Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Chad Solomon
The talented Dallas bartender and bar director tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “I like to ask our bartenders in training to make me something to check their progress, and give feedback. The particular drink could be a wide variety of things depending on the season.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “‘Ain’t That Lovin You Baby’ by Link Wray.”
What drink should be banished and why? “The Dirty Martini with commodity olive brine is pretty disgusting.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “Joseph Schwartz served me a Silver Lining cocktail (rye whiskey, Licor 43, lemon, egg white, club soda) on my first visit to Milk & Honey. Mind Blown.”
What book on cocktails, spirits, or food is your go-to resource? “On Food & Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, gets a lot of mileage.”
Ever appropriate to shake a Martini? “I prefer for a Martini to be stirred, but if someone prefers their Martini shaken, then go for it.”
What’s your favorite whiskey and food pairing? “Lighter bodied malt whiskies and sushi is pretty hard to beat.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The Bensonhurst cocktail I created at Pegu Club in early 2006 has had legs, which is great, but it’s really tough to choose one. I handle the majority of the drink creation at Midnight Rambler and I’m always excited when one of my drinks excites and brings joy to a guest.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “Miller High Life with a 50/50 blend of Hochstadter’s Slow & Low 8-Year-Old and Laird’s Jersey Lightning Unaged Apple Brandy, served neat.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “I always carry a pair of jiggers, and a KitchenArt Adjust-A-Tablespoon, and an Adjust-A-Teaspoon.”
Chad Solomon is the co-creator of acclaimed bar Midnight Rambler in Dallas.
Interview has been condensed and edited.