The Goat will debut its new drink menu, Spirits & Pours, on February 2, so we sat down with Senior General Manager Nate Mathew and bartender extraordinaire Marshall Wine to learn more about the inspiration behind it.
Q: Why create a new drink menu for The Goat?
Nate: The Goat is evolving. We are delivering better experiences, and our service expectations are at an all-time high. It's time for the cocktail offering to catch up. It was such an interesting and creative process, and we had some fun with it. Marshall and I drove the themes, but it was a huge collaboration. Head bartenders Eleni Chiatalas, Megan Schindelar, and Sara Fisher were instrumental in getting this thing right.
Q: Bourbon seems to be a staple - how did you choose which ones to include?
Nate: A lot of tasting, which came with a few morning headaches (but we were willing to make the sacrifice). On a serious note, variety was the theme. We wanted a guest that has never tried bourbon before to be able to find something affordable and easily palatable, like a 1-oz. pour of Buffalo Trace for $5.00. But also, we wanted options for the experienced bourbon drinker that isn't necessarily price conscious, but knows great bourbon when they taste it, like a 2-oz. pour of Blanton's for $14.50. Plus, a little bit of everything in between. I suggest the Eagle Rare Single Barrel - it's my personal favorite!
Q: What's your favorite drink on the new menu?
Nate: After much research and development, I would have to say the Black Walnut Old Fashioned. It's an incredibly balanced cocktail with big bourbon flavor upfront, but finishes with the sweet, maple flavor of the black walnut bitters. The orange express gives a hint of citrus on the nose.
Marshall: The Black Walnut Old Fashioned. This has been a long-time favorite of mine!
Q: What inspired you to use the unique combination of ingredients for each drink?
Marshall: What inspires me to create is simply my guests. I love creating specifically for people, and I feel more of a connection with them when I have the opportunity to tailor something to their tastes. Most of these drinks were, at some point, a random creation for a guest, then modified for the cocktail menu.
Q: You have a lot of experience making handcrafted drinks - how do you come up with new ideas?
Marshall: When coming up with new ideas, I generally try and create at least one new drink per shift. I start by thinking about what recent guests have been asking for, and then I think about the flavor. If someone asks for a Jack and Coke (Jack Daniel's whiskey and Coca-Cola), I might ask them to try the Black Walnut Old Fashioned. It helps those who are a little hesitant try something new, and as a result, helps me continue creating daily for my guests and friends.
Be sure to check out the new Spirits & Pours drink menu at The Goat starting on February 2, and let us know which is your favorite!