In This Together: A Q&A With Kurt Schrader, Sazzy B

Anchored between Chicago and Milwaukee, Kenosha, Wisconsin’s Sazzy B has food and drink programs to rival the best in both neighboring big cities. The unassuming bar & restaurant plays host to a staff of seasoned professionals serving up an eclectic food menu, craft cocktails, and even live music (hello, Jazz & Martini Mondays!). If a coffeehouse vibe is more your speed, pop in next door to The Buzz, a cozy cafe and retail space serving up breakfast, lunch, beer, wine, and some of the most creative coffee specials around.

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Sazzy B and The Buzz’s general manager, Kurt Schrader, live on Highballs at High Noon. Be sure to watch our conversation on Instagram and stay tuned for a tutorial of Sazzy B’s seasonal tonic special featuring Top Note Indian Tonic Water.

Download the free Highballs at High Noon E-Book here!
Photo credit: Visit Kenosha

Q: What was it that first got you into cocktails?

Kurt Schrader: Watching people socialize. I was an only child to young parents. I watched at different social events how people handled the room. How everyone had “their” drink or people would bring something new and watch how the room reacted. Pair that with beginning to work in the service industry at 16 and I was hooked.

Q: What new cocktail discoveries are you exploring right now?

KS: Minimal waste, “snout to tail” approach. Seasonal infusions, syrups like oleo saccharums, tinctures, shrubs, natural fermentation.

Q: Why do you think people at home might be intimidated by making cocktails?

KS: It’s tough to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and people like what they like, but I do enjoy peeling the veil off and showing that behind the magic of a night out at Sazzy B that at the end of the day we’re just putting hooch in a glass and you can too!

Q: What are some of your favorite cocktails to make at home?

KS: Mezcal Highballs, Rum Negronis, Gin and Sodas.

Q: What do you take to a party?

KS: Amaro, scotch, food, pre-roll.

Q: Where do you think the cocktail and bar industry is headed?

KS: Exploring the world outside of flavored vodkas and happy hours. I feel people are gravitating towards original concepts executed well, not how much for how little, although specials, incentives, and events are staples in the industry.

Q: What has the pandemic taught you?

KS: Being quick on your feet and willing to adjust and to continue to be a compassionate human. We’re all going through some stuff, and we are all in this together. Give people the time and space to do so and make yourself available to serve delicious food and beverages!

Photo credit: Visit Kenosha

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