IN THE SPIRIT FEATURING: Tyler Zielinski, bar consultant and drinks writer

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:

I am a freelance drinks journalist, competitive bartender, and beverage consultant. I started my career in the bar industry in 2014 in Cambridge, Mass while studying in college. After graduating I moved to NYC for a job at a global advertising agency, working for powerhouse clients such as Procter & Gamble, and ABInBev. I began writing about cocktails and spirits after my now-retired blog, Bon Vivantito, was recognized by leading culinary outlet, Saveur Magazine, as a finalist in their 2018 blog awards for “Best New Voice.” Since then, I've dedicated my time to the beverage space through a balance of bartending, consulting and cocktail development, writing, and content creation. In 2019, I competed at the 2019 Regional Finals at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience bartending competition where I was the runner-up; I qualified for the 2019 East Coast Finals for Nikka Whisky’s Perfect Serve bartending competition where I placed in the top 4; and I helped open natural wine and cocktail bar, Lawrence Park, in Hudson, NY where I served as Creative Director, overseeing the cocktail program. In 2021, I was a top 4 finalist in Jack Daniels "Try Rye" National Cocktail Competition; I've been featured on the Living Proof Podcast as a beverage expert in the fall of 2020; and I've been featured as a drinks expert in magazines such as Forbes, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Liquor.com, Shapes, and more. When I'm not building cocktail programs and bespoke serves for bars, I'm developing cocktail recipes for brands and media outlets. Basically, I do a lot of things within the drinks industry, and like to say that I'm redefining the modern drinks professional.

 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECTS?

Currently, my main project is wedding planning (haha) as i get married this summer; but as for drink-related projects, much of what I've been doing lately is brand partnership work — creating cocktails and content for brands, as well as being featured on some Instagram lives for cocktail demos and industry discussions. This is, of course, in addition to all the stories that I've been writing for magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler, PUNCH, Liquor.com, Wine Enthusiast, and so on. I'm in the process of relocating to London and will have plenty of drink-related content to create once I touch down there, as well as partnering with some local bars and help building their drinks programs whenever the opportunities arise; but I'm just riding the wave at the moment.

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

I went with a Watermelon Mint Paloma because it's incredibly simple to make while still being complex in flavor and delicious. The Paloma is one of my favorite tequila cocktails to drink during the summer, so for the July box I felt that a twist on the classic using the Watermelon Mojito mix would be a hit. I've put a Watermelon Paloma as a special cocktail at a bar I used to work at in Hudson, NY called Backbar and it was quite the hit. I felt that, with the addition of mint, this drink would be the ultimate summer refresher.

 

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?

I have so many favorites that it's difficult to choose one. In New York, Dead Rabbit is always a top choice to have a killer pint of Guinness or one of their iconic Irish Coffees. The first floor emulates a classic Irish pub and upstairs that have a more elevated cocktail lounge. Another great bar and restaurant in New York City is the Michelin-starred Crown Shy. I had an incredible meal there not too long ago, and their beverage program is one of the city's best.

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

It's all about balance and proportions/ratios. Don't get too caught up on the exact measurements — just think in terms of parts (e.g. a Martini can be 5 parts gin to 1 part vermouth and a couple dashes of orange bitters).

FAVORITE ACC FLAVOR?

Watermelon Mojito

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? 

Follow me on Instagram @bon_vivantito and visit my site www.bonvivantito.com for inquiries about consulting and partnership opportunities, or to read some of my recent written work.

 


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