Episode 021 - Making Cocktail Friends

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Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Kozlik. And this week, I had the chance to sit down virtually with Chris Kierts, who runs a home bartending community called Socktails.

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Socks and cocktails. Seem like an odd pairing?

It’s actually not as weird as it sounds. See, Chris uses his vibrant and quirky sock collection as the backdrop for his cocktail pictures on social media. Just like an interesting pair of socks is a great conversation starter, so are the glasses garnishes that Chris uses to stage his drinks.

Chris and I share a common goal, which is to get people thinking about cocktails and to bring the discussion to the people who are making and enjoying excellent drinks at home.

This is a great episode for you to check out especially if you’re interested in photography, brand building, social media, and all of the hard work that goes into those beautiful pictures that you see on Instagram.

Some of the things that Chris and I discuss in this episode include:

  • The current state of Chris’ sock drawer
  • Which online venues are the best for cocktail feedback and information
  • Advice for staging a sexy cocktail photo
  • How to use hashtags to find great cocktail content on social media
  • What kind of rum to drink on a desert island
  • And much, much more.

As promised during the episode, there’s a link in the show notes to Chris’s Home Bartending Facebook Group, which you can join if you want a dedicated online space to talk about great drinks and get some pointers. So definitely check that out if you’re interested, but for now, please enjoy my conversation with Chris Kiertz of socktails.co.

Featured Cocktail: The SLY Bourbon Buck

Speaking of which, I think this is a great time to mention this week’s featured cocktail, which is the SLY Bourbon Buck.

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This is a Modern Bar Cart Signature cocktail because it uses our organic ginger syrups(Ginger by SLY), but the Bourbon Buck itself has been around for a long time.

Anytime you see the words “Buck” or “Mule” in a cocktail, it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s ginger involved. In fact, another name for the Bourbon Buck is the “Kentucky Mule,” which is a nod to the role that the state of Kentucky plays in the production of bourbon whiskey here in the U.S.

So how do you make a SLY Bourbon Buck?

Well, it’s pretty simple. You fill your mixing glass with ice, then add:

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You stir that up for about 20-30 seconds, and then you strain it into a rocks glass over ice and enjoy.
Now, mules and bucks are very often served as “highball” cocktails, which means that they’re going to have a bit more volume than other common drinks. And this is because they’re usually served with several ounces of ginger beer, rather than just a half ounce of ginger syrup.

So, if you’d prefer to make your SLY Bourbon Buck a highball affair, all you need to do is use a larger glass--either a collins glass or a pint glass--and add your desired amount of sparkling water. Because Ginger by SLY is essentially a ginger beer concentrate, this move works like a charm.

If you’d like to check out some awesome pictures of this cocktail or refresh your memory on the ingredients, head over to Facebook or Instagram, or find it in the recipes section of our website.

Show Notes

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First off, here's how to get in touch with Chris Kiertz if you have any cocktail-related queries or simply want to join the community he's building:

As promised, here's a link to his new facebook community, Home Bartenders, where you can connect with other like-minded people who are trying to up their cocktail game.

Lightning Round

Favorite Cocktail

The Negroni

Desert Island Spirit

Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum

Cocktail with Anyone, Past or Present

Alexander Hamilton

Influential Cocktail Books

The Drunken Botanist, by Amy Stewart

Advice for New Home Bartenders

Do the simple drinks well, use fresh ingredients, and learn the basics. And when you start to experiment, only tweak one ingredient at a time.