#81 Pittsburgh Speakeasies with John Schalcosky and Mike Mills
Hey all! This month I am keeping up with the Pittsburgh Drinks theme, and offering a part two to the episode prior to this one that featured Sean Enright and Cody McDevitt. If you haven't listened to that one yet, I suggest you do! It is full of interesting drinks recipes, tips, and facts about Pittsburgh that are featured in their book, Pittsburgh Drinks.
We touch on Pittsburgh speakeasies on that episode, but I wanted to take that a step farther, and bring on my true, and trusted researcher of pretty much everything, John Schalcosky from The Odd, Fascinating, and Mysterious History Of Pittsburgh to dig up what he found on Pittsburgh speakeasies. I also wanted to pair that with some whiskey tasting tips in honor of The Whiskey Rebellion Festival, and age old bootleggers. Mike Mills joins us, and instructs us on how to taste whiskey properly, along with some other tips for your at home consumption.
We chat about where the term speakeasy comes from, what made it relevant, the term Blind Tiger (If you don't know what that is, you will love this), what our favorite idea of a speakeasy would be in Pittsburgh, and much, much more. I love the energy of this episode. We had a great time, and I hope you will too. So grab that snifter, pour yourself a nib, and come join us.
Hope to see everyone at the Pittsburgh Drinks book release party on March 27th!
Pittsburgh has a very long, and semi forgotten history in the world of cocktails. I just recently learned about a lot of it through the book Pittsburgh Drinks : A History of Cocktails, Nightlife & Bartending Tradition by Sean Enright, and Cody Mcdevitt. If you are a listener of my show, you know I love a great cocktail, and am constantly striving to improve my mixing abilities at home. With that in mind, I wanted to do a 2 part release featuring, and praising Pittsburgh as not just an incredible town for craft cocktails, but also showcasing that our history in this area is richer than most would think.
Part 1 Pittsburgh Drinks with Sean Enright and Cody Mcdevitt. This episode bring the incredible talents of these two gentleman. Sean starts us off in the episode to aid in our Craft Cocktail Series, teaching those at home how to up their game at making cocktails. He mixes up (out of my very short supply), two cocktails that you can easily make at home to impress your guests, or have on a random Tuesday evening to treat yourself. Maggie's Farm Rum is the main focus of these cocktails, and makes for a perfect sip. Thank you for sponsoring this episode! Love having distilleries thriving in Pittsburgh once again!
The second half of our podcast we bring in Cody Mcdevitt, an award winning journalist that teamed up with Sean to bring their book Pittsburgh Drinks to life! This episode touches on Pittsburgh craft cocktail history, the process of publishing, recording, and documenting recipes, and information from folks involved with the book. There was a lot I didn't know about our town, and I am sure you will be just as surprised as I was to learn that Pittsburgh is a key city in the craft cocktail world. I also love the recipes included within it's pages, along with pictures of what your cocktail "should" look like. Don't worry if it doesn't just try, try again!
Hope to see everyone at the book release party on March 27th at Spirit! It is sure to be an awesome event that is full of surprises.
You can purchase your own copy of the beautifully designed, and written book here.
Stay tuned for the next episode that shines more knowledge about Pittsburgh's Speakeasy history, and included a Whiskey 101 Tasting session with Mike Mills, and John Schalcosky from The Odd, Fascinating, and Mysterious History of Pittsburgh! Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter to get episode first, and also unvarnished content. Cheers!
This episode is sponsored by Maggie's Farm Rum located in the heart of the the Strip District.
"Our awards for Maggie’s Farm Rums, including, but not limited to, Pennsylvania Distillery of the Year, Best-of-Category Spiced Rum, Best-in-Class Rum, and Best-in-Show Spirit, all from prestigious American craft and international spirits competitions make us one of the most awarded distilleries in America since our inception in October of 2013.
Allegheny Distilling is an urban distillery located in the historic Strip District of Pittsburgh and maker of Maggie’s Farm Rum, the first commercially-available Pennsylvania-made craft rum since Prohibition. Maggie’s Farm is more about what it isn’t, a corporate entity where marketing gimmicks and bottom lines trump taste and quality. Maggie’s Farm is an independent craft distillery founded without the support of banks, venture capitalists, and rich relatives.
All of our rums are distilled from turbinado, a raw cane, rather than molasses and pot-distilled for body and flavor on 100% copper Spanish-made stills. All of our aged rums are now pushing two years old and aged in neutral rum casks, same as most Caribbean distillers do, to preserve the flavors and aromas produced by tertiary esterification, rather than the oaky flavors produced by new charred or ex-whiskey casks used by most American craft rum distillers. All of our stills and manufacturing processes are on display right behind the cocktail bar in our distillery’s tasting room located in Pittsburgh’s industrial Strip District."
Mysteries of Pittsburgh By Boat!
Have you ever visited Carrie Furnaces? I am sure you have seen them all along the rivers, (possibly as you make your way to grab a brew from The Brew Gentleman), but have you ever stopped and toured them? Well, if you haven't, you should. They are incredible. I wanted to showcase them on the show, so I scheduled to meet with Rob Baraff, and his partner Rick Rowlands from Rivers of Steel. Ron is a downright expert historian when it comes to Carrie Furnaces.
Join me, and my lovely and talented friend Stephanie Strasburg as we journey into nooks and crannies of the Furnace to hear all about the incredible history that is just a tiny bit of what makes Pittsburgh so interesting. Love the artwork inside by Ryan Keene! Please excuse my freak out over their goats, and also enjoy the creepy piano music at the end of this episode, we couldn't resist playing the ancient instrument! Photo below.
They are doing some really fun things there including hosting the upcoming Extreme Pogo World Championships! You heard me right! CMU alumni Nick Ryan is the Extreme Pogo company owner, and he is partnering with Rivers of Steel, and on July 7-9 you can enjoy the heck out of of some extreme pogo. Honestly, I didn't know this was a thing, and cannot wait to see it!!! There will be food trucks, live bands, and Furnace tours, which makes for a great summer weekend. Check it out!
Thank you to the wonderfully talented Stephanie Strasburg for these photos. They are gorgeous! Subscribe to the Marta On The Move Newsletter to see more shots from this episode!
This episode is sponsored by Levity Pgh. Listeners get $5 off all their float experiences with code "Marta" www.floatlevity.com
Pajama Party Pod/Line is back! Join me and my great friendJohn Schalcosky from The Odd,Fascinating and Mysterious History of Pittsburgh as we gettogether and do what we do best, converse and uncover funmysteries. John and I's favorite thing is a great story,hidden secret, or hunt, and we love to bring our love of it to allof you! Reminder to subscribe to my newsletter below! Only subscribers this week will get an extra nugget of goldthat John found.
For this podcast, we wanted to highlight Crazy Summer Stories ofPittsburgh. All of us are waiting for the warm weather tocome, so this will help get you through. John drops someinsane mysteries on me, and once again I am flabbergasted the wholeshow. I find out these stories when you do, as we both listen in! Look for more of our episodes, and write in to let us knowwhat you want to hear! We will dig it up! (No punintended)
This episode is brought to you by City Theatre! Make sure youget your tickets to my live event there on May 12th! I willbe onstage right after the production of The Lion. Listeners to MOTM get tickets for just $20with promo code "MARTAROARS" Come say hi to me!
City Theatre is now in its 41st season. Located on Pittsburgh’shistoric South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays,commissioning and producing work by playwrights including DanielBeaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, WillyHoltzman, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Madeleine George. Under theleadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing DirectorJames McNeel, and a 37-member Board of Directors, City Theatre’smission is to provide an artistic home for the development andproduction of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engageand challenge a diverse audience. CityTheatreCompany.org
Also sponsored by Levity Pgh all listeners get$5 off all their floats with code "Marta"
If you missed my fun promo video that we recorded during thisshow, check it out here.
Photos and video by Jacob Finch
Welcome to the first ever Pajama Party Podcast! What is it? It is pretty much the same as Marta On The Move, only thing is, people are wearing Pj's (including the guests) and it is usually a live audience! I started these in my home just for the fun of getting folks together to relax and take in an interactive show. There won't be a ton of them,(probably once or twice a year) so eat it up while you can! We chat on this cast about the history of Pittsburgh, and why it is all well and good to remember the good history, it is just as important to remember the not so good. You will LOVE this podcast. John will be back on (because we had that great a time) for another PPP next year, if not sooner. Stay tuned later in the month for Leslie Gray the Steel City Medium who joined us later in the evening to chat about all things Psychic. It got very, very interesting!'
Check out John's website HERE!
A massive thank you to my hubby and to Rob Larson at www.roblarsonphoto.com for snapping the photos and engaging the show!
Podcast episode is brought to you by Sipes and Son!
Sipes & Son General Contractors is a boutique renovation firm located in Pittsburgh’s East End. Specializing in residential and commercial renovations located within the city of Pittsburgh, our clients receive professional and personalized project management from start to finish. Whether for your home, restaurant, or other commercial space, we use our expert problem solving skills to make our clients’ renovation dreams a reality. We are also known throughout the city for our unique projects, such as converting a shipping container into living space or custom work using reclaimed materials. We embrace new building technology and were Pittsburgh’s first certified and accredited green roofers, installing numerous rooftop gardens throughout the city since 2007. Please visit www.sipesandson.com for more information.
My husband and I meet Jennie Benford Director of Programming at the Homewood Cemetery on a beautiful summer day. We greet each other kindly, and proceed to walk the grounds of the cemetery. Jennie Benford is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the history of the cemetery. As we walk she can't wait to tell us about how it got it's name, it's layout, and the various architecture forms of the tombstones. As my husband and I walked along with her, we learned so many glimpses of Pittsburgh's past. Join us on our stroll to highlight pieces from each of three tours that the Homewood Cemetery Historical Tours offer. Their Founders Day Celebration is this coming Saturday the 22nd. Take a tour around the world and discover the rich history Pittsburgh's past residents.
I recently hosted a photo submission for this podcast. I could not wait to feature the photographers from local people. I posted them below. The winner of the private tour for you and 15 of your friends is-Joey Kennedy! Congrats! www.joeykennedyphotography.com
Thank you to all who mailed in their photos. They are all so beautiful!
When I was young, the holidays always revolved around a certain outing, a trip to "Clayton". Growing up in Pittsburgh, I feel a lot of people have that same experience. Touring the grounds and mansion surrounded by glittering lights and music to catch a piece of history. Now that I am older, I started taking trips there more frequently than just the yearly snow covered journey. Through traveling to other cities, I have gained a new appreciation for The Frick.
"Clayton" was the house built on a 5 acre plot for Henry Clay Frick and his family. They resided there from 1882 to 1905. They then moved to New York, but kept their home in Pittsburgh. Phil and I recently visited their New York home, and even though the art collection is quite amazing, we found ourselves finding a new respect and love for "Clayton" in Pittsburgh. The main reason, being is that it is private, and intimate, showing you a life almost stopped in time. All their original belongings are present, not something that was placed in the space to fill a gape from that time period. They were all personal to the Frick family, and being able to view their everyday objects in their house is something you will appreciate when you visit other historical homes that have reproductions, or borrowed antiques. Also, I am not even touching on the car collection, which is indeed staggering. The main reason I wanted to feature them on my podcast is that The Frick Art and Historical Center is doing more than just maintaining the Frick's belongings, they are evolving with the times. Offering more exhibits, education, and entertainment for their visitors. Their Fridays at the Frick has me so excited! Tune in to hear the news about the history, and upcoming events happening at "The Frick".
Don't forget with Puzzle Pax if you use the code MOVE when you check out you get $5 off your purchase! Puzzlepax will be giving away 5 free Marta On The Move carriers at the live podcast at Bayardstown July 31st! Don't miss it! www.puzzlepax.com
John Schalcosky is a native of Pittsburgh, who had a curious nature about some things he had seen in our town and wanted to delve deeper into where they came from. Almost a year later, he is now working hand in hand with Carnegie Museums, and various institutions around town, giving speeches, and is on his way to creating a book about the collections of histories he has found. I wanted to bring him on as a regular (look for the Halloween podcast!), and hear some of the strange history that we have here in Pittsburgh. I was blown away by some of the stories he tells on this podcast, and you will be too. Truly one of my favorite episodes. I can't wait to have him on again to hear what else he has dug up!
Find him Here
Subscribe to Marta On The Move HERE
About a month ago, Jim Beam and USBG partnered up and sponsored an event to allow bartenders, and folks in Pittsburgh be more aware of the history around them. They rented a large bus and took us all on a tour of the Whiskey Rebellion. I had never known the history of this area, and the role it played in stabilizing the economy, and making some of the best whiskey in the world. Professor Buzzkill has a podcast of his own, and is part of our family up at Epicast TV. He debunks myths about history, so I thought this would be the perfect episode for him to sit in and chat about the Whiskey Rebellion, and if there were any stories, or myths that may have shifted over the years. Be sure to check out the Whiskey Rebellion Festival July 9-12 this year. They have bands, food, fun, history, and of course.... whiskey.
Stay tuned for a video cast with Bobby "G" Gleason, Guiness Book of World Record holder for making 253 drinks in under 60 minutes! He tells us more about how to make drinks at home, and the history of our area.