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The Speakeasy

Hosts Damon Boelte, Sother Teague, and Greg Benson sit down to talk cocktails, spirits, wine, beer, tea, coffee, and all the other exciting liquids in the universe. With each episode, learn from some of the world’s experts in mixology, bar history, distillation, and brewing. Bringing on guests ranging from bartenders and brewers, alchemists and ambassadors, roasters and regulars, and every expert and enthusiast in between, The Speakeasy introduces listeners to all the unique ways we enjoy imbibing today.

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Episode 226: Jessica Lambert of The Kimpton Gray Hotel

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon is joined in studio by cocktail expert Jessica Lambert of The Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago to chat about some of Jessica's signature cocktails such as the Coconut Negroni and her special recipes with Pisco and Fernet-Branca.


1 Mar 2017

Rank #1

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Episode 62: Van Brunt Stillhouse

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon Boelte chats with friend and distiller at Van Brunt Stillhouse, Daric Schlesselman. Tune in to hear what it’s like running a small batch distillery and why Grappa got him into this whole business. From sugar to aging, learn about the process of distilling and how different techniques can make different products. This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. “Finishing is a little bit of a challenge for a small distiller. It takes years to have enough mature product to get there. At this point I’m choosing the aging process that I think will do the best for me in the shortest period of time possible.” –distiller Daric Schlesselman on The Speakeasy


30 May 2012

Rank #2

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Episode 150: Amor y Amargo

If you like your drinks bitter and stirred, Amor y Amargo is for you. Tune in to a brand new episode of The Speakeasy as Damon Boelte is joined by Sother Teague and Austin Hennelly of the aforementioned Amor y Amargo – a small bar in the East Village that bills itself as a “bitters tasting room and general store”. Tune in and find out what inspires them behind the bar, why the 240 square foot space was meant to be a clubhouse and what both guys are excited about in the industry today. This program was brought to you by The International Culinary Center. “Every drink we’ve ever made at Amor y Amargo – as long as the bottle exists we can still make it today.” [03:00] –Sother Teague on The Speakeasy


4 Feb 2015

Rank #3

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Episode 74: Fernet

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon gets to chat about his favorite spirit in the world – Fernet-Branca! He’s joined in studio by Jennifer Corrao, brand ambassador for Fratelli Branca, a distillery that produces Fernet-Branca, Branca Menta, Carpano Antica and more. Learn all about the bitter digestif that has picked up in popularity over the past few years – especially amongst bartenders and service industry professionals. What makes the recipe so special? What are bartenders doing with Fernet-Branca in cocktail recipes? Get the inside scoop on what some people call This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. “Not only does [Fernet-Branca] aid with digestion, it helps relax the body as a whole.” [7:15] “Anytime you use ingredients from nature – herbs, roots, spice, etc – it will be better appreciated by the body.” [8:20] –Jennifer Corrao on The Speakeasy


17 Oct 2012

Rank #4

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Episode 47: Rye Whiskey with Nick Jarrett

What’s the difference between blended whiskey and spirit whiskey? What are the origins of rye whiskey? If you’re at all interested in the history of whiskey, this episode of The Speakeasy is for you. Tune in as Damon Boelte sits down and chats with friend of the show Nick Jarrett over some 1951 Old Overholt Rye Whiskey. Learn more about bonding regulations, excise taxes, the bottled-in-bond act and more history as it relates to rye whiskey. Bottoms up! This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. “You would make your own whiskey back in the day just like you would salt your own pork or chop your own trees down.” “The bottled in bond act was actually an attempt to achieve purity in whiskey.” –Nick Jarrett on The Speakeasy


18 Jan 2012

Rank #5

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Episode 58: Makers Mark

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon Boelte is joined by Adam Harris, brand ambassador for Maker’s Mark. Hear about the history of the company and what makes their whiskey recipe so unique. Hear about the companies water renewal program and hear how they utilize the mash that has been used as methane to power their cookers. Learn something new about one of the most popular bourbons in the world on this week’s episode of The Speakeasy. This program was sponsored by White Oak Pastures. “We don’t put ‘small batch’ on our label, we just stick to what we’ve always done – which is making small batch whiskey.” –Adam Harris of Maker’s Mark on The Speakeasy


25 Apr 2012

Rank #6

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Episode 129: Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Tune in to a fun, friendly and informative episode of The Speakeasy as host Damon Boelte is joined by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager at Clyde Common and Pepe Le Moko in Portland, Oregon and author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique. Damon and Jeffrey talk shop and discuss the importance of technique over recipes, subjectivity in cocktail tasting and the state of drinks in 2014. Tune in and get some serious insight into the world of cocktails on another awesome episode of The Speakeasy. Today’s show was brought to you by Rolling Press. “Recipes and flavors are so subjective, which is great! We don’t have to agree about the proper proportions for a whiskey sour because there are so many different palettes and preferences. One thing we can agree on is that we should strain the lemon juice before the whiskey sour so theres no pulp. The technique is more objective, which is fun for me.” [13:00] –Jeffrey Morgenthaler on The Speakeasy


25 Jun 2014

Rank #7

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Episode 38: Bitters w/ Brad Thomas Parsons

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon takes a break from the bar songs and speaks with Brad Thomas Parsons, the author of “Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas”. Tune in to learn more about one of the components of the original definition of “cocktail”; bitters. Find out how all the different variations are related and why it’s so hard to get your hand on artisanal bitters. Learn how you can make your own bitters at home and discover why novelty and practicality are not mutually exclusive when it comes to making cocktails. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.


2 Nov 2011

Rank #8

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Episode 296: Cocktails 201

This week Damon and Sother chat with Freddie Sarkis, Chief Cocktail Officer at Liquor Lab in NYC. They chat about his journey from coffee to cocktails, teaching the basics of bartending, and how to progress beyond Cocktails 101. But first, Damon and Sother give a quick review of their trip to Cleveland. The Speakeasy is powered by Simplecast.


1 Aug 2018

Rank #9

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Episode 41: Jim Meehan

This week on The Speakeasy, Damon has a great conversation with friend and bartender Jim Meehan, author of “The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy”. Jim discusses his experiences at PDT and elaborates on the bartender vs customer wars. Why do people always ask for vodka? Does vodka have a place in high-end cocktails? Tune in to hear about what it’s like working on cocktail books and how the classics helped inspire Jim to get to where he is today. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market.


23 Nov 2011

Rank #10

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Episode 260: Meehan's Manual

This week on The Speakeasy, Sother is taking the reins again, and is joined in studio by acclaimed barman Jim Meehan, whose new book Meehan's Bartender Manual is a magnum opus of mixology. Meehan is best known for his pioneering work at PDT in New York's East Village. Though he now lives in Portland, Oregon, Meehan recently opened a new bar called Prairie School in Chicago’s Fulton Market. Also sitting in is Cory Bonfiglio of Beer Street. The Speakeasy is powered by Simplecast


25 Oct 2017

Rank #11

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Episode 146: Whisk(e)y Distilled

To kick off the new year on The Speakeasy, Damon Boelte is joined by Heather Greene, Whiskey Sommelier at The Flatiron Room and author of Whisk(e)y Distilled. Heather Greene is one of America’s leading whiskey experts, media’s newest “go-to” woman on the topic of brown spirits, and the author of Whiskey Distilled, A Populist Guide to the Water of Life on Viking Studio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She is also The Director of Whiskey Education and sommelier at The Flatiron Room in Manhattan where her classes sell-out regularly. Heather is also an accomplished musician. Her latest (third) record was released in 2012 under the name Argon 4o with her music partner Adam Williams. Their music is currently licensed to MTV Networks after being called by BBC radio as “Beautifully simplistic, yet thoroughly complex.” She has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. When she’s not sipping whiskey or playing keyboards, she can be found on her stoop drinking a simple gin and tonic. This program was brought to you by Michter’s. “There a lot of synergies between music and something beautiful and mystical like whiskey.” [08:00] “There’s an incredible amount of subjectivity in the human palate. The idea of a best whiskey is kind of lost when it comes to science.” [19:00] –Damon Boelte on The Speakeasy


7 Jan 2015

Rank #12

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Episode 359: Master Blender

Alexandre Gabriel is the Master blender at both Maison Ferrand Cognac as well as Plantation Rums. Growing up on a farm gave him insight as to how taking care of the land can take care of you. He brings that ethos to every bottle he produces. It’s a fascinating talk, tune in!#HRN10Years #DrinkingOnTheRadioDon’t forget to click SUBSCRIBE and RATE the show if you can. 🔥🔥Join us each week as industry leaders, Damon Boelte and Sother Teague, sit down with a wide range of hospitality and spirits experts from around the world to discuss everything that impacts our business. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:Damon Boelte @DamonBoelteSother Teague @CreativeDrunkSpeakeasy Podcast @SpeakeasyPodcastFOLLOW US ON TWITTER:Sother Teague @CreativeDrunkSpeakeasyRadio @SpeakeasyRadioThe holiday season is all about food and community. There’s no better time to show your support for food radio by becoming a member! Lend your voice and help HRN continue to spreading the message of equitable, sustainable, and delicious food – together, we can change minds and build a better food system. Go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate today to become a crucial part of the HRN community.The Speakeasy is powered by Simplecast.


18 Dec 2019

Rank #13

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Episode 229: Phillip Morgan

On this week's episode of The Speakeasy, entrepreneur Phil Morgan joins Damon and Sother in the studio to talk about his many ventures. Phil is the co-owner of Robert Bar and Building on Bond in Brooklyn, co-founder of the Lizard Lounge and The Bottle Shop in Paris, co-founder of the design firm Hecho, and more!


22 Mar 2017

Rank #14

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Episode 67: Lucas Bols

Damon is back from Tales of the Cocktail and he’s joined in studio by Antonia Fattizzi of Lucas Bols. Antonia and Damon chat about Bols Genever and how it’s slowly gaining popularity in the states. Genever is extremely popular in Amsterdam and drinks like a gin but is closer related to whiskey. Learn more about this interesting spirit and tune in as they make a Holland Razorblade on air! This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. “Genever actually outsells vodka by 4 to 1 in Amsterdam.” “Galliano is no longer just anis in your face! There’s so much more going on in the bottle now.” –Antonia Fattizzi of Lucas Bols on The Speakeasy


1 Aug 2012

Rank #15

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Episode 171: David Wondrich

The Speakeasy welcomes very special guest, David Wondrich this week who was born on the banks of the Monongahela and raised mostly in suburban New York City. After working as a house painter, a mattress stuffer, messenger, clerk and process server for a mob lawyer, bass player in more bands than he can count and a dozen other things, he settled down and earned a doctorate in Comparative Literature, specializing in Latin scientific poetry. That led to a job as an English professor, which he didn’t like. What he did like was writing about jazz and ragtime for the Village Voice and the New York Times and about cocktails for Esquire, a job he began in 1999 and is still happily performing today. Imbibe, his 2007 tribute to Professor Jerry Thomas, has become an essential text for bartenders and cocktail geeks alike. It is the first cocktail book to win a James Beard award. Punch, his 2010 follow-up, has helped refill the flowing bowl around the world. Tune in as David shares what he’s working on presently and more! “We don’t know the origin of anything, really, only a few cocktails know their fathers so to speak!” [31:00] –David Wondrich on The Speakeasy


27 Jan 2016

Rank #16

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Episode 27: Bushwick Country Club

This week on The Speakeasy, the studio is packed with the crew from Bushwick Country Club. Tune in for an especially raucous episode of the best cocktail show on the internet as the guys share drinks, explain what a pickleback is, tell ghost stories and have a good time. This episode was sponsored by Roberta’s.


10 Aug 2011

Rank #17

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Episode 235: Derby, Drinks & Music

Hold your horses, this week's episode of The Speakeasy is about... horses! And drinks. Damon and Sother are joined in studio by master mixologist Dale Degroff and his guitar, and bestselling author Peter Fornatale from the Daily Racing Form.


3 May 2017

Rank #18

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Episode 205: Equal Parts Cocktails With Kara Newman

Today on The Speakeasy, spirits writer Kara Newman joins us to tell us about her new book! Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts is all about no-fuss cocktails with even portions. The Cucumber Gimlet, for instance, combines one part each vodka, lime juice, and lemonade. Drop a few cucumber slices in and garnish with a basil leaf. If you strike upon a drink you especially like, it's pretty easy to scale it up for your next party. Writing about the book for the Times, last week's Speakeasy guest Robert Simonson explains that "Equal-parts cocktails have long been part of the cocktail canon. Older examples include the corpse reviver No. 2 (gin, Curaçao, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice) and the Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari), arguably the king of this drink subset. Modern classics include the paper plane (bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, lemon juice) and the trident (aquavit, Cynar, dry sherry)." The book's proving popular already; it's already been renewed for a second print run.


5 Oct 2016

Rank #19

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Episode 324: Always on the R(h)um

On today’s episode of @SpeakeasyPodcast were joined by author, spirits educator and, consultant Shannon Mustipher (@ShannonMustipher). We talk about how her early interest in art shaped her desire to work behind the bar. She also shares her thoughts regarding the fundamentals of the craft, finding and cultivating your own voice and of course, r(h)um! Her first book ‘Tiki: Tropical Cocktails’ debuted on March 19 and is available wherever you buy your books. Her book touring schedule can be found at www.ShannonMustipher.com 🔥🔥Join us each week as industry leaders, Damon Boelte and Sother Teague, sit down with a wide range of hospitality and spirits experts from around the world to discuss everything that impacts our business. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: Damon Boelte @DamonBoelte Sother Teague @CreativeDrunk Speakeasy Podcast @SpeakeasyPodcast FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Sother Teague @CreativeDrunk SpeakeasyRadio @SpeakeasyRadio The Speakeasy is powered by Simplecast.


20 Mar 2019

Rank #20