The first official cocktail mixed by The Overserved Society was the Old Fashion. “Although in a way, it began with an awful gin Gimlet,” co-founder Seth Putnam explained. Blake, the other co-founder, was over at Seth’s place and upon spotting his liquor cabinet, asked what he could whip up. The true answer was “nothing,” but he gave the Gimlet a shot anyway. It was a complete disaster.“We realized we were woefully inept in the spirits department,” Seth told us, “But it wasn’t until later, when recreated an excellent Esquire recipe for the Old Fashioned, that we realized we might be able to hone our skills rather than regret our lack of them.”
What better audience to use as taste-testers than their close friends? It started with a handful of people in their apartments, but soon they needed space to accommodate upwards of a hundred people. These evenings became the official Overserved Society cocktail parties—held at a new location every time, with a new drink mixed (and just one on the menu).
Most recently, they spent a summer evening in the yard of Bang Bang Pie Shop mixing the Boulevardier—essentially a Negroni, but mixed with whiskey.
For those of us who are also relatively hopeless when it comes to cocktail-mixing, Blake has a few pointers:
First, buy fresh ingredients. “It’s the cornerstone of cocktail-making, much like fit is in menswear. We always use fresh-squeezed fruit juice and garnishes.” he explained, “And no sweet or sour mix under any circumstances, ever.”
And to begin, start buy mixing a few classics, like the Old Fashioned. “Despite its fruity bastardization in recent decades, it’s really just whiskey, sugar, and bitters,” Seth told us. A few other good options are Manhattans, Martinis, and Sours.
They’re setting their sights high for the Overserved parties—perhaps taking them on the road in the future. “Ultimately,” Seth told us, “this whole event is designed around the phenomenal power a good drink has to bring people together.”
Photos by Collin Hughes