My interest in cocktails began when turned 26 and had my first real cocktail. It was a memorable experience to say the least. Previous to this, every encounter I had with hard liquor was a foul taste that was so unenjoyable to me that I never touched the stuff. Further, my parents (and grandparents on both sides) kicked the bottle the year I was born so booze wasn’t a part of my upbringing. So it was in that chilled coupe that I discovered a world of taste and flavor previously unexplored. It was delicate and sophisticated and I loved it.
Soon after I purchased a bottle whiskey and began mixing up different concoctions doing my best to follow recipes I found online. The trouble of course that that most of these recipes contained ingredients and techniques that I knew little about and so my cocktails (if you can even call them that) suffered tremendously. I continued in this way for many years. The cocktails got better and my home bar grew in size but the certain magical, je ne sais quoi that really makes a cocktail special evaded me. In early 2014 I read The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler and everything changed. I got it. My cocktails went from mediocre to superb overnight and I was ready to share my newfound success with the world.
Later that year I started working behind the bar of a busy local restaurant on nights and weekends as a way to bring in a little more scratch for my family. The first few weeks were an education in humility as you might imagine they would be diving headlong into a bartending position with no previous service experience. Once I found my sea legs I studied the cocktail menu and was disappointed that, while the restaurant prided itself of fresh ingredients and unique preparations the bar program was just sorta cobbled together. I became disillusioned quickly and while I stayed at the bar for the money my heart left in search of fulfillment. This site is the result.
As I continue my self education from behind the bar I’ve decided that I will chronicle my journey for have-a-go home bartenders and folks who aspire to the profession. I’ll hold nothing back and pull no punches – sharing all my wisdom and knowledge on the subjects I tackle. My hope is that you will find an interesting assortment of recipes, techniques, humor and history written on these pages.
My greatest joy is being a father and husband to my amazing wife and darling daughter (not in that order). I’m an entrepreneur by day and a mixologist by night. Currently I live in the suburbs of the Windy City though I’m a New Englander by birth.
Thanks for stopping by – I hope you’ll stick around.