Inside Neal Bodenheimer’s Kitchen

3rd December 2015

Words: Adam Park
Photographs: Martin L Vargas

The New Orleans bar owner on his favourite spirits, key pieces of cocktail kit and three excellent books about drinks


Beefeater gin »
“Beefeater to me is the best gin ever, it’s just perfect. I also love Tanqueray and Bombay – they are really traditional. The English have been doing it for so long and theirs always tastes better, maybe not some of the new ones but the tried and true old style ones.” – Neal

Yellow Spot Irish whiskey »
Premium sibling of Irish whiskey Green Spot, produced specifically for Mitchell & Son of Dublin by Irish Distillers at the Midleton Distillery, Cork. “Things changed at Green Spot recently but this one stayed the same and is still great.”

Highland Park 18 Scotch whiskey »
A superb 18-year-old whisky from the Highland Park distillery in Orkney and a winner of a Gold Medal at the 2005 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum »
Venezuelan dark golden rum, distilled from molasses in a copper pot still and aged for 12 years. Rich, sweet and fruity, this has more than 20 awards to its name. “Definitely one of my favourite sippers.”

NEAL BODENHEIMER, interviewed for


Cocktail shaker »
Japanese barwear brand Koriko is one of Neal’s favourites. “I am a Boston shaker [footnote]A two-piece shaker consisting of a metal bottom and a mixing glass [footnote] kind of guy, but for home I think a cobbler shaker [footnote] A three-piece cocktail shaker with a built-in strainer and a cap [footnote] is nice – it’s easy to use and decorative.” – Neal

Bar spoon »
“Everybody should have a bar spoon. It’s nice to have something that has ridges in it and that you can stir with in an economical way.”

Jiggers »
A bartending tool used to measure liquor. “You need jiggers if you want to make good cocktails. Cocktails are like baking, they need precision.”

NEAL BODENHEIMER, interviewed for

Cocktail strainer »
Traditionally called a Hawthorne Strainer, the coiled spring efficiently filters the ice from your cocktails. “To me, these are the nuts and bolts of cocktail-making.”

Citrus squeezer »
“This is one more item I think you definitely need to round out your home cocktail kit.”


How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant’s Companion: The Bartender’s Guide, Jerry Thomas »
“The original classic cocktail book.” – Neal

Imbibe, David Wondrich »
Bestseller by drinks historian and correspondent for Esquire. “I love all David Wondrich’s writing. I feel it’s been transformative for the cocktail business. A lot of his new books are strictly recipe books, which is not very common in the world of cocktails.”

The Savoy Cocktail Book, Harry Craddock »
“I don’t necessarily think it’s a great cocktail recipe book but it’s really influential and I think any bartender should read through it.”

Posted 3rd December 2015

In Things


Words: Adam Park
Photographs: Martin L Vargas

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