What is Adam Seger working on now?
I do all of the cocktails for a group called iPic entertainment, which is a group of luxury movie theaters that have full-service craft-cocktail menus. We’ve got nine locations, but the one in Milwaukee, we just did the restaurant concept, so I’ve been up there doing the training. We’ve got our next location opening on Wilshire Boulevard in L.A. Those are a lot of fun. Besides doing the cocktail list, we also will partner up with studios. For instance, I created some cocktails for Gangster Squad, and I’m definitely a movie buff. They’ve got to be creative, and I hadn’t seen the movie, so I do as much research as I can and create a cocktail that really kind of embodies what the movie is about. When you go to an iPic theater, you’ve got a big overstuffed chair similar to the kind you’d find flying in international business class, but they also bring you a pillow and a blanket; you’ve got a server who takes care of your food and your drinks. If you’re watching a movie in that kind of environment and can have a cocktail that is really creatively themed to the movie, I think it’s a really all-encompassing experience. I spend probably most of my time on that, and it’s definitely some of the most fun.
Other than that, I’ve started a bitters company. The first we’ve done is winter black Périgord truffle bitters, and we had kind of a kick-off at the Cayman Cookout where we did an armagnac sidecar that was finished with shaved truffles and truffle bitters. That’s a lot of fun — kind of taking the cocktail bitters to what we’re calling “affordable luxury.” With spirits, it’s great to freeze a particular flavor or aroma that’s available for a limited part of the year and time; because once you soak those truffles in a high-proof spirit, it just casts that really interesting touch. You can have a unique experience on the finishing top of a cocktail. So that’s one project, and the other — and this is with the same partner that I’m doing the bitters with — is I’m working on a sweet vermouth. I think vermouth is one of the most interesting and important spirits right now because so many bars and mixologists are doing pre-Prohibition cocktails and Jerry Thomas-inspired cocktails from the 19th century. When you go to those old books, more than one out of two cocktails have vermouth in it. It was just so prevalent, and now slowly I’m seeing some more progressive bars trying to promote drinking vermouth like you would in Europe, where you just can have it on the rocks or with some soda and a twist. I’ve also seen the quality of vermouth at the bars increase dramatically. But one of the things I haven’t really seen is the quality of one of the top Italian vermouths made in the U.S. What we want to do, with the rise of craft spirits in the U.S., is an American vermouth that is at the quality of a Carpano Antica from Italy or a Dolin from France.