Episode 015 - The Art & Science of Distilling

McClintock Distilling

What’s shakin, Cocktail Fans?

Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and today I’ve got an extremely exciting announcement for you.

If you listened to our last episode where I took a cruise through the Modern Bar Cart mailbag, you know that we wrapped up with a question about what new products we’ve been working on. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hard at work putting the finishing touches on some flavorful mixers that we’re super excited about. And I’m pleased to report that the wait is over! Today, Modern Bar Cart is pleased to officially welcome SLY Syrups & Garnishes to our cocktail mixer family.

We’re launching with three products: Simple by SLY, which is a really high quality organic simple syrup. Ginger by SLY, which is a fresh ginger syrup that’s great for Mules, Bucks, and other cocktail spinoffs. And Hot by SLY, which is a Cinnamon Chili Syrup that will warm you up from the inside out.

Like Embitterment Bitters, SLY Syrups are certified USDA Organic, which means that they’re produced in a certified organic facility and that the ingredients we use to make these syrups can also be traced back to organic certified producers and handlers. So there’s kind of a “chain of custody” involved that allows us to know exactly who is handling the ingredients, and how they’re treating them.

Featured Cocktail - The Corpse Reviver #2

Moving on to this week’s featured cocktail, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine called the Corpse Reviver #2. This is a really exceptional New Orleans cocktail that stands right alongside the Sazerac, the Vieux Carre, and the Ramos Gin Fizz as that city’s finest cocktail contributions to the world.

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash (or bar spoon) absinthe
  • Orange peel garnish

To make a Corpse Reviver #2, you put all your ingredients--your gin, your orange liqueur, your blanc vermouth or lillet, your lemon juice, and optionally your absinthe into a cocktail shaker with ice. You give that a really nice healthy shake, and you strain it into a cocktail glass--preferably chilled--and garnish with an orange peel twist.

It's a hyper-refreshing drink, and it’s great both in the summer when you need an afternoon pick-me-up, or in the winter, which citrus prices tend to be lower.

Interview with Braeden Bumpers

We do talk about the Corpse Reviver cocktail in today’s episode, which features distiller Braeden Bumpers of McClintock Distilling Company, based in Frederick MD.

Braeden and I recorded this episode during the summer, right before I left for the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans, and the audio file needed a little bit of TLC due to the heat and humidity, the large, echoey distillery, and some background noise problems.

So, big shout-out to Chris Preston, our favorite DC Sound Mixer, for spending some time with this audio and taking care of some of the interference.

And as you listen to Braeden and I chat about distilling, I want you to imagine we’re sitting in their beautiful distillery next to their gorgeous column stills, and if you’re curious about what that space looks like, you can go ahead and check out the pictures in the show notes at modernbarcart.com.

Some of the topics we discuss in this episode include:

  • Of course, the art and science of distillation
  • What a drunken pig might taste like
  • The differences between craft spirits and larger corporations
  • What costs determine the retail price of your favorite whiskey or gin
  • The value of drinking your mistakes
  • What cocktail Mark Twain would drink on a Mississippi paddle boat
  • And much, much more

Lightning Round Questions

Favorite Cocktail

McClintock's Spirits from L-R:  Epiphany Vodka, Forager Gin, White Whiskey

McClintock's Spirits from L-R:  Epiphany Vodka, Forager Gin, White Whiskey

The Corpse Reviver

Favorite Spirit


Cocktail with Anyone Past or Present

Sazerac with Mark Twain on a Mississippi River Paddleboat

Influential Books

Proof: The Science of Booze

Advice for New Bartenders

Seek out your local craft distillers, and always keep experimenting.

Eric Kozlik