Every time we go out to eat or drink, the goal is the same: to have a fun time enjoying something tasty. But sometimes we also want to be wowed, and that can only come from people who not only know their stuff but are talented and passionate about what they do. How do amazing dishes or drinks come into the world? We’ve all read stories or watched documentaries about chefs and how they create, but we rarely get a chance to hear from the other architects of taste: the bartenders.
To mix a variety of liquids that have no relation to one another in order to create a new and defined flavor is an amazing skill. A good bartender needs a sharp palate and an expert nose just like a chef does, and must be precise like a chemist. However, just because you’re not already a cocktail geek, doesn’t mean you cannot whip up some unique atōst cocktails in the comfort of your own home!
Here’s a glimpse inside the mind of a bartender–our very own bartender to be exact! Cassie is the head bartender at the atōst lounge in Golden, CO, and the mastermind behind most of the delicious aperitivo cocktails on our website.
Q: How do you find inspiration for new cocktail recipes?
A: I love making new cocktails based on the season! I think it is so important to try and use ingredients that are in season to spice up new drinks.
Q: What are some of your favorite flavors to pair together?
A: Right now I love to pair atōst Woods with cinnamon as it is getting colder outside. I also like ginger or basil paired with lemon! If you also like these flavor combos I recommend the atōst Roots Apple Cider Old Fashion or the Mountain Roots.
Q: What is the craziest flavor combination you’ve combined in a cocktail?
A: I love all things spicy! I made a jalapeño and watermelon drink this summer that was amazing. Sweet and spicy flavors pair well together because they balance out each other’s flavors. You’ll get a big hit of spicy on your taste buds, and then the sweetness from the watermelon will mellow that spice out. Leaving your taste buds happy!
Q: What’s your favorite spirit to work with?
A: atōst of course! All of the flavors are so unique and can be paired with other spirits if desired to make awesome cocktails.
Q: Can you give the readers any tips for making their own cocktails at home?
A: Don’t stress, this is supposed to be fun! Do not be afraid to try new things you think you won’t like. Making cocktails gives you the ability to transform flavors into something different! For example, atōst Roots is a big flavor and sometimes people can be scared off by the ginger when sampling. Once we make it into a Roots Mule cocktail by adding a squeeze of lime, simple, syrup, and ginger beer it changes the flavor completely.
Q: How many times does it take you to get a new cocktail recipe “just right?”
A: Sometimes it will take me 5 tries! Never be afraid to fail. There is always a good drink waiting for you at the end of your journey! It can be hard to pair flavors and get a cocktail just right. Don’t give up, even the professionals need a couple of chances to get things perfect.
Q: Any advice you can give beginners interested in making their own cocktails at home?
A: Educate yourself on the basics of bartending if you are making cocktails at home! Knowing the right tools to use and when can really elevate your cocktails. Garnish your cocktails even at home so you feel proud of the cocktail you created and it adds a little flair! Make your own simple syrup at home, it is much easier than you think and the flavors are endless!
Hopefully, this Q&A with Cassie has inspired you to try your hand at shaking & stirring up a unique cocktail recipe of your own. Or at the very least, has inspired you to come visit Cassie and the team at the atōst lounge for some palate-pleasing cocktails!