Matthew Wyne, Founder, Letters & Liquor
I find inspiration everywhere, but the question for me is always "how can I create an experience that surprises someone?" Cocktails are different from beer and wine in that there's a little bit of magic to them. The drinker gets to watch these various components come together into something new. I love finding ways to remind people that there is magic in the world.
Rael Petit, @raelpetit, The Williamsburg Hotel, Beverage Director
I grew up cooking french food and both my sister and my mom told me the most important ingredient is love. I imply that principle while making my drinks.
I got bit by the cocktail bug after a trip to New Orleans. Afterward, I made it my mission to find great cocktails in my hometown of Baltimore. I soon decided to document my journey on Instagram, along with my own cocktail recipes. Along the way, I fell in love with photography. I soon quit my day job and set out to work as a content creator and photographer full time.
Shannon Sturgis, @shannonshootscocktails, Photographer
I'm not a bartender! I'm a photographer who specializes in shooting cocktails. I like to refer to myself as bartender adjacent because I spend a lot of time around them and the bar/ liquor industry. I am fortunate to have a lot of travel opportunities to meet bartenders from around the country and occasionally internationally where I get to observe the technique, style and palate of many a bartender. Personally I have a very bitter palate so give me stirred and boozy any day and you'll make me happy.
Brian Van Flandern, Creative Cocktail Consultants, President, @mymixologist
Once you understand the principles of flavor profiling, you can put together an infinite number of flavor combinations. I am constantly on the lookout for unusual ingredients that I have never worked with before. I am fortunate enough that as I travel the world I get to experience new cultures, new foods and new bar techniques from some of the most talented professionals on Earth... this is an endless source of inspiration.