'The Waterproof Watch': New York bar legend Sother Teague's top tips on mixing a cocktail

New York bar legend Sother Teague is known for his distinctive eyewear, and even more so for his successful podcast, book and Manhattan watering hole Amor y Amargo. 

Teague, who was hailed as Mixologist of the Year in 2018 by Wine Enthusiast, was in town last week for 'An Evening with Sother Teague' at Ante Social bar in Ponsonby.

His first time in New Zealand, Teague was a little overwhelmed when he allowed me behind the bar last week, but still found time to teach me how to mix the perfect drink. 

He didn't even give me too much shit when he found out my favourite cocktail was an espresso martini - not much, anyway. 

Teague imparted some of this top mixing wisdom, including the best way to add bitters to any drink: the very scientific "over and a bounce" method. 

Another pearl of wisdom was to go easy on the ice - a mistake many an Auckland bartender makes for this sensitive toothed girl. 

"You don't need a lot, I often see people - bartenders included - put too much ice in their vessel," Teague revealed. 

"In a stirred drink you need enough ice to stick up on the top but to weigh the ice down - there should be no floating ice. It should always be sticking just up or else it's doing nothing." 

Teague in action last week.
Teague in action last week. Photo credit: Supplied.

His final top tip came down to the peel. Teague says his biggest pet peeve is when he sees bartenders simply drop the peel into the liquid. 

"I see a lot of bartenders who just put it in a glass for you, it's kind of just the detritus at that point," he explained. 

"What you need is the oil - you want to face the skin side of the orange towards the glass... then pinch the whole thing. 

"You'll see a burst of oil; wipe it right around the edge and into the glass." 

To see the full method of whipping up a 'Waterproof Watch' - Teague's twist on a classic Negroni, watch the full video.