Where Bartenders Drink

If you love cocktails, travel, or quirky coffee table books, you must order Where Bartenders Drink by Adrienne Stillman. In the 12+ years of our friendship, Adrienne has introduced me to more memorable dining and drinking experiences than any other human being. It’s one of the many, many privileges of being her friend. She was going to Milk & Honey and Pegu Club in college while the rest of us were drinking Natty Lite. I first heard about restaurants like Faviken through her blog and came to appreciate sipping on rose in the summers thanks to her influence. We created Dipsology together and I watched her transform from a financial marketing professional to one of the most networked and knowledgeable cocktail connoisseurs in the world. Our events, content, and brand were all shaped through the lens of her passion and taste.

It fills my heart to see her talents showcased in this book. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, her discerning palette, and her gift for listening and telling stories.  I pre-ordered my copy and squealed when I finally got my hands on it. The book is substantial containing 300+ interviews from the world’s best bartenders. It features bars from all over the world, which is perfect for any cocktail lover with wanderlust. You can’t go wrong with any of the advice that this book delivers.

 

Adrienne — Thank you for more than a decade of friendship, delicious eats, and epic imbibing. You’ll always be my dipsy partner in crime and trusted advisor for all things taste. Love you!

Cocktail Classes with Fluent City

A few months ago, I had lunch with an old friend, James Rohrbach. We’re both liberal arts nerds and love connecting the dots between different disciplines. He told me about his new venture, Fluent City, which offers language and culture classes for insatiably curious individuals like me.

He and his team were nice enough to let me be a guest at their “All Shook Up” class, which teaches you  all about foundational cocktails skills – how to read a menu, stock a home bar, and even make some cocktails of your own.

Working on Dipsology, I learned a ton about cocktails simply by going out to hundreds of bars and befriending some of the world’s best bartenders. It’s taken me years of imbibing to learn that I love negronis, gin martinis, and drinking whiskey neat. Fluent City has successfully taken what I spent years learning and compressed it into a 4-week fast track.

Their approach to teaching you cocktail basics is fun, practical, and social:

  • Learn from the experts. My class was led by Robby Nelson who works at Long Island Bar and Prime Meats along with Channing Centeno from Momofuku Ko. They belong to a class of bartenders who are committed to the craft of cocktails and really put in the time to train and hone their skills.
  • Learn by tasting. You show up to class and you’re greeted with a smile and a cocktail. We kicked things off with a tasty daiquiri. If you haven’t had a *real daiquiri* (not a frozen one you get on Bourbon Street or a sour mix one from TGIFridays), you haven’t lived!
  • Learn by doing. After a quick demonstration, Robby gave us an overview of some basic ingredients and tools – a Boston shaker, jigger, simple syrup, etc. We then headed to our own cocktail stations, which were fully stocked with everything we needed to start makin’ and shakin’.
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  • Make new friends.  I don’t have the data to back this up, but if I had to classify cocktail drinkers, they’re more curious and open-minded than the average person. The entire vibe of the class was judgement free. Everyone I met was there to learn and have fun.
  • Practice at home. We were all sent home with a tote bag containing our very own cocktail shaker! I’ll admit I rarely make my own cocktails at home, but I’m inspired to practice more after tonight’s session. I think everyone should start with the classics, specifically a good old fashioned.

img_5657If you’re looking to learn something new that will enhance the way you eat, drink, or experience the world, I highly recommend you check out Fluent City’s classes. And if you’re in New York City on Saturday, December 10 and want a taste of intellectual imbibing, they’re hosting a Bloody Mary pop-up class at the Django.  Cheers and happy cocktailing! 
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