West Coast Cocktail Project Launch Party

The cocktail has a long and storied history since it was defined in 1806 as a “stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” The popularity of cocktails has ebbed and flowed since the Prohibition Era and much information about cocktail culture–particularly who was doing what and when–went undocumented. As a result, myths have evolved about drink inventions, drinking habits, popular trends, and training methods, which have been perpetuated in recent years.

ROHO is developing a new project on the legacy of the West Coast craft cocktail.Our project will document the legacy of the West Coast craft cocktail through a series of interviews with key bar owners, bartenders, craft distillers, and cocktail historians. Interviews will focus on themes of community, gender, ethnicity, labor, myth-making, storytelling, the dissemination of information, geography, the role of California cuisine, craft and artisanal culture, popular culture, bartender/customer relationships, and the perception of bartending as a respected profession. Our esteemed project advisors include bartender extraordinaire Dale DeGroff, cocktail historian and journalist David Wondrich, and PUNCH co-founders Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau. (We also want to thank our friends at Prizefighter for their help.)

We’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 through Indiegogo, which will run until Thursday, July 10. The funds that we raise will go to paying for these interviews. We hope to interview at least thirty people and once the campaign is complete we’ll begin by interviewing Jorg Rupf of St. George Spirits, Murray Stenson of Elysian Bar, Thad Vogler of Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, Julio Bermejo of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, and Mike Buhen of Tiki Ti.

We’ll be holding a launch party to celebrate the start of the campaign on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 at East Bay Spice Company from 5:30 – 7:30pm. There will be West Coast cocktail specials, we’ll be playing clips from our pilot interviews, and Shanna Farrell will be saying a few words about the project. We hope that you can join us!

Here’s the information:

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

at East Bay Spice Company

2134 Oxford Street,

Berkeley, CA

from 5:30 – 7:30pm.