101 episodes

Life Behind Bars, which is hosted by the Daily Beast’s Half Full editor Noah Rothbaum and its legendary columnist David Wondrich, allows listeners to be flies on the wall as two of the world’s foremost drinks experts talk about cocktails and spirits. It is a mix of engaging stories and historical facts about the greatest bartenders and drinks of all time. In 2018, it won the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world's best drinks podcast.Please drink responsibly.
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Life Behind Bars with Noah Rothbaum & David Wondrich The Daily Beast

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 117 Ratings

Life Behind Bars, which is hosted by the Daily Beast’s Half Full editor Noah Rothbaum and its legendary columnist David Wondrich, allows listeners to be flies on the wall as two of the world’s foremost drinks experts talk about cocktails and spirits. It is a mix of engaging stories and historical facts about the greatest bartenders and drinks of all time. In 2018, it won the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world's best drinks podcast.Please drink responsibly.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    The Past, Present & Future of Gin - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    The Past, Present & Future of Gin - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    Gin has been a bartending fixture for hundreds of years and stars in countless famous cocktail recipes. 
     
    On this special episode of Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum talk about gin’s roots and how the spirit has evolved and kept current for centuries—including during the modern cocktail renaissance. Sebastien Derbomez, manager of brand advocacy for William Grant & Sons, joins in on the discussion to explore where gin might head next and what parts of the world will help lead the category. This chat is inspired by entries found in the brand-new book The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, which features more than 1,100 entries from 150 expert contributors. 
     
    So fix yourself a gin cocktail and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

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    • 32 min
    The Birth of Luxury Spirits - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    The Birth of Luxury Spirits - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    The launch of Grand Marnier in the late 1800s helped to establish a new standard for luxury liquor brands. The Cognac-and-orange liqueur also inspired the creation of several delicious cocktails, including the original version of the Bijou. 
     
    On this special episode of Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum discuss the origin of Grand Marnier, why citrus was so sought-after at the time, and the important role Paris played in creating global trends. This discussion is inspired by entries in Wondrich and Rothbaum’s brand-new book, The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, which features more than 1,100 entries from 150 expert contributors. 
     
    So fix yourself a drink and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 19 min
    How the Margarita Became a Cocktail Sensation - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    How the Margarita Became a Cocktail Sensation - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    Everyone has heard at least one story about how the Margarita came to be—at last count, there were seven credible origin stories.
     
    On this special episode of Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum explore the possible stories behind the Margarita’s invention, as well as a groundbreaking advertising campaign by José Cuervo that made the drink a household name. This discussion is inspired by entries in Wondrich and Rothbaum’s brand-new book, The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, which features more than 1,100 entries from 150 expert contributors. 
     
    So fix yourself a Margarita and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 21 min
    La Dolce Vita The Birth of Italian Cocktails - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    La Dolce Vita The Birth of Italian Cocktails - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    The Negroni and the Americano are perennial favorites of professional and amateur bartenders around the world. But when were these classic cocktail recipes created? And how did Italy’s bar culture become a sensation? 
     
    On this special episode of Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum delve into the backstory of these drinks and the important cocktail connection between America and Italy. Their discussion was inspired by entries in their brand-new book, the Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, which features more than 1,100 entries from 150 expert contributors. 
     
    So fix yourself a cocktail and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 23 min
    A Look Inside the Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    A Look Inside the Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails - Life Behind Bars: The Oxford Companion

    For nearly ten years, Life Behind Bars co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum have been working on a special project: The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails.
     
    A few weeks ago, the nearly 900-page book debuted with more than 1,100 entries from 150 contributors. On this special episode, Wondrich and Rothbaum take you behind the scenes of this massive book to talk about how it came to be and how they put it together. This kicks off a short mini-series of episodes inspired by the Oxford Companion.
     
    So fix yourself a cocktail and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 10 min
    The Past, Present and Future of Rye Whiskey - Life Behind Bars Live

    The Past, Present and Future of Rye Whiskey - Life Behind Bars Live

    Rye whiskey beguiles the palate with a range of slow-to-reveal flavors. The same could be said of the spirit’s long and complex history, which continues to delight (and frustrate) modern distillers, historians and journalists.
     
    On this special live episode of the award-winning podcast Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum assemble a panel of rye-whiskey luminaries: Nicole Austin, general manager and distiller for Cascade Hollow, home of George Dickel; Todd Leopold, co-founder of Leopold Bros. Distillery; and Allen Katz, co-founder of the New York Distilling Company. 
     
    Listen to this rye-whiskey summit to learn about the spirit’s fascinating history, the rebirth of heritage rye grains, and the new George Dickel & Leopold Bros. Collaboration Blend, which revives the tradition of blending rye whiskey made on a three chamber still with rye whiskey made on a column still. 
     
    So pour yourself a glass of rye whiskey and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars. Cheers!
    Life Behind Bars features Half Full’s editor Noah Rothbaum and its Senior Drinks Columnist David Wondrich as they discuss the greatest bartenders and greatest cocktails of all time. It won the 2018 and the 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for the world’s best drinks podcast.
    Edited by Alex Skjong

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
117 Ratings

117 Ratings

Minnesoata44 ,

Enjoyable

It’s always enjoyable to listen to the history of liquor in America and around the world. Prohibition brings many issues to the forefront- hopefully never again! The world of beverages is about tasting and the social memories those tastings create. Good episode... I try different ingredients all the time. Exploration leads to Discovery!! Such a good discussion about bourbon. History is fascinating! Absolutely fascinating discussion about terroir Ian’s the importance of locality. Good discussion about the importance of being decent in a bar and the changing environment of bars. Be good or be gone- totally agree! What a beautiful discussion about life and … life!! Yes! Really like these discussions about all genders- Speed Rack! Excellent podcast about Irish Whiskey and heritage.
Love hearing about all the literature of beverages- so much history!

robertchen1992 ,

My only wish is that there were more episodes!

Great stuff. David Wondrich is a legend and if he just talked about cocktail history and science by himself for one hour I'd listen to every episode. Perfect amount of banter between him and Noah, not too much chit chat but I feel like I get to know them over the course of the episodes.

fassetthill ,

Love / Hate

Love the content. Love Dave Wondrich. Love spirits and everything to do with them.

HATE the audio quality. Jeez, guys, spend some money on proper microphones and learn to use them.

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