Hemingway for sure. I can't imagine someone could spill better stories while also keeping up with the drinking. Plus, the bit of Nordic and Pirating affinity I have has always made me appreciate the ocean even more so than the plain fact that I grew up in Southern California, unless that's where it stemmed from.
But also, he wouldn't even have to be an old man to tell me about the sea. Maybe I travel back to his 20's or 30's for this salud.
Well, I always say I don't drink alone, and in all honesty, it is based in truth. So if I'm working and we're partaking in communion with the likes of coworkers and friends, to appease everyone, my go-to is to split up something soft and delicious.
For those occasions, I'll often make a Mezcal Saturn variation, either as-is or with mango or coconut mixed in. In the end, I want to be on the same level as those I'm with, but I still want to inoculate people into liking Mezcal, so as much as I enjoy a straight shot, this shit makes Vodka drinkers ask, "What was that? That's tasty!"
Side note: just give me a 50/50 shot of Mezcal/Cynar or Mezcal/Amaro Lys and I'm happy.
SATURN VARIATION (1 COCKTAIL: 3 SHOTS)
+ 1.5 oz Gin (obviously we sub with Madre Mezcal)
+ 0.5 oz Falernum
+ 0.5 oz Passion Fruit syrup (or Mango)
+ 0.25 oz Orgeat syrup (or Coconut)
+ 0.75 oz Lemon
I believe it’s the social part of it.
Meeting new people on the daily basis, also creating regular customers out of those experiences. Always great to see people coming back.
Would be with Tom Jobim. Because he’s the maestro of Brazilian music, and I’m obsessed with that.
Also, I know he liked to sip on something and I don’t believe he had a chance to try mezcal before he passed. That would be a very interesting convo.
+ 2 oz Madre Mezcal
+ 1 oz Tamarind Syrup
+ 0.75oz Fresh Lemon Juice
+ 0.5 oz Fresh Ginger Juice
Serve on the rocks with Tajin on the rim.
TO OPEN: Opening the bar is the calm before the storm, it's almost zen. There's usually a half hour or so when I'm the only one on the floor and I listen to Tchaikovsky Radio on Spotify. No specific song, but always classical music.
TO CLOSE: Closing is another story, I like to kick off a close with "Common People" by Pulp and keep it pretty upbeat from there.
+ 1 oz Madre Mezcal Espadin
+ 0.5 oz Suze
+ 0.5 oz Giffard Caribbean Pineapple
+ 0.5 oz Lillet Blac
+ 0.5 oz St. Agrestis Paradiso
This is surely a trick question because there are a million answers and angles. But to pick one I thought of recently when someone asked, and what probably speaks to my initial appreciation for the profession, I love the bridge between stranger and friend. Doesn't matter if I cut up backdrops with a razor blade to Gregory Alan Isakov on a Sunday and you watch Wrestlemania with 40 ozs, we both respect each other and instantly are able to forgo pleasantries, moving to ask how the other is doing.
When the week comes to a close, more often than not, I can look back at having a more meaningful conversation with someone who never told me their name, and who I may never see again, than those people I see on the other side of the bar quite frequently. I could answer this positively 100 different ways though. So tune in next week for another perspective but for now, it's summed up in: I enjoy meeting new people.
CHRIS HEWES FROM NELLA KITCHEN IN LOS OLIVOS, CA
I would have to say that I’d have to make Madre mezcal cocktails (not consume them myself) for Keanu Reeves. I’d wanna hang out with someone that isn’t gonna be too serious and would like to just chill and tell stories. Growing up he was an idol of mine. He’s a very talented, passionate and a good person. Point Break is also one of my favorite movies of all time. He’s a legend and would love to kick it with him over some Madre.
+ 0.5 oz Jalapeńo-infused Madre Espadin
+ 1.5 oz Madre Espadin
+ 1 oz Lemon Juice
+ 0.5 oz Ginger Juice
+ 0.5 oz Orange Blossom Honey Syrup
+ 0.25 oz Ancho Reyes Liquor
+ Wild Baby Arugula
+ 1 tsp of green or blue algae/spirulina
+ Muddle arugula with honey, ginger, Ancho Reyes, and lemon.
+ Add Madre Mezcals.
+ Add a couple of dashes of spirulina to get a dark green-black/grey color.
+ Shake all ingredients with ice.
+ Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
+ Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel and a slice of jalapeńo.
HEATHER MCKEARNAN FROM EL REY COURT IN SANTA FE, NM
My favorite part of being a bartender is connecting with guests and contributing to their experience. Since many of our guests are guests of the hotel, I often have the pleasure of helping curate their trip to Santa Fe. This has the added benefit of sending good people to the small business owners whom I love. Everybody wins.
If I could share a mezcal with anyone living or dead, it would be my dad because we always got along best in bars. He would be blown away by how much there is to learn about Mezcal and I think he would be tickled by my knowledge and passion for this amazing spirit. But also, if my dad wasn’t available, Kurt Vonnegut.
TO OPEN: Assumedly, if I'm the opener I'm often alone so I don't have to curate shit. Totally depends on the mood, but If I'm cranking on some cold brew I'm gonna sing the shit out of "Meet Again" by Maxo Kream while blocking out scooping 8 buckets of ice. But, on a slower morning, slightly in the feels, I'm gonna open with "Wildflower Perfume" by The Dead Tongues while I put myself on a mountaintop with a banjo, a bottle of Mezcal, and a can of guava juice.
TO CLOSE: You have to feel this one out because obviously, we want people to come back, but if the crowd appears to be having fun they usually can appreciate "The Closing Song" by Red Peters. If you haven't heard it, it's the most delicately suspending inquisition of "do you want us to stay here forever?" you could ask for. If this doesn't give the hint, I 'resort' to "Last Resort" by Papa Roach a bit louder, and turn the lights off briefly after it says 'Suffocation, no breathing' before the riff. It's usually industry people at the end and we don't really need to say anything, but there are usually some stragglers that we like to coax softly with some good fun.
+ 1 oz Madre Espadin
+ 1 oz Bodegas Lustau Vermut Rosé
+ 1 oz Mondino Aperitivo
+ Combine all ingredients in a glass and add ice
+ Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry and a swath of orange
NICOLAS TORRES FROM TRUE LAUREL IN SAN FRANCISCO, CA
MADRE MEZCAL MARGARITA
+ 2 oz Madre Mezcal
+ 0.75 oz Lime Juice
+ 0.5 Rich Syrup
+ Orange Bitters
+ A bunch of Salt