We are pleased to announce the first of the Swig Well Intensive classes! In these classes, directed towards bartenders and the most hardcore of enthusiasts, we provide informationally dense seminars aimed at upping your game using less branding-heavy methods than a traditional spirits event. Over the course of two days we will focus on the important stuff: why these products are around today, the modern and historical context of using them in cocktails, and blind tasting with some of the industries' biggest nerds.
For the Winter Amaro Intensive, there was no easier choice to make than that of purchasing plane tickets for Sother Teague, beverage director of iconic New York City bitters haven Amor Y Amargo. Sother has had a long and storied career in the world of food and beverage: from cooking in a Waffle House in Florida to being Technical Chef on Good Eats with Alton Brown and instructing at the New England Culinary Institute; from changing over to front of house and working at NYC bars Rye, Prime Meats, Momofuku's Booker + Dax, to his current role as beverage director of Amor Y Amargo, the now-classic all amaro-focused bar, featuring stirred-only cocktails in a 13-seat bar in the East Village. He has been a finalist in Diageo World Class in the USA for two years, won the 2013 Louis Royer "Show Me The Proof!" Competition, created the Double Buzz coffee-and-amaro cocktails program, and did the gizmodo.com instructional videos.
Our second instructor for the Winter Amaro Intensive is Chris Lowder, of Amor Y Amargo and The NoMad in NYC. Lowder got his start in the bar world in Philadelphia, where he learned how to make quick shots and basic drinks. Following a hunger for the craftsmanship and professionalism that cocktails deserved, he moved to New York City to work with food scientist Dave Arnold at the newly opened molecular cocktail bar Momofuku Booker and Dax. It was there that Lowder learned not only classic cocktail technique and presentation but also ultra-modern approaches like working with centrifuges and liquid nitrogen. Lowder has an unstoppable work ethic and passion for guest experience that has landed him in some of New York’s best bars and restaurants. He currently tends bar at the Michelin-starred NoMad where he shakes cocktails under Leo Robitzchek (Eleven Madison Park) with a fleet of all-star bartenders. During his time at the NoMad, Lowder’s team was crowned World’s Best Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail. This man's enthusiasm for cocktails is palpable.
Moderating the seminars will be Chris Elford, director of programming for Swig Well. He himself is an Amor Y Amargo alumnus but now tends bar at Seattle's own Canon. He is a Certified Cicerone, former whiskey distiller at Brooklyn's Kings County Distillery, and opened three award-winning beer and cocktail bars in 2012 before heading to the west coast. This year he won the Ardbeg Balanced Cocktail Competition and represented the USA at the Jameson Global Bartenders Ball in Ireland.
Date and TIme: 1/20 & 1/21 from 1:00pm-3:00pm
Syllabus: Class will focus on styles, history & production, classic and modern cocktail applications, and blind tasting.