Beyond the Drink: Stacey Swenson’s Bugs’ Sour (S8/Ep.17)

Stacey Swenson is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry and one of the most sought-after bartenders on aperitivo and Italian drinking culture. After relocating to NYC from Chicago, she held notable positions including head bartender at Dante, which was #1 on the World’s Best Bar list in 2019. She was the Bar Director for Mattos Hospitality group and is currently the Bar Director for Nine Orchard Hotel. For this episode, Stacey not only schools us on aperitivos, but also shares an incredibly delicious gin-based ‘sour’ cocktail. Stacey shares some of the work she does to give back to the community, including her work with Another Round Another Rally. Enjoy this episode as we go Beyond the Drink… with Stacey Swenson. (cocktail recipe below)


Bugs’ Sour

Makes 1 cocktail


1.5 oz gin, such as Fords Gin

.5 oz orange curaçao 

.75 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz fresh carrot juice

.5 oz caraway-star anise syrup*

Optional: vegan foamer or egg white 


METHOD: add all ingredients to shaker tin, shake well, strain over ice (if using egg white, dry shake first)

GLASSWARE: rocks

GARNISH: caraway-salt** half rim, mini carrot or carrot top greens


*caraway-star anise syrup: 

In a saucepan add 2 tbsp caraway seeds, and roughly 4 whole star anise. Turn on high heat and toast spices until you start to smell the aromas (around 2 mins – be careful not to burn). Add one cup of sugar and one cup of water, let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain. 


**caraway salt: 

1 part sugar, 2 parts ground caraway to 4 parts sea salt



This episode is Presented by Fords Gin.  

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