I worked on a number of assignments for Sauce this month including a feature called The List, where Sauce talks about “the people, places, dishes and drinks we love.” As part of that assignment I photographed the Moll’s Cup No. 3 Cocktail, the brainchild of bartender Jeffrey Moll, Jr. Moll makes his own Pimm’s-eque liquer, mixes it with house-made pastis, and then bottles it with carbonated ginger-infused water in individual serving sizes. This is really helpful when serving, because the garnish takes quite a bit of time to prepare. To say that it is a garnish is not really fair … as Sauce put it, the fruit is an “edible work of art.”
Last month I got a fun assignment for Sauce Magazine: photographing Tripel in Lafayette Square for the November issue. The photos were for the the Nightlife section, which is a column that I cover regularly. Each month the column includes a main opening photograph of the crowded nightspot and a couple of food shots for the side bar. Despite the fact that the brief is usually pretty simple, this column is a little tricky to shoot each month. For one thing, most bars and restaurants don’t want you to come in during peak hours to photograph the food portion of the assignment. Unfortunately it’s hard to get a good crowd shot of a bar in the middle of the afternoon. As a result I usually end up going back at least once more after dark to get the “nightlife” shot, sometimes multiple times because inevitably the bar has a slow night, or empties out exactly when I arrive with my camera. Gar.
Good ‘ole Jeeves always gave Bertie Wooster Prairie Oyster in the morning for a hangover cure, but me? I prefer a good old fashioned Bloody Mary. A little bit of spice, some calming tomato juice, and just enough hair of the dog to smooth out the crinkles of a long night out. I have had all sorts of Bloody Marys in all sorts of places: plastic cup bloodys after a 5k, canned bloodys on airplanes, beef bouillon bloodys at upscale brunch joints, and solid down and dirty sports bar bloodys on a Sunday morning. Each has it’s own charm, but when I want to make a Bloody Mary at home, here is the recipe that I prefer, adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe:
In an episode in the most recent season of Mad Men, Don Draper orders a drink at a dinner party by asking for something “big and brown.” A dedicated Irish Whiskey, bourbon and rye drinker, I applaud this pithy request. I like nothing more than a glass of the brown stuff, preferably in a nice heavy rocks glass with ice.
However, I also likes me some cocktails, and while my tastes trend towards simple and savory as opposed to complex and sweet, I am definitely not opposed to trying new things. We have a pretty well stocked bar at the studio, although when you get into the realm of fancy cocktails, our options are relatively limited. When making the type of cocktails that I really like, sometimes all it really takes is the addition of some bitters to make a drink’s flavor profile really sing. Unfortunately, behind our bar the only bitters on hand are of the more typical angostura and orange bitters variety. Tasty? Yes. Outside of the box? Not so much.
At the end of June and the beginning of July, I worked on a large project for Feast magazine which involved about sixteen individual shoots all over St. Louis. It was a whirlwind of shoots in a very short period of time (about ten days including the July 4th holiday) and so each shoot had to be short and sweet. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to carefully plan out each shot and test lighting schemes. I had to arrive on location, get set up and get the shot. Fast.