Mix a Cocktail Like Don Draper
The Laura U team works incredibly hard to bring our clients’ design dreams to life, but every once in a while we make it a point to enjoy some fabulous cocktails together. Whether it’s happy hour at your favorite pub, after-work drinks at the office, or a night spent comfortably near your own home bar, we have the tips to make your cocktails great.
Cocktails by Design
I recently had the opportunity to compete in a cocktail competition, so of course, I asked the team to come along. The competition was part of the grand opening celebration for Ligne Studio. Guests enjoyed delicious bites from B&B Butchers, while a select group of local interior designers paired up to design a cocktail in 30 minutes! That’s a challenge, especially for folks used to designing gorgeous home bar areas, not tasty drinks. The competition was judged by Jonathan Browning and Jeremiah Butler. My partner, Darla, and I created a “Tipsy 75”. Unfortunately, we weren’t the big winners, but it was a fun evening out for the team and a wonderful grand opening party for Ligne Studio!
After competing in the mix off, I knew I had to share some of the things I learned about designing cocktails at home with you. So today I’m excited to have Jeremiah Butler share his tips on how to craft the perfect cocktail at home. Jeremiah is the bar manager at B&B Butchers, acclaimed for its amazing steaks and equally impressive cocktail list.
LU: Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into cocktails!
JB: I’ve worked in bars and restaurants for the past 24 years. When I was the head bartender at Masraff’s near the Galleria, I attended a conference in New Orleans called “Tails of the Cocktail” and that’s when I knew I wanted to get into mixology.
LU: What is your favorite drink to craft?
JB: This is a hard question! My favorite drink to craft for myself is a Boilermaker, which is an old way of saying a beer and shot of whiskey. For others, I would say, I really like strong flavors…“boozy, brown and stirred” is what we call it in the cocktail world. My favorites are a Boulevardier or a Sazerac.
LU: What’s something unique or different about the cocktails created at B&B?
JB: It was a challenge to come up with a cocktail list that allows for both speed and creativity, and still be able to handle the volume that B&B does. However, our solution was to have several cocktails on tap. By putting them in a draft system, we created a way to ensure speed and consistency with every drink that comes out of the keg and our guests have loved them!
LU: What are some of your tips for beginners?
JB: 1. Don’t over complicate things. More ingredients don’t always mean a better cocktail. 2: Familiarize yourself with the spirits. It’s a lot easier to craft cocktails if you know the flavor profiles of the spirits.
LU: What’s the biggest mistake people make?
JB: Trying to incorporate too many homemade things and over complicating the cocktail by worrying more about how it looks than how it tastes. Don’t overdo the infusions and garnishes!
LU: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
JB: Come to B&B and drink!
Of course, if you’re in the neighborhood, we recommend B&B’s. Their Booze and Bites menu is the perfect way to cap off a hard day at the office. But sometimes, the perfect cocktail is one had at home. Create the perfect atmosphere for cocktails with your very one home bar and this list of barware every home must have.
Laura U Cocktail Classic
We were feeling so inspired to create our own cocktails, we decided to host a “Cocktail Classic” competition at the Laura U studio. The office was put into pairs and each team was responsible for creating a unique cocktail. They were judged on taste, creativity, and visual presentation. Everyone did a great job and had so much fun!
Crafting Cocktails at Home
What I learned from the mix off is that you can easily bring the fun of crafting cocktails into your home bar area. Whether you’re gathering in the dining room for the holidays, grilling in the backyard or hanging out in the living room, mixing up cocktails at home is a great way to spend time with friends and family.
When you’re mixing up cocktails at home, it’s important to make sure your bar is stocked with the right ingredients, the proper glassware and the necessary bar tools. You also want to make sure there’s space to create your cocktails. That’s why I love incorporating an in-house bar or wine room in our designs.
This space creates a cozy and intimate setting that’s unique to you and perfect for all your entertaining needs. It’s a space where you can show off your personality and tell your story. Whether it’s vintage barware, wine barrel tables or special bottles of wine, each of these items is filled with special memories and I love highlighting these pieces in the design.
Now that you know some tips and tricks from a professional for crafting cocktails at home, I hope you’ve been inspired to mix up your own unique cocktails or host a cocktail competition with friends in your home. And if you need some new ideas or inspiration, I’d recommend visiting B&B Buchters for one of Jeremiah’s delicious cocktails.
Follow me on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening with the Laura U team and for more design inspiration for your in-house bar or wine room.