39 minutes | Apr 4, 2021
The Masters Series | Salvatore Calabrese
Our final installment of the Masters Series features Salvatore Calabrese. Known as the Maestro, Salvatore has been mixing drinks for over 40 years. He's served the likes of US Presidents, Fidel Castro, Mick Jagger, Princess Diana and even Nelson Mandela. He also knows what it's like to being in every corner of the bartending industry. Over his career he's written books, sold barware, judged competitions, consulted for bars and brands, created his own products and mixed drinks to the point of mastery. In our 2019 chat with The Maestro, we discuss what it means to create a classic and reflect on 100 years of the negroni. “Simplicity is one of the [keys] of a great classic. And the name. Simple name, simple ingredients- ingredients you can find all over the world.” "It is worrying- we go further into our industry but we create less and less classics.” Salvatore also reflects on being mentored by Signor Rafaello in the early stages of his career. The lesson he learnt then has stayed with him throughout his career: perfect the art of reading a guest. It was a lesson he learnt after having a fish thrown at him. "Every customer is different. So before you bring your sunshine to somebody else, try to understand what they want… It’s about making him feel comfortable in his own shell. And then maybe eventually bring him the sunshine.” In conclusion? "Remember that a great bar is made by people. It’s not the place that makes the place, it’s the people inside.” Tune in to hear all this and more on part 5 of the Living Proof Masters Series. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of those considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
45 minutes | Mar 28, 2021
The Masters Series | Jim Meehan
When he was younger, Jim Meehan wanted to be a doctor who wrote books. Fast forward a few years and, although he didn't follow the medicine path, his desire to serve others persists in what has been an outstanding bartending career. Oh, and he has two books under his belt, too. In this latest episode of our Masters Series, Jim discusses how his desire to 'lead' in the industry brought him to the brink of burnout. He talks of preparing for the marathon, not the sprint, and managing your career devotion. It ties into themes of health an wellbeing that persist in the industry today. "If you work in the bars or own the bars, there’s a curtain between the people who host the party and people who are at the party. That’s a dangerous line, I think." -Jim Meehan Tune in to hear all this and more on part 5 of the Living Proof Masters Series. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of those considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
The Masters Series | David Wondrich
There must be some unwritten law stating that every bar worth its salt carries at least one copy of David Wondrich's Imbibe. Long accepted as one of the foremost authorities in the cocktail world, David Wondrich takes his place as the fourth master in our Masters Series. Our conversation with the drinks historian takes us as far back as 1850 with the story of Jerry Thomas, before flinging us into the future with David's views on 'restaurant-style bars'. "One thing we’re seeing a lot of here is a new relationship between bar and restaurant where the bar is in the driver’s seat. So you’ve got a full bar with a small restaurant menu as opposed to the usual, small bar with a full restaurant menu." -David Wondrich We'll also cover David switch from a 'miserable' junior professor to regular drinks columnist for Esquire, and how nobody believed that positive change was possible in the bar industry. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
43 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
The Masters Series | Philip Duff
Our third installment of The Masters Series takes us back to 2019, when we sat down for a chat with industry great, Philip Duff. We kick off the conversation with Phil's bold step into producing, Old Duff Genever. Now the top selling 100% genever globally, Old Duff has provided Phil with an insight into just how far the liquor industry has to go. From there, we pick Phil's brain about the second cocktail revolution, global bartending hotspots to watch and his tips for young bartenders. Phil knows this industry inside out, so being able to pick his brains at length provided us with a wealth of insights. When it comes to bartending, he truly is a Master. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
The Masters Series | Gaz Regan
Join us this week as we remember the late Gaz Regan. Gaz was brought up in British pubs in the 1960s, before he made his way to the US aged 19. Over the next five decades, he became a larger-than-life pioneer of the cocktail revolution - his impact epitomised by the popularity of his iconic finger-stirred Negroni. His books, such as The Bartender's Bible and The Joy of Mixology, have become some of the most-referenced texts of today's cocktail renaissance. Full of both hilarious stories and sage advice, our time with Gaz is always worth listening to again. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
The Masters Series | Dale Degroff
Nicole and Marcus revisit one of their first interviews with King Cocktail himself, Dale Degroff. He’s a bartender, author and “one of the world’s foremost cocktail experts,” according to in the New York Times. He’s worked some of the US’ best bars, written some timeless books, helped found award-winning training platform Beverage Alcohol Resource, and even opened a Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. In this episode, Dale, Nicole and Marcus discuss the cocktail revolution, the future of the bartending industry, and the test of a true bartender. As one of the most qualified bartenders in the industry, Dale's view of the bartending industry is fascinating. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
42 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
The Year That Was: 2020 on the Living Proof podcast
It’s been a year like no other, especially for bartenders and anyone in the hospitality industry. So for our final episode of 2020, we're taking a look back at the year that was on the Living Proof podcast. You'll be hearing snippets of a few of the conversations we were lucky enough to have in 2020, the first of which focus on the subject of wellness and balance for bartenders. We had some great discussions with Tim Philips-Johansson, Australia's most awarded bartender, and Mark Livings, CEO of Lyre's Spirit Co, about how and why young people are increasingly choosing to drink less. Then, we cast our minds back to when the pandemic first took hold of cities the world over, spelling a long lay-off for many bars. We hear from Dante's Liana Oster, who we spoke to back in April, and then Big Bar's Eugene Lee and Selene Martinez. Finally, we explore how the industry might emerge from the challenges of the year with a renewed focus on high quality customer experiences. Alex Ross, who opened the renowned Ginger bar in Melbourne, talks us through how she keeps the customer front-of-mind whenever she's working on a project. And Diageo's Global Cocktailian, Lauren Mote, describes how the front- and back-of-house are coming together to create guest experiences that go beyond the glass. And we couldn't look back on 2020 without re-visiting our hilarious chat with Artem Peruk of El Copitas Bar in St Petersburg - the bar that went from scrounging around to find enough chairs to open, to sitting proudly on the World's 50 Best Bars list. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
#77 | The Juniper Canvas, with Stuart Gregor of Four Pillars
Stuart Gregor is Co-founder and Trade Director at Four Pillars, the Australia gin distillery that's just won International Gin Producer of the Year for the second year running. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
47 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
#76 | The courage to make mistakes, with Dushan Zarić of Employees Only
Dushan Zarić is an owner and co-founder of Employees Only, one of the most recognisable hospitality brands in the world. To date, EO has operated bars in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Miami. Dushan himself arrived in the US from Yugoslavia when he was in his 20s. He had nothing but a "useless degree" and $2,000, but quickly went from working the door at a strip club to making cocktails under the tutelage of Dale DeGroff. Then, it was a loophole in the law that banned smoking in bars that saw him and co-founders Henry Lefarge, Igor Hadzismajlovic, Jason Kosmas, and Bill Gilroy devise the concept for Employees Only. Dushan's an advocate for working your way up within an organisation, and helping people realise that it's a privilege to be of service to others. It's this ethos and support that has seen Employees Only become such a rewarding place to work that staff members very rarely leave. Dushan explains: “At Employees Only, when you’re hired you’re encouraged to make mistakes. We want you to make mistakes … [otherwise] there is no chance for you to build confidence and feel like you have support. I encourage everybody to take responsibility and run with it. If you make a mistake - so what? .. so long as we are courageous enough to stand there, take responsibility, learn what we can and move on, feeling like we have support." “It’s a real privilege to be of service to people. It took me a long time to realise that. I was a really ego-driven maniac rockstar kid … it took a long time for me to understand why service is such an avenue for growth and personal happiness and contentment. And here's a couple more of our favourite quotes from what was one of our most thought-provoking conversations to date: “Anybody can make a good burger or a good cocktail. That will not differentiate you from anybody else. What will differentiate you is how people feel - I emphasise feel because most of them are not even aware why they prefer a certain place. … when you distill it down, it’s basically because you feel comfortable in a place and you’re not rejected.” “I’ve had plenty of people who’ve worked with me whose attention was on developing a different career - some art or becoming something else. And that’s fine. But when you find yourself in a situation to be serving others, I think it’s important to ask oneself: ‘How curious that in my life, at this time, I’ve been given this opportunity to actually be of service. This is not just a job that provides me with some money. It is an opportunity for me to learn something about myself.” Stay up-to-date at instagram.com/livingproofpod See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
40 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
#75 | Warm welcomes & fond farewells with Kevin Diedrich
Kevin Diedrich is Tales of the Cocktail's 2020 American Bartender of the Year. He's also at the helm of the American Cocktail Bar of the Year - Pacific Cocktail Haven in San Francisco. PCH's reputation in San Francisco precedes it. But four years ago, when Kevin was still in the process of re-imagining the existing neighbourhood bar that would become PCH, a bunch of regulars were asking why he was ruining their bar. He said it was like getting punched in the stomach, over and over again. But listening to Kevin speak about hospitality and service leaves nothing to the imagination as to how he's been able to push through that initial pain to become one of the emerging stars of the industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
#74 | The West Winds and Curatif, with Jeremy 'Jez' Spencer
Jeremy Spencer is co-founder of both The West Winds gin and Curatif canned cocktails. The West Winds was one of Australia's initial gin distilleries, beginning way back in the old days of 2011 and effectively paving the way for the hundreds that have come since. Jez takes us through how they were able to make a splash, thanks to some Margaret River seawater and slightly risqué marketing slogans. Now, Jez has brought a new range of premium canned cocktails to market. Curatif was born from the frustration he and his co-founders felt towards the quality of drinks available in places like hotel rooms, golf courses and on long-haul flights. Having seen the canned cocktail market taking hold in the US, they've decided to package up some of their own, many of which have a distinctly Australian flavour - such as the Never Never Negroni and Archie Rose Espresso Martini. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
38 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
The Bloody Mary & The United States of Cocktails, with Brian Bartels
Brian Bartels is co-owner of the Settle Down Tavern in Madison, and the author of two books: The Bloody Mary and The United States of Cocktails. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | Nov 9, 2020
#72 | "It's like changing the direction of the Titanic" with Merivale's Sam Egerton
Sam Egerton is Group Bars Manager at Merivale. He's also the latest bartender to be featured by Blends of the VIRTUAL World with his 'Growing Drinks in the Modern Bar' series. Check it out at https://www.theblend.world/en-au/news/growing-drinks. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
43 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
#71 | "I wrote my first cocktail menu in a hospital bed" - with H. Joseph Ehrmann
H. Joseph Ehrmann is the owner of Elixir San Francisco, and co-founder of Fresh Victor, a range of cold-pressed juice-based mixers. H. has a background in public relations, business and as a chef. In the early 2000s, he decided to leave all that behind while putting the knowledge he'd gained into practice, by taking over San Francisco's second-oldest Saloon bar. He gave it a lick of paint and a new name: Elixir. But for the first few months, Elixir struggled. Slowly, H. began to unravel the reasons why, coming to the conclusion that he hadn't put enough emphasis on hiring the right people, or investing in the quality of his drinks. When he then suffered a sudden pulmonary embolism, which had an effect typical of near-death experiences, it wasn't long before he had totally upended the bar's staff, drinks and prices. It hasn't looked back since. H.'s newest venture is Fresh Victor, a direct-to-trade and -consumer range of premium, juice-based cocktail mixers. Fresh Victor aims to make US bars' and bartenders' lives easier, by increasing efficiency and consistency of craft cocktails. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
#70 | Cocktail Gastronomy with Margot Lecarpentier
Margot Lecarpentier is a Parisian bartender, and co-owner of Belleville bar Combat. At only 33 years of age, she was last year voted the city's Most Influential Bartender. And just to drive the point home, Combat was named the Most Influential Bar. Margot's a champion of making cocktails and spirits more accessible for the uninitiated. It stems from having seen the perceived unapproachability of mixology first-hand, around six years ago. Back then, when Margot was just starting out behind the bar, she had been buying up all the best books on cocktails and spirits. But it was all gobbledegook. So, she's written her own - La Bible de Alcools. We ask her all about that, why she likes to call Combat a 'cocktail bistro', the man who acts as the bar's forager and flavour-finder, how Paris is faring amid a second wave of the coronavirus, becoming a mother behind the bar and more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
42 minutes | Oct 18, 2020
#69 | The brandy switch with Richard Angove of St Agnes Distillery
Continuing a legacy that's steeped in history and innovation, Richard Angove is making sure that St Agnes Distillery builds upon the foundations laid by his grandfather, who started putting down brandy stocks in the 1970s. In this episode of the Living Proof podcast, Richard chats with Nicole and Marcus about the challenges and opportunities currently facing brandy makers in Australia. He discusses opening brandy up to a wider market and finding the balance between tradition and reinvention- a test that the distillery recently faced with the release of their Bartender's Cut brandy. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
42 minutes | Oct 12, 2020
#68 | Jacques Bezuidenhout on Liquid Productions, squeezing limes at Tres Agaves, Sherry and more
Jacques Bezuidenhout is a San Francisco-based Industry Specialist at Liquid Productions. He is also a bartender with 20+ years' experience, having worked at a range of successful venues such as Tres Agaves and the Starlight Room, as well as on the cocktail programs for 70+ venues at the Kimpton group of Hotels & Restaurants. Importantly, Jacques is a student of hospitality and spirits production. He's joined Julio Bermejo on many trips to Mexico to study tequila, has visited Jerez de la Frontera to check out Sherry and, most recently, France to dig deeper into Calvados. We chat about life in San Francisco in 2020, squeezing thousands of limes to order at Tres Agaves, making a $650 drink at the Starlight Room, running 70+ hotel bars and some of his favourite Sherry cocktails. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
#67 | Becoming a beverage expert, with Tyler Zielinski
Tyler Zielinski is a freelance journalist, competitive bartender, and beverage consultant. His writing has been featured in magazines such as PUNCH, Imbibe Magazine and Whiskey Advocate, and publications such as Liquor.com, Bloomberg and Fast Company have touted him as a beverage expert. Still, only 26 years old, he is just hitting his stride and has yet to fulfill his ambitions, so there is plenty more to come. In this episode, Nicole chats to Tyler about where his drinks blog Bon Vivantito has taken him, and some fascinating articles he's written about carbonating cocktails with baking soda, being more sustainable with prediluted cocktails and creating alternative acids. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
34 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
#66 | Changing people's perceptions, with Jägermeister's Willy Shine
Willy Shine is the Brand Meister at Jägermeister United States. German digestif Jagermeister has earned a place on most backbars around the world thanks to the notoriety of ‘Jager-bombs’. But at its heart, it is a versatile and complex amaro made with 56 different botanicals. Willy Shine joins the podcast to discuss his career, how the company has set about changing people’s perceptions of the product, as well as its versatility in cocktails. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
45 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
#65 | The Proof & Co story with Paul Gabie
Paul Gabie is co-founder and CEO of Proof & Company, the premiere independent spirits distributor in Asia. Proof & Co also has a creative team that has become a driving force behind the cocktail renaissance taking hold on the continent, by designing bars such as 28 Hong Kong Street and ATLAS. Paul has an expansive chat with Nicole about the company's origin; the most exciting markets in 2020; their newest venture, ecoSPIRITS, that aims to end single-use glassware; and his philosophy on building successful teams. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.