You watch in awe as they carefully craft your cocktail with the precision and speed of a fighter pilot. Dressed to the nines, they barely break a sweat as they muddle, shake and strain to perfection. They are encyclopedias of cocktailia, as they can name every drink from an Aviation to a Zombie Punch. They are bartenders and they are the blood, sweat and tears of the cocktail revolution. So the question we all have is: when they put down the shaker and unstrap the suspenders, what do these superheroes behind the stick actually drink?
The Savory took to the best craft cocktail bars in Los Angeles to talk to some of our favorite, most talented bar chefs to find out just what it is that they order at the bar. Each week we will feature one of the nation’s top bartenders and their drink of choice.
This week’s Savory fave is Matty Taylor. Matty is a transplant from D.C. who carefully crafts drinks at The Village in Studio City, California. Matty is the definition of a “Rock and Roll Bartender”, as talented behind the mic ripping on a guitar as he is behind the bar. Taylor started his cocktail career at the age of 21 in a bar called Bourbon in Washington D.C. and he hasn’t stopped slinging since. When we asked him about the state of cocktails right now, he became truly wistful. “I genuinely enjoy creating a cocktail. I’m amazed at the creation process. It’s like math or science. I love that customers are now respectful of the time you put into their drinks.”
Matty’s philosophy behind the stick? “Keep it clean. Keep it organized. Keep it consistent. I’m a d*ck when it comes to that.” We’ve seen him in action and he isn’t lying. But that makes his drinks that much more enjoyable. Matty just recently revamped the cocktail menu at The Village, a craft cocktail bar and restaurant boasting a celebrity-enticing Mediterranean style “shared plate” menu, along with Taylor’s original cocktails. We asked Matty about his favorite new cocktail on the menu that focuses on refreshing, in season drinks. He’s loving on “The Black Summer”, which sounds as good as it tastes:
The Black Summer
2 oz Bulleit Rye
1 Muddled Black Fig
¾ oz Maple Syrup
Juice from a quarter of an Orange Wedge
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Shake and strain over ice. Orange peel mist and garnish with the peel.
What Does Your Bartender Drink?:
When Matty is on the other side of the bar, he’s ordering up a Bulleit Rye Sazerac. “Made the right way, this is the perfect drink.”
Matty Taylor’s Sazerac Recipe
2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey
1 oz Simple Syrup
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1 dash Absinthe (Rinse in Glass)
Orange Twist for Garnish
Pour dash of absinthe in coupe glass and leave. Combine rye, simple syrup and bitters in a shaker and stir 26 times with ice. Swirl and dump absinthe. Strain into the glass from shaker and garnish with an orange twist.