Distilled: Cocktails and community

By Columbus Alive
From the August 1, 2013 edition

At 24 years old, Logan Demmy is an up-and-coming mixologist who’s already risen to bar manager at Mouton, one of Columbus’ premiere cocktail bars. He’s been creating expertly crafted cocktails for a couple of years, while constantly looking to improve his skills. Hence, Demmy headed down to New Orleans last year for Tales of the Cocktail, a prestigious festival involving everything from in-depth lectures and demonstrations to dinners and tastings all in the name of cocktail education.

Demmy said he took home some knowledge from last year’s event, but when he attended this year as part of the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) the experience was unparalleled. CAP is basically the behind-the-scenes bartenders who put on Tales of tmaking large batch cocktails for the hundreds of attendees to the dozens of events throughout the four-day festival.

“The technical part I learned this year was you can present a quality cocktail to 200 people,” Demmy said. “It requires a lot of planning and people doing infrastructure.”

Education and training is a crucial aspect of CAP — Demmy worked with returning CAP Brad Farran of Brooklyn’s Clover Club, which won 2013 Spirited Awards for World’s Best Cocktail Bar and Best High Volume Bar — but the community spirit is what he’ll always remember. Working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (and often partying until 5 a.m.) with the other CAPs created a “great camaraderie.”

“I have a family of 70 now; I could go to any major city in the U.S. now and have a friend to drink with and crash with,” Demmy said.

Demmy wants to bring that sense of community back to Columbus and foster it with Tales from Tales this Sunday at Mouton. The public event is designed for both bartenders and patrons of the craft cocktail scene to share knowledge and interaction. It begins with a short seminar (and welcome cocktail), followed by some community engagement, and, of course, some more cocktails from Tales.

“Community is paramount to our existence. Columbus is very young and we’ve developed a little bit of community … but developing friendship among bartenders [and customers is important],” Demmy said.

Photo by Meghan Ralston