Christine Wiseman & 2012 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Photography by: Eugene Lee

“I’d never been here before I moved out here, but as soon as I got off the airplane I knew I was home,” says East Coast native Christine Wiseman of her adopted home, Los Angeles. “I love it here so much. It is really magical. The weather! You have the desert, the beach, the mountains – there are so many different options here. And the vibe is cool, and it’s just a whole new lifestyle! I was really so happy to be here.”

2012 was an epic year for Wiseman, now bar director at tropical cool anti-rooftop bar Broken Shaker. Not only did she abandon a successful career running kitchens in search of a life with more creativity and people action, but she moved from DC to LA, where she talked her way into a bartending job at modernist chef Michael Voltaggio’s well-regarded ink. Gigs at No Vacancy, SkyBar, La Descarga and Break Room 86 led to her role at Broken Shaker.

Wiseman’s Heering anniversary cocktail, the cherry-citrus Interstellar Space Voyage, commemorates that relocation from coast to coast. “Naming cocktails for me is the hardest part,” she says. “I named the cocktail because moving here was such a big move for me, and it’s been kind of a big interstellar voyage. It’s about my really becoming who I am now, and making that change in my life.”

It’s often observed that one central point of difference between East Coast and West Coast bartending styles is climate: not only the opportunities for outdoor drinking and the impact of different seasons on the palate, but the availability of produce in the farmers’ markets. Wiseman’s exuberant, contemporary, tropical drinks are all about that farmerly magic and the Interstellar Space Voyage pairs California flavours with luscious cherry fruit.

“I chose the most beautiful citrus because right now it’s citrus season in California, and we have access to some of the most wonderful produce,” Wiseman explains. “Pandan is really big in Korean and Asian styles of cooking: I live right in Thai Town and I’m obsessed with the little pandan buns. Lemon verbena is something really fresh that grows everywhere. It’s like a trifecta for LA.”

The garnishes, though beautiful and exuberant, are comparatively restrained by Wiseman’s standards, with nary a pipe-cleaner flamingo in sight. “I have a pipe-cleaner garnish guy,” she laughs. “There’s a company that makes these really outlandish pipe-cleaner garnishes and the flamingos are a big hit with everybody. We’re getting ready to do a new menu, and I have a monkey hanging in a palm tree: it’s so cute!”

And, if you’re reading this and cringing at the very prospect of a pipe-cleaner palm tree, Wiseman would like you to know that you are far from alone. “I used to hate garnishing cocktails. Unless it served a purpose to the cocktail, like a twist, I wouldn’t garnish,” she recalls. “But now I have an abundance of garnishes, and I’m like, ‘It’s only got two things! It definitely needs a third! What can I put in there? Glitter? Flowers?’”

A woman of so many impressive tattoos that she has to pause for thought and add an -ish after the number 12, Wiseman has an energy and optimism that’s as Californian as freshly squeezed orange and infectious even over the phone. Which isn’t to say there’s nothing she’d change about an industry where women remain grossly under-represented behind the bar.

“As a female behind the bar, the one thing I would really change is our customers’ point of view. If there’s a guy behind the bar, they tend to always go to the guy first,” she says. “And there’s always this idea that the vessels for cocktails are feminine and so on – GLASSWARE HAS NO GENDER! Just drink what you want, and what you will enjoy.”

Like so many migrants, Wiseman and her partner arrived in LA with grand plans which have not entirely materialised as yet. “I grew up on the East Coast, lived there my whole life, and my boyfriend and I were looking to open our own restaurant,” she says. “We finally decided what better place to try that than LA? We could have the lifestyle we wanted and the nice weather, so we moved out here. But we’ve not opened that restaurant yet. Life took us different paths.”

Since 2012, both bartending and Los Angeles have proved a land of opportunity. And, judging by her drinks, she’ll stay on that cocktail path for much longer than six years.

Interstellar Space Voyage
.75oz Cherry Heering
1.5oz Lustau Brandy
.75oz Blood Orange juice
.25oz Meyer Lemon juice
.5oz lemon juice
.5oz lemon verbena/pandan syrup*
Method: shake with a few pebbles and pour into tall collins glass
Glass: Collins
Garnish: blood orange wheels, lemon verbena, and marigolds

*Lemon Verbena/Pandan Cordial

5-6 sprigs of lemon verbena

2 pandan leaves

32oz of water

48oz sugar

Bring water to a boil and add lemon verbena and pandan, let simmer together for 5-7 minutes. Strain the lemon verbena and pandan off and add sugar. Yield is about a qt.


Los Angeles: Kitchen Meets Bar Class at Spork Foods

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Natalie Bovis

Teaching is my favorite thing to do in the liquor business. Whether training distributors’ sales teams, doing an on-premise spirits talk in bars and restaurants, or teaching a cocktail class for the everyday person who loves to entertain, sharing my passion for mixology keeps my own fire ignited. I particularly love teaming with a cooking school because it really exemplifies that following a cocktail recipe is not more complicated than making a cake.

I really love teaming up with the lovely ladies at Spork Foods in West Hollywood. Their all-vegan cooking school not only focuses on healthy, easy-to-make dishes but Jenny and Heather deliver the information with all the snappy fun of a one-two duo at an improv theater. It’s Los Angeles at its best!

This week, we presented a Kitchen Meets Bar cocktail class, based on the name of my video series Edible Cocktails: Kitchen Meets Bar, in which I use ingredients in both food and drink. The gals and I paired healthy appetizers with drinks using market-fresh ingredients, and the students got to make, nibble and drink the fruits of our (and their) labor. It was a blast! Here are some recipes for you to consider for your next party:

Redvisitor the best cocktail bars in LA

Cherry Heering at the Varnish and Blood and Sand a Seven Grand Cherry Heering

Winning Heering recipe

NEW YORK, April 12, 2010—Leblon, producer of Brazil’s handcrafted Cachaça (pronounced ka-SHA-sa), today announced that the “Leblon Brazillionaire” was named the “Judges Choice” Winner at the First Annual WSWA Call for Cocktails: Mixology Competition held at the 67th Annual Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention in Las Vegas on April 8, 2010. The winning cocktail, created by Tobin Ellis of BarMagic, combined Leblon Cachaça, CHERRY HEERING, passion fruit purée, fresh lime sour, fresh cilantro leaves and Sriracha sauce.

Leblon Brazillionaire Recipe

1½ oz Leblon Cachaça
¾ oz Cherry Heering
1 oz Perfect Purée Passion Fruit Concentrate
1½ oz Fresh Lime Sour (3:2 ratio of fresh lime to simple syrup)
8-10 Fresh Cilantro Leaves
2 drops Sriracha Sauce

The competition was sponsored by The Tasting Panel Magazine. Master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist) served as executive director of competition and lead a panel of judges comprised of fellow bartenders and cocktail experts from across the U.S. that included Jonathan Pogash (Mixologist, The Cocktail Guru, New York), Meridith May (Publisher, The Tasting Panel Magazine, Los Angeles), Kent Bearden (Master Mixologist, MGM Grand, Las Vegas), Joe Brooke (Director of Spirits, The Edison, Los Angeles), Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Bar Manager, Clive Commons, Portland), Aidan Demarest (First and Hope, Los Angeles and Partner, Demarest Liquid Assets), Jim Romdall (Mixologist, Vessel, Seattle), Marcos Tello (Partner, Tello Demarest Liquid Assets, Los Angeles), Alex Velez (Mixologist, Crescent Gaming and Bartending School, Las Vegas) and Ann Tuennerman (Founder, Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans).

Legal Notice   |   Log in to graphic guideline