If you asked me what my biggest struggle is when it comes to mixing cocktails, I'd have to stay storing the recipes. I currently have about 4-5 different places where I keep my favorite cocktail recipes. They range from homemade journals to cell phone notes and computer files. None of these methods are anywhere near perfect and have left me longing for a better system. Then a few weeks ago a Facebook friend shared a pic a cocktail journal that appeared to be everything I had been dreaming of!
The Spirit, Mixer, Garnish, & Glass cocktail recipe journal is a must-have for every cocktail enthusiast and bartender out there. A stylish journal that allows you to store your recipes by spirit, with space to note your garnish, glassware, and more!
I recently got the chance to pick the brain of co-founder Ben Putano and here's what he had to say about this handy dandy notebook.
How did the Spirit, Mixer, Garnish, & Glass journal come about?
BEN: One night I was having friends over to make cocktails. I was picturing the hassle it would be to talk through all the ingredients we had and all the possible drink options, so I found a small journal lying around and wrote 5 or 6 cocktails recipes that I knew we could make. My friends were then able to flip through the book, find a drink they wanted to try, and (best part) make it themselves! It was so easy and a lot of fun. It was like having my own house cocktail menu.
A few days later, I had another friend over for a drink and we were talking about the journal. Then we started brainstorming what a dedicated cocktail recipe journal would look like. This guy, Brett Vance, ended up being my partner for the project. Brett is a photographer, graphic designer, and fellow enthusiast of coffee and cocktails.
We mocked up a design for the journal and I posted it on the Coffee Cocktails instagram feed. Then I reached out to people individually and asked them about their experiences making cocktails. I asked how they record their recipes, what information they record about each drink (glassware, garnish, etc), and if they would be interested in a dedicated cocktail recipe journal. The feedback was positive enough for Brett and I to improve on the original mock up and launch a design competition for the front cover on 99Designs.
We received 65 entries for the front cover design competition, and then had the growing group of contributors actually choose the winning design. This group also voted on other design aspects like journal size, color, and features (elastic band, bookmark, etc.). In the end, around 400 cocktail enthusiasts participated in the design.
What is your cocktail background?
BEN: I actually work in the coffee industry, formerly a barista and now doing customer education for a coffee equipment company. I'm a big cocktail fan and started an Instagram account called Coffee Cocktails which has provided a lot of informal cocktail education for me.
I notice you also have a blog by the same name.
BEN: I became fascinated by coffee cocktails after writing an article about them in Daily Coffee News. For a year I sat on the idea of starting a coffee cocktails-related resource, honestly assuming someone else would start something before I got to it. When no one did, I registered CoffeeCocktails on Instagram, grabbed the domain (coffeecocktails.co) and starting featuring great cocktails from around the world.
It’s introduced me to a lot of amazing people in both the coffee and cocktail worlds, which are surprisingly similar. It’s all about passion for crafting a really high-quality product. I love that!
Favorite cocktail (either classic or original)?
BEN: Currently my favorite cocktail is an Old Fashioned made with coffee-flavored simple syrup:
1 1/2oz Old Overholt Rye
1/2oz coffee simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish with an orange peel
The fellas at Spirit, Mixer, Garnish, & Glass have launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising up to $15,000 for the production of their cocktail journal. Supporters will be the first to receive Spirit, Mixer, Garnish, & Glass in various quantities. Fundraising ends November 15th with deliveries beginning December 11th.
Personally, I can't think of a better Christmas present for my favorite cocktailians! Now my only dilemma is 'how many to order?'.