Food & Wine: Chad Michael George

© Adam Larkey

Chad Michael George

Best New Mixologist 2016

Where He Won: The Way Back; Denver, CO. The Way Back is all about community, from using produce from local farmers, to offering all hospitality workers their first beer on the house. Their cocktail menu truly speaks to the drinker in full, descriptive sentences: “Baron Samedi spiced rum, Appleton Signature rum and Campari make a likely delicious marriage. Passionfruit and nutmeg will put you in the tiki mood.”

Favorite bar in the world (besides your own)?

That's like asking who your favorite kid is. I want to say it's the next great bar I haven't been to yet. I love travelling and a huge part of my time spent on the road is visiting every new bar I can get into.

Secret weapon behind the bar?

Bubbles. Everything is better with bubbles. Prosecco, cider, soda, whatever.

The most unusual drink request you’ve gotten?

A guest sat down and said "Picture this...I just found an old chest in my attic and opened it to discover hundreds of old black and white photos from my parents’ childhood. Make me a drink, and GO!" WHAT?!? I'm pretty sure I made him a riff on a Manhattan with some serious a Laphroaig rinse on the glass.


One thing every home bartender should have on hand:

Jiggers. Bartending is way more like baking than cooking. Precise measurements are crucial when you're dealing with potent and flavorful ingredients.

A drink that everyone should learn how to make:

Their favorite drink. I'm blown away and also flattered when a regular guest will come in time-and-time again for me to make them the most simple drinks, stating "you just make it better than me."

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