What’s shakin, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 243 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, Eric is joined by Robby Haynes. He’s a Chicago-based bartender and entrepreneur who’s done it all: from working behind legendary bars, to founding spirits brands, and now – an RTD project that’s turning heads with a $150 bottled Old Fashioned: the Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned.
In this truly wide-ranging conversation with bartender, spirits maker, and entrepreneur Robby Haynes, some of the topics we discuss include:
- Robby’s rise through the service industry ranks, beginning as a valet standing out in the cold on Chicago winter nights, then eventually manning bars like The Violet Hour.
- What he learned about making cocktails – from carving ice in hotel pans on his first night as a barback to the ways in which mixing a cocktail is like mixing and mastering a record in a recording studio.
- We also chat about his first spirits project: Apologue Liqueurs, which continues to capture rare and often savory flavors like celery root and aronia berry so that professional and home bartenders can jazz up their favorite cocktails.
- Then, of course, we sample and discuss the $150 Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned (on Instagram @sundaysfinestcraftcocktails), a product that can be said to truly DEFINE the luxury bottled cocktail category. Robby and I talk about what that means, how it was created, and how to think about a $150 bottle spend, relative to the other costs associated with a night out at your favorite cocktail bar.
- Along the way, we touch on what it means to “nail the center” of a cocktail, how bartenders learn their bar guests’ “love languages,” why you might want to start thinking about cocktails as a “spa experience,” and much, much more.