Dustin Haarstad and Adam Stemmler are the ultimate friends to have around especially oh say … on your birthday! These guys know their stuff and love what they do. They started their collaboration of Blind Tiger Cocktail Company to consult in bar design, cocktail development (uh… yum), private events, education and training. Things are good… so good in fact that they brought on another passionate mixologist to mix things up; Jason O’Bryan.
What lead you to take on the business of cocktails?
Interest led to hobby, led to job, led to all-consuming passion. It’s what engages me. The world of cocktails is limitless and fascinating: drinking better is one of the main pillars of living better, and knowing how much there is to know — the incredible debt of knowledge you take on by stepping into the cocktail world — is truly a lifelong endeavor.
What is your personal favorite cocktail to make and drink?
At the moment, I think it’s got to be a Marigold, which is a spin on one of our favorite classics. It’s Amontillado Sherry based, with Benedictine and a bit of absinthe — a low alcohol, high complexity, delicious little sipper.
What do you want your “drinker” to come away with after having one of your unique concoctions?
I want to pair the right drink with the right person. If someone wants to sit there and think about how interesting and complex their cocktail is all way to the end, I’ve got some of those. If they’ve had a long day and want something to just sink into, I’ve got a few of those, too.
What is unique about Blind Tiger Cocktails?
I think what makes us unique is that we work with owners to make not just great cocktails, but great cocktails that fit their concept specifically. It’s not about us. I mean, I like birchwood-smoked kumquats as much as anyone, but it wouldn’t fit in a sports bar. We try to listen more than we talk.
What is on your “mixology” bucket list?
Oh god… so many. I want to go distillery-hopping in Scotland. I want to go to New York for 6 months and drink at a different bar every day. I really want to drink daiquiris in Cuba. I hope I get to do that someday.
I think many of you are with me when I say, I wouldn’t mind stealing a couple of Jason’s bucket list items and adding them to mine. Cheers!