Interview: mixologist-bartender John Coltharp (Seven Grand)

Bartender Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of John Coltharp

Cocktail culture is thriving in large part due to a passionate contingent of exceptional bartenders and mixologists. This feature places a spotlight on the craftspeople behind the bar, and not just the structure itself. Meet bartender John Coltharp from Seven Grand in Los Angeles.

Josh Lurie: Do you consider yourself a bartender or a mixologist? What’s the difference?

John Coltharp: A mixologist-bartender. I prefer the two together. There is enough respect with just bartender, but I create drinks and research their history.

JL: How did you become interested in mixology?

JC: By drinking good drinks.

JL: What’s your first cocktail memory?

JC: Vodka and orange juice. Now I prefer Gin.

JL: What’s your current favorite spirit or liquor?

JC: Rye whiskey

JL: Which cocktail is past its prime?

JC: The ‘Apple-tini’

JL: What’s the cocktail of the future?

JC: The one in front of you.

JL: Describe one of your original cocktails. What’s it called and what was your approach?

JC: The Seven Sins- Rye, Applejack, lemon juice, house made grenadine, cinnamon on top. Fall flavor with a complex finish.

JL: Do you have a cocktail mentor, and what did they teach you?

JC: Sammy Ross. He started my education.

JL: Outside of your bar, what’s your favorite bar in town and why?

JC: The Association. Great style.

JL: Who’s another mixologist you respect and why?

JC: Marcos Tello and Eric Alperin. They know their stuff, and they’re humble about it.

JL: If you had a bar of your own, what would you call it?

JC: Lurie’s.

JL: What’s the best simple cocktail for people to make at home, and what’s the recipe?

JC: The Bee’s Knees
2 oz Gin
3/4 lemon
3/4 honey (that is brought down to 75% strength)
Shake, strain, cocktail glass, no garnish.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

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Very straight to the point, isn’t he!

cut. and dry.

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