Building A Bar
Written by Mark A. Vierthaler, Head Distiller, Tenth Ward Distilling Company
By the fifth version of the same cocktail, you begin to wonder if you have the slightest clue in regards to what you’re doing. I mean, sure. You felt confident going into this. You’ve been bartending a long time, you’ve designed menus before. But this drink… it isn’t just quite right. Not yet.
And that’s why it pays to have as many talented people surrounding yourself as we do here at Tenth Ward. Because after you’ve tweaked, after you’ve nipped and tucked, once you’ve got something you’re happy with… then it’s time to trot your recipes out to your coworkers.
And that means it’s time to change everything again.
Building the Cocktail Lab
If you have even a passing knowledge of Tenth Ward Distilling Company, you know that we march to the free-form beat of our own drum. We’re continually striving to take the established methods and flavor profiles of historic spirits and put our own unique spin on them.
So when the law passed earlier this year that allows us to create our very own cocktail lounge – dubbed the Cocktail Lab – it felt like the perfect extension of the Tenth Ward Brand to build a fresh line of elevated cocktails on the foundation of established classics.
Finding Our Voice in Our Mixers
But then we found ourselves staring down the barrel of an unexpected curveball.
The cocktail bill almost died right before the finish line – when it was suddenly saved by changing the language in the bill that required ALL alcohol in EVERY drink be made by the distillery in question.
That means we had to sit down, dig into our research, and figure out how we were going to make our very own vermouths, liqueurs and bitters.
After weeks of distilling, infusing, macerating, filtering, and then starting all over again we were able to dial in exactly what we were looking for from our amari di vermouth, house amaro, and house orange liqueur.
The Final Result
So – over four aggressive months the staff of Tenth Ward have pooled our brains, tweaked and perfected an elevated cocktail menu that compliments our extraordinary spirits. At the same time, we’ve trained our staff to not only expertly hand-craft these cocktails, but also give insight into how flavor profiles work, how we distill our products, and how you can elevate your own drinking practices at home.
Feeling thirsty? Join us, won’t you?