Episode 001 - The Joys of Home Bartending

To me, hosting is the ultimate form of respect. One of the most selfless things you can do for your friends is to have a well organized, well run get-together. It’s a form of affection.
— Alex Luboff
I used to put a ton of pressure on myself to give people the best drink they’ve ever had...and then I remembered I’m not a professional.
— Jordan Wicker

In this episode, I sit down with a chat with a couple of my favorite cocktail personalities: Alex Luboff and Jordan Wicker of the Speaking Easy Podcast.

I was actually a guest on their show back in August of 2016, and they’ve been producing consistently great audio content on cocktails and home bartending for over a year and a half now. Since this is episode 1, we discuss the joy of being a home bartender, as well as some of the trials, tribulations, comedic mistakes, and life hacks that will help you decide if building your own home bar or bar cart is a project you’re interested in undertaking.

Some of the things we discuss include:

  • How Jordan and Alex got into podcasting

  • The values of a good home bartender

  • Alex’s duck bar

  • Cocktail rookie mistakes

  • The “Zone of Proximal Drinking”

  • Must-read cocktail books

  • Where to grab a drink with George Washington

  • And much, much more.

These fellas are a real pleasure to listen to, and you can find all the various ways to connect with them at the end of the episode...and of course, right here in the show notes.

Finally, despite not being a part of the recorded dialogue, I want to give a huge shout-out to the Speaking Easy Podcast’s fantastic producer, Silent Tyler, without whom this would not have been possible.

So, make yourself a drink (and if you’re not in a place to do that, make yourself a mental drink, and enjoy this awesome kick-off episode with the gents from the Speaking Easy Podcast.

The “Zone of Proximal Drinking” is a term we coined in this episode to describe the type of experimentation and eagerness to learn that drives home bartenders to improve their cocktail game. The key, though, is to remain open to different flavor experiences and not fall into the traps of cocktail snobbery as you learn and develop.

Some of the great joys of home bartending, according to Alex and Jordan:

  • Hosting is one of the ultimate forms of respect.

  • Learning things you can’t learn in a formal school environment

  • Introducing people to new and exciting cocktails/flavors


Some rookie cocktail mistakes according to Alex and Jordan:

  • Going too expensive too fast (in terms of the liquor on your bar)

  • Buying poor-quality pre-mixed cocktail mixers

  • Not using fresh citrus juice

  • Not having enough ice

Lightning Round Questions


What is your favorite cocktail?

Jordan: Vieux Carre

Alex: Sazerac


What is your favorite spirit?

Jordan: For cocktails, Rye. For sipping, Bourbon.

Alex: For cocktails, Rye. For sipping, Scotch.


If you could have a cocktail with any person, past or present, who would it be and what would you drink?

Jordan: George Washington, and we’d drink punch made by Martha Washington

Alex: A Blue Blazer made by the Professor, Jerry Thomas

If you want to get in touch with the fellas from the Speaking Easy Podcast, you can connect with them on Twitter (@speakingeasypod) or on Facebook. You can also check out their show wherever you listen to podcasts.