Speaking Easy is a cocktail and home entertaining podcast with a twist. Co-hosts Alex Luboff and Jordan Wicker are both avid cocktail party hosts, often in the company of one another, and have had several people approach them separately to ask about sharing some of their accumulated knowledge on cocktails and entertaining.
The Speaking Easy Podcast aims to break down the cocktails, planning, and other details needed to throw a great party, whether it’s 4 people or 40.
Now that twist: we’re most definitely not professionals. Both podcast hosts hold “real” jobs, and outside of hosting in their homes, are not actual bartenders. Alex and Jordan are enthusiasts, and approach the show from that perspective. Speaking Easy is not trying to create a whole new cocktail revolution, but rather spread the word about how easy it is to master simple crowd-pleasing cocktails.
If you watch a lot of “how-to’s” out there, you may see a professional bartender recommending a $75, hard-to-find, obscure ingredient that, yes, might create a world-class drink. We, however, are more interested in crafting an always satisfying drink, night-after-night, for your friends and family. Leave the fancy work to the professionals, we’re just trying to keep the party going.
We don’t expect to teach you to be the best bartender in the world– we’re certainly not. We’re hoping, as we say at the end of each show, that you’ll come along as we all toast “to being a better drinker.”
Episode #107 – We’re Back – A Year Older, Not Wiser
It’s been a year (to the day), but the Speaking Easy Podcast is coming to you live through the airwaves again!
First, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. To those who don’t but still have the day off, a merry day of drinkin’ to you! To those of you who have to work today, cheers to your after-work plan! That should cover everyone, but we hope you’re all well and imbibing responsibly and joyfully.
When we announced a hiatus last December 25, we really didn’t know what the future would hold. And frankly, some of it is still murky (we may need to clean our glassware better 🙂 to see further).
In reflecting on 2018, we’ve had a lot of personal life happening while the show has been paused. A big part of the podcast was always about making time for those you love and enjoying a few tasty concoctions to celebrate your time together. And, in a lot of ways, the podcast was one way for us to do that, but there was a lot more that we wanted to take time to explore.
We wanted to take this time to reach back out to you, our fans, to check in a bit on:
* What we’ve been up to this past year,* What we’ve been drinkin’ this past year,* A little bit of trivia on beverage control laws, and* What the future of the Speaking Easy Podcast may look like.
We hope you enjoy this episode, which contrary to your first impression of our ramblings during the show, WILL include a very special recipe for a big event, and reach out to let us know what you think!
There is also one very special announcement from our very own Alex, and listen to the episode before reading below!
**SPOILER ALERT – DON’T READ BEFORE LISTENING**
As you heard on the episode, I’ll be leaving my regular hosting role on the podcast while Jordan explores the future of the show—and I do say “regular” hosting role because there’s no way they are going to get rid of me fully—i.e. I’ll pop in when it makes sense.
It’s been a big year on a personal front, and a year of change in terms of my imbibing. I wouldn’t say that I’ve fallen out of love with cocktails, but we’re taking some time apart at the moment. I’ve always viewed this show as a “cocktail and home entertaining” show, and the latter part will always be part of my Midwestern heart.
I’ve definitely been exploring the world of beer more, and would love to connect with other beer-focused listeners through my Untappd account, which is @SchmalexSchmuboff. Send me a friend request and we’ll keep the party that we started with this podcast going on a different platform.
I’ve got three thank yous that I’d like to send out before signing off:
1) To my (now) wife—thanks for putting up with all the nights of trying my (often) poorly constructed drinks and my insistence on visiting “just one more” liquor store to try to find an obscure Slovak herbal liqueur or something of the sort. Cheers to my forever wedding date (“scotch and soda, thanks!”) and champagne buddy!
2) To the mad scientist, and master producer, “Silent” Tyler: You literally made the show something beyond just being two jokesters rambling on and on, and made it into something that really shaped our lives for a couple of years. I can’t thank you enough for all that you did, but thank you. Cheers to all your other endeavors, and you deserve all the success!
3) To Jordan, the best damn co-host and (I’ll finally admit it) the best damn home bartender around: Well...
#106: Year Two in Review (Plus a Major Announcement)
It’s the conclusion of another great year of the Speaking Easy Podcast, and we got into what’s become an annual tradition—having a one or two too many (which, believe it or not, is not our normal “being a better drinker” and having a conversation to ramble off our favorite episodes of the year, what we learned, and what we’re looking forward to.
#105 - Jeff Cioletti and The Drinkable Globe
This was a fun one for us to record, and it was the first time we recorded with a live audience! We had Jeff on our show the first time fairly early (Episode #022 – Interview with Jeff Cioletti, author of The Year of Drinking Adventurously), and he trusted us enough to a) hang out with us off the air and b) come back on the show. We set this date up to talk about Jeff’s newest release, The Drinkable Globe: The Indispensable Guide to the Wide World of Booze, where he merges two of the greatest pursuits of mankind—travel and drinking. Obviously Jeff is who we want to be, and we met up at Café Kindred and Townshend Bar at an event sponsored by One More Page Books to have this lively conversation about the book recently.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
* About Jeff’s travels all over the world in search of thirst-quenching and palate-pleasing drinks
* How drinking cultures vary globally
* The traditions and rituals Jeff took part in during his travels
* What they drink in Antarctica (that was also MADE in Antarctica)
While I’m at it, I will say this—Jeff is a great guy—one of our favorites in the industry—and his previous works have made our list of the best cocktail books (and for good reason). This book follows suit and becomes a bookshelf essential for the home bartender in your life. Go and get it: The Drinkable Globe by Jeff Cioletti on Amazon.
And you should follow Jeff where you can—he’s active on Twitter (@JeffCioletti), he has a blog with the same name as his most recent release book, drinkableglobe.com, and you should also check out some of his other releases: The Year of Drinking Adventurously: 52 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone, which we reviewed and discussed on a previous episode mentioned above, and Beer FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About The World’s Most Celebrated Adult Beverage.
#104: Vodka Tasting with Modern Bar Cart
Well, it must be of great surprise that we’d willingly and not compelled by a court somewhere submit ourselves to a vodka tasting, based on how we’ve typically treated vodka on this show (briefly, we’ve been quite dismissive). I mean, while the reliable Moscow Mule saves vodka from permanent banishment from our bars (well, at least Alex’s), it’s definitely not the first bottle we reach for. But when our good friend Eric Kozlik, the Chief Executive Officer and Supremely Cool Dude of the Modern Bar Cart, invites us along for a tasting of vodkas of strange origins, we’re at least game to play nicely for a little bit. He’s been a part of two of our favorite episodes (Episode #035: Interview with Eric Kozlik of Embitterment Bitters & Episode #081 – Speaking Easy Gets Interviewed on the Modern Bar Cart Podcast), so we know it would be a good time even if we didn’t enjoy the spirit.
The tasting—involving different vodkas from grape, to mixed grain, to whey—was a fun and interesting way to approach this spirit. To be honest, our (historically low) expectations were slightly exceeded, though don’t expect us to start bringing the flavorless liquor into heavy rotation as result. It appears as though even Jordan, whose appreciation for vodka is similar to his appreciation for Alex’s sense of humor (sad), even found something not horrifically offensive. Which is really saying something.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
* A little about how and why vodka is made to have no flavor
* How to properly taste something that doesn’t naturally have a taste
* A few tidbits about selecting an interesting bottle on the shelf
* A few of the goings-on of Modern Bar Cart
* And just how Alex and Jordan fare in dealing with a vodka-based night of delusion
“Clear liquors are for rich women on diets.” – Ron Swanson
#103: Stocking a Home Bar - Bottle Recommendations
This week Alex & Jordan answer a question we’ve gotten for our entire 2 years, and only ever answered in spurts: what bottle should I pick up? And we try to answer that question with a few of our favorite recurring bottles from our bars.
#102 – Winetails or Wine Cocktails
We know, we know—we haven’t done a wine episode. And this still isn’t it. But we felt that we owed our listeners some version of an episode dedicated to the fruit of the vine, in addition to our Sangria episode, and so we hope we came through with winetails.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great for the home enthusiast
Alex and Jordan do a great job of exploring and explaining home cocktail making. While, I cringe every time they say maraschino and want to send them a PowerPoint on rum, I do enjoy the weekly episodes, the recipes they find and research, and thier enthusiasm. I'm pretty sure I've listened to every episode except the Vodka one - really not for me.
Fun, interesting, inspiring!
This is my new favorite podcast! These guys have helped me blossom as a home bartender - can't wait to throw my next cocktail party and share the tastiness!
For the love of cocktails
If you like to make cocktails at home, this is the podcast for you. And don't worry if you're a little turned off or intimidated by the snooty world of cocktails. Alex and Jordan are some serious goofballs who'll make you laugh even as they share some extremely useful tips for making delicious alcoholic concoctions. My cocktail-making skills have significantly improved thanks to these two. So whether you enjoy drinking & want to learn about cocktail-making or you're an experienced bartender, you'll laugh with (at?) Alex and Jordan and might even learn something useful.