Small Texas town gentleman turned political weapon, Revolution Spirit's founder Mark Shilling never expected that his days of lobbying would ignite a passion for distilling. It was one sip of quality moonshine that set Mark into the craft distilling stratosphere. Now, coming up on their first anniversary, Mark reflects on lessons learned and shares what Revolution Spirits is working on next. With a current product portfolio that spans from Gin to Coffee Liqueur, where does Revolution Spirits go from here and how does the term "craft" sometimes get in the way. Mark and I sip some fine bourbon and regale each other with tales of Gin escapades.
Hailing from the West Coast and inspired by a punk rock state of mind, Troy Kooper's early foray into graphics and design were the foundation that introduced him to whiskey. An early sip of scotch triggered all of the pleasure centers that ultimately led Troy into a love affair with Rye whiskey. Kooper Family Rye is the first rye out of Dripping Springs, but this floral, 80 proof, wonderfully balanced spirit won't be the only thing coming out of the Kooper Family. Enjoy this lovely chat about Detroit, fatherhood, wars, and how Rye is Troy's most beloved. Rye or die, as they say.
The quintessential spirits enthusiast, Jessica Tantillo Barnard is there to help us with all of our liquor ordering and educational needs. As an amazing asset to Twin Liquor in Austin, TX, Jessica's friendliness, worldliness, and penchant for good music inspires us all to live a great story. From humble beginnings in Tomball,TX, to traveling the world in search of culinary adventure, Jessica has seen all sectors of the booze industry and is a wonderful ally to the Austin cocktail culture. We reminisce karaoke, mezcal, and how once you find that one true love, it's all just a bit simpler.
Austin's dubbed, "Tiki-Trey" is a film student turned Rum fanatic. Both understated and pensive, Trey Jenkins has worked his way through many of the Austin cocktail landmarks, including: Peché and the tiki-centric Isla. A latent imbiber, and dedicated cocktail academic, Trey is through and through an artist. While balancing color and textures in celluloid, and parlaying his cocktail expertise into a chief mixologist position at RNDC, he has created an amazing amount of clout in a short amount of time. We dip into the Havana club this time around and have a fruitful chat.
The Texas cocktail movement would have never been the same without the behind-the- scenes brilliance of John Garrett. A recovering songwriter who happens to love the art of spirits and has dedicated his career to educating the industry with an unparalleled approachability. John has revitalized the excitement around Sherry, Mezcal, and Vermouth in the lone star state. And now with his most ambitious distribution gig to date, John heads Victory distribution with a new strategy and focus. We chat agave, becoming irrelevant, and how guitar is a great vehicle for what ails ya. It's an eye opening chat with a jet-setting unsung hero of the industry.
Inspired cook, admirable father, and shrewd businessman, Josh Loving is a man to be rivaled. He turned skillful weaving of esoteric ingredients at the now defunct cocktail incubator Fino into a successful stint in the world of consulting. This culinary journey not only created a Josh Loving brand of 5 spice bitters, but positioned him as one of the go to experts of cocktails in Austin. Starting in food, then transitioning to wine, Josh is now entering the next phase of his adventure, bar ownership. His new venture, Small Victory- 108 E. 7th Austin, Texas, opens very soon and the whole city is waiting in anticipation. We have a great chat ranging from post-college antics to the importance of being a present father. He's been there and done that, so let's drink some calvados and do this.
Being goth and Italian in Waco, Texas isn't the cakewalk you would expect. The multi-talented Becca King has established a name for herself in the entertainment, fashion (Waxed Black), and service industries (Drink.Well., East Side Showroom). This trinity of talents has taken her many places, and although ending up in Austin, Becca still pines over the hustling Los Angeles frenzy. We chat ex-spouses, new love, therapy, and Marilyn Manson in this 90's themed conversation.
An auteur of writing, sipping, and alcohol academics, Austin's Matt McGinnis has an interesting journey. Born in the midwest, and adventuring his way ultimately to Austin, Matt has dated models, borrowed the best wine bottles, and developed quite the thirst for spirits production in the process. Part prankster, part gentleman, we have a great conversation while sipping some fine 1960's bourbon; that's what we're drinking. And the conversation begs the question: What are You Drinking? (also Matt's blog)
An apple and PR infused power couple, Wes and Mary discuss their genesis and how working together becomes a challenging task at times. With a beautiful balance of reason and creativity, they share some great stories about Arkansas and how Wes' musical career peaked whilst opening for a premier harmonica player. We discuss how Argus became Argus and how Strange Fruit became the newly reborn Resplendent firm. Listen to the love and enjoy some cider in this great chat.