What’s shakin, cocktail fans?
Welcome to episode 232 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast! I’m your host, Eric Kozlik.
Thanks for tuning into another interview episode, where we track down the best and brightest minds in the spirits and cocktail world so that we can share their secrets with you.
This time around, my guest is photographer and whisky enthusiast Ernie Button, whose brand new book, The Art of Whisky, is capturing the imaginations of spirits enthusiasts everywhere. In this stimulating conversation with photographer and whisky enthusiast Ernie Button, some of the topics we discuss include:
- How Ernie married his way into a love for Scotch, and how that fondness turned to wonder and curiosity one night when he was about to put his whisky glasses into the dishwasher.
- The collaborative approach that Ernie took to explore this subject, pulling in fluid dynamics physicists at Ivy League Universities, and even resulting in a published paper in an academic journal.
- What it takes to coax the “fingerprint” out of each spirit he photographs, and why these images appear molecular, or planetary, or nebular in shape and structure.
- By way of illustration, we look at a few images from The Art of Whisky, which help to showcase the ways in which whisky scatters and reflects light.
- We also dig into some of the chemical forces responsible for these phenomena, in Ernie’s experience, including the influence of charred oak barrels, cask finishes, and peat.
- Along the way, we discuss exciting developments in the rice whisky world, an encounter with barrel-aged Botanist Gin, why grape-based spirits are just the ABSOLUTE WORST for photography, and much, much more.
Full disclosure: this conversation is me at my absolute nerdiest and most joyful. Ernie’s work is a delicious collision of some of my favorite ideas to play around with, namely: a particle-based model of the universe, the complex interactions between those particles, and the beautiful emergent phenomena that we filter through our senses and describe with words like “flavor” and “texture” and “art.”
I do hope you’ll take the time to head over to our YouTube channel or our Instagram to see some of the images that we reference in this conversation. Even more than that, I hope you’ll think of The Art of Whisky next time you’re in the market for a gift for someone who loves art, science, or simply a fine dram of something that spent time in a barrel.