How did Adam Seger get into the mixology world?
I bartended in college. I’ve always loved to cook, and bartending had an appeal to me because you’re doing both: You are preparing something in front of the guests to their specifications and you get immediate feedback — whether good or bad, it’s completely unfiltered. And so I kind of put that on the backburner for a few years, and focused mainly on wine and was working in upscale hotels and fine-dining restaurants. It really wasn’t until after working at The French Laundry that I really got into cocktails like I am now. It was a very organic process because I started learning all of these things about food from Thomas Keller and Rick Tramonto — I was the old GM at Tru — and I did a couple of stagiaires in Strasbourg, France. Then I took all that culinary knowledge and became a sommelier, as well. And to me, mixology is just a natural progression of both: You use all of the elements of flavor and balance that you use as a sommelier along with a respect for ingredients and how they’re processed and seasonality, seasoning and flavor you have in the kitchen. The bar is just a combination of all of those skills and experiences.