' “Bad liqueurs are bad,” said deBary.'
' “Bad liqueurs are bad,” said deBary.'
"According to bar expert and author John deBary, to wake yourself up and give a nod to the Brits, tea-infused spirits are the way to go. You can infuse "english breakfast or earl grey tea into London dry gin like Beefeater or Sipsmith,” and go with whatever gin cocktail you already know and love. And you don’t even have to have planned it the night before. “I usually do 14 grams (or 7 standard tea bags) infused into one 750 mL bottle of gin for 10 minutes,” he says. If you have a few bags of Lipton and half a bottle of gin hanging around somewhere in your apartment, you're halfway there."
"Our conversation with Julia and John covers a ton of ground – from the Atlanta restuarant scene and non-alcoholic cocktails to solitude and skin care.
Julia Bainbridge was most recently Food Editor of Atlanta Magazine, and is an accomplished writer with work in everything from Bon Appetit to Playboy. She’s the creator and host of The Lonely Hour, a podcast about loneliness–but it’s not a bummer. Julia has created a space to talk openly in hopes of both de-stigmatizing loneliness and underscoring the joys of solitude.
John’s one of the biggest cocktail and bar experts out there. He got his start at PDT, and has spent many years with Momofuku. He is now working on writing his debut book and creating a nonprofit that will improve the daily lives of professional restaurant workers.
Stick around for a special round of trivia: JdB tweet or Any Rooney quote!"
"I also went to the experts. I had a conversation with John deBary, a retired bartender, LaCroix advocate, and noted LaCroix-cocktail expert, about ordering practices. We both agreed on this: LaCroix itself should do direct ordering with a subscription option. (Maybe through its parent company National Beverage Corp.)"
John deBary, the bar director at Momofuku, thinks perhaps all it needs is a little rebrand. “For starters, we need to come up with a better name,” he said. “The word mocktail makes me die a little inside every time I hear it.”
"My home bar is pretty sad, honestly—my idea of a fancy at-home cocktail is pouring gin into a half-drunk can of apricot LaCroix. But I love amaro, so I always have that around."
"John deBary, bar director for the Momofuku empire, which includes Fuku+, has a soft spot for the Long Island Iced Tea.
“Back when I worked at Please Don’t Tell,” he remembers, “there was a debate as to whether the bar served Long Island Iced Teas as a matter of policy. [Owner] Jim Meehan’s final answer was, ‘The drink is good if you serve it right.’ ”
At Fuku+, deBary improves on the original by using top-shelf liquor, eighty-sixing sour mix and replacing Coca-Cola with Dr. Pepper. Sipped as a slushy, it actually pairs pretty well with the restaurant’s signature fried-chicken sandwiches."
'John deBary, Momofuku, NYC
John was nice enough to supply a quote in an incredibly professional manner, so I’ll just copy and paste.
“If I knew the world, as well as my own life, was coming to an imminent end, I would certainly want to drink something large and communal with my loved ones – a garbage pail-sized Zombie Punch for a self-induced oblivion before actual oblivion. On the other hand, if my survival was a possibility, I’d want to steel myself up to survive the post-apocalypse. A big pot of green tea would help keep me alert. And who knows, the antioxidants might even ward off any radiation damage?” Forward thinking and wise.'
"Herbs that can be grown in a home garden are a part of the tradition of humanity using plants to enhance our lives. Botanicals are so important to spirits and, by extension, cocktails. Before refrigeration, greenhouses, and rapid global shipping, one of the earliest ways of popularizing exotic flavors from plants in far-flung corners of the world was through botanic-infused spirits like gin and aquavit. What’s more, botanicals such as herbs, roots, and tree bark have functioned in our society as medicine. So many of the things that we now drink recreationally got their start as medicines."
"Part of the modern mixologist’s art is to play with these variations of time, combining the liquid of ferment with the vital juice just squeezed from the freshest fruit. Accordingly, you need to get things just right to make a proper Black Diamond. John deBary of the Manhattan bar PDT doesn’t serve the drink he invented all the time—only when blackberries are at their peak. Thus, to experience this exquisite potion as its creator intended, you have just a three-to-four-week window in the summer. Timing is everything."
'It is easy to spoof the new mixology: there is at least one YouTube satire set to hip-hop. But its brashness—in adopting molecular gastronomy even as it revives old recipes—is bracing. The result is a mixology renaissance not seen since Prohibition. There may not be a new cosmopolitan, but its place has been filled. Says John deBary of the seminal neo-speakeasy PDT, an adviser to the Momofuku restaurant empire: “The cocktail is the new cosmo.”'
'If you find yourself ordering a drink from John deBary, lay off the spoilers. "I’ve gotten to the point where I'm incapable of reading a book that doesn't relate to food or cocktails or philosophy of service. I literally have book five of a certain extremely popular fantasy novel collecting dust while I devour the World Atlas of Whisky."'
"Do you have a favorite movie or TV bartender?
Guinan, from Star Trek: The Next Generation."
"I have kind of a weird connection with Japan. My grandfather was stationed there after World War II, and after he came back he became a professor of East Asian studies. He's 95 and still teaches at Columbia. My dad spent seventh grade at a middle school in Kyoto, and my parents took my brother and me to Kyoto when I was 13. So, the connection has always been very strong within my family and for me personally."