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.
THE MADRE FACKA
+ 2 oz Madre Mezcal Ensamble
+ 1 oz Citrus
+ 0.75 oz Poblano Purée
+ Mulato Pepper Salt rim
+ Shake all ingredients.
+ Put a salt rim on a double Old Fashioned glass with a big ice cube
+ Double strain and garnish with Mulato chip
LINDSEY TAYLOR FROM R BAR IN ST. ASBURY PARK, NJ
TO OPEN: I actually like my quiet time before shift. Ha!
TO CLOSE: After shift that’s a different story. I’ll clean to anything, but I prefer to close out my shift to “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” [the theme from Cheers] it’s cliché, but the song really is a lot of fun!
+ 1.5 oz Madre Mezcal
+ 1 oz Beet Juice
+ Pinch of fresh Dill
+ 0.75 oz Lime
+ 0.5 oz Agave
+ Shake all ingredients.
+ Strain over ice.
+ Garnish with a dill sprig.
NATE ULSH FROM BAR MERIDIAN IN BROOKLYN, NY
TO OPEN: The song I like to start my shift with is “Song For You” by Popcorn.
TO CLOSE: The song I like to end my shift with is "The Magic Eye” by The Zenmen.
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.
+ 2 oz Madre Mezcal Espadin
+ 0.5 oz spiced Hibiscus Syrup
+ 0.75 oz Lime
+ Spritz of Pastis
+ Shake all ingredients except the Pastis.
+ Strain over ice.
+ Add spritz of Pastis.
+ Garnish with a dried lime wheel and dried hibiscus flower.
BEN ZAPIEN FROM RAINES LAW ROOM IN NEW YORK, NY
There are many things I love about being a bartender, but my favorite is creating cocktails. Not an easy thing to do, it starts with an idea and a flavor profile. Costumers are in the constant hunt of the most unique or favorite cocktail therefore; going onto finding new ingredients, techniques, spirits, syrups, etc. To make enjoyable cocktails with a story and the final touch make them aesthetically pretty. We all know that nowadays everyone consumes with their eyes first.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG TO START A SHIFT TO AND FAVORITE SONG TO END THE NIGHT WITH?
Hmmm, this is an interesting one
TO OPEN: Opening shift is the most therapeutic time I find before preparing for a shift where I don’t know who I’ll expect. Rather than just a song I love playing Bad Bunny (no song in particular) to keep me hype and increase my energy.
TO CLOSE: To finish my nights, some disco music is almost kind of celebratory to make it through a shift successfully, [so] “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by A Taste of Honey.
If I had to share a mezcal with anyone one, that’ll be my friends and family. Anyone that knows me or has been around my life for quite some time knows that “La Ultima” is a must-have before parting ways. Stand for “the last one” or “one more for the road” [a] very popular phrase to invite a friend for a drink and convince [them] to have a last one. In my case it's always Mezcal.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEZCAL DRINK THESE DAYS?&NBSP;
Well, my always go to mezcal drink has been a mezcal Negroni. Whether it's winter or summer time, it's the easiest and fastest drink to make if provided with the proper ice. Vermouth must always be refrigerated, I prefer a bright vermouth like Cocchi di Torino or a Mattei Cap Corse Rouge and obviously a great mezcal like Madre.
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
+ 1.5 oz Madre Mezcal Ensamble
+ 0.75 oz Vermouth
+ 0.75 oz Campari
+ Mix all ingredients over ice.
+ Garnish with an orange peel.
GABRIEL ALVES DA ROSA FROM GOLD LINE IN HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES
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.
TO OPEN: To start I like “Feijão com Farinha” by Helio Matheus.
TO CLOSE: To close the night I like to listen to “Pillow Talk” by Sylvia.
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.
ISABEL TULLOCH FROM THE HIHI ROOM IN BROOKLYN, NY
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
TO OPEN: To start, Jimi Hendrix's "Bold As Love."
TO CLOSE: To end, Outkast's "ATLiens."
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
TO OPEN: I like energy in the beginning, I'm really crazy about the new Smino album ["Luv 4 Rent"] from start to finish. I think it's rad to do album listens as well.
TO CLOSE: We often end the night with Angelo Badalamenti's soundtrack from Twin Peaks.
MADRE MEZCAL MARGARITA
+ 2 oz Madre Mezcal
+ 0.75 oz Lime Juice
+ 0.5 Rich Syrup
+ Orange Bitters
+ A bunch of Salt
IVAN RAMIREZ FROM LA DIABLA POZOLE Y MEZCAL IN DENVER, CO