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Al Sotack head shot - Epicurious

Al Sotack


After graduating from New York University in 2003, Al Sotack landed his first barback job. It took a few years of hustle on the dishwasher, but after a while, someone needed a bathroom break, and he was promoted to bartender. In 2009, he was picked to open Philly’s Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company, where he worked as head bartender until 2013. While there, Sotack was the recipient of an Eater Bartender of the Year award and StarChefs Rising Star. Back in New York, he served a long stint at Death & Co (many of his drinks can be found in their newest book Welcome Home), messed around at Pouring Ribbons and Donna for a second, wrote a lot about all kinds of stuff, and finally opened Jupiter Disco, Bushwick’s fancy cocktail meets nightlife venue in 2016, with partner Maks Pazuniak. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, Jade, their two daughters, and two huskies. His writing has appeared in Vice, Playboy, Plate, Fatherly, and others.

Mai Tai

Among the most famous of the cocktails to emerge from the “tiki” movement of the 1930s and ’40s, the mai tai was also one of the most argued over.

White Lady

You can probably make the classic White Lady cocktail right now with ingredients already on your bar cart.


The Martinez is a classic cocktail made with sweet vermouth stirred with gin, maraschino, and bitters.


The boulevardier is a classic whiskey cocktail that requires just three ingredients.

Bee’s Knees

The Bee’s Knees is a refreshing three-ingredient gin cocktail with a mysterious backstory.

22 Essential Cocktail Books Every Drinks Lover Should Own

Whether you want to brush up on bartending history or find your next signature cocktail, here’s how to build your library.

Meet Your New Favorite Cocktail, Straight Out of 1977

The disco decade may be known as the worst era in drinking history, but it also gave us one of the most influential cocktail books ever published.

Pink Squirrel

This creamy, nutty dessert cocktail deserves a comeback.


Keep your coupes chilled and ready for this simple 3-ingredient rye whiskey cocktail.


Make your own grenadine from pomegranate juice for flavor-packed cocktails at home.

Fino Martini

Swap the dry vermouth for fino sherry to bring your martini to new heights.

Alcohol-Free Cocktails Aren’t New. Just Ask a Soda Jerk

Today’s home bartenders have a lot to learn from the Razzle Dazzle, the Maple Frostbite, and the Orange Crush.

Trampoline Frappé

Nothing hits harder on a hot day than this nonalcoholic frappé: ruby strawberries, herbaceous basil, and tangy pineapple will quench your thirst. 

Orange Crush

Back in the heyday of the soda fountain, calling a drink a crush meant you were using fresh ingredients. Here’s a retro-modern take on the old-school Orange Crush.

Maple Frostbite

This soda shop classic helps maple and vanilla shine.

Razzle Dazzle

This nonalcoholic drink—a soda fountain classic—pairs pineapple, lemon, and an easy homemade raspberry vinegar.

The Myth of the Margarita and Its Many Inventors

For a simple combination of tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and salt, this cocktail has a winding history.

Breakfast Daisy

This variation on the mezcal margarita leans on a quick Earl Grey tea syrup and grapefruit liqueur to evoke the feelings of a cozy morning.