Episode 026 - Cocktails and Place

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Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast! I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and this week, we’ve got a really excellent theme episode that investigates the relationship between cocktails and the places where we drink them.

This episode pulls from a number of different sources whom we’ve interviewed over the first 6 months of this podcast. And they all talk about their favorite places to drink cocktails.

As we point out often here at Modern Bar Cart, cocktails are all about context. They’re like words in that respect. When was the last time you read an email from someone and just couldn’t figure out what they were trying to communicate? It happens because emails are completely devoid of all those body language and intonation clues that make our in-person verbal interactions comprehensible.

The same goes for cocktails, which are never enjoyed in a vacuum. They’re always enjoyed in a particular glass (or vessel), in a particular place, on a particular day, and with a thousand other particular details (like music, company, weather, and mood) all influencing the flavor of the event. This is what separates the intellectual experience of a Martini from the visceral, fleeting, and unique individual experience of drinking this Martini, in this place, with this person, and this ambience.

As you listen to this episode, take a moment to envision your favorite place to drink a cocktail. And yeah, you might have a few. But, I’d encourage you to ask what those places share in common, and what makes them unique from one another and from all the other places in the world where you could pull up a drink.

This episode's guests inlcude:


I think that’s what makes a really great place to drink a cocktail. A place where you don’t feel like you’re putting on a show, even if the bartender is. It’s almost effortless how exciting it is to drink in a place like that.
— Alex Luboff
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Maria Littlefield Owls Brew.jpg
There’s a fireplace in the winter, there’s a little bar in the front, and some big, overstuffed chairs you can duck into with friends, and they have an excellent cocktail menu. It’s dark, but it’s got a really nice ambiance. There’s a lot of candles lit, and the bartenders are always dressed to the nines and very professional.
— Maria Littlefield (Describing Her Favorite Bar)
I like sitting at a well-lit bar and being able to see how the bartender interacts with other guests, how they’re making their drinks—just kind of learning, and sitting next to people who are excited about doing the same thing.
— Charlie Berkinshaw
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Chris Kiertz Socktails.co.jpg
Sitting at a real cocktail bar and watching a professional make your drink. Anytime I can learn from people who are real experts, that’s exactly where I want to be when I’m enjoying a cocktail.
— Chris Kiertz
It’s all about context.
— Josh Wulf - (Speaking on the relationship between seasons, settings, and cocktails)
Josh Wulf Cocktail Den.JPG
Valerie Echeveste Cocktails and Craft.jpg
My ideal place to enjoy a cocktail is at home in Arizona in the wintertime, around a fire pit. To be able to share a well-made cocktail with family is really special.
— Valerie Echeveste