Join us to learn about the basics of beverages, from toddies to TeaTotalers, from lemonades to libations and back. In this two-hour workshoppe, led by educator Eric Johnson, guests will be shown + encouraged to make one example each of the Family Trees of Drinks. The ingredients and tools to make each of these will be provided: The Old Fashioned, The Martini, The Daiquiri, The Sidecar, The Highball, and The Flip. We will focus on using quality liquors (and non-alcoholic drinks) based around a core, flavoring/seasoning and keeping that in balance, for both enjoying + entertaining with beverages. In addition, we'll discuss why we shake some drinks and stir others, including the chemistry, the “show,” and the fun behind this choice. Explore which kind of ice works best for different drinks, how to make clear ice, how to choose glassware for entertaining and service, and the hows and whys of bar tools and how to use them. History, fun stories + trivia around drinks will also be shared. Our time spent together will be very hands-on + interactive, and questions are not only allowed, but encouraged.
Life is amazingly unpredictable: any 22-year-old who thinks he or she knows where they will be in 10 years, much less 30, is simply lacking in imagination. ~Ben Bernanke
Such has been Eric's path. Involved in hospitality, service, and the food & beverage industry off and on since the age of fifteen, he feels honored (and quite lucky) to have met, worked beside, learned from, and shared libations with such a wide variety of creators and imbibers. Suffice it to say, he is also glad that he remembers every such meeting. Blacking out is not what cocktails are about.
His cocktail experience started while bartending, and then running, the club Vito’s in Iowa City, as well as various clubs in Chicago. Upon returning to Des Moines in 2015, Eric worked with Brian Linder at RoCA (at the time, one of the few Classic Cocktail focused bars in Iowa), with Jared Guinta and with Karli Sandos at Proof. Jared is now in Napa Valley at Michelin-starred Press, while Karli is at The Violet Hour, consistently listed as one of the Top Ten Cocktail Bars in the US, and regularly collaborating with friends around Des Moines, including, but not limited to, The Bartender’s Handshake, Harbinger, Mulberry Street Tavern, Proudfoot & Bird, and The Winchester – all places to get a Proper Drink.
A belief in the interdependence of things led him to found Papillion Peche (Peach Butterfly) -- a holistic operation of Garden (edible flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables), Pantry (cordials, infusions, liqueurs, preserves, shrubs, syrups), Kitchen, Private Catering and Hospitality Consultancy.