Podcast

Expert Bartender Yili Describes 15 Years In The Whisky…

Gavin welcomes Yili Ferati to his show and the two discuss Yili’s passion project with whiskey. Yili reveals that he has been bartending for 15 years and got thrown into the role when one of their bartenders had to be let go. He then explains how he found his passion in whiskey and has since become Alaska’s number one whiskey bar, with recognition from the Bourbon Reviewer’s Top 100 and Whiskey Advocate. He credits his success to his father’s philosophy and the bar’s name is Fiori di Italia. Fifteen years ago, whiskey was limited to the usual suspects and there was not much action in the whiskey scene.

This conversation discusses the whiskey-drinking culture in the early 2000s. They mention that Jack Daniels and Jim Beam were the most popular whiskeys and that Makers Mark was a more expensive option. They talk about single malt scotches being popular, such as Glenlevitt, Glenmorangie, and Balvenny McAllen. They then discuss whiskey cocktails and how rye was the most popular with bartenders early on. They mention that McAllen was not as popular 15 years ago as it is today, with only 12-15 stills. Finally, they mention that most people were drinking whiskey on the rocks, rather than neat.

The conversation discusses the evolution of cocktails from 20 years ago to the present day. The speaker and the listener both recall a time when there were only 4 standard cocktails, and the speaker remembers when mojitos came on the market and it was a pain to make. Now the speaker makes at least 100 Old Fashioneds every night and attributes the popularity of this classic cocktail to the show Mad Men. The listener mentions the large cubes of ice and maraschino cherries that are now popular and the speaker comments that they make their own housemade cherries instead. They then discuss the increase in the price of cocktails, as people now want more expensive spirits such as Wilderness Trail Rye or Rabbit Hole Rye. The conversation concludes with the listener noting that money is no longer an issue and people will pay whatever for their spirits.

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