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 :: Paul Friedman

EPISODE 74 :: 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 75 :: 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.  

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EPISODE 72 :: 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 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?

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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.


episode 66 :: Naren Young :: Creative Director and Barkeep :: Dante

We sit down with Naren Young, the creative genius behind 1 of the top 50 bars in the world. As we tip back a few of his tasty cocktails, he shares the method behind his madness in creating his delicious concoctions and gives us a sneak peek of what he has “cooking up” next at Dante.

So, the next time you’re in Greenwich Village, stop by and stay for a while. In the meantime, try your hand at making a Naren-style “fluffy OJ” Garibaldi. You’ll be glad you did.

There was nothing difficult about spending a day with Naren at Dante.

Designated Drinker Show :: Get Bar Ready

Episode 63 & 64 :: New series :: get bar ready

In our special series, "Get Bar Ready," Gina gives us the how-to’s to get our at-home bars in tip-top shape. Having the essentials, creating your own ingredients and knowing how (and how long) to keep them, is key to crafting delicious cocktails. So, on each GBR episode, she'll give us the step-by-step instructions we need to become the master of own bar. 

Designated Drinker :: Jay Vilar :: Nutritional Therapist Practitioner :: Nourish

episode 62 :: Jay Vilar :: Nutritional Therapist Practitioner :: Nourish

Talk about shape-shifting. When Jay went from corporate executive to nutritional therapist, he may have given up the comforts and prestige that came with that corporate world but what he gained by following his passions into natural health healing and nutritional education is immeasurable.

As founder of Nourish, a nutritional therapy company, his mission is to educate the WORLD on how to heal and optimize the body with food and lifestyle. Considering he sat down with Gina and Louise proves just how determined he is to make it happen.

Yes, the key to life may be found in moderation, but not when it comes to boozy banter and Gina’s delicious cocktail recipes.

Deisgnated Drinker :: Todd Thrasher :: Owner/Distiller :: Tiki TNT & Potomac Distilling Co.

Episode 61A & B :: Todd Thrasher :: Owner/Distiller :: Tiki TNT & Potomac Distilling Company

Todd has a long history of building bars and creating exceptional cocktail menus but now he has set his sights (and put his name) on something much bigger. His long-awaited bar, Tiki TNT, and rum distillery, Potomac Distilling Company, have come to fruition in the hottest spot in DC, the District Wharf.

In this 2-part episode, we cozied up to Todd’s tiki bar – where we may have tipped a few too many back – as he shared his journey to becoming a rum distiller and how he’s putting his personal spin on tiki cocktails.

Rob Cassell :: Master Distiller & Founder :: New Liberty Distillery

episode 60 :: Rob Cassell :: Master Distiller & Founder :: New Liberty Distillery

In 2004, Rob started his distilling career in Philadelphia as the first craft distiller in the state of Pennsylvania since Prohibition. When he applied for a distillery license, PA Liquor Control Board officials had to create an application form for him, because none existed. So it seems, bearing the cross of trailblazer was Rob’s destiny.

Now as he starts a new exciting venture, the New Liberty Distillery, he sits fireside and tips a few cocktails with us at The Bellevue Hotel’s exclusive bar, XIX Nineteen, the birth place of the Clover Club cocktail. What's better than that? Getting our hands on some of the new innovative spirits he's concocting.

Episode 59A/B :: Owen Thompson :: Tropical Holiday Tiki Luau-licious Happy hour(S)

Dreaming of a tropical holiday escape? We are, too. That’s why we invited Owen Thompson of Archipelago to join us on not one, but two holiday episodes. He and Gina share four vacation-in-a-glass luau-licious recipes that are sure help you find some holiday cheer, as well as make for perfect punches to share.

Designated Drinker Andrew Auwerda :: Philadelphia Distilling

episode 57 :: Andrew Auwerda :: President & Co-Founder :: Philadelphia Distilling

 A quick train trip to Philly followed by short taxi ride to Philadelphia Distilling afforded us the privilege to spend our day chatting with Andrew Auwerda while sipping his delicious gins. Now that’s what we call “winning.”

 Since 2004, Andrew has been instrumental in building this award-winning line-up of American made beauties. From his commitment to producing only the highest quality spirits, to the stunning packaging in comes in, to overseeing the construction of their new (and quite impressive) distillery, Andrew’s dedication is reflected in each bottle of Bluecoat Gin they produce.

 To say we are in love with Andrew--we mean, Bluecoat Gin--is an understatement.

Mary Kong-Devito

episode 57 :: Mary Kong-DeVito :: Founder, Editor-in-Chief :: Girl Meets Food

Mary started Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a creative outlet and a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken. Eventually, she quit her day job to pursue her passion and develop a career in food writing. You can her “stuff” in USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, and Washington City Paper, to name a few. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what she has in store for the 10th Anniversary of Girl Meets Food. No matter what she does, we know it will be delicious.

Laughter. Laughter. And more laughter topped with a healthy serving of thoughtfulness sums up this episode with Mary.

episode 56 :: friendsgiving show :: candiace dillard bassett & Rachel sergi

Before you gooble until you wobble, join us as we gather at our Tipsy Tomfoolery & Tryptophan Friendsgiving and get ready for T-Day. Gina serves up some delicious autumn inspired cocktails that promise to compliment your Thanksgiving meal, delight your taste buds and keep you in a family-friendly mood. We can’t promise the recipes will keep the peace but they sure will take the in-law edge off.


episode 55 :: Philip Greene :: Writer and Cocktail Historian

Attorney by day. Writer and cocktail historian by…well…whenever he’s not lawyering. Phil’s penned 3 cocktail books that take us through a drinkable time warp. His first book gives us insights to the great Ernest Hemingway by way of his favorite drinks, “To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion.

With his second book, “The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail,” he traces the evolution of this classic from its competing origin stories through its continuing influence and extensive progeny.

A Drinkable Feast: A Cocktail Companion to 1920s Paris” is his latest published delicious masterpiece. So in this episode, we sit down with him to discuss the method behind his madness and where this passion began.


episode 54 :: Jacob Briars :: Global Advocacy Dir. :: Bacardi

Meet Jacob Briars, Global Advocacy Director for Bacardi, AKA the Mack Daddy of Millennial Nightlife. For more than 2 decades, this quick-witted Kiwi has he’s been shaking up the cocktail world and influencing what, and how, we drink. And we are happier for it. 

 From a rural organic farm in New Zealand, to studying law, to jet setting across the globe overseeing one of the largest teams of brand ambassadors for some of the world’s leading spirits, Jacob proves by following your passions, the world, indeed, can be your oyster.


episode 52 :: Tony Simmons :: CEO/President :: Tabasco

Of course you know Tabasco®. But did you know they are celebrating their 150th birthday? Now that’s a reason to party!

Not only can Tabasco be found in just about every kitchen throughout America, it is also one of our country’s oldest and largest family-owned-and-operated businesses. Every bottle of this world-renowned special sauce is, and always has been, processed on their family-owned Avery Island. And at 9am on just about any given morning, this is where you will find Tony checking on the 96 barrels of the mash used to make his “Cajun ketchup” which he says, “Tastes like candy.”

Tony gives us even more reason to love Tabasco. He shares the history of the McIlhenny family, how this liquid pepper became an American culinary staple and what the next 150 years just might look like for this beloved bottle of spicy tastiness.

Get the recipe for our "   The Grape Life”

Get the recipe for our "The Grape Life”

Episode 51 :: Andre Hopson :: Brand Ambassador :: Courvoisier

Lifestyle marketer. Yes.

Brand ambassador. Yes.

Bottom-line influencer. Absolutely.

Andre Hopson may be a jack of many trades but he’s also a master of trends throughout D.C.’s urban communities. He is definitely a professional brand match-maker and he’s damn good at it.

So, who better to hang out with while sipping a classic cognac than one of Couvoisier’s Brand Ambassadors?


episode 49 :: Dr. Kristen D. Burton :: Author & Distillation Historian

Kristen Burton is a cultural historian of the Early Modern Atlantic World and holds a doctorate in Transatlantic History from the University of Texas at Arlington. She specializes in the history of food and drink, specifically distillation and brewing in Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World.

Her current book project, tentatively titled “The Drunkard’s Progress: How Alcohol Became an Intoxicant in the Era of Enlightened Medicine,” looks at the construction of alcohol as an intoxicant during the age of the Enlightenment. Looking at the rise of mass-produced distilled spirits across the Atlantic World in the mid-seveteenth century, this book focuses on the ways changing drinking practices clashed with Enlightenment philosophy that esteemed reason and the rational mind, leading to the creation of modern addiction theory. Look at us, getting tipsy in name of education.


Episode 48a/B :: Harvey Fry :: Scotch Whisky Guru :: Laphroiag Single Malt Scotch

Aficionado. Connoisseur. Mentor. Basically an expert on all things scotch whisky. Meet the man. Meet the legend. Meet the urban myth that is Harvey Fry as he walks us through the world of Laphroaig.

 This episode launches the ICON Series of the Designated Drinker Show, where we take a deep dive into a topic with a subject matter expert to guide us along the way.

episode 47 :: Chris Montero :: Executive Chef/GM :: Napoleon House

 His family has been in NOLA for more than 200 years. He’s the Executive Chef at the Napoleon House which has been a NOLA institution for more than 100 years. So, who better to tell us stories behind of the spirits that linger in this historic French Quarter gem, than Chris Montero?

episode 46 :: Tony Abou-Ganim :: Author :: The Original Modern Mixologist

Tony is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more. As the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, he offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike. Just like this episode, his book is an entertaining and informative journey that take us from the early stages of the cocktail to what Tony deems “Modern Mixology.”


And if that wasn't enough, he's founded the Helen David Fund and Team Negroni to raise awareness and help assist women in the bar industry who are fighting breast cancer. We are definitely getting our asses on the saddle and heading-up the efforts in DC for the 2019 ride, so get your training started now.

Oh, did we mention he introduced the world to The Cable Car? Yes, we are in love.

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Episode 45 :: Johnny Schuler :: Master Distiller ::  Hacienda La Caravedo

Heralded as the world’s foremost Pisco expert, Johnny has led the way in revitalizing interest in Peru’s native spirit. He is the master distiller for Hacienda La Caravedo and as an ambassador for pisco, he has dedicated much of his life to setting industry standards for excellence and has traveled throughout Peru, and around the globe, to educate spirits industry professionals and the public alike about the culture, heritage, and craftsmanship that makes Pisco so unique. And now he is with us to do more of the same—lucky us. ¡Salud!

episode 44 :: AAF-DC AMBuzz :: Brendan Monaghan

Learn a little more about us, as we host our first live audience at AAF-DC’s AM Buzz. We are talking about podcasting with Brendan Monaghan, the CEO of Panoply Media, a premium podcasting company that produces original shows, curates digital audio content and operates Megaphone, an industry-leading technology platform for podcast creators and advertisers. To catch the next AM Buzz, visit


In 2017, for the first time ever, Bon Appetit named a sandwich shop America's BEST RESTAURANT. Yes,a sandwich shop, and that shop is Turkey And The Wolf. And once you've tried one (or 10, who would blame you?) of Mason Hereford's culinary masterpieces, you totally understand why. What's even better is Mason's fun-loving personality and the importance he places on employee happiness.

Fortunately, he shared his recipe for success with us:

Between 2 slices of freshly-baked talent, add equal parts tenacity and hard work. Pile on as much imagination as you can and top with a pinch of positive outlook and a heaping portion of humor.

Episode 42 :: Richie Brandenburg :: Director of Culinary Strategy :: Edens

Meet the mastermind chef behind Union Market, DC’s premier high-end food emporium. Richie’s career has taken him to the far corners of the globe. He’s perfected his talents in some of the most demanding restaurants in New Orleans, New York, Colorado, San Francisco, London and even the Isle of Man. His journey proves that the combination of talent and hard work are the key ingredients to a successful career.  

episode 41 :: Adam Greenberg :: grand champion of "chopped" :: Chef/Owner of Coconut Club

From being crowned Grand Champion on the Food Network’s Chopped to opening his own restaurant, Adam shares his story of trials and tribulations and how he remembers always to have a good laugh along the way. The focus, patience and persistence he needed to beat out top-notch competitors in the kitchen maybe be nothing compared to the permitting and licensing process he’s dealing with now while opening his own restaurant, the Coconut Club. We toast his efforts and cheer on his patience.

Episode 40 :: Marcella Kriebel :: Cookbook Author & Illustrator

It’s not a stretch to say that Marcella Kriebel has always been an artist and foodie. Her collection of watercolors and illustrated cookbooks reflect her love for both. After graduating with majors in both Studio Art and Cultural Anthropology, it is easy to see how her background was a springboard for journaling and cooking in countless private home kitchens throughout Latin America.

Join us as she discusses her successful Kickstarter campaign which allowed her to assemble her large archive of recipes and illustrations into the colorful hand drawn cookbooks, Mi Comida Latina and recently released, Comida Cubana.

episode 39 :: Pt 2 SUMMER time SPLENDOR SPECTACULAR :: Old Town Alexandria

Check-out part 2 of our Summer Time Splendor Spectacular in Old Town Alexandria. The boozy banter and sipping summertime refreshers continues with some very talented bartenders from this historic gem.

In this episode, meet Chris Bassett of Myron Mixon's Pitmaster BBQ and Mike Saccone and Chris Sollom from Humming Bird. Bassett's combination of smoke and watermelon makes his "Love Your Smokin' Melons" is simply amazing. Saccone's "An Italian Gentleman..." has always been one of our go-tos because it's so well-balanced and refreshing. A classic Gin Rickey is a staple we all should know how to whip up, so follow Sollom's recipe to become a Rickey master in no time.

Episode 38 :: Pt 1 summer time splendor spectacular in Old Town Alexandria

Check-out part 1 of our Summer Time Splendor Spectacular in Old Town Alexandria. We are hanging out with some very talented bartenders at some of the best cocktail bars in this historic colonial town.

In this episode, meet Jon Schott of The People's Drug and Alex Taylor of Hank's Oyster Bar in Old Town Alexandria. Jon's "Rickey's Summer Remedy" is savory and delicious, while Alex's take on a French 75, "International Affair," is lovely and refreshing. Both are perfect for the warm summer months.

Episode 37 :: Jamie Leeds :: Restaurateur / Chef :: JL Restaurant Group

Jamie Leeds is one of DC’s most highly recognized chefs and restaurateurs due to her wildly successful restaurants, her very active role in the community and her 30 plus years of inspiring culinary experience in NYC and DC.

In May 2005, she opened her first Hank’s Oyster Bar and began serving what she termed “Urban Beach Food.” Now, after opening 4 more restaurants and a cocktail bar, she sits down and shares with us the secret ingredients she used to create her incredible restaurant group: positivity, creativity and empowerment. Oh, and don’t forget the dash of tough love, of course.  

Summer Time Splendor Spectacular

Episode 36 :: summer time splendor spectacular at suburbia

Welcome to our first Summertime Splendor Spectacular episode. Since the days are getting longer and the nights warmer, we are serving up some special episodes filled with recipes that promise to refresh and delight. We're bringing along a few friends to mix it up with, so sit back, enjoy the boozy banter and get ready to make these tasty cocktails for your next summertime social. 

In this episode, as we hang out at one Gina’s joints, Suburbia, she shares the methods behind her madness. It’s a story of having the confidence to break out from the norm and tenacity to carve your own path. She truly is a force to be reckoned with and we love her for it. Mixing it up with Gina is the mini-mixtess herself, Amy Hosseinnian. She’s a true talent with an infectious positive outlook that you just can’t get enough of. This is true splendor.

Episode 35 ::Garrett Marrero :: Owner :: Maui Brewing Co.

In early 2005, Garrett and his then girlfriend and now wife, Malanie Oxley, started Maui Brewing Company as a small single brew-pub restaurant that served its own locally brewed beer. Today, things are slightly different. They have been named America’s #1 small business, employee over 400 people and are projected to earn over $20 million in sales in 2018. Talk about an amazing success story! But in our humble opinion, want really makes them the big kahuna is that they have never lost their aloha spirit.  

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EPISODE 34 :: Kyle Reutner :: Brand Manager :: Kōhana Hawaiian Agricole Rum

Nearly a thousand years ago, the first Polynesians set sail for the Hawaiian Islands using only the stars for navigation. With them they brought select varieties of Kō – or as we know it, sugarcane. And thankfully they did, because today, Manulele Distillers are crafting their Kōhana Hawaiian Agricole Rums using the descendants of those ancient sugarcane plants.

As brand manager of Kōhana Rum, Kyle Reutner is not just honoring the Hawaii of yesteryear, he is a part of a team that is developing a new industry that will help shape the future of the islands’ economy, one delicious bottle of rum at at time. Now, that’s what we call honoring the spirit.


episode 33 :: Tiffany MacIsaac :: Owner/Chef :: Buttercream Bakeshop

Tiffany’s journey has taken her to the far edges of the United States. No really. Born and raised on Maui, Tiffany moved to New York City where her love affair with food began. After attending the culinary arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education, she went on to become an award-winning pastry chef creating delightful treats at some of New York’s best restaurants, including Michelin-starred Cru and Allen and Delancey.

Her sights were then set on DC, where she truly made a mark on the district’s food scene. From working with the Neighborhood Food Group to launch Birch & Barley – which earned 3 stars from the Washington Post – to opening her own place, the amazing Buttercream BakeShop. Tiffany was awarded Best Pastry Chef at 2010 RAMMY Awards, selected as a James Beard Award semi-finalist 3 years in a row and featured in Food & Wine, The Local Palate, Art Culinaire and Travel Channel’s Food Paradise.


episode 32 :: Morgan H. West :: Founder & Director of A creative DC project

If you need a jolt of creativity, look no further. Morgan is the founder and director of the A Creative DC project. Nylon Magazine has referred to her online projects as "a virtual clubhouse [representing] D.C.'s creative class," and she has contributed online voice and visuals to the DC creative scene since founding the city's first street style blog in 2006. Her commitment to showcasing the city's creative culture online has garnered nods from the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian Magazine, and more. She helms the A Creative DC project from the Arts Walk at the Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of NE, DC.

Want a sneak preview of what to expect in this episode? Check out Morgan’s world at

Join the conversation by uploading your creative work with #aCreativeDC.


episode 31 :: Bill Thomas :: Owner :: Jack Rose Dining Saloon

At the crossroads of passion and obsession, you will find Bill Thomas. In 2011, Bill opened Jack Rose Dining Saloon which boasts more than 2,700 different expressions, making it the largest publicly available whisk(e)y collection in the Western Hemisphere. With more than 20 years in spirit industry, he is considered one of the foremost authorities on whiskey in the United States. No wonder, often he can be found on distinguished judging panels, featured in whisk(e)y history documentaries and leading countless tastings across the country. With more 7,000 bottles in his private collection, to call him an avid collector, may be an understatement.


Episode 30 :: candiace dillard & chris bassett :: the real housewifes of potomac

For Candiace, the many steps she’s taken across the stages of the pageant world have prepared her for the reality of being a cast member of The Real Housewives of Potomac. She may come in a petite package, but don’t underestimate the power of her contagious positive energy and zest for life. We have no doubt she’s about to be crowned queen, once again.

For Chris, we will just have to watch and see how well he fares in a crazy realm where his life is broadcasted for all the world to see. We bet his experiences behind the bar and being an owner/operator of Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ, sets him up for even more success is this world of high drama.

We know you’ll love getting to know them, because we just can’t get enough.

Catch them on Bravo on Sundays at 8pm CST


Episode 29 :: Sebastian Zutant & Victor Moyer :: primrose restaurant

So, if you combine a bit of whacky, a dash of ADHD, a lot of creativity, and then top it off with some unstoppable entrepreneurship, you would get this kooky high-energy team. Sebastian has been behind some of the most successful restaurants in DC and continues to win over the most sophisticated of palettes with his newest venture, Primrose—a modern take on the French bistro that offers an unmatched natural wine program. Also found on the menu is wine that Sebastian has been making in collaboration with Early Mountain Vineyards.

Victor may be known for his laughter, but what he brings to Primrose is so much more. As the Director of Operations, he has his hands full with the day-to-day, as well making sure they deliver unparalleled dining experiences that exceed every patrons’ expectation.

They definitely turned this show upside down and we loved it!


EPISODE 28A/B :: Jared brown :: master distiller :: sipsmith gin

In this two-part episode, we meet Jared Brown. To say his life journey is awe-inspiring is an understatement. He has: rubbed elbows with the likes of Julia Child and the Dalai Lama; at the ripe old age of 11 years, experimented with liqueur distilling; written countless books and traveled many a mile with his wife, and even worked at the Rainbow Room with none other than King Cocktail, Dale Degroff.

Currently, he loving researches and tends to hundreds of herbs and botanicals and to top it all off, he’s the Master Distiller of Sipsmith Gin. Whoo! That’s living life to its fullest.

“Good gin starts with fingers in the soil”


episode 27 :: Erika Goergen :: Pink Boots Society

Life sometimes has a few surprises in store. You can set a path, but often that journey may go left when you thought you were destined to go right, up when down was what you expected and can even throw in a 180 which pushes you into a whole new direction. For Erika, this journey has made her who she is and has inspired her to become a member of Pink Boots, an organization that encourages and champions professional women in the beer industry through education. Sign us up!


episode 26 :: Rachel Sergi :: Founder :: Cocktail Queen Competition

Yes, being queen is good but remembering we only rise by lifting others is what makes us great. Rachel Sergi may be a master behind the bar but what she created has made her a true legend. She has developed not just a competition that challenges, champions and celebrates female bartenders but an event that raises money for the House of Ruth which supports survivors of domestic violence and homelessness. This just proves how amazing this woman is and why her efforts have garnered support from the makers of Knob Creek, Maker's Mark Bourbon and many more.


episode 25 :: Brandon Skall :: CEO & Co-Founder :: DC Brau Brewing

Building a success business from the ground up is admirable but never forgetting to help others along the way and changing the world for the better is downright inspiring. DC Brau is one of DC's leading breweries and their continued support of SMYAL and the Washington Blade Foundation through their Pride Pils campaign proves that greatness is not found in what you have, but in what you give.  


episode 24 :: Mick Nardelli & Nahem Simon :: Partners :: Liquid Integrity

An idea might be great but without direction, it is destined to wither on the vine. Focus and force without purpose is lost energy. But when those things come together, you just might have a perfect storm on your hands.

This dynamic duo proves the theory to be true. As experts in the beverage industry, they identified a simple problem, developed the answer and created a first-of-its-kind product, the InstaRinse Portable Glass Rinser. Not only is the product extraordinary, so is the way these two came together, stayed open to possibilities and are exceeding even their own goals.


episode 23 :: Elyse Braner :: Co-Chair, Women Who Whiskey-DC

If you look up perpetual motion in the dictionary, you’re likely to find a picture of Elyse Braner. Not only is she the co-chair of Women Who Whiskey-DC, she leads a local running group, volunteers as an elementary school track coach, ran 8 marathons last year, holds down a full-time job in marketing and events planning, and is also a brand ambassador for Wigle Whiskey. WOOOH! That sentence just makes the rest of us tired.


Episode 22 :: Nicole Hassoun :: Principal & Head Distiller, Jos. A. Magnus & Co.

From creating craft cocktails to distilling spirits as a managing partner at Jos A. Magnus & Co. Distillery, Designated Drinker, Nicole Hassoun's journey is rather inspiring and the ceiling is no where insight. She continues to break barriers as she focuses her talents on producing vodka, award-winning gins, as well as other contract spirits. She continually looks for new projects that not only challenge her, but also champions the distilling industry.

She is definitely a badass woman to watch!


episode 21 :: Gardner Dunn :: Sr. Ambassador-Japanese Whisky, Suntory

Gardner’s fascinating journey begins in Rando Beach, where he’s parents’ appreciation for Japanese art and tradition left a lasting impression on him. His pursuit for a degree in music took him and his drumsticks to big sky country. Yes, that’s Montana. As a pizza delivery guy and attending his during his 3rd year of college, he was asked to join the Chris Hiatt Band, which was an offer too good to let pass by. This sets him on a journey he would have never imagined. From a professional drummer on the “Warp Tour” to becoming the ambassador of award-winning Suntory Japanese Whiskys, Gardner’s travels have taken him to all corners of the world, and back.



Bonus Episode 20: getting a Taste of Charleston with Tyler Rothenberg :: FELIX COCKTAILS ET CUISINE

We took the show on the road and headed down to Charleston, SC to get a taste of all this blossoming city has to offer. Join us as we check out one of the city's hottest spots on King Street, Felix Cocktails Et Cuisine. We share a few drinks served up by our guest barkeep, Tyler Rothenberg, with their Beverage Director Davey Jones and Chef Elizabeth Schultenover. Find out how this amazing team is working hard to establish Felix as the gem of one of Charleston's most happening thoroughfares that is more than 300 years old and is as rich with culture as it is with amazing bars and restaurants to please even the most particular of palates.


Episode 19 :: Ariana Lightningstorm :: Lipsologist

Ariana Lightningstorm (aka Anna Snodgrass) is one of only 8 Certified Lipsologists, the first certified teacher of Lipsology in the world and was the first on the East Coast to be trained in the fun and entertaining practice of Lipsology. Beyond that, she has more than 35 years of experience in palmistry, tarot and handwriting analysis which she has used to entertain party-goers and corporate event attendees throughout the United States.

What is Lipsology, you ask?
Lipsology is the new and exciting art and science of lip print reading. After studying the lip prints left on her uniquely-made kiss cards, Ariana uses her insights to read the messages that shed light on personality characteristics, energy levels, and more.



episode 18 :: Meshach Cisero :: Visiting Executive Chef Prequel Restaurant Incubator

Meshach Cisero, A.K.A. Shaq, A.K.A. Chef Cisero, built a successful career calculating and analyzing “big data” but recently made the decision follow his heart and left the corporate world behind. Until now, he has had one foot in each world but is now investing all of his energies in the culinary world. With a few pitfalls accompanied by many accomplishments, Chef Cisero sits down with us to share his story as he begins his journey towards a very promising culinary career and debuts as the visiting Executive Chef at Prequel, a restaurant incubator. 



episode 17 :: Will lacey :: president & executive chef of savvy foods

Will began his culinary journey with the creation of his catering and special event company, Yellow Dog Barbecue. Fueled by creative passion, Will's priority has always been the preservation of the simple fun of cooking. In developing the products now offered by Savvy Foods, Will wanted to enable friends and customers to test their boundaries in the kitchen. 

“Food has the ability to bring people together. It makes strangers into friends and friends into family.”



Episode 16 :: Scott R. Williams :: Author and COO/SVP Sales & Marketing of the Newseum

Scott Williams is the author of “An Odd Book, How the First Modern Pop Culture Reporter Conquered New York,” and that’s just the half of it. To say he’s had an interesting life is an understatement. He’s gone from leading the marketing and PR efforts for Elvis Presley Enterprises (yes, that’s Graceland) to becoming the chief operating officer and senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. And if that's not enough, he serves on the board of both the D.C. chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. And let us not forget, he is a husband and a father to two beautiful daughters.



Episode 15 :: Jamie Simpson :: Executive chef liaison culinary vegetable institute

Jamie Simpson, musical rockstar turned rockstar chef. He hails from some of the best restaurants in Charleston, SC and has staged at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Today, he is the Executive Chef at  The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden in Milan, Ohio. His passion – to promote and grow the sustainable food system.



Episode 14 :: Donna Black :: Owner of Williams Plum Street Snowball

Meet Designated Drinker, Donna Black. In 1979, Donna's husband insisted on buying a snoball stand, which had been shoveling syrup-drizzled snow for over 35 years. Donna didn't know much about this biz, so she was going in cold, preparing to become a snoball stand proprietor with little insight into the art of syrup mixology. Now, more than 35 years later, she confidently calls herself a snoball "barmaid," as she knows each customer, just as dedicated drink-pourer would, by his or her favorite flavor.



Holiday Episode :: Michael Saccone :: Guest Barkeep

'Tis the season for giving and that's exactly what we are doing. With all the hustle-and-bustle and festivities of the holidays comes stress, so our hope is that the recipes provided by our very talented guest barkeep, Michael Saccone (A.K.A. Elf On The Top Shelf), helps spread some much needed holiday cheer.



Holiday Episode :: Chris bassett :: Guest Barkeep

If you’re looking for that perfect drink to enjoy while you’re getting ready for your next holiday party OR to serve to the in-laws to keep the awkward banter at bay OR just want to leave Santa something more than milk and cookies, you want to listen to this episode. Chris Bassett, our guest barkeep and owner of Myron Mixon's Pitmaster BBQ Alexandria, serves up some delicious drink recipes that are sure to keep you in the holiday spirit.


Alan Walter-International House
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Episode 11 :: Alan Walter :: Creative Director, International House Hotel New Orleans

“Great ingredients are like old friends,” says Alan Walter. And we couldn’t agree more. In this episode, meet Alan Walter, Creative Director of the International House Hotel New Orleans.

Unique. Creative. Ingredient Wrangler. These are just a few adjectives to describe Alan. With all due reverence to spirits and their origins, Alan’s approach to tending bar is a modern expression of the American saloons of the Old West, where improvising with whatever spirits were on hand was a must. Unafraid of experimentation or anachronism, he makes his proprietary syrups for use in his extraordinary recipes, many of which are inspired by ingredients from the kitchen pantry. These delicious recipes have gone on to be published by Food & Wine, and…oh yeah… the Designated Drinker Show. And when he’s not mixing at Loa, he writes country songs.

Kelley McDonough

episode 10 :: Kelley McDonough :: Director of Public Relations :: Distilled Spirits Council

One should never doubt the ability of a thoughtful and committed group to change the world. And what better world than the distilled spirit world. A toast to their positive mind-opening and palette-enhancing changes.

Kelley McDonough is the Director of Public Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council, a trade association for the spirits sector. In her role, she's champion spirits trends, industry heritage and cocktail culture, all the while traveling the world hosting special events and media tours. She also works closely with the media to disseminate the latest industry data and category statistics.




Episode 9 :: Ralph Brennan :: Head of The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

From CPA to the head of his own restaurant group, Ralph Brennan knows how to serve up an amazing dining experience. With seven restaurants to his name, and a family history steeped in “the biz,” he has had an interesting journey and has an even more exciting insight to the future of the service industry. Oh, and he’s the first guest to make us a drink--with a 100 year-old bottle of Ojen, too boot.



Episode 8 :: Jaime Salas :: William Grant & Sons National Ambassador—Milagro

Wherever he goes, there he is. A man of two worlds, Jaime has a fascinating perspective on life, culture, and heritage, that really speaks to us. It’ll speak to you too, just listen in and see.

Combining passion, charisma and originality with a vast knowledge and reverence for the art of tequila, Jaime is the perfect embodiment of modern day Mexico. Having grown up dividing his time between the creative freedom of San Francisco and Mexico’s tequila producing region of Jalisco, he has definitely developed a unique perspective on the country’s most famous export, which has informed every aspect of his career since


Episode 7 :: Sallie Ann Glassman :: Vodou Priestess

The spirit of this episode is sure to enlighten and entertain. Journey with us as Sallie Ann takes us on her journey of becoming a traditionally-ordained Vodou Priestess and beyond.

Glassman has been practicing Vodou in New Orleans since 1977 and in 1995 became one of few to be ordained via the traditional Haitian initiation. She owns Island of Salvation Botanica, where you'll find religious supplies, medicinal herbs, and Haitian and local artworks. She is also the author of "Vodou Visions: An Encounter with Divine Mystery."



episode 6 :: Todd A Price :: Dining Writer, The Times-Picayune

Todd has married the art of language, food and New Orleans to build a tasty career we all envy. Discover his unique views on NOLA and how her many transformations have changed her food and culture scene. Would you expect anything less from a dining writer who's made the Big Easy his home?



Episode 5 :: Ann Tunnerman :: Founder Tales of the Cocktail

Ann Tunnerman is the Founder and Executive Director of Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premiere cocktail event. Her work cultivating and promoting the spirits industry has made Ann a go-to authority on cocktails and the business behind them, regularly serving as a source for national and international publications including Fortune, Imbibe, Saveur, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Condé Nast Traveler. She has earned awards and recognition from around the world including being named a James Beard Award Semifinalist, one of the top 10 most influential people of the past 25 years by Cheers Magazine, and BNIC Cognac Personality of the Year


Episode 4 :: Charlotte Voisey :: Hendricks Gin Global Brand Ambassador

On this episode of the Designated Drinker Show, we chat with Charlotte Voisey about living and breathing the hospitality life for more than a decade. Originally starting out as a bartender, this British native quickly climbed the ladder where she eventually became the Director of Brand Advocacy and Mixologist for William Grant & Sons where she looks after the spirits and the brand ambassador team. She’s a two times Golden Spirit Award winner at Tales of the Cocktail, host of The Proper Pour with Charlotte Voisey, was named  Mixologist of the Year for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and was recognized by the James Beard foundation.




They say that it’s good to be the king, and this guy should know. They call him King Cocktail, but if you ask us he’s got a bit of a jester in him too. Listen in and find out why!





Get a taste of history and learn a little about upside of prohibition (or as we like to call it, the dark, dark times). Meet John Uselton from Green Hat Gin as he gives us the low down on his premium spirits, where they’ve been, and where they’re going.

In 2012, when John Uselton and Michael Lowe decided to lease a warehouse in the Northeast Washington neighborhood of Ivy City and start up New Columbia Distillers. The company became the first distiller in D.C. in a century and put out its first batch of Green Hat Gin in October.



Episode 1 :: Dave coleman :: 3 stars brewing

Dave Coleman from 3 Stars Brewing likes his beer (so do we!). He also likes his rosé, which makes him perfect, in our book. What happens when good friends, good beer, and good craft cocktails get together? Listen in and find out.

To date, 3 Stars has released over 40 distinctive beers and cultivated a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity. They have been recognized for their commitment to their craft, and have received multiple awards for their achievements. They have been named DC’s Best Local Brewery two years running by Washington City Paper, and were named Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine. DANG!