West Egg Cocktail Supply Makes Mixology Approachable
Watching a bartender assemble a cocktail can by a mystifying experience. All those seemingly incompatible ingredients. All that muddling, shaking and stirring. At the end of it all you’re presented with a stunning work of art that, even if observed from start to finish, seems impossible to replicate.
Enter West Egg Cocktail Supply. The brand new business run by local sisters Jess Saleska and Cole Londeree offers workshops to make the process of cocktail building an intimate, educational and approachable experience.
“The most positive experiences learning how to make drinks has been sitting at a bar when it’s slow and actually having a bartender passionately tell me why they do this and what they love and how they make this drink,” Saleska said, “and those small little windows of their kind of art has been so valuable to me.”
The brainstorming for West Egg began last spring, after Saleska tired of searching for local mixology classes that fit the feel and flavor she’d come to appreciate from those one on one conversations with local bartenders.
“I tried looking for classes in the area, and it was really hard to find anything, and some of the avenues were really expensive or weren’t really what I was looking for,” Saleska said. “This was, for me, kind of replicating for a wider audience that nerding out with a bartender and learning how they do what they do and what they love about it.”
Collaboration with local businesses, bartenders and baristas is what took West Egg from an idea to a business. Stump owners Brian Kellett and Emily Brown helped Saleska and Londeree navigate the startup process, connecting them with an attorney and explaining how to get an LLC established.
Three weeks ago, West Egg Cocktail Supply opened up at 909 W. Fifth Ave., where Stump’s sister store Cactus Consortium and the Holy Moses barber shop also coexist.
“It’s kind of a store within a store within a store,” Londeree said. “Brian and Emily from Stump are very, very collaborative with local business, and their mission for education is very strong. They wanted to have a space for workshops and events where people can learn about different crafts, so when they heard about the idea of West Egg, they were very excited to have us in there.”
Their space offers a large table once used in a high school ceramics class. They had their first class there where they showed a dozen pupils three different ways to assemble a Manhattan. The size of the group turned out to be ideal, and it turned from a class of strangers into its own cocktail party, with people talking, mingling, and getting a little toasted at the same time.
Patrick Thomas, a bartender for The Pearl, helped run the class, offering expert hands-on instruction. For a future class on coffee cocktails, they’ll collaborate with Joe Capatosto, from Mission Coffee Co.
“We want to work with local people, because we try our best, but bartenders and baristas — they’re the real artists behind this,” said Londeree. “Plus, we love to engage the community as well.”
Londeree and Saleska would eventually like to open their own brick and mortar within the next year, where they can offer an assortment of spirits and ingredients, post up recipes, stock party snacks and provide further hands on education to the community.
Until then, they’ll be hosting classes at least every two weeks, with the next one scheduled for this Saturday, October 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests will learn how to create whiskey-based fall cocktails using ingredients and flavors like apples, cloves, cinnamon, and maple. Pre-registration is required and costs $30, which earns instruction for three drinks and light hors d’oeuvres.
For more information, visit westeggcocktails.com.