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The Secret to Taking Your Cocktails to the Next Level

Fred Beebe, Partner and Beverage Director of Post Haste in Philadelphia, PA, has come a long way since owning a little on-campus eatery at Pitzer College called “The Shakedown Café” with his current business partner, Gabe Guerrero, and a group of friends.

Photos by Gab Bonhi

Beebe moved to Los Angeles after college and worked at an organic farm certification company while working at a juicer that was built as a cocktail bar for people who abstained from alcohol. Beebe remained there for about a year, then moved back to his hometown of NYC and landed a gig at Blue Hill Stone Barns and completed their Front of House and Restaurant Management program. Beebe started slinging around NYC proper and ended up behind the bar at Momofuku Ssam Bar and was eventually promoted to the Head Bartender there. His last job in NYC was Head Bartender at Sunday In Brooklyn, where he began to experiment with the locally-sourced ideas that became the foundation of Post Haste.

When asked what new-to-the-game bartenders should know if they want to reach professional status, Beebe explained that there should be a focus on the classics. “I think newer bartenders should study the classic cocktails families and learn how they work, and how to modify them. These include the sour family (daisy, daiquiri, gimlet, etc.), the martini/spirit forward family (martini, Manhattan, alaska), the cobbler family (julep, smash, etc), and what I call the four-way family (Last Word, Paper Plane, etc.). Understanding what makes these cocktails so great, and how they work, increases your ability to be creative.

If you combine that expertise with an ability to read guests and interact with them in a way that keeps everyone having fun, then you’ve got the makings of a real pro.” A trick of the trade that Beebe believes a bartender should absolutely learn to level up their game is to stir and shake at the same time. “Guests love the show, and it increases your speed and efficiency. Speaking of efficiency… learning to work clean will make your job so much easier and will make you both faster and more efficient.” Some of Beebe’s top go-to spirits and ingredients currently include Seneca Drums Gin, Eda Rhyne Fernet, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye, ginger and honey syrup, burnt sugar agrodolce, and early-season strawberries from North Carolina.

Beebe says bartenders should “remember that bartending is one of the world’s oldest professions, and most great moments in history have had a bartender somehow involved. Many of the founding fathers distilled or brewed their own booze, and George Washington ran up a $17,000 bar tab two days before he signed the Constitution.” Having something for everyone and being interesting while not being off-putting is what Beebe believes is the key to a successful beverage program. “Oh and having bartenders who can explain it all and are as happy pouring shots as they are shakin’ and bakin.’”

Beebe is most proud of his Pearnicillan—a version of the Penicillin that he learned to make at Momofuku Ssam Bar. This was a challenge to recreate a classic cocktail which usually features all international ingredients and make it with all local ingredients instead.

Photo by Gab Bonhi



3/4 oz Liberty Pole Peated Bourbon
3/4 oz MLH Forefathers Single Malt Whiskey
1/2 oz Mac’s American Blended Whiskey
1 1/2 oz ginger & honey syrup
1 oz smoked pear juice
1 oz yuzu superjuice


The post The Secret to Taking Your Cocktails to the Next Level appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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