For me life is all about the search of great flavors. There's nothing better than teaming up with friends on that journey. Last week I was lucky to have Dan aka WolfsbaneCocktails stop by and we collaborated on this awesome cocktail, "The Commendatori" featuring Cozzarelli Death Bed Blend!
How did you become a bartender? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it as career?
I took a job as a barback for the first time at a local craft beer/cocktail bar that was opening up around the corner from my house. I just worked hard and stuck around long enough, snatching orders out of the service printer before my bartender could see. I knew I wanted this to be my life the moment I starting seeing the shaker as blank canvas. “Make me whatever with gin” became a comfort instead of a stress. Mostly it’s just about the energy in a bar, and all the lives that intersect.
What are three key factors to creating a great cocktail?
Balance- i.e. a negroni is equal parts, maintaining that isn’t as easy as it sounds (we’ve all had a weird negroni)
Purpose: vision and respect to traditional cocktail values, and thoughtfully manipulating them
Nostalgia: drawing from your life is always more genuine. If a guest says “this reminds me of...” you know you’ve done your job, because you’ve teleported them to a different time in their life. They came to the bar to escape
What are you doing when you aren’t behind the bar?
I run a cocktail consulting company called Wolfsbane. I provide creative personal menus for private events. In pandemic times I have shifted to assisting guests at home with what they have in their kitchen to make great cocktails they didn’t think they could.
I’m also an audio engineer/ music producer. I’ve been working with music for over 10 years, been playing since I was 14. Something I’ll never give up.
Least favorite drink to make? Do you ever refuse to make something?
Long Island iced tea. It’s garbage. Ask me for a zombie if you wanna get drunk
Generally I believe in making whatever you want but...
You won’t catch me muddling bright red cherries into a glass and pouring whiskey over it
Who or what inspires you to create?
Slow impending doom. I’ve always had a creative drive and imagination. It’s hard to turn off. I love to see people’s reaction after they watch me build a drink and the first taste. It’s a beautiful moment when you provide someone with “exactly what I wanted”
- 1 oz Cozz Coffee Death Bed Blend Espreso
- 3/4 oz Fresh Pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 1/2 oz Organic Canned Coconut milk
- 2 oz Cannoli infused Rums
- Combine ingredients in Shaker seal and shake with ice strain over fresh ice and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and lemon peel.