As humans, we all have different preferences for the way in which we learn.
Some who are visual learners will enjoy the tactile feeling of a book in-hand, flipping through the pages with imagery adjacent to fully comprehend the information being presented; and some people prefer audio learning and enjoy the flexibility that it presents. When it comes to the latter, podcasts have taken the media world by storm and continue to thrive.
Lucky for bartenders, there are a wealth of bar industry-related podcasts that cover topics of all sorts ranging from what sobriety looks like in an industry surrounded by booze, to which ingredients are safe to use in cocktails versus not, and more. Remember, managing anxiety, finding a reliable source for advice, reliable news updates, and keeping busy during social distancing can be difficult. With that, here are six podcasts that are worth downloading to keep bartenders busy in their spare time.
Bartender at Large
A Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award winner for Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series in 2019, “Bartender at Large” is “a love letter to the art of bartending and the world of craft cocktails.” Hosted by nomadic bartender, and bar owner, Erick Castro (Polite Provisions and Raised by Wolves), each episode of the podcast features one of the bar industry’s most influential talents, whether they be bartenders, distillers, spirits experts, or cocktail historians. Castro’s bubbly personality makes every episode as entertaining as it is informative, with episodes such as: “The Science of Flavor with Bob Holmes: Author & Scientist,” and “Achieving Longevity with Ago Perrone of the Connaught Bar.” With each episode clocking-in at about 30 minutes on average, it’s an easy listen whether you are just doing some tidying-up around the house, or going for a light walk.
Hosted by Indianapolis restaurateur who co-owns and operates Black Market, Rook, Siam Square, and the acclaimed Tiki destination, The Inferno Room, Ed Rudisell; and wine and spirits educator, Arthur Black, “Shift Drink” explores topics across the beer, wine, spirits, and hospitality industries in a casual interview setting. Because Rudisell is a passionate disciple of rum and tropical cocktails, if you are a fan of either of those subjects, this podcast has no shortage of discussions on these hot topics, featuring almost every influential person you can imagine. Rudisell has featured guests such as the legendary contemporary tiki pioneer, Beachbum Berry of New Orleans’ Latitude 29, as well as tiki disciple and author, Martin Cate of the Bay Area’s Smuggler’s Cove, and the list goes on. If you are interested in other spirits and aspects of hospitality, just dive into their archives which are filled with four years of casual conversations with some of the industry’s top talent – you are bound to find something enticing. Each episode is about 45 minutes, so you’ll have no shortage of “Shift Drink” podcasts, that’s for sure.
Co-hosts Damon Boelte (Grand Army Bar) and Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo) are quite the duo when they are in the studio together discussing cocktails, spirits, wine, beer, tea, coffee and all things in the liquid universe, making “The Speakeasy” a great podcast to tune-into when you want a low-key listen with a couple of the bar industry’s most noteworthy bartenders. Guests range from bartenders and brewers, to ambassadors and roasters, bar industry friends and more. You’ll get the inside scoop on what’s happening in the bar industry and who’s who – all while feeling like you’re just sitting around the table enjoying a drink with the hosts while listening.
Life Behind Bars
A winner at the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for the world’s best drinks podcast, “Life Behind Bars” features the Daily Beast’s Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum, and their senior drinks columnist, David Wondrich—cocktail historian and award-winning author—as they deeply explore cocktail and spirits-related topics. The co-hosts are two of the most educated minds in the bar industry, so listeners receive a wealth of rich facts when Wondrich and Rothbaum discuss topics such as: the comeback of American Whiskey, why the Highball is taking over America, the art of drinking and flying, how to properly make a Hot Toddy and the history supporting why, and more.
Host, Mark Gillespie, is the source for all-things happening in the world of whiskey. His weekly podcast is akin to a five-o’clock news segment, except this one is an hour’s worth of everything that’s happening in whiskey right now. New whiskey laws, bottle releases, distillery openings, whiskey reviews, and staff changes are just a few of the many topics he covers on his podcast and it is the perfect listen for bartenders who are looking to take their whiskey game to the next level. Dive down the whiskey rabbit hole with “Whiskycast,” it’s a good one.
Azucar y Limon
An independent podcast started by Master of Cane Spirits founder, David Cid, Azucar y Limon focuses on driving education to the trade in Spanish. The show about all things beverage, covers everything from water to cocktails, and is officially bilingual, or in Spanglish. The podcast produces content in both languages, with subtitles in opposing languages. So Spanish content has subs in English, and vice versa.
“I am very concerned about my friends around the world,” explains Cid. “Even more concerned about the impact this scenario will have on our mental health. So, I began touching base with friends around the world and learning more about how this pandemic is affecting them, and their local communities. This will hopefully bring people together as well as, add perspective on what’s happening. I will also be doing segments with fitness and mental health experts to add more value to anyone interested in staying healthy and sane during this period in our lives.” The show recently spoke with Matias in Palma de Mallorca.
The Three Drinkers Bring a Bottle Podcast
The trio behind Amazon Prime’s award-winning ‘The Three Drinkers’ TV Series bring you this brand new podcast series, just in time for lockdown. Listeners will get behind-the-scenes access to the whimsical world of the show’s presenters; Aidy, Helena and Colin, within each bitesize 20-minute episode. Learn the trios drinking secrets, what grinds their gears and the oddities they’ve encountered during their careers as drinks journo’s, TV Presenters and, well, whatever they were before! From Aidy’s frost-bitten toe cocktails and crumpet beer to Helena’s “can you guess what grape this is by the weird noise I’m making” antics, there’s even a segment called Spit or Swallow, but we’ll leave you to wonder what that comprises of.
Drinking Like Ladies in Crisis
Cocktail book authors Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann launched their new podcast, ‘Drinking Like Ladies in Crisis’ last week. A companion project to their 2018 book, Drinking Like Ladies, the podcast’s goal is to help hospitality industry professionals navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. “This industry is the country’s second-largest private employer of over 15.6 million workers, a majority of whom lost their jobs all at once last month,” said Misty Kalkofen. “We’ve spent our entire careers affiliated with restaurants, and no one has experienced anything like this. We felt that we had to do something. The power of our purse is limited and we aren’t allowed to leave our homes; gathering and sharing information seemed like the best way we could act.”
Their first guests have included Houston-area restaurant owner Bobby Heugel, hospitality consultant and founder of Barmetrix Sean Finter, and career educator Anita Cristina Calcaterra speaking on how to handle homeschooling for parents. Future guests will include a mental health clinician, a trauma specialist, policy-makers working to address the needs of this industry, more owner-operators, fundraising experts, and more. Kalkofen and Amann have teamed up with Chris Voss, a Boston-based public radio personality, to produce and edit the project.