Local duo offers adventurous entertainers a chance to be trained by experts while providing a memorable, intimate event.
There’s nothing like having a professional bartender on hand to mix your cocktails at home. One of Manifesto’s esteemed bartenders since its inception, Beau Williams asked about my cocktail preferences in advance and I placed several bottles of wine and limoncello on the countertop. Wearing a jaunty vest and tie, he carried a large plastic bucket full of cocktail-making essentials and got to work within minutes. I was about to get a taste of Hawthorne & Julep Cocktail Club.
Williams crafted a very dry margarita using fresh lime juice, orange curaçao, tequila Blanco and a little salt, tempered with a bit of agave nectar. Then, he mixed up a refreshing riff on a daiquiri using limoncello, lime juice, sugar and white rum (See recipe below). He ended his brief demonstration with a mildly sweet virgin cocktail that paired freshly muddled peach with sugar, lemon and a hit of soda water.
The brainchild of business and life partners, Beau Williams and Keely Edgington, their thriving company was named for two strainers that are quintessential with making cocktails. The couple offers private bartending classes in people’s homes for one person or dozens of guests. The average class lasts about two hours and each participant receives a cocktail kit with several essential tools. “It’s a good time,” Williams says. “It’s almost like having a personal bartender for a few hours.”
Williams and Edgington also consult with restaurants, bars and other businesses such as Dark Horse Distillery, and they’ll even help individuals create the perfect at-home bar. Word-of-mouth, their Facebook and Twitter pages and website have fueled their popularity. Williams also writes for a friend’s blog—Feed Me KC.
In fact, Hawthorne & Julep Cocktail Club has become so successful that the pair will open a high-end whiskey bar in spring 2014. Called Julep, it will occupy a space in the Port Fonda building.
After 12 years of bartending Williams says he is picky about cocktails. He makes his own simple syrups and likes to show people more original recipes such as the dry margarita. “But you [still] want something that tastes good,” he says. “I think a lot of people get intimidated by [mixing cocktails] and there are so many different recipes out there. But people may not want to do everything it takes to make a classic cocktail.”