Mike Wolf is a man of many talents; author, bartender and storyteller being among the top notable attributes. He brings together all three of those skills in his latest book Barantined: Recipes, Tips, and Stories To Enjoy At Home, a compendium of at-home drink recipes and stories from a variety of expert bartenders and sommeliers gathered during the pandemic.
Wolf also happens to be the host of We Own This Town podcast Liquid Gold, a bi-weekly show that focuses on much of the same kind of material; talking with experts about the history of specific drinks and how best to make those concoctions in your own space. Over the course of some 80 episodes, he’s spoken with the likes of Charles Nelson of Greenbriar Distillery, Rum legend Ed Hamilton, Nicolette Anctil of Husk, Foggy Ridge Cider’s own Diane Flynt and even Cold Brew Afficionado Chris Crofton… just to name a few. All that’s to say, Wolf’s insights on a myriad of drinks is well exercised in both the podcast and his publications.
The discussions within Barantined capture a moment in time; one that we’re still feeling the ripples of as we work our way through new variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus. These stories are double-y fascinating given that Nashville was still struggling with the recovery efforts from a tornado shortly before quarantine locked us all down. The situation is unique but the stories and insights Wolf compiles from a long list of experts are timeless. They remind us that making a good cocktail at home is a great skill but there’s also something irreplaceable about being served from the bar.