8 Questions With Cocktail Creator Chris Leavitt @NotJustABartender
Roasty Buds

8 Questions With Cocktail Creator Chris Leavitt @NotJustABartender

Is the Espresso Martini going out of style? How do you come up with new cocktails? We asked Chris Leavitt eight questions about his inspiration, process and future.

How do you drink your coffee in the morning?

Right now I'm obsessing about latte art, so for the foreseeable future I'll be making those when I'm home almost exclusively every morningif I remember to keep milk stocked, at least. Otherwise, a double-shot straight to the dome is a solid back up plan.

How did you get into mixology?

Truthfully, not a big fan of the word “mixology.” However, the progression in my career around understanding drinks and exploring flavors was just a natural combination of my love of perfecting classic recipes and applying culinary techniques I learned working with talented chefs and other bartenders. Staying curious and open-minded leads to interesting roads and rabbit holes.

Favorite aspect of trying new recipes?

Exploring for the sake of understanding. Funny enough, I've likely forgotten more recipes than I currently remember in my head right now. Considering the changing tastes in the landscape of drinks across consumers, that actually works in your favor to just remain flexible to constant discovery (or rediscovery). 

What do you like about coffee cocktails and/or what makes them work?

Considering the amount of people who already enjoy coffee on its own, the extension of adding booze to it was only inevitable given the history of human nature. What I love to see is how people are embracing the attention to sourcing and process around producing amazing beans roasters take knowing the final result will only enhance the drinks they produce, alcoholic or not.

Can the Espresso Martini be too popular?

Maybe one day, but not anytime soon. The Espresso Martini is having a moment right now that feels bigger than the Cosmo, Margarita and Old-Fashioned COMBINED. It's a cocktail that pushed many bars and restaurants in the U.S. to buy or source an espresso machine and finally catch up with Europe. Considering the possibilities of what the Espresso Martini already brings to the expectations and offerings at bars, I'll confidently say nothing will take its spotlight for a long time. 

Talk a bit about why restaurants or bars need premium coffee like the Bartender's Espresso Blend.

Cocktails in general are being picked apart and evaluated at individual ingredient level. Bartenders AND consumers are making choices on QUALITY, and hoping to see the best ingredients possible to maximize value expectation. On average nowadays, cocktails start at $15 or $16 a pop, so the expectations are high.

When it comes to espresso, combined with the insane popularity of the Espresso Martini (and growing popularity of the Carajillo), that choice should also feel intentional and increase the value given to your guests. I believe our blend not only has the quality coffee aficionados would respect, but provides cocktails an exceptional canvas to paint a variety of coffee cocktail masterpieces with.

How hard is it to generate content on a regular basis? Or is it easy/fun?

Depends on the day. Some days I'm really inspired and the act of creating content flows like breathing. Other days, I produce content just for the sake of staying consistent and actively learning despite not feeling as inspired. No matter what, I love the process and sharing my passions.

What's next for you in your career?

Trying to combine my love of bartending with more travel and learning outside my comfort zone, while finding a way to document the journey. I have some exciting plans brewing for the next year that will completely change my life (again). When that next chapter comes to an end, I'd love to pursue my dream of opening up my own cocktail bar and actively be a part of its legacy. 

Not Just A Bartender X Roasty Buds Bartender’s Espresso Blend

Buy a bag of our collab roast. It’s perfectly balanced for great coffee cocktails or just a delicious morning cup.