Ben Craven is a badass behind the bar. Perla’s also rocks. The natural light in there was so clean and beautiful to work with. Here are a few photos from the Meet Your Bartender photo shoot with Mr. Craven. Read the Q&A online at austin360.com. After this article came out, I had a lot of positive feedback from the community, which was really nice. Lots of people respect Ben and think he is one of Austin’s unsung bartending heroes. So cheers to you and your beautiful cocktails, Sir!
(512) Pecan Porter for me, Perfect Manhattan for Z.
Surprised to find that the Rainey St. bar has upped its drinks game with a relatively new cocktail menu (implemented last month? The bartender wasn’t sure). The Perfect Manhattan was indeed perfect in the sense that it had both sweet and dry vermouths, and tasted balanced and clean (and stirred!!!). Nice to see people beginning to pay attention to how traditional drinks should be made, instead of running with the concept of classic cocktails but not following any established recipe or technique to mix it up. Well done, Clive.
Lady Lara Nixon and Tigress owner Pam Prichard are still going strong with the barrel-aged cocktail series. You can read more about the fifth release on Liquid. Here are some additional snapshots from last month’s boozy evening of barrel-aged bliss.
As April comes to a close, I figure it’s the right time to post this issue of b-sides, where I display photos from work shoots that didn’t make the cut for print or online.
For the first issue of the Statesman’s latest publication that debuted this month, Real Magazine, I featured a juicy warm weather concoction from the Crow Bar on South Congress Ave. Here are some of the other cocktails featured at the bar.
There isn’t much I need to say about Anvil. Always top notch drinks and quality service. Austin needs to take a leaf out of their book in mixing cocktails quickly and with precision. If it didn’t cost so much to hook up a hotel in Houston for a night, I’d be out there all the time sipping the nights away.
Sometimes, mistakes precede great discoveries. Or some inspirational bull like that. Basically, I fucked up by scheduling a cocktail photo shoot at an outdoor venue for 5:3a couple of weeks ago. Which otherwise wouldn’t be an issue, except we’re back on “it gets dark unnaturally early” time, and the sun was starting to set as soon as I showed up.
What could have otherwise turned into an epic photography fail and cowardly reschedule, the situation pushed me to work a little harder to capture what I needed. It was a welcome, refreshing challenge. It’s been awhile since I have had to shoot in difficult circumstances, and I think (hope) I did OK with that I had to work with this time around (no tripod, no flash, no sun).
In other news, the drinks you’re feasting your pretty eyes on are the brainchildren of Houston Eaves from Contigo. Houston took over the bar manager position after working at the East Side Show Room for some time. You can read more about the drinks and find recipes on Liquid.
Bored. Played with Photoshop. Volstead does looks this vintage in real life, though. Read about Justin’s cocktails and see recipes on Liquid. Cheers.
Jason Stevens, I salute you. You can get the recipes and read more on Liquid.
The Bar Keep Bitters competition took place at Haddingtons on Tuesday. Our very own Josh Loving of Fino took home the first place, winning the epic prize of having his recipe bottled and distributed through GreenBar Collective alongside their current portfolio that includes Swedish Herb bitters and Baked Apple bitters. You can read more about the competition on the Liquid Post.
I followed the judges into the cocktail lounge to see exactly how it is that one judges bitters, and to snap a couple of pics (of course.) The light was so damn beautiful in there, I couldn’t let these photos hide in a file within a file on my external forever without seeing the light of day, er, the internet. What? Yeah, ok, I’m done.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with all the faces in the room. That’s the “mixotoxicockologist” from Bar Congress Adam Bryan at the top, Jeff Boley, formerly of Paggi House and now consulting on various projects in the floral, and Kelly Garner from GreenBar.