Normally we’re not really a blog to tell you about new products in the cocktail world. We get plenty of offers and there are plenty of blogs that do that sort of thing. We have our Tiki geeky cocktail niche and I like it. In this case though someone I respect reached out to me with an idea that frankly I myself had often given thought to myself. So I thought I’d take a moment to tell you all about a project Mr. Paul Martin is working on bringing to life.
Open most of your cocktail books and I bet you can find a lot of recipes for the same drink. Tasty classics like the Negroni, Sazerac, and Mai Tai alongside other popular staples of the common bar book. However if your reading this blog I’ll bet the rebirth of America’s cocktail scene isn’t news to you. In cities all across America including right here in Birmingham are crafting fresh, creative, balanced recipes just as they did in the “Glory Days” of the American cocktail. Whether it’s a new Tiki cocktail being fashioned at Smugglers Cove or a spirituous take on a classic made by my friend Josh Schaff at Satterfield’s today’s specials have every chance to be 2034’s classic. Shouldn’t there be a book that focuses solely on documenting the drinks of this modern cocktail era? Paul Martin and I think so and he plans to make that happen with a Kickstarter funded book called ’21st Century Mixologists & Their Great Creations’.
To me Kickstarter is an admirable way to fund a book. It assures the writer is in control of their creative content but it’s not without it’s risks. Namely it requires you and me to open our wallet and say “Hey Paul, I think this will kick ass so I’m in.”. I’m planning on throwing a share of my tips in the pot and that’s why I’m telling you all about this to. Don’t feel you have recipes worth printing? Offer the page space to your favorite bartender. To let Paul tell it in his own words I’ll present a short Q&A for your appraisal.
JFL: Where did the idea to create a book from the recipes of the modern day cocktail revolution come from?
Paul: This is a simple one… I have always felt that cocktail books (mine included) tend to focus on established contemporary drinks or historic classics. Whilst these books certainly perform a service they fail to represent that current state of the ever evolving world of mixology. In truth, there has been a quantum leap in terms of the way in which cocktails have developed over the past 20 years, and with so many talented & creative mixologists populating the world’s cocktail bars, it is my belief that by providing the ultimate platform of a book that features many of these award-winning, groundbreaking creations, we’ll be able to launch a truly epoch-changing cocktail volume, that not only shares the incredible concoctions but also highlights the people responsible for creating them. This will will set the standard for all cocktail books to come.
JFL: What are some of the challenges in regards to publishing and why choose Kickstarter?
Paul: Having had all 5 of my previous cocktail books published by established publishing houses, I felt that by publishing under my own brand MIXXA, I will be able to retain full control of the content, publishing and distribution. The choice of Kickstarter is also about retaining control. By inviting the global cocktail community to help fund the project I will be able to reward them accordingly without losing any kind of creative of publishing control as would be the case if I pulled in a single backer. The main challenge at this stage is about directing people to the Kickstarter site, whilst explaining the process and encouraging backers. In reality, there is no risk for backers… they can pledge as little as £10 and will be rewarded with a selection of backer rewards depending upon the amount they pledge.
JFL: Finally for our Tiki fans can you tell us of any favorite experiences with Tiki that you’ve had?
Paul: I guess the most important Tiki experience I have had dates back nearly 30 years to my very first bartending shift. I was told by the head bartender that he would teach me how to make a Mai Tai and my job for the whole evening would be to make just that drink for the restaurant guests. I spent the next 3 weeks working as a Mai Tai bartender, honing my skills until I was creating the best Mai Tais that I could. However, one evening a group of guys from Trader Vics came in and ordered a round. Within 60 seconds of the drinks arriving at the table, one of the group was at my bar asking what I was doing??? It turned out that the head bartender had taught me to make a simple generic rum punch and not a Mai Tai! That evening I received a masterclass in Tiki drink making from the Trader Vics bartender (who had left his table and got in behind the bar with me). It set me on a new course… I handed in my notice the next day and made the move to the cocktail bar that got this 30 year journey started for real. It may be true to say that without that Tiki experience I may never have ended up where I am today!
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this deviation from our regularly scheduled tom foolery. In case your wondering no cash or kickbacks are coming my way. I wrote this for free because I felt it needed writing. Check out Paul’s Kickstarter and throw some tips in the pot. Until next time…
“You Get Hammered America!” – JFL