“Most of my cocktails have a person in mind, in the background, but I’ve never created a cocktail for a musician before. This cocktail came about by me just playing around with stuff. Then to relate it to a strong lead vocalist who really has a nice, soft sound that’s smooth and relaxing, but can pick it up and keep a good pace. I started listening to Theresa Andersson about two years ago. My daughter just loves it. I play it for her and she dances around. She’s just shy of two years.
I started this cocktail with gin, actually. Gin and Aperol. Gin was good, it was just too floral with the Aperol and I wanted something sharper so I went with rye. Aperol cuts the rye and you get that sweet and zesty from it, and then the radler softens the whole thing, away from that bitter note. A radler [“cyclist” in German] is beer and soda mixed together, more or less. This is basically malt liquor and grapefruit soda. The alcohol is pretty low, so this is an allday drink.
I just got this tattoo two hours ago [pointing to two raised cocktail olives on his forearm]. I went to Sailor’s Cross, up on Freret Street. They also did this one about a month and a half ago [pulling up pant leg]. That’s Yankee Doodle, an old comic, ’40s–’50s, like Captain America, just earlier and more distorted. I grew up in Connecticut and get Yankee comments all the time, so this made sense. And the olives, a good friend of mine, instead of saying ‘I love you,’ it’s ‘olive you.’ So I was just playing around with that. And then I thought about where I was putting it, and how often am I sitting at a bar like this [anchors elbows on counter]? Well, that’s going to look good, two olives sitting on the bar. I also thought about getting the Cheers logo tattooed on here, but that’s a little bit too obnoxious. Little fun tattoos are good.
I went to school for geology so I have a major appreciation for the sciences. I also have a major appreciation for the classics. I don’t know if you’ve seen our cocktail list yet, but the idea behind all of them is bastardized classics—everything on here. Something thrown in to add some excitement, but not too far off the beaten path. Like the Pearl, like La Perla [with tequila and sherry], but with added cardamom and ginger to add another kick and depth to it. What’s Up, Doc has gin, carrot juice, lemon and ginger beer—sort of a Moscow Mule, but with carrot.
Me, I drink tequila. Straight up. I’ll have beers, but tequila and beers are about it. I’ll do cocktails on occasion. I went to the Catahoula Hotel on Friday or Saturday last week, and I was drunk by the end. They made something for me that had tequila, cold brewed coffee, Punt e Mes [Italian vermouth], cinnamon syrup and bitters. It was one of the best things that have ever touched my lips.”