Going 10 Rounds With Top Bartender Adam Couto
The master mixologist at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod tackles our speed round of questions.
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? ““I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News.”
After all these years bartending and creating drinks, do you still enjoy going out to bars? “Absolutely! I like to see what other people are doing, talk to other people in the industry, and look for new ideas and collaborations.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “A properly made Manhattan at the British Beer Company where I used to work. I had been making the drink wrong the whole time, then a new bartender told how to make it properly and it was beautiful! I’ve been making it that way ever since.”
What book on cocktails or spirits is your go-to resource? “The Flavor Bible, an index of flavors and pairings, which I use to build recipes.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “Mai Tai and fish tacos.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The Sunshine Riptide. I originally created a mocktail from orange ginger shrub with carrot juice, soda water and orange bitters then decided to add rum to it and added it to our Chatham Bars Inn cocktail menus.”
Is there one person (dead or alive) you’d like to make a cocktail for? “Grandma Dot (my grandmother). Her favorite drink was a Whiskey Sour and I never had the opportunity to make one for her. I think she’d be proud of me.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “Rye whiskey and pilsner.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “A paring knife. You can always find shakers and strainers, but often paring knives are dull or missing and it’s a necessary and versatile tool.”
Adam Couto is the master mixologist at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod.
Interview has been condensed and edited.