Starting the Journey
This is the beginning of the journey into the online world. My name is Tony, a 30-something year old former Marine (read whiskey connoisseur) married to a beautiful bartender, yes I'm that lucky. Both of us are creatives and makers and we want to infuse these hobbies all together into a new perspective on bar-tending and alcohol craft. Using everything from gardening to essential oils or electronics we aim to inspire interest in DIY alcohol related topics like never before.
We want to cover everything from making your own brews to proper bar etiquette. I am a hobbyist brewer and she is a tenured bartender with experience in high-end venues, so expect a wide variety of topics. We look forward to the adventure at hand, sharing our experiences and learning new things as we go. I grew up in a small town in southern Missouri...I mean really small. No, I mean less than 400 people. I learned the art of making nasty wine by the age of 15 out of Welch's frozen concentrates from a friend. It would curl your lip and strip paint but would also do the job for our age. Around the age of 16 I was introduced to the process of distillation. So if you're still reading you've seen southern Missouri and Distillation and I'm sure a clip of moonshiners from Discovery is rolling around your head. It wasn't like that, I learned in Chemistry class and had a great love for chemistry in general. Despite learning the two key skills needed for the trade (brewing and distilling) I did not actually make any moonshine in those years. I joined the United States Marine Corps at 18 and headed out of the sticks. I served four years and two combat tours learning much about booze, mainly how to use it and not make or enjoy classier varieties. Around the time I was leaving the Marine Corps myself and a few friends decided to widen our options in the real world and got trained in bar-tending and mixology. Although I never got a job as a bartender, this class helped me realize there was more to alcohol than beer and Jack & Coke. I left the Marine Corps and got a dock job instead.
I am a maker and always have been, though in my earlier years I believe I was more of a destroyer. I like to build projects in the garage that span a great variety of topics. I did get into brewing and have made everything but beer at this point. I was able to put together a still to try to recreate what I had in earlier years. This definitely a "Check your state laws" topic and most don't allow the distillation of alcohol. There, I said that. Anyway, I built a crudely beautiful little still and set out to make my first spirits. What I made came out very much like a tequila and I knew nothing of what I was doing. I had however created something that over the years I look back on as a success. Through the years I have taken on many other interests from wine making to making bitters and I look forward to sharing them all! unlike my wonderful wife, I can't leave you with a fancy drink recipe on my intro so I will just leave you a photo of my first micro-still from years ago and show you where it all started.
Check your state laws around spirit distillation and see if you can legally get into this hobby. Thanks for reading and keep watch for future writings!