IN THE SPIRIT FEATURING: Joe Dougherty, @bitterbotwin, Drinkstagramer

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:

I have Mad Men to thank for my full on dive into the world of cocktails. Before I discovered Mad Men, it was strictly vodka sodas or beer + shot specials for me. But seeing Don Draper sipping on an Old Fashioned created this fascinating combination of classy and cool... suddenly, I wanted to learn as much as possible in the spirits/cocktails/bar scene. I began a dedicated Instagram account documenting my journey -- all while exploring different spirits, bottles, brands and recipes that I could get my hands on.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECTS?

My main focus recently has been honing in on the craft of home bartending and photography. Right now, I'm contemplating my next steps. I'd love to find my perfect place in the industry whether it be a role as a sales rep, brand ambassador or bartender. I've found such a great and friendly community in the beverage business that I would love to be a part of it any way I can.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE YOU HAVE COME UP WITH USING AN ACC PRODUCT? WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT? 

I would have to say this Harvest Punch at the moment. I wanted to create something for everyone and play with ACC ingredients that go really well with the autumnal season. I see this cocktail as a crowd pleaser that could particularly work well at a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner table. It's the perfect blend of sweetness with warm spices so it'll fit right in with any of your classic fall favorites!

 

WHEN YOU ARE COMING UP WITH NEW DISHES OR DRINKS, DO YOU HAVE A SOURCE(S) FOR INSPIRATION?

Instagram really is such an amazing pool of talent and inspiration for me. I am constantly learning while being in awe in how creative some of these home bartenders are. Seeing what other people are doing out there simultaneously inspires and challenges me to do more -- to evaluate my work and try new things. It's really exciting.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT OR BAR, WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK DO YOU RECOMMEND IT, AND WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE CAN A VISITOR EXPECT?

It's very tough to narrow down a favorite but there is an amazing restaurant steps from my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Ammazzacaffè. They have some of the best homemade pasta dishes I've ever had. Plus, they have a serious selection of Amari and do flights! As far as bars go, my absolute favorite is Amor y Amargo in the East Village. It's a true mecca of boozy, stirred, spirit-forward and bitters/amari cocktails.

 

WHAT INFO ABOUT COCKTAILS DO MOST PEOPLE MAKING DRINKS AT HOME NOT KNOW THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THEM?

Ice matters! No more of the whack cubes your refrigerator spits out. I recommend getting a few of those silicon trays from Amazon for small and large cubes. Basically think of ice/water as an equally important ingredient in making your cocktail. The ice is not only chilling your drink, it's also adding dilution to reach the exact taste your looking for.

 

FAVORITE ACC FLAVOR?

Smokin' Margarita

 

WHAT TRENDS (EITHER LOCAL OR INDUSTRYWIDE) ARE YOU NOTICING TAKING SHAPE AND HOW? 

I've been noticing more low ABV cocktails recently and honestly, I am fully on board. Cocktails with less focus on being high proof or boozy can be more centered around my personal favorite variety of spirits using more low ABV ingredients like amari, vermouth or sherries as the base. Check out the brand LoFi and take a look at what they are producing... including one of my favorite vermouths out there.

 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? 

Be adventurous! Go to your liquor store and pick up something new to you. It's a great way to step outside of your comfort zone and learn about something you normally wouldn't hear about. Always take the sampling they have in liquor stores too! It's a great way to literally get a taste of a product before you buy it. Your new favorite gin or rum or amaro might be the next thing you randomly pick up.


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