Disclaimer: It is clearly not safe to eat REAL Tide Pods.

Nick B’s Tide Pod Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Long Road Distiller’s Aquavit
  • 1.5 oz. Tattersail Grapefruit Crema (not available in MI)
  • 10 drops B’lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract
  • Shake with ice and drink neat or inject into a blown sugar Tide-like Pod

Detroitisit: You jumped on the Tide Pod wave. What’s up?

NB: My rationale, it’s better than grown adults eating the real thing.

My inspiration, shameless self-promotion tied to a pop culture event.

DII: What’s your favorite thing to clean?

NB: Gross old sidewalks and stonework. I’ve done it once or twice but am fascinated by the “cleaning porn” available online of people pressure washing driveways with these crazy machines. There’s something mesmerizing about watching something sooty and grimy turn sparkly clean with just water.

DII: Besides Tide, what’s your favorite dream brand and what would you want to do with them?

NB: A dream brand would be Disney. I’m a maker at heart and find their approach to engineering and learning is incredible. The bars under their management such as Trader Sam’s in Orlando is a tiki bar that includes immersive experiences. When you order certain drinks, the lights dim, music plays, your seat raisers/lowers or elements around the room move. It’s. So. Much. Fun. The Star Wars park opening in 2019 should have a Cantina Bar and I can’t wait to check it out.

DII: You’ve seen a few spirits labels in your career, is there one that really draws you in?

NB: The new label is what grabs me when it comes to spirits. I walk the aisles of Holiday Market in Royal Oak at least once a week. This is a great gauge for what’s new in the Michigan Liquor Book, the bible for what can be sold in the state, and it’s updated a couple of times over the year. Anything new means something fun has entered the market. For brown spirits, I look at proof. Many brands tend to stick to around 40% for the ABV which means they can get the best value for the producer. However, some will up that proof since they feel the flavor is better. This often means the producer is confident in their distilling skills and less concerned with profit. While that is a general rule, it’s not always the case.

DII: What do you think is the best drink in Detroit?

NB: Whatever I tell you will be old news by the following day. Metro Detroit has a rich heritage of imbibing and the newest growth of bars and restaurants is changing the culinary map, fast. Currently, I’m digging Mezcals but there are only a handful that are legally imported into the state. However, I see this changing as the demand for that product is constantly growing. Mezcal is any agave-based spirit so Tequila is a type of Mezcal. There are thousands of varieties and many never leave Mexico. They are sometimes smokey and often pack a boozy punch and have tons of flavor.

DII: Speaking of drinks, do you have a favorite ingredient you like in yours?

NB: My favorite boozy ingredient is Batavia Arrack van Oosten. This Indonesian spirit is part rum and part soju. I often have cravings for its soft earthy funk and touch of sweetness. It goes well in too many drinks. Grapefruit is my favorite non-boozy ingredient. The balance between bitter, sour and sweet plays well with so many spirits and cocktails.

DII: Where did your love of spirits come from?

NB: I have a culinary appreciation from my grandmother and father both of which had an affinity for spirits. My family taught me about respecting alcohol for its flavors and not for its evils. But it exploded in college when I finally had my own kitchen to experiment with. We actually built a bar from my dorm room loft. This lead to parties where people would bring over different spirits to experiment with; Galliano, Mezcal, Sherry, etc. We made too many classic and original cocktails to count.

DII: Are you into rituals? Like, are there things that you do consistently?

NB: Seeking out new bars and local spirits when I travel for work or pleasure is one of my favorite rituals. Exploring regional distilleries and bringing back products not available in Michigan helps give my home bar a lot of character. While meeting with the city’s “bar stars” and sampling their cocktails, shows me what others are doing around the country. I can bring back what I have learned to my own creations.

DII: Your morning ritual likely includes some form of liquid? What do you ingest first after you wake up?

NB: I never caught the habitual coffee bug but will grab some if it’s around. Same goes for tea, juice or even pop. Coffee is delicious and has nearly as many varieties as spirits. With coffee houses popping up as fast as craft bars, that becomes another way to explore beverages and is way more socially acceptable for AM sipping.

DII: Do you have a favorite day of the week? What do you do for your favorite date?

NB: Thursday is my favorite day of the week. I thoroughly enjoy my day job and then often get to pair it with a fun event at night. I get to work with advertising clients all day then check out a new opening, debut cocktail menu or chat with bartender friends. There is an energy that night of the week as the weekend is around the corner, but the corporate world still can’t get sloppy since it’s still work the next day. You always have to be selective with your drinks and don’t go crazy, but Thursday really is the best day for me, let’s just say it’s when I have the most fun.

My favorite date is December 5th. It’s known as Repeal Day and is the day in 1933 that Prohibition was revoked. I only hope my liver makes it to 2033 so I can enjoy the 100th anniversary of the holiday.

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