What's shaking on the show?

Drink in some boozy banter while being served up righteous recipes to extraordinary cocktails. Choose an episode, or choose them all, and quench your thirst for craft cocktails. Interested in being on the show? Well, we'd love to hear from you.

Designated Drinker :: Simon Ford

epi 96 :: Simon Ford :: CEO :: FORDS GIN

Meet Simon Ford. CEO of Fords Gin. The Jedi Master of Juniper. The bartender’s bartender. Or for those who really think they know him, Mr. Fords Gin. No matter what you call him, he is as charming as he is successful and makes for the perfect afternoon cocktail muse.

Simon set out to make the quintessential gin and that is exactly what you find in Fords Gin. It’s juniper-forward with notes of citrus, sweet spices and florals, making it the perfect jack-of-all-trades gin needed in classic cocktails. What’s Simon’s recipe for success? It’s a 3:1 ratio of persistence to innovation, a dash of charm and always finished with a twist of humor.

Designated Drinker :: Chris Patino

epi 95 :: Chris Patino :: Co-owner :: Raised by Wolves & Simple Serve

Chris has a lot to brag about. His wildly successful craft cocktail bar, Raised By Wolves, was named Imbibe Magazine’s “Cocktail Bar of the Year 2019,” and Esquire declares them as one of “The Best Bars in America, 2019.” As if that wasn’t impressive enough, it is one of the only venues in the U.S. that combines a bar and a fine spirits retail operation under one roof. Oh, and don’t even get us started on about Chris’ amazing head of locks.

When Chris isn’t gallivanting across the globe inspiring and empowering bartenders, he is focusing on Simple Serve, a trade-focused marketing agency, and Bartender’s Weekend in San Diego, an annual event he founded with his business partner and long-time friend, Erick Castro. Damn, Chris is one busy dude. Cheers to him.

Designate Drinker :: Zak Miller

epi 94 :: Zak MIller :: Baking & Pastry Instructor :: New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI)

Like Zak, some people are just natural mentors. They live to share knowledge, invest in other’s growth and find fulfillment in seeing them excel. Those who have had the privilege to work with, and learn from, Zak are the proof in that pudding, so to speak.

Before he signed on at NOCHI, Zak was an instructor at the prestigious Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park New York. And before heading into the world of academia, he was whipping up his pastry delights at numerous award-winning restaurants and hotels across the country. Some had stars and others had diamonds, but none came with as much brass as 1600 Pennsylvania. Yep, that’s right. Zak had the honor of serving as guest chef at the White House. Now that just takes the cake.

Designated Drinker :: Anne Louise Marquis

epi 93 :: Anne Louise Marquis :: National Portfolio Brand Ambassador :: Campari America

Anne Louise is a true breath of fresh air. She’s magnetic. She’s charming. And she creates brand experiences for the entire Campari America portfolio that makes us fall in love with a liquid, as well as her. She definitely stole the show, and our hearts, all without effort.

Anne Louise is proof life is wonderful journey. It's about being open to change, embracing who you are and going after what you want. And you must never forget that life indeed is a journey, not a destination. Even if you are clown school reject.

Designated Ddrinker :: Derek Brown

epi 92 :: Derek Brown :: President :: Drink Company

Derek’s passion for history and making cocktails intersect in his recently released book, “Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World.” As a self-proclaimed “history buff,” he takes us on a journey through American history by way of the cocktail's birth, rise, fall, and eventual resurrection which makes us oh so thirsty (and smarter, too).

As a leader in the classic cocktail movement, he is truly a guru on the history and culture of spirits and drinks. Derek travels the world teaching seminars on the importance of alcohol and how it has helped shape our society. He is also a co-owner of Drink Company which is the force behind the award-winning Columbia Room and PUB, a rotating pop-up bar that acts as the backdrop for their thematic concepts such as Miracle on 7th Street, Cherry Blossom, Game of Thrones and currently, Levels Unlocked. Oh, what fun!

Designated Drinkern :: Sebastien Derbomez

EPI 91 :: Sebastien Derbomez :: National Brand Ambassador :: Hendrick’s GIN

Over 14 years ago in a bar in London, Seb’s career in the beverage industry started off with making a drink for none other than Bruce Willis. Talk about jumping into the deep end of the pool! Of course, this was just one of many cocktails he would serve up in some of the swankiest bars found throughout the world.

Now, as he heads up the U.S. Hendrick’s Gin team of brand ambassadors, he’s bringing the unusual and curious Hendrick’s Gin brand world to life and introducing their newest additions to their unique line-up of gins, Midsummer Solstice and Orbium. Just when we thought their gin couldn’t get any better, they prove us wrong. How lucky are we?

Designated Drinker :: Bob Romero :: Gentleman Farmer :: Three Brothers Farm

Ei 90 :: Bob Romero :: Gentleman Farmer :: Three Brothers Farm

Talk about a sweet episode (it just had to be said). Bob is a true character and gentleman of many sorts. He sits down to tell us what it means to be a gentleman farmer and how the way Three Brothers Farm farms makes for a superior sugar that is as delicious, as it is good for the environment.

Bob's sugar and syrup are found in many a restaurant and behind numerous bars and we are lucky for it.

Designated Drinker :: Lauren Mysercough :: Cocktail & Sons

epi 89 :: Lauren Mysercough :: Cofounder/CEO :: Cocktail & Sons

From practicing law to slinging drinks at dive bars to crafting cocktails for Michelin star bars to being featured in Garden & Gun, Lauren’s path that led her to create magical elixirs for the at-home bartender is quite the journey.

Over the years, Cocktail & Sons have concocted recipes for a line of all-natural and handcrafted syrups designed for classic cocktails: Old Fashioned, Daiquiri, Mojito, Tom Collins, Margarita, Gimlet, as well as any new fangled modern cocktail you might want to whip up. We think Lauren is as delightful as her syrups!


Sal Sunseri :: Co-Owner :: P & J Oyster Company

Sal is the definition of southern charm. He is the co-owner of the oldest business of its kind in the America, New Orlean’s P&J Oyster Company. It began thousands of miles from the shores of the United States along the coast of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas. Obviously, the story behind his 144-year old family-owned business is as intriguing as is Sal’s southern accent. His family’s journey is one of determination, hard work and a true American success story. 

Of course, Sal isn’t all work. He’s one of the founders of the New Orleans Oyster Festival. It’s a 2-day extravaganza featuring some of the best oysters in the city, live music and vendors of all sorts. Think you’re ready to put your skills to the test and join some of the best oyster shuckers in the world? Then sign-up to see how many oysters you can shuck in 2 minutes. Are you more of a lover than a shucker? Then join the oyster eating contest to see how many you can put away in under 8 minutes. We haven’t been yet but it’s on next year’s calendar, for sure!

Designated Drinkers :: Andrew Clancey & Laura Citron

Andrew Clancey & Laura Citron :: Fashion Designers

Two fashion designers walk into a bar. Their eyes meet.They fall in love. And the rest, they say, is history. Andrew and Laura met by chance but their love for each other and fashion definitely are not. From dressing celebrities to re-imagining vintage fashions, they each have their own since of style but both create true works of art.

Their journeys brought them together and relocated them from NYC to the fertile grounds of Nashville. Funny how fate works. There, they have opened a joint showroom for Any Old Iron & Laura Citron, so you too can don their unique masterpieces. They are definitely ahead of the curve in fashion and shine even brighter than Andrew's sequin empire.

Designated Drinker :: Jodie Mclean

Epi 86 :: Jodie McLean :: Chief Executive Officer :: EDENS

Yes. Jodie McLean is Chief Executive Officer of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate but she’s so much more: inspiring, driven, compassionate, a community builder, a believer in the value of human connections and the leading force behind the ever-growing Union Market.


She’s spent over 25 years establishing herself as a key player in the growth of EDENS and has helped them to become a leader in the marketplace with assets valued at $6.5 billion. She is an inspiration for many, especially women, both young and old. How lucky were we that she could spare a bit time and her story with us? Cheers to leading by example!

Designated Drinkers :: JennCarroll & BillyRiddle

Epi 85 :: Jennifer Carroll & Billy Riddle :: Chefs & Co-Owners :: Carroll Couture Cuisine & Spice Finch

Meet Top Chef, Jenn Carroll and her partner in crime, and in life, Billy Riddle. He’s the salt to her pepper. And she’s the cinnamon to his sugar, so with these two chefs in the kitchen, it makes for the perfect combination. Funny what love can do.

Want to find out for your self? Listen to this episode and then check out Spice Finch in Philadelphia or hire them to wow your parties, big and small, at Carroll Couture Cuisine.

Designated Drinker :: Sarah McLaughlin :: Sarah Cecelia Jewelry & Metal Goods

epi 84 :: Sarah McLaughlin :: Owner/Designer :: Sarah Cecelia Jewelry & Metal Goods

Jewelry making is her craft and metal is her medium. Meet Designated Drinker, Sarah McLaughlin. Metal may not have been her first love, but fortunately, it finally found its way into her heart. And now, with each one of her beautiful pieces, you see her delicate touch and artistic strength perfectly balanced to produce a true piece of art. Fortunately for all of us, we can call one, or many, our very own.

Designated Drinker :: Adam Bernbach

epi 83 :: Adam Bernbach :: Bar Director :: Estadio

If you’re looking for talent, innovation and tenacity in a glass, look no further. Adam is your man. Early on, he found inspiration that has influenced him throughout his career and the cocktail scene is better for it. Currently, his focus is on crafting not just any ol’ G&T. Oh, no. He’s blazing a whole new trail with his game-changing house-made tonics at Estadio in the heart of DC. Oh…and he has dirt on Gina, so who better to have as a Designated Drinker?

Designated Drinker :: Samy Kobrosly

epi 82 :: Samy Kobrosly :: Chief Snack Bagger & Co-Founder :: Snacklins

Samy Kobrosly is our bliss point for crunch! His intoxicated concept for a vegan pork rind has proven to be a pure stroke of genius. Since 2016, his 80-calorie delicious guilt-free crunchy puffs of goodness have taken the snack world by storm. Samy is right when he says Snacklins have made those little mundane moments of life a whole lot more flavorful, which is exactly what he did to this episode.

Designated Drinker :: Maggie O'Neil

EPI 81 :: Maggie O’Neill :: Artist, Designer & Co-Founder ::  Swatchroom

Maggie is a creative genius that is as vibrant and thoughtful as her amazing artwork. Whether she’s painting individual art pieces that grace only the most fortunate of walls, transforming commercial spaces into unique creative expressions or giving back through all her charitable works, she is truly a force of pure inspiration. 

Fortunately, you too can add some of her brilliance to your world and brighten someone else’s in the process. With each purchase from her “prints that #giveback” collection, she donates money to a selected charity. She defines the meaning of “work of art.”

Designated Drinker :: Peter Chang

EPI 80 :: Peter Chang :: Co-Founder :: No Kings Collective

Peter claims the district as his home.

Art as his world.

And hustle as his method.

Along with his business partner, Brandon Hill, they describe themselves as two knuckle headed, art dudes that run a local agency and artist collective. They work with tons of the area’s up-and-coming and established artists, businesses and organizations to create pop-up exhibitions, murals, and a million other things, all promoting art in the nation’s capital. We just call them the perfect combination of talent and determination to change the world. And we're luckier for it.

You’re definitely gonna want to check them out and follow them on IG to see their amazing works of art.

Designated Drinker :: Neil Dundee

Epi 79 :: Neil Dundee :: Area Director :: Boqueria

Meet Gina’s heart throb. Her main squeeze. Her real partner in crime, Neil Dundee. He’s the Area Director of Boqueria and a true master of ceremony. He stresses the importance of good service and implements a leadership style that insures an amazing dining experience. Join us as he shares his insights and a few juicy stories about what it takes to be a front of the house success in the F&B industry. They are lessons we all can learn from, that’s for sure.

Oh, and we also get a few more juicy stories on how the “Gina & Neil Show” really began. ❤️❤️❤️

Designated Drinker :: Fiona Lewis

epi 78 :: Fiano Lewis :: Fishmonger and Owner :: The District Fishwife

fish·wife /ˈfiSHˌwīf/

1. a coarse-mannered woman who is prone to shouting.

2. a woman who sells fish.

Fiona proudly stands by both of those definitions and wears them well. Literally. It’s printed across every uniform shirt of her family-owned small business, The District Fishwife. With a shared passion for all things aquatic, she and her husband have created a premier source offering the freshest and most sustainable seafood. And all the while, they stay committed to promoting the importance of healthy and abundant oceans for future generations. Now that’s worth toasting!E

Designated Drinker :: Nycci Nellis

Epi 77 :: Nycci Nellis :: Publisher of TheListAreYouOnIt.com :: Co-Host of Foodie And The Beast & Industry Night

As one of the DC area’s best known sources for all things food and wine, Nycci sits atop a small dining out/going out media empire. As the founder and publisher of TheListAreYouOnIt.com, she keeps us in the know of the area’s restaurant, bar and party scenes.

You can also find her co-hosting Foodie and the Beast with her husband Dave. Weekly, they host a live food and wine variety show that features a great mix of guests. Their list of “who’s who” include celebrated chefs, mixologists, brewmasters, winemakers, food journalists, authors and many more. And hopefully soon, a couple of co-hosts of a little podcast called, Designated Drinker Show.

Designated Drinker :: Nate Anda

EPI 76 :: Nathan Anda :: Executive Chef and Butcher :: Red Apron

Meet Nate. He’s a man who is serious about meat. Seriously, serious about meat. We had a great time hanging out, sipping some cocktails and talking meat with Nate Anda, the master butcher and executive chef of Red Apron.

Nate is an artist. He handcrafts artisanal meats and charcuterie using only locally sourced whole animals from small-batch producers. His philosophy is driven by an inflexible commitment to using only the finest all-natural, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely and sustainably raised beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Like we said. He’s seriously serious about his meats. 

Designated Drinker :: Riley Sheehey

episode 75 :: Riley Sheehey :: Artist / Illustrator

 Riley’s artwork is a lot like one of Gina’s cocktails. It’s a little sweet. Very thoughtful. A bit poetic and yet, delightfully whimsical. Don’t believe us, take a peek for yourself.

But don’t be fooled, she’s ain’t all suga’. Because anyone who has taken on the challenges of teaching elementary school kids has to have a whole lotta moxie, too. In our books, she’s right down the middle of a perfectly balanced flavor profile!

Designated Drinker :: LynetteMarrero

episode 74 :: Lynnette Marrero :: Co-Founder :: Speed Rack



Co-Founder of “Speed Rack.”

Lynette is widely regarded as one of the foremost talented mixologists in the industry. From the beginning, she’s been breaking the glass ceiling and making room for her fellow female bartenders to excel. In 2011, she co-founded "Speed Rack," a national cocktail competition for female bartenders that annually donates $100,000 to breast cancer charities. With a goal to promote female bartenders and distillers while supporting women's-based charities with a women-only cocktail competition, we are honored to support their efforts and offer a toast to their success.

Designated Drinker :: Paul Friedman

Episode 73 :: Paul Friedman :: Executive Director :: Safer Country

Paul Friedman is a man with a mission. And a tough mission, at that. He is focusing on one of our nation’s most controversial issues, gun control. For the last 2 years, he was the Exe Director of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, a non-profit created by families of the victims and survivors of the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting tragedy.

And considering, as a nation, we still face many system-fails within our current background check systems, he has recently shifted his direction and established a new non-profit, Safer Country. His goals appear to be simple–get the names of prohibited persons into the gun background check system and prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands–but unfortunately, the task is not.

So, join us as we sit down with Paul and learn more about the current state-of-affairs and how we can all try to prevent more senseless-acts of violence.

Designated Drinker :: Francine Cohen

Episode 72 :: Francine Cohen :: Writer/Editor :: Founder, Inside F&B INK

Award-winning journalist. Compelling story teller. A woman about town, for sure. Francine definitely is a gal after our own hearts.

At the ripe old age of 2-years-old, her refined palette was already being established as she regularly dined on escargot, followed by a Napolean for dessert. Most likely, this was beginning of her great love affair with the hospitality industry which propelled her on a journey that put her in the middle of food and beverage industry.

And now, she’s championing the efforts of the Women’s Cocktail Collective, an organization built on the collaboration of 10 leading female spirits producers, who have come together to elevate the voices of women in their shared industry. Yes, it is true, there is strength in numbers. So, join the effort.  E

Victoria Vergason.jpg

EPISODE 71 :: Victoria Vergason :: Author of Capitol Cocktails :: Owner of The Hour Shop

Victoria turned her life-long vintage barware and glassware obsession into the very successful retail shop, The Hour. As you peruse the store, one can’t help but to be inspired by the unique styles and artistry of 20th Century barware that lines the shelves. It’s like taking a trip through the cocktail time line.

Can’t make the trip to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia? Not to worry. Victoria brings The Hour experience to you through her Neiman Marcus store pop-ups and if you still can’t find her in your zip code, just head to TheHourShop.com. She recently launched, The Modern Home Bar, which offers mid-century inspired barware and glassware that is sure to complement any home bar.

What’s better than a well-crafted glass? A well-crafted glass filled with a well-crafted cocktail. Try Gina’s cocktail that is featured in Victoria’s first book, “Capitol Cocktail,” that explores the DC area cocktail scene and showcases some of the best drink recipes being offered by local masters.  

Allison Evanow :: Founder & CEO :: Square One Organic Spirits

EPISODE 70 :: Allison Evanow :: Founder & CEO :: Square One Organic Spirits

In 2004, Allison founded Square One Organic Spirit. She was not just one of the first women to start and fund her own spirits company, she truly helped pioneer and shape the organic spirits industry as we know it today. She is definitely a superhero in our book.

All of Square One’s products are made from 100% certified organic rye, that is sourced in Montana and distilled in Idaho. Their organic distillation process uses only natural botanicals to infuse the complex profiles, making their spirits perfect for crafting cocktails. They truly transcend the typical flavored vodka category and prefer to be called “botanical spirits.” We just call them delicious.

Designated Drinker :: Eileen Whelan

episode 69 :: Eileen Whelan :: StormWatch7 Meteorologist & Good Morning Washington Anchor

Who better to sit back with, talk about the weather with, and have a cocktail with than Eileen Whelan? She’s a self-proclaimed weather enthusiast and has been since the age of 6 years. As a child, she kept a vigilant eye on the weather so she could keep her father, a commercial roofing contractor, up-to-date with all the current weather conditions. Making her the O.G. of weather apps.

Her passion for weather never diminished and in true “over-achiever” fashion, she double-majored in Earth & Atmospheric Science and Mass Media. A perfect storm to help create the StormWatcher she’d later become.

To catch Eileen in action, tune-in to Good Morning Washington or as she travels across the DC viewing area in the ABC7s Storm Chaser Hummer providing live weather.

Designated Drinker :: Beth Shapiro

Episode 68 :: Beth Shapiro :: Executive Director :: Citymeals on Wheels

Beth is truly uplifting & challenges us to think well beyond ourselves. As the Exe Dir of Citymeals on Wheels, she works hard to keep the needs of homebound elderly top of mind. Thanks to her astute leadership, the organization has seen more than a 50% increase in volunteer support & increased meals served up 10%. She's launched several initiatives to include Chefs Deliver, which takes some of the city’s best chefs  out to deliver specially prepared meals to their frail aging NYC neighbors. Inspired, yet?

Elizabeth Falkner 360.jpg

Episode 67 :: Elizabeth Falkner :: Chef :: Author :: Artist

Avant-garde film maker turned chef, Elizabeth Falkner was many talents. Whether it’s her approach in the kitchen or her live art performances, the key ingredients are always creativity, imagination and a dash of the extraordinary.

She has competed on Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs as well as, The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. And if when you were in San Fran, and dined at Citizen Cake or Orson Restaurant, then you know just how incredibly talented she is in the kitchen. Or maybe you were lucky enough to grab a bit of nosh at Krescendo, a Southern Italian restaurant she opened New York City. If not, not to worry. You can try your hand at some of her delicious recipes, because Elizabeth also authored, “Demolition Desserts” and “Cooking Off the Clock.”

To help end childhood hunger in America, Elizabeth’s preparing for “Chefs Cycle,” a 300-mile-in-3-days bike ride. To support her in this honorable endeavor, or any other chef pedaling for such a great cause, please donate here

And if that’s not enough. Elizabeth is also the President of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, which is an association for the advancement of women across the culinary industry.

thirsty for more?