I first got into the craft cocktail scene about ten years ago. For several years I just discovered (…and frequented) bars and restaurants with terrific and/or interesting drink programs, and mixed up from recipe books at home as I put my bar together. After a few years of this I decided that I wanted to try my hand at some of my own cocktails. But there was a problem.
One thing I’ve always been bad at is inspiration for creation. For instance, I can draw — somewhat — but rarely found reason to. I don’t really feel the need to express myself and feel that I have “nothing to say” (darn my parents for giving me a good childhood). But give me a story to illustrate, and I pour myself into it. I love to write song lyrics for a show, but you’ll never see me write poetry for myself.
It is the same with cocktails for me. Ask me to make something up and generally I got nothing. However, give me a theme and I’m all there. And so it was with my first cocktail creations. I was then (it was 2011) in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins and wanted a way to promote the show on social media that was more than, “Hey, come see my show!” I figured custom cocktails would be a unique way to handle this.
So what follows over the next couple of weeks are my very first attempts at creating cocktails, each one after one of the assassins portrayed in the show. I tried them all out again recently and was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. I got better, but I probably never had as much as fun.
The pic below, by the way, is me from two productions of Assassins I have done. On the left is 18 year old little me as Giuseppe Zangara in the electric chair. On the right is the 2011 production where I got to perform John Wilkes Booth. Died both times…