The Modern Bar Cart Podcast Podcast

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

An Arts, Food and Games podcast featuring Eric Kozlik
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Best Episodes of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

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Episode 069 - Bay Area Cocktails
In this conversation with Shanna Farrell, some of the topics we discuss include: The Creation of the book Bay Area Cocktails and how Shanna used her experience as a professional interviewer to learn from some of the most impressive names in the cocktail world, including Dale DeGroff and David Wondrich. The early history of the cocktail renaissance in the bay area, and how a few sparks kindled the movement into a full-blown community. Some thoughts on fern bars - yeah, that’s right, a fern bar is a thing. And we’ll tell you exactly what it is. Notes on some of the most influential figures responsible for the cocktail Mecca that San Francisco has become. Where to grab a drink with the creator of the Hanky Panky And much, much more. You can pick up Shanna’s book, Bay Area Cocktails, on Amazon and at independent booksellers in the Bay Area and elsewhere. And you can get in touch with her @shanna_farrell on Instagram and Twitter, and by visiting her website:
Episode 070 - Iconic Movie Cocktails
In this episode, we examine three iconic 20th century films through the lens of the cocktail with film buff Eric Holtzman. They are: Casablanca (French 75) The Big Lebowski (White Russian) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Singamore Sling) This is a great episode for cocktail nerds and film buffs alike!
Episode 042 - The Vermouth Episode
In this episode, we chat with Kat Hamidi of Capitoline Vermouth. She gives us a rundown of this important cocktail ingredient, and we sample some vermouths that she produces to get a sense of what the category can offer.
Episode 021 - Making Cocktail Friends
This week, we had the chance to sit down virtually with Chris Kierts, who runs a home bartending community called Socktails. Socks and cocktails. Seem like an odd pairing? It’s actually not as weird as it sounds. See, Chris uses his vibrant and quirky sock collection as the backdrop for his cocktail pictures on social media. Just like an interesting pair of socks is a great conversation starter, so are the glasses garnishes that Chris uses to stage his drinks. Chris and I share a common goal, which is to get people thinking about cocktails and to bring the discussion to the people who are making and enjoying excellent drinks at home. This is a great episode for you to check out especially if you’re interested in photography, brand building, social media, and all of the hard work that goes into those beautiful pictures that you see on Instagram. Some of the things we discuss in this episode include: The current state of Chris’ sock drawer Which online venues are the best for cocktail feedback and information Advice for staging a sexy cocktail photo How to use hashtags to find great cocktail content on social media What kind of rum to drink on a desert island And much, much more. As promised during the episode, there’s a link in the show notes to Chris’s Home Bartending Facebook Group, which you can join if you want a dedicated online space to talk about great drinks and get some pointers. So definitely check that out if you’re interested, but for now, please enjoy my conversation with Chris Kiertz of  
Episode 022 - Decoding Spirits Labels
The topic of this episode is how to read the label on any spirit bottle and know what all the numbers, terms, and designations ACTUALLY mean. How do you calculate proof vs. ABV? What’s the difference between a V.S. brandy and a VSOP brandy”? How do you know if your distiller is making their spirit from grain to glass, or just bottling somebody else’s juice? These are all things we’ll talk about in this episode.
Episode 019 - Misfit Spirits
In this episode, Eric interviews distiller Peter Ahlf of Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery. Peter is a really fascinating guy with an eclectic professional background and a passion for making great spirits. Some of the things we discuss in this episode include: How a NASA engineer-turned-carpenter applies his skills to distilling How to transform a gas station office into a steampunk tasting room The history and regulatory intricacies of misfit spirits like absinthe and cassis The process of developing flavor profiles in liqueurs and vermouths What to drink during the “Green Hour” in Paris And much, much more You can, of course, visit the show notes page to grab the social media handles for Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery, and I really hope some of you get the chance to check out their awesome facilities in Middleburg sometime.
Episode 018 - Cocktail Technique and Service
In this Episode, Eric sits down with Carlie Steiner of Himitsu, an award-winning cocktail bar and restaurant in Washington, DC.   Some of the things they discuss include: Carlie’s journey from under-the-table restaurant worker as a kid to award winning restauranteur in her twenties. The most noteworthy cocktails and service experiences she recalls along the way A snapshot of her newest project--Himitsu The value of travel and openness in cocktail learning The correct dilution percentages for an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan What to drink at a piano bar with Edith Piaf And much, much more
Episode 015- The Art & Science of Distilling
In this week's episode, we feature distiller Braeden Bumpers of McClintock Distilling Company, based in Frederick MD. Braeden and I recorded this episode during the summer, right before I left for the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans, and the audio file needed a little bit of TLC due to the heat and humidity, the large, echoey distillery, and some background noise problems. So, big shout-out to Chris Preston, our favorite DC Sound Mixer, for spending some time with this audio and taking care of some of the interference. And as you listen to Braeden and I chat about distilling, I want you to imagine we’re sitting in their beautiful distillery next to their gorgeous column stills, and if you’re curious about what that space looks like, you can go ahead and check out the pictures in the show notes at Some of the topics we discuss in this episode include: Of course, the art and science of distillation What a drunken pig might taste like The differences between craft spirits and larger corporations What costs determine the retail price of your favorite whiskey or gin The value of drinking your mistakes What cocktail Mark Twain would drink on a Mississippi paddle boat And much, much more Braeden and McClintock Distilling Company are one of the reasons why Frederick is one of my favorite spots to visit in Maryland, whether on business or pleasure, and I’m sure you’ll understand why after listening to our conversation.
Episode 096 - Battlefield to Glass Spirits
In this episode, we interview distiller Yianni Barakos of Mason Dixon Distillery in Gettysburg, PA. Some of the things that we discuss include: How a napkin sketch, a home distilling fire, and a serious accident led Yianni to pursue a career in distilling sooner than he had anticipated. What Mason Dixon Distillery is doing to introduce folks in central Pennsylvania to incredible craft spirits and a wide variety of bold flavors in their German beer hall-inspired pub. How Yianni was awarded a special lease to farm his grain on the Gettysburg National Military Park. A curated tasting of Mason Dixon’s excellent craft spirits and some notes on the distilling setup and barrel program used to create them. The differences between a hyper-specialized spirits program and a more wide-ranging approach to building your portfolio. And much, much more.
Episode 046 - The Art of the Garnish
In this episode, garden designer and cocktail architect Leeann Lavin pulls up a mic to talk garnishes. We give you the low-down on so many different types of garnishes, as well as how to improve your garnish game at home. And of course, we talk about her upcoming book, Finishing Touches: The Art of Garnishing the Cocktail.
Episode 105 - The Tequila Dictionary
In this episode, we chat with author and spirits judge Eric Zandona about his new book, The Tequila Dictionary.  Some of the subjects we discuss in this interview include: What it’s like to create a reference book (like a dictionary or encyclopedia) in the spirits world, and how The Tequila Dictionary can be used as a tool by agave enthusiasts. How tequila and mezcal are different. We give you the big-picture overview, and then look into some historical trends and trace these spirits back through the decades. Which label terms and quality indicators you can use to make informed tequila and mezcal purchases next time you take a trip to the liquor store. How technology and commercial interests have prompted a number of changes in the way agave spirits are manufactured and then consumed here in the U.S. What emerging trends we can expect from tequila, mezcal, and agave cocktails in the coming years. And much, much more. You can learn more about Eric and his work by visiting, you can follow him @ezdrinking on Instagram and Twitter, and you can purchase your copy of The Tequila Dictionary wherever books are sold.
Episode 098 - Don't Sleep on Kings
In this episode, we hang out with bartender Zac Hoffman and focus in on cocktail competitions and the craft bartender experience. What does it take to become a real bartender, how do you deploy those skills to build a career, and what’s it like going head-to-head with other skilled mixologists to create a cocktail that rises above the rest? Some of the specific topics we discuss with Zac include: How he steered his chef-driven career, kicked off at the Culinary Institute of America, to take a more liquid-focused route, going on to drive some of the best beverage programs in the Mid-Atlantic. What it means to be a brand ambassador for a craft spirits venture, and how brand ambassadorship can enhance the career of an aspiring bartender. The four different tiers of cocktail competitions, as defined by Zac, ranging from the God-tier, to more local or brand-driven experiences. What it takes to develop a successful cocktail competition entry, drawing from Zac’s experience using Embitterment Aromatic Bitters in his recent creation: Don’t Sleep on Kings. How to spend an intoxicated evening with Karl Marx, And much, much more.
Episode 034 - Cocktail Kryptonite
In this episode, five different home bartenders talk about cocktail ingredients that have tested them to their limits - their personal cocktail kryptonite, if you will. Making cocktails isn't always easy, and sometimes our own flavor aversions and fears don't help. These stories give you a few different templates for conquering the ingredients that may be your cocktail kryptonite.
Episode 027 - Strange Cocktail Ingredients
Today’s topic is unusual cocktail ingredients - either those you’ve tasted in a cocktail, or those you’d like to see used more often. I think many of us have had the experience of sitting down at one of the more experimental cocktail bars in our area, looking at the menu, and saying: “You’ve got to be kidding me. How the heck are they gonna use that in a cocktail?” And the results - in reality - are usually mixed. Sometimes the unusual ingredients are well-incorporated, and the drink is tasty, and sometimes it’s just there for the novelty factor, and the drink isn’t balanced. This episode's guests include: Charlie Berkinshaw of Element Shrub Josh Wulf of the Wulf Cocktail Den Maria Littlefield of The Owl’s Brew Chris Kiertz from Socktails Valerie Echeveste from Cocktails + Craft And Jordan Wicker of the Speaking Easy Podcast
Episode 013 - Intro to Amaro
Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and today, we’ve got a really excellent and timely episode for your listening enjoyment. This is airing on August 24, 2017, and we are in the midst of Amaro Week. As some of you may know, an Amaro is a bitter, Italian-style liqueur, and this particular category has really been taking off in the last few years. Thankfully, I’ve been able to enjoy this resurgence with the help of a really strong, local amaro company here in Washington, D.C. called Don Ciccio e Figli. They’ve got a really fantastic product line, and in this episode, I sit down with portfolio manager Jonathan Fasano, who schools me in the nuances of amari, aperitivi, and cordials. Some of the topics we cover in this episode include: The difference between Amari, Aperitivi, and Cordials The history of herbs and spices in the Mediterranean How an earthquake in Italy eventually led to an American amaro company The best cocktails to make with your favorite bitter liqueurs And much, much more I had a great time talking with Jonathan, who happens to be a good friend of mine, and I know you’re eager to listen and learn, so I’m gonna get out of the way here and let you enjoy this fascinating discussion with Jonathan Fasano of Don Ciccio e Figli.
Episode 008 - Bitters, Vermouth, and Liqueurs
My guest this episode is Josh Wulf of the Wulf Cocktail Den. He’s a great guy who’s really passionate about making delicious cocktails and connecting with other people over a well-made drink. The goal of this episode is to give you a high level overview of the unsung heroes of the cocktail ingredient world: bitters, vermouths, and liqueurs. But in addition to a lot of great knowledge about those, we also hit a lot of other topics, including: The similarities and differences between bitters, vermouths, and liqueurs Historical oddities and word origins The bitters, vermouths and liqueurs that you should have on your bar cart How James Bond “disrupted” the Martini The value of drinking with your grandfather And much, much more.
Episode 007 - How Flavor Works
In this episode, I drop by Gettysburg College, my undergraduate Alma Mater, to catch up with Professor Dan McCall of the Gettysburg Odor and Flavor Lab, who’s doing really interesting research in the field of taste and smell perception. As you’d imagine, he’s got a lot of really cool insights into exactly what happens when you take that first sip of your favorite cocktail.   Some of the topics we discuss include: The evolutionary bases for smell and taste The brain structures and psychological mechanisms responsible for flavor perception Cocktails as a psychological playground for flavor decision making Cultural flavor preferences in France and the U.S. The magic of blackcurrants And Much, Much More If you liked my interview with Colleen O’Bryant, where we talked about herbs and seasonal flavors, then I have a feeling that this episode is also going to be in your wheelhouse. And while you’re listening, don’t get intimidated if you hear a few psychological terms--Dan always does a good job of breaking down complex things like brain structures and sensory pathways into their most basic, easy-to-understand form. This conversation is a true treat for your brain, so settle in and enjoy my conversation with Professor Dan McCall. Want to get in touch? Email him at
Episode 003 - Vintage & Modern Glassware
A glass doesn’t have to be vintage to be cool. Choose the glass that makes you feel the best about your drink. -Andrew Whitehead   Hey Everybody, Welcome to Episode 3 of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast! I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and I’m coming to you today with a glassware crash course interview with Andrew Whitehead, AKA Liquorary. By day, Andy is a mild-mannered, luxuriously bearded father who takes his daughters to the Baltimore aquarium to see their favorite sea creatures. By night, he’s a vintage glassware expert bent on finding art deco martini glasses and stately, heavy bottomed rocks glasses to grow his collection and spread the joy of home bartending. In this episode, we talk about almost everything under the glassware sun, including: The basic types of cocktail glasses Vintage vs. Modern glassware How to take care of your cocktail glassware Tips for breakage-prone drinkers And Much, Much more. Someone once told me that I’ve got a face for radio, but Andy truly has a voice for podcasting. He’s extremely knowledgeable, well spoken, and really great at making the fine nuances of vintage and modern glassware accessible. This episode was a blast to record, and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed putting it together. So without further ado, sit back and take in the wonderful world of cocktail glassware with Andy Whitehead.
Episode 000 - Episode Zero
Hello and WELCOME to the Modern Bar Cart Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and I’d like to thank you for joining me for Episode Zero, where I’ll introduce myself and provide a quick breakdown of what I’d like to accomplish with this podcast. First and foremost, this is a show about cocktails. What they are, how to make them, how to incorporate them into your life in a healthy way, and how to assemble an at-home bar or bar cart that will impress your guests and stimulate your own imagination. I’ll be coming to you with a combination of short, medium, and long-form content about the most important and intriguing topics in cocktails. You can expect special guest interviews, a ton of great cocktail recipes and modifications, and a straightforward, intellectually curious approach to investigating cocktail-making techniques and concepts that sometimes get breezed over or outright ignored. Starting out, many of these are going to be FOUNDATIONAL episodes, and we’ll be using the concepts established here in future episodes to inform the way we think about (and enjoy) our favorite cocktails. Hopefully the teasers in this episode have you excited for the variety of topics we cover in just these first few episodes as we work our way through some of the most crucial starter info and go deeper into the mysteries and flavor magic of cocktails. As always, you can get in touch with me by emailing, or by following @modernbartcart on Instagram. You can also stock me there personally @quixologist. That’s about it for now. But I’ll catch you in Episode 1, where we sit down with Alex Luboff and Jordan Wicker of the Speaking Easy Podcast to talk about the joys of home bartending. Until then, remember: Drink responsibly and experiment boldly.
Episode 084 - Lost Spirits Distillery
What's shakin, cocktail fans?  Welcome back to another episode of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast! This time around, we enjoy Part I of a Two-Part Episode featuring Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits Distillery in Los Angeles, CA. Bryan takes us on a tour of his Wonka-esque distillery, where we meet his sidekick, TESSA, taste lots of rum, brandy, and whisky, and learn all about accelerated barrel aging, British naval rum trivia, and the battle between bacteria and yeast.  
Episode 085 - Bryan Davis
In this post-distillery-tour interview with Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits Distillery, some of the topics we discuss include: Bryan’s thoughts on the impact his accelerated approach to barrel aging has had on the spirits industry at large. How Lost Spirits uses innovation as a way to contribute meaningfully to the global conversation that all distillers and consumers are currently engaged in. Thoughts on building the perfect distillery, and why the goal doesn’t need to be selling more and more cases of booze. The story of how Bryan learned to make his first (and last) cocktail from legendary New York Bartender Sasha Petrasky. Why the end of the 19th century was the peak of American and English culture, in terms of innovation. And much, much more.
Episode 071 - Fat Washed Cocktails
This episode is all about the art and science of fat washed spirits and how to use them in cocktails. First, we walk you through what fat washing is, and how it’s different from other types of “washing” you can do with spirits. Next, we go over the steps you should take to effectively complete a cool DIY fat washing project at home, as well as the tools you’ll need. Then we identify some of the most commonly used fats and try to give you some pairing advice based on their various flavor profiles. And round out the episode with a rundown of some of the more creative or aspirational fat washed spirits and cocktails we’ve come across to give you some inspiration for your next experiment.
Episode 068 - Battle of the Bartenders
In this episode, we follow a group of mixologists from Northern Virginia through a harrowing, three-round cocktail competition hosted by Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. in Purcellville, VA. They must create three original cocktails using the Catoctin Creek spirits as a base, while also featuring a secret ingredient that is reavealed at the beginning of each round. The contestants are: Phil Duong - AhSo (Brambleton) Samet Yuksekgonul - The Conche (Village at Leesburg) Andrew Jennens - Sense of Thai St. (One Loudoun) Jeff Berry - The Wine Kitchen (Leesburg) Sam Scarlett - Kinship (Washington, D.C.) The contest was adjudicated by Catoctin Creek International Portfolio Manager Chad Robinson, Brian Jenkins owner of local restaurant Monk’s BBQ, and Trevor Baratko, editor in chief of the Loudon Times-Mirror.
Episode 064 - New York Cocktails
In this episode, we hang out with New York cocktail author Amanda Schuster, who demystifies the mixological evolution and influence that makes NYC such an important cocktail locus in the United States.
Episode 050 - Bourbon (Part I)
In this Episode, we talk Bourbon with Jordan Wicker of the Speaking Easy Podcast.
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Podcast Details
Jun 19th, 2017
Latest Episode
Jan 16th, 2020
Release Period
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Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
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