We took some time to sit down and mingle with our friend, and popular cocktail enthusiast, Elliott Clark, to get to know him a little bit better. Elliott is known as @apartment_bartender on Instagram. He calls himself a semi-decent home bartender, but we like to give him more credit than that, as he most recently holds the title of 2017 Saveur Magazine Editors’ Choice Best Drinks Blog.
Kick back, pour a glass, and learn more about Elliott.
How long have you been on Instagram as Apartment Bartender?
I started Apartment Bartender toward the end of 2015, so just a little over two years.
Where did you find your passion for creating cocktails?
I found my passion for creating cocktails after taking a “Cocktails 101” class in NYC in early 2015. I was visiting a couple buddies at the time, and one of them randomly purchased tickets for this class, so we all went. I was hooked instantly. I feel that I was lacking a creative outlet in my life at the time, and diving into the world of spirits and home bartending seemed to be the perfect fit.
When you aren’t handcrafting cocktails to share with your followers, where can you be found spending your time?
I enjoy things like working out, going to the movies and hanging around friends. I’m very extroverted, so if what I am doing involves good company and good conversation, then I’m a happy guy.
What would you say are some of the most important ingredients, or staples, to have on-hand when bartending at home?
For someone who views home bartending as their hobby and wants to really learn how to make cocktails at home, here’s a good list of basic essentials I’d suggest you start with.
Home bartender tools of the trade:
- Cocktail shaker
- Mixing glass
- Bar spoon
- Strainer (Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer)
Spirits, bitters and liqueurs:
- Four Roses products
- Angostura® bitters
- Peychaud’s® bitters
- Orange bitters
- Apéritifs like Campari® or Aperol®
- Cointreau® triple sec
- St-Germain® liqueur
Do you tend to follow any specific trends as cocktails are evolving over the years?
I believe in learning the classic cocktail recipes first, just because they’re not only amazing recipes, but also fundamental to creative drink recipes and new cocktail trends. It’s important for me to stay on topic with relevant trends because it helps me to better educate and engage with my fans. At the same time too, I want to keep things as approachable and accessible as possible for the home bartender. There are a lot of trends I’ve seen that go really well within the bar industry that don’t necessarily translate well into the home market because they’re not approachable. I try to find the right balance.
What Bourbon cocktail would you recommend for someone who typically just enjoys Four Roses neat or on the rocks?
You can never go wrong with an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour. They’re both classic Bourbon cocktails that don’t require a ton of ingredients to make, so as a result the Bourbon still really shines through.
If you could enjoy a cocktail with anyone, who would it be? And what would you be drinking?
If I could sit down and enjoy a drink with anyone, I’d have to say Will Smith. I grew up watching Fresh Prince of Belair and still do to this day. He’s been my favorite actor since I was young, and I’ve always been a big fan of his work. I’d order us up a couple of Old Fashioned cocktails.
As a fan of the Four Roses brand and our line of handcrafted Bourbons, Elliott created the Four Roses Cranberry Citrus cocktail, perfect to sip on this winter. If you decide to handcraft your own Four Roses Cranberry Citrus, please share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #HandcraftTheMoment so we can check it out.
Four Roses Cranberry Citrus
- 2 oz Four Roses Single Barrel
- 2 oz fresh orange juice
- 1/2 oz spiced cranberry syrup
- 1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro®
- 1-2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Double strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a speared cranberry and orange wedge.
This cocktail is easy to batch in larger quantities if you plan on entertaining guests this winter. Read more about the cocktail and Apartment Bartender Elliott Clark here.