Interview: mixologist-bartender John Coltharp (Seven Grand)
515 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213 614 0737
View Web SitePhoto 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?
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 honey (that is brought down to 75% strength)
Shake, strain, cocktail glass, no garnish.