Our Mixologist of the Month is Josh Goldman, LA based bar owner and spirits consultant at SoignĂ© Group. Here’s the interview…
1. What’s your story? How did you get interested in cocktails?
I started bartending in the 90s as a way to support myself while I was going to school. I didnâ€™t get interested in cocktails or at least well made cocktails (this was the 90s and I was working in clubs) until a friend told me about a bartender in New York named Dale Degroff that I should check out. I couldnâ€™t believe how gracious he was as a host and how tasty his cocktails were. Sitting in front of Dale is an education.
2. What compelled you to become a bartender?
A lack of other marketable skills
3. What differentiates your bar from other bars?
We try to focus on hospitality and flavor. We canâ€™t do what we love if no one shows up, and drinks always seem to taste better when theyâ€™re made with love.
4. Why do you think rum is enjoying such a renaissance?
Because I think flavor is enjoying a renaissance. Cocktails are enjoying a renaissance. When I started bartending we were slamming jolly ranchers in vodka to â€ścreateâ€ť new infusions so we could invent the next cosmopolitan, metropolitan or whateverpolitan. There were less quality spirits available due to the lack of demand for them. We were adept at masking the flavors of alcohol instead of balancing them harmoniously with the spirit. During this time of flavor masking vodka was king. Now that flavor is coming back itâ€™s only natural that the worlds most diverse spirit category enjoys itâ€™s long day in the sun too.
5. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one drink, what would it be and why?
A vile of poison because iâ€™m stranded on a dessert island. Probably Botulinum
6. What’s a great easy rum drink that people can make at home?
Denizen 3yr daiquiri
7. Who’s the most liberated spirit you know (past or present)? Who lives life the most freely?
Keith Richards. That man has fucking lived.