Chilled 100 Spotlight: Adam James Sarkis

New column alert! Twice a month, we will highlight a Chilled 100 member for the Chilled 100 Spotlight. Learn a little bit more about each member and their thoughts on go-to cocktails, trends, and more.

Adam James Sarkis, portrait black and white

Adam James Sarkis

Adam James Sarkis has been a bartender and manager for over 12 years in Milwaukee and Chicago. In 2019, he departed hospitality in the traditional sense to focus on freelance marketing event activations as a source of income. Adam also launched a startup app called IZZZM, which is for lucid dreaming.

What’s your go-to cocktail?

I quit drinking two years ago-ish. But I loved a nice tart Daiquiri and an equal parts Negroni. I love exploring NA options when bars offer them— Bad Hunter in Chicago has some baller options.

Every now and then I have a tonic with tons of Angostura dashed in as a nightcap. Stappi Bitter Reds are essential for the home bar these days.

What are your favorite cocktail trends?

I like cutting the base spirit in traditional cocktails with different types of Sherry. It adds another level of complexity while holding the true flavors of the cocktail.

Do you have any unique skills / what separates you from other bartenders?

I think something that set me apart from many bartenders is I don’t really search for new trends on blogs and magazines. I would listen to music, watch movies, look at interior design, clothing design, and website design for inspiration.

What cocktail ingredient could you not live without? What ingredient is overrated?

A bitters blend I like to call “old man bitters” meaning it’s essential to add in an old fashioned and Manhattan. It’s a blend of Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla, Angostura Bitters, Angostura Orange Bitters and a little bit Bittermens Xhocolate Mole. It’s a simple game changer.

Something that’s overrated? I think carrying fancy artisanal soda is kind of lame.

What’s one piece of advice you could have given yourself when you first started out as a bartender?

Lose the ego, save your money & go to the doctor more.