Strange things happen when people enter airports. Manners fly out the window, any concept of time and space evaporates, and it seems like anything goes on the drinking front. But what about the fine folks serving up endless Bloody Marys and Martinis for thirsty travelers? What’s it like running a high-end bar program in a space where all other areas of the industry seem to be forgotten, from distributors and brand reps to award-giving organizations?
Lackluster cocktails are tolerated — sometimes even expected — in these settings, but why?
Sure, there’s no 50-best list for airport bars yet, but every day we learn more about how these bars aren’t all as cookie-cutter as the average drinker may think.
Taking us behind the curtain and into the intriguing world of airport bartending is New York’s Steven Ferreira. For seven formative years, Steven worked at and ran a fast-paced bar at JFK, breaking the mold by squeezing fresh citrus and making proprietary syrups. Also along for the ride on this special episode is returning guest, discerning drinker, and seasoned traveler Kelvin Uffre, who previously joined us for a memorable discussion on the Cuba Libre. It’s tales of frequent-flier bar regulars, the dawn of the Espresso Martini, and a deep dive into the Dominican amaro known as mamajuana. It’s all right here on the “Cocktail College” podcast. Tune in for more.