#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."