by Austin American Statesman videographer, Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, in which Lara Nixon speaks about classic cocktails and barrel-aging while you can view scenes of the bar, can be seen here.

Tuesday we attended another Mixology 101 class through Tipsy Tech in Austin, Texas.  This particular session focused on vermouths, aperitifs, digestifs and ABSINTHE!

Absinthe fountain and sugar cubes

We are learning a lot during the course of these sessions and (even better) we are given the chance to taste different spirits and cocktails for discussion and to give our opinions on each one.  This week was no exception and we sampled:

  • Negroni
  • St. Germaine Cocktail
  • and, of course, Absinthe

We tried three different brands of Absinthe:

We had the chance to louche our Absinthe, which is the process (ritual) of adding ice cold water to a clear anise based spirit (Absinthe) causing it to release its essential herbal oils, making it cloudy.  In our case, one of our class sponsors, (Graham from Tenneyson) brought a few fountains to class Tuesday night.  You have the option to louche your Absinthe with or without sugar cubes.  If you decide to include sugar cubes, a traditional (slotted) spoon is used to allowed the water to drip through.

Process of louching Absinthe

Of course, Absinthe will become cloudy if you add only ice cold water as well.

Louching (a little too fast) without the sugarcube

It was a night of interesting flavor and although we did not see The Green Fairy,

The Green Fairy

…it was still a great night!!!