Shaken, stirred, strained and served — guests get a taste of mixology magic at Shaken & Stirred, Savor Dallas 2017’s ultimate cocktail party. Master mixologist Brian Floyd of Sourced Craft Cocktails and his team are shaking things up at each of the Savor Dallas events, but their presence will be most evident at the spirit-driven soirée on April 7.
Floyd’s one-of-a-kind menu features all the RNDC spirits, carefully concocted to get a perfect blend that goes down as smooth as the entire Shaken & Stirred experience.
Each handcrafted cocktail is as unique as the designer behind it, and, just like our mix master, each comes with its own story. To get to know the stories behind the “chefs of cocktails,” we asked Floyd about his mixology inspiration and cocktail creations, among other topics. His answers match his style — straight up, with a twist.
What are three cocktails everyone should know how to make?
- Old Fashioned
- Tom Collins
- Classic Daiquiri
You could live a long, happy life on only these three drinks. And if you know the techniques to make these three drinks properly, you can make 85 percent of the cocktails throughout history.
Where do you find inspiration when creating cocktails?
I love how simple flavors in cuisine can pair so well, and I try to apply them where applicable to cocktails.
Example: I love bourbon pecan pie. So I reversed it and made a Texas Pecan Old Fashioned, sweetened with a dark vanilla corn syrup (like you’d make a pecan pie with!), along with chicory and pecan bitters. It’s not sweet, but a sip will absolutely remind you of those complementary flavors.
What is your cocktail-making style?
I like to be approachable and casual and execute my drinks at the highest level possible while allowing people feel comfortable and carefree. It’s about a pleasant experience. I have no time for pretense.
Sweet or spicy?
Both. I reduce fresh pineapple juice with peppers from a buddy’s backyard and add that to a tequila gimlet. Sweet and spicy! Damn fine.
Most unusual cocktail you’ve ever created.
Well, I had to make elevated craft cocktails with all the Redbull flavors for a SXSW party, and that was challenging. I was also enlisted to make a cocktail with Bulleit Bourbon and Guinness Extra Stout for a SXSW podcast. Certain flavors are great on their own but have to be coaxed to play well with others.
If you could make a drink for any celebrity, who would it be and why?
I made a cocktail called The Allnighter for Wyclef Jean on a podcast this week, and he grabbed his guitar and immediately improvised a song about it. That was cool. He was a really engaging and thoughtful dude. He has been working on the tech side of the music industry for a while.
What’s the next trend in mixology?
Trends come and go, but the bread and butter of the mixology world is surprisingly consistent. Old Fashioneds don’t go out of style. People who don’t drink a lot will always order vodka. But the craft cocktail knowledge is starting to trickle down. You can get good spirits and good cocktails in neighborhood bars now. Once people experience excellent cocktails, it’s really hard to go back to drinking bad drinks.
That said, there are two things I have noticed lately: The gender stereotypes of liquor are fading. Lots of women drink bourbon and scotch; lots of men drink vodka and champagne cocktails. Interest in agave spirits is at an all-time high.
Where can we find you when you’re not behind a bar?
Hanging with my pups and my niece. Or riding my Harley. Or sitting at The Standard Pour or Parliament — if it’s early in the week.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Savor Dallas events)?
I’m a barman, so I’m excited about the food! Man, I’m excited about the food — and seeing what Dallas has to show off.
Take our word for it: One night of Floyd’s mixed masterpieces isn’t enough. Fortunately, they’ll also be shaking and serving at the mixology bar on Opening Night, at the Grand Tasting and at Community Brunch.
Shaken & Stirred is from 7 to 10 PM Friday, April 7, at Happiest Hour. Tickets are available now for each of the individual Savor Dallas 2017 events, or you can purchase an all-inclusive weekend pass. First time at Savor Dallas? Click here to find out what to expect.