Our longtime friends at Milwaukee’s popular cocktail bar Boone & Crockett have shown incredible resilience during the pandemic, pivoting to a variety of cocktails-to-go, from classics like the Brandy Old Fashioned to creative N/A cocktails like Stranger Danger (pineapple juice, orange juice, and ginger beer). Having recently reopened, we can’t wait to get back to Boone & Crockett to enjoy their spacious outdoor patio, hospitable staff, and craft cocktails.
Watch our live session with Boone & Crockett’s Emily Dell Revord on Instagram!
Q: What was it that first got you into cocktails?
Emily Dell Revord: I started out in college as a cocktail waitress and that was really my first introduction into bars and the service industry. It wasn't until I met my future husband, about 12 years ago, that I started to learn more about cocktails. He opened a cocktail bar while we were dating, The Hotel Foster, and then opened Boone & Crockett a couple years later where I started bartending and really learning cocktail lingo and how to read a recipe as well as make fun creations. I learned so much just by practicing and making mistakes.
Q: What new cocktail discoveries are you exploring right now?
EDR: Upon our reopen at Boone & Crockett, we are taking an introspective look into what's worked for us in the past and are making an effort to go back to our classic cocktail roots and feature as many local companies as possible, knowing what a great impact that can have post-Covid. We are lucky to have so many creative and wonderful people in our industry, and working together will bring new and fun cocktails to our patrons.
Q: Why do you think people at home might be intimidated by making cocktails?
EDR: I think people at home are intimidated - just like I was back before I worked as a bartender - mostly because they don't know the terms or have the "correct" tools. Because of the pandemic, Boone & Crockett now offers cocktail kits that our friends can take and drink at home. While we do premix the cocktail, the person does have to measure and stir or shake the cocktail which allows for that feeling of creation. A lot of times, people at home can use common household items to mix a cocktail and don't need all the fancy tools you may see at our bar. Don't have a shaker tin? Use a mason jar with a lid! Don't own a cocktail spoon? Use a regular old spoon. You don't need to think too hard or worry if it's perfect. Some of the best cocktails are made by accident.
Q: What are some of your favorite cocktails to make at home?
EDR: Honestly, I don't drink too much at home but if I do, I keep it pretty simple with vodka or gin and flavored sparkling water. If I'm having guests over, we usually stick to Old Fashioneds and my all-time favorite, the Negroni. It's easy to keep a few staples in your home bar to be able to mix up the classics.
Q: What do you take to a party?
EDR: One day, when we can go to parties again, I will bring some of our Old Fashioned mix with all the fixings for our friends to enjoy. It's really fun to batch out a cocktail and show friends how to build it.
Q: Where do you think the cocktail and bar industry is headed?
EDR: It will be interesting to see how things change after this pandemic is over. Our industry has been through the wringer and we've had to be creative in how we offer our services to the public as well as stay relevant while being closed. I think we may see bars and restaurants continue to offer take-home cocktail kits and utilize social media in a way to reach people beyond our doors. While I'm looking forward to seeing our regulars back in person, it may take a while to get back to normal, which is why we will continue to have this mixed platform of in-person, take-away, and social media activity.
Q: What has the pandemic taught you?
EDR: I think the biggest takeaway for me is: don't take anything for granted. We've all been through so much over the last year and Covid has really shown us that things can change on a dime. Appreciate what you have and learn to pivot and grow if your norm is taken away. The other main lesson I've found is: take time for yourself. Before Covid, we were constantly on the go and the lockdown forced us to slow down. The silver lining of this pandemic is the amount of time I've gotten to spend at home and with my family. I'd like to carry that on past our reopen and look for the moments I can take for me.
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