Alberto Espinosa is pensive, hospitable, and superbly present. He has created a style of tasting for mezcal that is inclusive, thoughtful, and above all else, connective. His two Mezcal tasting rooms (one in Oaxaca and one in CDMX) are simply called Recia. These rooms are curated with every sense in mind and feature some of the best mezcales in the world. We chat about introspection, creativity, balance, and the absence of arrogance.
The evolution and growth of Texas Whiskey has been catapulted by Balcones Distilling. And although the whiskey can at times be polarizing, understanding why it is the way it is, is ultimately an incredible tale. To think of Jared Himstedt as JUST a master distiller, would be a disservice to his pensive and philosophical lens about the world around us. We talk punk rock, what nature tells us, and how death is handled differently by everyone.
Dalla’s Charlie Moore has worked in many different areas of the hospitality industry, but like many others, whiskey became his true calling. With early days in Iowa and a bit of troublemaking intermixed, Charlie shuffled jobs for a bit before finally falling in love with hospitality. His love of people, learning, and structure combined perfectly to provide a larger sense of purpose. And as Dallas’ cocktail scene started to thrive, Charlie found larger and more creative opportunities. Now, as the a leading whiskey ambassador in Texas, what challenges and struggles are in store? We chat Glendronach, fatherhood, trouble, and more.
I had a beautiful partner for over 10 years. Kichi, a pensive and dedicated Shiba Inu, changed my life forever. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our life together and share a few thoughts. Rest in peace.
Lynnette Marrero has earned entry into the esteemed Tales of the Cocktail's "Hall of Dames"; a loving moniker dedicated to the work of great women in the hospitality industry. Her interest in the human condition, art, music, and helping others has resulted in some of the best collaborations the hospitality industry has seen. For many women, the ability to compete in Speed Rack, one of Lynnette's many project, is enlightening and introspective. Further, as an educator, Lynnette's work unearths what might be otherwise the lost history of powerful women breaking boundaries in hospitality. What's next? And where can we take inclusivity? We chat the 20's, singing, Puerto Rico, and more.
Allan Logan is the distillery manager of Bruichladdich distillery on the wee island of Islay. A small community of around 3000 people enriched by whiskey culture and camaraderie due to the limited number of resources. This small community often leads to intimate understandings of whiskey culture and surfaces some, but yet rare, career opportunities. Allan had such an opportunity at the early age of 28. Years later, his team is composed of creative, driven, and Black Arts vibed individuals. We chat sherry, yellow submarine, Bere barley, and more.
Employee's Only's Dev Johnson is a LA native who's drift away from acting led to a massive dedication to hospitality. As many actor's find work far and few between, they seek out hospitality jobs to cover their expenses. Sometimes this empowers the career, and sometimes it creates a career change. Dev Johnson found that bartending became the perfect intersection of people skills and learning. Now years later, and one of the longest serving bartenders at Employee's Only, what does patience, dedication, and humility do for your career? Bonus: we chat Monkey Shoulder with Vance Henderson.
Esteban Morales Garibi revitalized craft cocktails, coffee, and culinary innovation in Guadalajara. His commitment to transparency, new projects, and sharing beautiful spirits with the world is a page out of an adventure novel. His introduction of La Venenosa introduced the world to Raicilla, a seemingly lost spirit that highlights the flavors of Jalisco. Likewise, his latest project Mezcales Derrumbes features beautiful mezcal from the states of Oaxaca, Michoacan, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, and Durango. And the projects don't stop there.... We talk food, Sotol, Mexico, ambition, and more.....
The Balvenie's Jonathan Wingo sits down with me to co-host a 10 song playlist with paired whiskies. We intro the tracks and talk about why whisky is the best thing to pair with music. Some great bottles, and even greater songs in the mix. Sit back, tune in, and enjoy this great playlist. Get the Spotify playlist here! With 2 extra tracks.
Lifetime New Yorker, Stilo Pimentel has built a beautiful career out of his love of aesthetic and fashion. With crime all around and a seemingly small chance of leaving the tough neighborhood of his youth, Stilo used the inspiration of his family and art to build a larger life. Decades later, hospitality has defined so many chapters of his career. But as he finally leaves New York for Florida (in hurricane season) and begins his travels as the ambassador for Banks rum, where will his career take him next? We chat The Police, Wes Anderson, and Employees Only.
From early days in Florida to college antics at Texas State University, Olamaie's Erin Ashford epitomizes hospitality and possesses a deep curiosity about people. A familiar tale of a college degree not providing the opportunity that the burgeoning Austin hospitality could. Years later, she's reaching a creative apex and is evolving alongside the Austin cocktail renaissance. We chat Rum, Contigo, biscuits, and more.
From a small French village, to teaching, to engineering, Sebastien Derbomez's career started off with little to do about hospitality. An incredibly influential move to London set Seb's hospitality career in motion. Quickly learning English and the many facets of a full working service, Seb's creative muscles began to flex. Some years later after love, more cocktail inventions, and some gin brand work, Seb finds himself in New York. The traveling life of Monkey Shoulder's US personality is fun, stylish, but often takes its toll on this dedicated husband/father. We chat thrones, hairstyles, Lolla, and Scotch.
Chicago native Eric Rosentreter has imbibed all things whiskey and art. A creative force with mixed media and possessing an exceptionally discerning palette for spirits, Eric has seen all annals of the hospitality industry. But perhaps the most career defining chapter was at Chicago's whiskey haven, Delilah's, where he learned the foundational tricks of the trade. Always deconstructing and shifting in the duality of his creative heart, Eric now enters the next phase of his career with Redemption Whiskey. We chat selling out, Rye, Joe Strummer, and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.
Check out Eric's seminar
JANUARY 14, 2017 | 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM | $45.00
EMBASSY SUITES RIVERWALK DOWNTOWN
To read more and buy tickets, click here.
It's been a crazy year and yet despite all the disheartening conflicts among us, there is still plenty to be thankful for.
I hope you enjoy this day with your family and loved ones. Sip something delicious and eat just enough.
Don't forget to enjoy that Turkey of a wild variety.
Now onto Christmas.....
A love of history, science, and Utah was the spark for one of the great American whiskey tales. David Perkins wanted to be a doctor, but found better ways to help his fellow man in the pharmaceutical industry. This successful career forecasting sales and further understanding chemical compounds were the perfect precursor to a voyage in whiskey. In the face of unpopular whiskey sentiments, David learned about blending and leveraged it to make some of the finest blends in modern spirits. As the world's love of whiskey increased, so did High West sales and its need for expansion. Now, in the wake of a $160 million acquisition by constellation brands. who is the man that started it all? We talk Paul Newman, the mountains, and gadgetry.
Image from WSJ