It has been a while since I’ve done a how to post, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about a really fun photograph that I shot for the June issue of Feast magazine here in St. Louis. Each month I shoot a cocktail column for Feast called The Mix which is usually a studio shot. I am responsible for both the propping and styling of each of these cocktail shots – some are easy, some are harder.
This month’s cocktail is the Moscow Mule, which is a fairly simple cocktail consisting of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. The drink is traditionally served in a copper mug, and much to my surprise I found it difficult to locate the appropriate mug. In the end, I was able to borrow an antique mug from the writer for the column – an original Moscow Mule mug produced by the makers of Cock & Bull ginger beer – who also created the cocktail in the first place.
Keeping my energy up during big shoots is important. Sometimes I’m too busy to take the time to sit down and eat something. Other times I forget about eating entirely. When we have a craft services table set up for big shoots, I can sometimes grab a bite in between things, but on the smaller shoots, sometimes it is helpful to have something quick and healthy that I can munch on. This week’s healthy food from the studio is a little strange, but bear with me: protein bars made out of black beans.
As I mentioned in my first post about making cocktail bitters, (Making Cocktail Bitters (Part 1)), the process starts with making your own extracts. After many weeks of waiting and shaking my mason jars filled with citrus, spices and bittering agents, I was finally ready to concoct my first batch of bloody mary cocktail bitters.
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.