Tao Zrafi is a mixologist, bar program consultant and globetrotter. If you’ve ever been to any popular cocktail bar in Montreal, odds are you’ve probably tasted one of Tao’s concoctions. After moving to Canada from Tunisia when he was 20 to study Interior Design, Tao decided to get out of his comfort zone and try something new by working in the bar industry. Having never had a sip of alcohol until he was 23, Tao quickly became fascinated by mixology and made it his goal to become the best he could be at his craft. By working at various restaurants and bars across North America and entering numerous competitions, Tao started making a name for himself and finding his unique style. With the pandemic placing multiple restrictions among bartenders, Tao decided to focus on consulting, sharing his knowledge, doing pop ups, and planning his life long goal of creating his own funky bar project. Keep your eyes (and taste buds) open for what Tao has in store next!
When using an egg white in a cocktail, ensure you garnish that luscious foam with ingredients that have a powerful and enticing smell that enhances the drink. While cocktails featuring egg whites may be very delicious, they tend to develop a ‘wet dog’ smell after a few minutes. Don’t be afraid to spray a strong herbal liquor or mezcal for example. Even powdered spices can do the trick at hiding that smell.
You can always find an ‘acid solution’ at your local grocery store to keep in your fridge for a cocktail night in! A mixture of citric acid and malic acid in regular filtered water does the trick if you do not have citrus juice handy. For example: 1000 ml water + 40 ml citric acid + 20 ml malic acid + 5 ml salt. Feel free to add food grade essences to the acid water to make it more flavorful and unique.
When using fizzy mixers such as The Great Gentleman products with a shaken drink, pour the soda in the shaker on top of the mixed drink once shaken, then pour the mixture into your preferred glass and top with more soda and ice, if necessary. This technique, also known as a dirty pour, prevents you from having a layer of bubbles sitting on top of your drink and ensures all ingredients are well mixed.