As we soon bid farewell to the studious Phillip Smith to the fine city of Chicago, it's great to recant the tale of how this Austinite became entrenched in the Dallas cocktail scene. The athletic and ambitious Phillip Smith was drawn to hospitality at a younger age and even became a cabana boy at the Four Seasons to work his way through the ranks. Bar Smarts, USBG meetings, and a Camp Runamok later, he now is building an amazing resume fueled by ambition and a dedication to his career. His next chapter begins this month in Chicago, and the opportunities are endless. We talk Mezcal, frozen Daiquiris, Parliament, and the Dallas "scene".
An academic path soon turned into one of creativity and hospitality as Elisabeth Forsythe found her true calling. Elisabeth has helped shape the cocktail scene in San Antonio and is one of the most tenured bartenders in the city. Her perfect blend of book smarts and cocktail knowledge come together in some of the best drinks committed to glass. From Speed Rack to Barbaro, Elisabeth keeps challenging herself and strives to give the best service possible. We chat grandma's, Raicilla, Uno, and more.....
It's a great thing that a San Antonio native helped found and continues to promulgate the San Antonio cocktail scene. Jeret Pena has seen the sweeping growth and transformation of San Antonio, and this Catholic school boy has affirmed his position as one of the founding fathers of its cocktail renaissance. Jeret has transmutated his love of music and singing into a great appreciation of flavor and hospitality. As an owner of some of the best bars in San Antonio (and the country), what's next and how can Jeret help promote his love of hospitality? There are growing pains, and challenging gains, but ultimately Jeret is a man of the people with a brilliant back story. We talk Depeche Mode, fatherhood, and being nice to guests.
Shrewd pragmatism drove the uber-intellectual Jake Lustig into the world of agave. A native of California and frequent traveler to Oaxaca, Jake Lustig has been at the forefront of agave sustainability and spirits education. Raised in an impressively academic household, Jake learned how to make a living at a young age and always paired passion with a sense of cost effectiveness. This adaptability and shrewd entrepreneurialism has been the guiding thread of his career. As sales director for Haas Brothers, Jake continues to bring great spirits into the US and preach the wonders of agave while always making sure we know the environmental toll of the category. We chat Enrique Fonseca, hustling, and political diversity.
As a celebration of his 40th birthday, today is Chris Bostick day on SDV. A true all-star and mentor to the industry, Chris has many unexpected turns in this cinematic tale. From music to drama to hospitality, the spark of creativity and inspiration remained a constant thread. His Tex-Mex subplot drove him to connect with one of his true loves, agave and unexpectedly shaped many aspects of his career. From NY to LA, Chris' voyage perfectly prepped him to open the Austin cocktail haven Half Step with industry iconoclast Sasha Petraske. Despite the losses Chris has felt in this riveting story, his head is up and he's working on the next great project. We chat Mezcal, Phish, NY, and the realities of divorce.
Hockey, basketball, acid burns, and mezcal are only the beginning to this fruitful chat with Vancouver native Jonathan Smolensky. A serpentine road of broadcast journalism, hockey curriculum, and a genetic prosperity to understanding economic theory led Jon into the wonderful cocktail culture of Vancouver. Although he wouldn't admit it, Jon helped shaped the narrative of hospitality and craft cocktails in Canada. His bar talents eventually transitioned into business owner and Jon now operates Sovereign Wine and Spirits which brings some of the world's greatest spirits into Canada. We chat the Eagles, ageism, and what time management is all about.
The world is a crazy place and sometimes you can't shake the path on which you were raised. Ashley Haussermann started as a Hotel owner's daughter in Canada and touched with various types of performance arts in the process. Understanding the turmoil that surrounds divorce and substance abuse, Ashley has finely crafted her ambition to ensure success in any road she takes. As she just now leaves Austin, TX after a great impact at The Roosevelt Room and Vox table, what will her life have in store as she lands in NYC? Soon to be consulting and writing under the moniker the Drink Duchess, Ashley will pave a great path in the globally influential NYC cocktail scene. We talk gourds, greetings, love, and start ups.
This is the latest from Show de Vie, Jonathan Wingo is the brilliant Balvenie brand ambassador for William Grant and Sons. His passion for music and ruckus steered his life in very exciting directions. A conservative Christian upbringing became the impetus for a deep interest in something else, something wilder: punk rock. This musical foundation inspired creativity and ultimately coincided with the perfect Jack&Coke to unleash a deep interest in whiskey. Erudite, fun-loving, and resident Saddle Creek fan, Wingo loves to learn. As a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, Jonathan only started to see his career in the whiskey industry emerging. He nows travels the world sharing the wonderful line up of Balvenie whiskey. We talk Tim Kasher, Connor, ethics, having beards, and the lovely label mates at William Grant and Sons.
It takes a lot to start a distillery. It takes even more to put your life into mastering the flavor of Whiskey. The passion, education, and sheer sweat equity you put into your business cannot be described. So imagine that someone wants to take this all away from you? This chat with Chip Tate is a frustrating and an optimistic one. The media has portrayed his departure from Balcones in a such misanthropic way. I hope this conversation dispels any of the rumors and serves as a cautionary tale of business. Beyond the whiskey mastermind lies a wonderful father committed to his family, and a utilitarian that will succeed at anything he puts his mind to. Chip is a deeply intelligent man who thinks about the details that can perfect a spirit. His knowledge of barrel chars, fermentation, and raw material processing is astounding. He's an encyclopedia of knowledge and it was a humbling conversation to say the least. We chat agave, science, strip clubs, and wonder why people trust us the way they do.