296 episodes

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast is a weekly discussion of the tools and techniques that make great drinks. Hosted by Modern Bar Cart CEO Eric Kozlik, this cocktail podcast gives great information for home bartenders and industry professionals alike. If you’re looking to take your cocktail game to the next level, this is the podcast for you.

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast Eric Kozlik

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 64 Ratings

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast is a weekly discussion of the tools and techniques that make great drinks. Hosted by Modern Bar Cart CEO Eric Kozlik, this cocktail podcast gives great information for home bartenders and industry professionals alike. If you’re looking to take your cocktail game to the next level, this is the podcast for you.

    A Few Last Words with Paul Clarke

    A Few Last Words with Paul Clarke

    In this Seattle cocktail retrospective with Paul Clarke, Editor in Chief of Imbibe Magazine, some of the topics we discuss include:
    How Paul began his drinks journey in the early days of the cocktail renaissance and became a regular at the ZigZag Cafe, a Seattle cocktail den that rose to prominence thanks, in large part, to a bartender named Murray Stenson.
    The fascinating gravitational pull that Murray exerted, both within professional hospitality circles and on the community of cocktail enthusiasts who congregated at his bar. 
    How Murray resurrected The Last Word cocktail from the pages of a forgotten 1950s cocktail book and why his quest for the weird, wonderful, and esoteric extended far beyond cocktails.
    We also examine hospitality through the lens of an old-school bartender, someone who understood that the people are more important than the drinks - and we try to collect some takeaways for young bartenders who are just starting out on their hospitality journey.
    Along the way, we consider the merits of large vinyl collections and a lifelong fascination with music, the simple pleasure of spilling “your unique weirdness” to the bartender after a couple drinks, why Murray was “too cool” for awards ceremonies, and much, much more.
    Paul and I pulled up a seat during our recent spirits judging stint at the American Distilling Institute’s annual International Spirits Competition to explore the legacy of one of the cocktail renaissance’s most beloved bartenders: Murray Stenson.
    Upon his passing in September of 2023, Murray was memorialized for the major part he played in bringing The Last Word cocktail back onto the world stage after decades of obscurity, but he also played a massively important role in stewarding the overall cocktail culture of Seattle for many years.
    So this conversation, like its cocktail namesake, is an equal parts mix of history, elegy, technique, and idiosyncrasy.
    Featured Cocktail - The Industry Sour
    This episode’s featured cocktail is the Industry Sour. To make this Last Word variant, you’ll need either ¾ oz or 1 oz each of the following:
    Fernet Branca (A minty, alpine amaro from Italy)
    Green Chartreuse
    Simple Syrup
    Fresh Squeezed lime juice
    Combine these ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, give ‘em a good, hard shake until the drink is properly chilled and diluted, then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass and enjoy.
    Developed by St. Louis bartender Ted Kilgore in 2011, I think of the Industry Sour as an offspring of The Last Word, designed, as its name implies, specifically for nerdy cocktail bartenders who are “in the know” about esoteric ingredients like Chartreuse and Fernet.
    In this case, the Fernet kind of stands in for the gin, which works (since it’s a dry botanical liqueur). And instead of the double-shot of sweetness AND nuttiness from the usual Maraschino liqueur, the Industry Sour takes a half-step back with the use of plain ol’ simple syrup--something that any good cocktail bartender will have within arm’s reach
    For me, the only real shame is that the pearlescent green color of The Last Word is replaced by a kind of muddy brown in this riff - but again, it seems fitting. Anyone can walk up to something as beautiful as The Last Word and understand they’ve got something special, but it takes a true cocktail acolyte to really appreciate the complex, aggressive symphony contained in the brownish soup of the Industry Sour.

    • 40 min
    Cocktail Futurism

    Cocktail Futurism

    What will cocktails and bars look like in 100 years? 200 years? What about 500?
    In this introductory survey episode, Eric explores what "cocktail futurism" might look like and how we can start thinking NOW about how our drinks will evolve in the future. This isn't about projecting what cocktail will become "cool again" next year -- it's about understanding what long-term trends might totally re-write the beverage landscape in ways that will surprise and (hopefully) delight us.
    Some of the topics we'll explore include:
    The rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the cocktail space. How emerging beverage technologies may eventually change the way we drink What bars and bartenders might look like in a speculative (and even space-voyaging) future This is meant to be a high-level, introductory appetizer for several episodes I'll release down the road, so come at it with an open mind and let yourself become curious about this new way of thinking that I'm calling "cocktail futurism."

    • 34 min
    American Agave with Gian Nelson of Jano Spirits

    American Agave with Gian Nelson of Jano Spirits

    In this groundbreaking, down and dirty conversation with Gian Nelson of Jano Spirits, some of the topics we discuss include:
    How Gian found his home in the creative and multidisciplinary workspace of the wine and spirits industry and why he’s selected Agave Americana as the canvas on which he expresses his passion.
    An overview of the different types of agave spirits currently being produced here in the US, specifically: the differences between using imported agave syrup vs. actual farmed or wild agaves.
    Why Mexico is becoming the “Old World” of Agave spirits production, and how American and other international producers are responding to a lack of shared knowledge across borders with characteristic punk rock innovation.
    What it would mean for a bartender or beverage program in Mexico to import American Agave spirits specifically to feature on their sipping or cocktail menu.
    And How many thousands of pounds of pinas it takes to make just ten cases of agave spirits.
    Along the way, we meditate on the mystical nature of inulin conversion, celebrate the influence of Chicano flavors and cultures, learn how to get your neighbor to let you dig up their agave plants, and much, much more.
    Featured Cocktail: The Batanga
    This episode’s featured cocktail is the Batanga. To make it, you’ll need:
    2 ounces tequila (generally, a silver tequila is utilized, but you can feel free to substitute with any agave spirit of your choosing)
    1/2 ounce lime juice
    3 ounces Cola
    Salt for rimming the glass.
    Begin by slicing a fresh lime, squeezing it for juice, and rubbing a spent half around the rim of a highball glass. Next, rim the glass with salt and fill it with ice. Since this is a built drink in the style of a Cuba Libre, all you need to do is add your agave spirit, lime juice, and cola to top (in that order), and, important to the ritual of this drink, stir it with the knife you used to cut the lime. Garnish simply with a lime wheel or a nice lime twist and enjoy.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Dusty Booze with Aaron Goldfarb

    Dusty Booze with Aaron Goldfarb

    In this fascinating deep dive with Aaron Goldfarb (@aarongoldfarb), author of Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits, some of the topics we discuss include:
    What constitutes a “dusty” or vintage bottle and some of the historical forces that created the trend of hunting for them, especially in the Bourbon world.
    Some tentative answers to the question, “Did it really Use to Taste Better?,” featuring oak tree rings, barrel entry proof, and cedar fermentation tanks.
    How dusty hunters use label cues like importers, tax stamps, DSP numbers, and Julian dating to determine the true age and origin of the bottles they encounter.
    A romp through some of the packaging gimmicks that dominated the Bourbon world in the second half of the 20th century.
    And a look at today’s secondary market for spirits with respect to how it started and where it might be headed.
    Along the way, we consider the historical impact of Howard Hughes’ liquor collection, salute the unwavering faith and confidence of bourbon distillers, get Aaron into bed with a sultry bottle of pre-phylloxera Cognac, and much, much more.
    Dusty Booze: In Search of Vintage Spirits will drop in about a month, so be sure to pre-order your copy if you’ve got some time on your hands and think you could uncover the next outrageously valuable bottle hiding in a storage unit or estate sale.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Nomadic Distilling with Devon Trevathan of Liba Spirits

    Nomadic Distilling with Devon Trevathan of Liba Spirits

    In this roving, wanderlustrious conversation with Devon Trevathan of Liba Spirits, some of the topics we discuss include: 
    Why Devon has chosen to cultivate a welcoming and mindful relationship with discomfort while traveling, and how this has allowed her to become a sponge for the sights, flavors, and sensations that make different cultures and destinations unique.
    A working definition of “Nomadic Distilling,” which forgoes stability and a permanent facility in favor of flexibility and the ability to sample widely from multiple ingredient streams and spirits categories.
    Devon’s thoughts on the notion of Terroir (spoiler: she don’t like it) and the ability to celebrate and mash-up different spirits traditions from around the world by embracing the role of the guest or outsider.
    Then, of course, we explore the Liba Spirits portfolio, including a Tyrolean gin from the Dolomites, a botanical rum from New Orleans, and a first-of-its-kind American aperitivo made with a bourbon base.
    Along the way, we explore the perplexingly cozy lunch habits of Austrians, wax poetic on the flavor of green ants, explain why cold brew deserves a place in your next Americano spritz, and much, much more.
    Featured Cocktail: Jägertee
    Inspired by Devon’s travels in Europe, this episode’s featured cocktail is Jägertee, which is an Austrian winter warmer cocktail. Is it 70 degrees here in Washington, DC as I write this? Yes. But we’ll just pretend that we’re having normal January weather and that the planet isn’t trying to kill us. To make a batch of Jägertee you’ll need:
    250 ml / 1 cup tea (your choice, but I’d recommend black tea here)
    250 ml / 1 cup spiced rum (Austrian Strohrum is traditional, but any will do)
    250 ml / 1 cup red wine
    250 ml / 1 cup plum brandy, schnaps, or any other liqueur to hand
    250 ml / 1 cup orange juice
    2 to 3 whole cloves
    1 cinnamon stick
    2 lemon slices
    Sugar to taste (depends on how sweet your other ingredients are)
    Combine all these ingredients in a medium saucepan over low-to-medium heat, warm the mixture gradually until it just begins to simmer, then cut the heat, strain out the solids (or don’t…you do you), and enjoy!
    Jägertee means, essentially, "Hunter’s tea" in Austrian. Presumably, this is because, after a long, harrowing hunt, it’s pleasant to warm up with a comforting, spicy, winey brew, and NOT because the Austrains endorse consuming uppers and downers before brandishing firearms.
    One interesting thread to follow here is that rum is extremely popular in the German-speaking world. If you go back to my interview with Brett Steigerwaldt, you’ll learn about the importance of Rum verschnitt in the early parts of the 20th century, so it’s not a complete surprise to me to see a spiced or flavored rum product popping up in a traditional Austrian drink.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Cocktail Theory with Dr. Kevin Peterson

    Cocktail Theory with Dr. Kevin Peterson

    In this heady, fragrant chat with Dr. Kevin Peterson, author of Cocktail Theory: A Sensory Approach to Transcendent Drinks, some of the topics we discuss include:
    Why his time testing combustion engines in a laboratory made Kevin the perfect person to analyze the classic cocktail families for their ideal dilution, temperature, and ingredient ratios
    How bartenders can use the notion of “olfactory motifs” rooted in memory, nature, and music to design cocktails that thrill at a more three dimensional level--not just on the taste buds.
    What tips and tricks Kevin has drawn from the perfumery world to punch up the impact and blast radius of his drinks, including atomized spritzes, scent strips, and even service temperature manipulation.
    The sense in which bartenders are like magicians, constantly manipulating attention and generating novelty, and how you can apply these principles to both cocktail construction and service.
    And why, at the end of the day, cocktail service and consumption involves a whole bunch of complex systems that are constantly colliding, leaking information, and changing the way we play the game.
    Along the way, we provide tips and tricks to make your friends and bar guests say “I can’t UNsmell that,” probe the koji-fermented link between pineapple, aged cheese, and sharpies, uncover why Kevin doesn’t want to be known as “the cricket guy.” And much, much more.
    Featured Cocktail: The Everlasting Daiquiri
    To make it, you’ll need:
    2 oz rum (Kevin recommends Gosling’s Black Seal)
    ½ oz Fresh Lime juice
    ½ oz turbinado simple syrup
    Prior to construction, you’re gonna want to chill down your rum AND a champagne flute in the freezer. Both need to be ice cold.
    Then, add your liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with 3 large ice cubes, shake for (according to Kevin) 12 seconds, then strain into your Champage flute over a smaller ice cube. So if you’re using large, 2” cubes in the shaker, plop a smaller one from a standard ice tray or ice maker into the flute before you strain.

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings


Enjoyable AND Informative

As a home mixologist, I have learned so much from this podcast. Between the interviews with distillers, the history lessons and the deep dives into various corners of bar culture, I am never bored and I always feel smarter after an episode.

Sarah LMM ,

Keeps me thinking

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast has become one of my favorites for professional development. It helps remind me to keep learning and progressing in my career developing cocktails, training bartenders and teaching the public. Thank you!

IrishJohn! ,

Worth your time

Always solid information, presented very enjoyably. A great listen!

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