On the Road Again...
I’ve always traveled for work. Sometimes that meant seeking out bands in hot new clubs and other times that meant consulting for tech companies and hopping between dingy hotels in middle-of-America cities. I’ll be the first to say that both of those gigs required a stiff drink at the end of the day. Yet the only thing more depressing than a mini-bar cocktail is the lie you tell yourself while drinking it – because yes, it really is that bad, and no, this is not what you would have ordered from the bar on the corner. So instead of sipping a straight up, on the rocks, mini-bar-tini, I gave in to that little voice inside my head and went out for my nightcap. And that’s when I really began to taste the nation, my way.
I had bourbon in Kentucky and experienced the joy of a fresh mint julep on a hot summer’s day. I drank sazerac's on the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans under the flicker of gaslights. I popped in and out of speakeasies in Manhattan and Brooklyn and I watched mixologists work like chefs as they created handcrafted, artisanal masterpieces in a glass. I started searching for the freshest signature cocktails and the most uniquely shaken sip. Soon, this became my favorite way to experience a new place. Each drink offered so much insight into local life. I knew what was in season, I knew how strong the locals liked their liquor, and I even knew how big of a sweet tooth they had underneath it all.
But my less adventurous co-workers still faced the tale-as-old-as-time mini-bar dilemma – and I was getting tired of hearing about . Something had to be done. So, I began experimenting. I’d craft syrups and hand squeeze juices. Visit every farmer’s market and really try to highlight the beauty of Southern California in a cup – or often my Hydro Flask.
I’m a sailor, or more specifically, a sailboat racer – it’s long been a passion of mine. And the better I became at sailing, the more I found myself racing on boats throughout California and across the world. As a thank you to the boat owners who invited me to race with them, I’d always buy them a drink at the end of the race. But in a small marina where bartenders are overwhelmed by hundreds of thirsty sailors coming ashore after days at sea, the drinks they were pouring… well let’s just say they were starting to make the mini bar look good. So I started bringing my own cocktails, thoughtfully packed in a Hydro Flask with hand-dried garnishes carefully tucked away until it was time for serving. Because there’s no better way to celebrate a long, windblown day on the water, than with a perfectly balanced, seasonal cocktail.
And that’s when everything really started moving for Hail M. Because my drinks traveled, and they traveled well. They held their own after days at sea and were the envy of every sailor forced to drink whatever the bartender was pouring. And I knew this for sure when the other boats started asking me to pre-make them drinks for after their races.
I’d done it. I found a way for my Southern California cocktails to come with me – the only problem left was that that I couldn’t always bring a full Hydro Flask (airlines seem to frown upon that sort of thing). So, I had to find a way to spruce up my mini bar…
That’s when I started making my infusion bags. I figured if you can do it with a pot of tea, why not do it with your favorite spirit. I batch dry fresh, seasonal fruit, I hand pick only the most aromatic of herbs and I combine them all in an artfully packaged pouch. They can spruce up the simplest seltzer water, reinvigorate a local spirit in the middle of the country or even give new life to your nearest gas station flask. Combine these with my artisan syrups and your mini-bar-tini becomes an unstoppable rival. Because I believe that having a drink should always feel like a special treat. Now while I continue searching for new ways to deliver travelable, seasonal sips, there’s only one thing you need to remember – ice is your friend!
…and so am I
If you would like to discuss a custom kit, event or catering, please reach out to me. I’d love to chat email@example.com.