TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECTS?
I work mostly with small brands and distilleries, primarily in the U.S. Most of my clients want to encourage customers to make cocktails at home, so the challenge is to come up with recipes that don't use too many ingredients and are reasonably easy to make at home. People love a nice three- or four-ingredient cocktail! My clients also love to have timely material for holidays, so I've made cocktails themed around the Olympics, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, Pride Month, and of course, the end-of-year holidays. I love the rich flavors of maple syrup and allspice dram, so holiday cocktail recipes are some of my favorites to create.
WHEN YOU ARE COMING UP WITH NEW DISHES OR DRINKS, DO YOU HAVE A SOURCE(S) FOR INSPIRATION?
I draw inspiration from a lot of different places. If I'm creating something for a specific holiday or season, I think about relevant flavors or colors and build from there. If I'm working with a company that makes a flavored mixer, like a syrup, I start with flavors and branch out into complementary flavors or botanicals. And sometimes I just throw together whatever I have on hand and make it work!
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
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?
Hotel bars are a hidden gem in most cities, even mid-size cities. They're not usually very crowded, so you can get attentive service from the bartender. If you're a visitor to that city, the bartender can make recommendations, but hotel bars in the city where you live can also be a fun night out. The hotel bars in Washington DC are some of the best in the country.
WHAT INFO ABOUT COCKTAILS DO MOST PEOPLE MAKING DRINKS AT HOME NOT KNOW THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THEM?
It can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be! The right tools make a difference, but even with a modest bar cabinet, there are a lot of cocktails you can make at home. Most techniques are not difficult, and YouTube videos can teach someone almost anything they need to know about how to properly mix cocktails at home. A lot of what people see on Instagram can be intimidating - people lighting cocktails on fire, or recipes with 14 ingredients. But you can make good cocktails at home with a handful of ingredients, and without lighting anything on fire.