Todd Thrasher, General Manager, Sommelier & Liquid Savant of Alexandria’s Restaurant Eve, is a lover of many things—scuba diving, the island of Bonaire, playing golf and cooking. Most importantly, however, is his love for the creation of the perfect artisan cocktail and his knowledge of wine.
Thrasher, a native Virginia, is the passion behind expert wine lists and trend setting cocktails for Restaurant Eve, Society Fair, TNT Bar, and PX that have earned him acclaim and garnered him highly coveted awards.
“I strive to do things differently. I want our guests to remember what they drank just as much as what they ate – I want them to experience it the way I do,” – Todd Thrasher
In this month’s Cocktail List, we’re featuring two of Thrasher’s Belle Isle creations: “Sweetmeat” & “I’m Feelin’ Frisky, Drinkin’ This White Whiskey”. Cheers!
- 1 1/2oz Belle Isle Premium Moonshine
- 1 1/2oz pecan simple syrup
- Dash of peach bitters
Combine, add ice, stir, and strain into coupe glass.
I'm Feelin' Frisky, Drinkin' This White Whiskey
- 2oz Belle Isle Premium Moonshine infused with mint
- Mint oil
- 2oz mint simple syrup
- Dash of mint bitters
Add Belle Isle Premium Moonshine, mint simple syrup, and bitters into shaker with ice. Shake and strain into coupe martini glass. Place 4-5 drops of mint oil into cocktail.
Interview: Todd Thrasher
What drew you to mixology?
I still have not been drawn to mixology yet – I am still just a bartender! I didn’t chose the bar life, the bar life chose me! I like making people happy so after I got the bartending bug I never left the business.
What inspires you?
Music, travel, food, craft spirits, nice people and the seasons.
Where are your favorite places to eat, aside from Restaurant Eve, in Northern Virginia?
Wait, does Richmond count? The Roosevelt is so good! Around my neck of the woods, Kapnos in Arlington.
The French Laundry Cookbook! Amazing on all levels: technique, ingredients, pictures – it has it all!
Favorite cocktailing book?
I don’t have a favorite. I have never bought a cocktail book, and I don’t look at them. I worry if I look at them I may take ideas from other people.
Last time we chatted, you were writing a book. How’s it coming?
It is still going very slowly, as my time dedicated to writing the book has been overtaken by work over the past year. However, I hope to finish it up by the end of the year.
If you were having guests over, what’s your go-to DIY cocktail? Why?
Rum and Coke! No, seriously, I usually make Rum Manhattans or Paloma’s. They hit on what most people want – either something boozy or fruity. I usually have one of each style.
If you could have only a handful of ingredients behind the bar, what would they be?
Belle Isle Honey Habanero, Sailor Jerry Rum, Del Maguey Vida, Commonwealth Gin, and Cocchi Americano would round out the booze part. Lime, basil, sugar, Fentiman’s tonic water and ice would finish it up. I would be able to survive with that. Oh, and maybe some Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc for me to sip on!
You’ve used Belle Isle Premium Moonshine at the Atlanta Food and Wine festival the last couple years. Why?
I really like the idea of introducing people to new, local, and independent producers and products. So what better place to showcase an amazing product? And there are so many misconceptions of what moonshine is suppose to be; I like to show what it can be!
Go-to cocktail and why?
Rum and tonic for me! That is really what I drink: 2 oz of rum, 2 squeezes of lime and half tonic and half soda water.
What do the next 5 years look like for Todd Thrasher?
A bunch of scuba diving trips with my wife and son! In five years he will be able to take a junior certification so Maria and I are going to take him everywhere! Business wise, finish the book, open a few more bars and open a rum distillery. Oh, and be super happy!