You love to collect glassware — what are some of your favorite pieces?
It's hard to pick a favorite! But, if I was stranded on an island with nothing but an unlimited supply of boozy Spritzes and a cup to match — it would have to be Viski's Angled Crystal Amaro Spritz Glasses. I love it because it's simple, elegant, and seemingly turns any drink into a bottomless well.
What advice would you give to people building up their home bar?
Simply put, start with what you know and love. If you found yourself in the garden section of your nearest home goods store, you’d buy the seeds to sow the veggies you love to eat. Your bar may not be living and breathing like a garden, but its growth and development is slow and steady—and needs to be curated for what you love about cocktails. It’s a slow process, and overwhelming at first, but start with the recipe that parallels your go-to order at the bar. As your skills and palette develop, and you become more adventurous in your exploration of mixology, build your stock with what interests you at the time. Oh, and don’t worry—even the most seasoned bartenders and mixologists have a few bottles they buy and only use once… that’s part of the journey.
Do you have a favorite cocktail?
Easy choice — the Negroni! I love it, despite how simple it is (equal parts, three ingredients), there are so many variations to satisfy the tastebuds of most spirit-enthusiasts. Because I gravitate towards spirit-forward, stirred cocktails, the Negroni is ol’ reliable after a long day.
What essential barware pieces should an aspiring mixologist start with?
Done are the days of guesstimating pours! Crafting cocktails is a bit like baking—especially when you start to experiment with powerful flavors. A Japanese Jigger is a NECESSITY to get those ratios right! Ever have a sad, oven-baked cookie that flops off the baking sheet like a wet napkin? Well, an over-sweetened, over-bittered, or under-poured cocktail can leave your guests wishing they opted for the lite-beer choice you offered earlier. Measuring doesn’t have to be exact, but jiggers build that muscle-memory over time so you can eye-ball it like a pro later on.
Any interesting trends you're seeing in the mixology space right now?
I have an “Essential Cocktail” book on my shelf that was originally published back in the early 1900s. You’d think the drink recipes would look as if they’re from another world—but to my surprise—mixology has changed that much in the last hundred years! Of course ingredients have gotten better, glassware has certainly evolved (for the better), and we no longer have to hide our booze during a prohibition… but aside from that, you’d be amazed to find most things are relatively the same! One of the biggest trends in mixology I see now is not so much the drink as it is the drink experience. We strive to capture the romance that surrounds the cocktails of our grandparents, and that’s why you’ll see far more content with perfectly lit cocktails, vibrant colors, sparkling glassware. If your go-to cocktail is a reflection of your inner-self, then how you serve it should be the three-piece tux or flowing red dress it goes out in.