Swampwater and The Florida Files with Byron Stithem from Proper Sake

Hosts Mike and Kenneth are joined by the “Toji with the Koji” himself, founder and saké master Byron Stithem of Proper Saké, to discuss the bizarre but true origins of the Swampwater cocktail. Created by overzealous marketing execs in the 1970’s southeast for the purpose of selling more Green Chartreuse to hard-partying states like Florida – and to compete with late 70’s heavy hitters like the Tequila Sunrise and the Harvey Wallbanger – the Swampwater is making a comeback thanks to inspired proprietors like Byron. He discusses his new taproom and tasting bar “Rice Vice,” why cold and highly carbonated sparkling water is so important to a great highball, and how he’s managed to use the chemical compounds in pineapple to inform his new version of the Swampwater at Proper Saké. Then the crew aptly devotes the rest of the episode to “The Florida Files,” Kenneth’s long-running booze news sidebar about all the strange things happening down in the sunshine state. Also discussed: what is koji, which styles of saké to look out for at your local bottle shop, and how much damage can a forklift do if you drive it straight through a liquor store.


Mike Wolf’s new book Cheer: A Liquid Gold Holiday Drinking Guide is available for pre-order now! Pick up a copy ASAP!


Music by Upright T-Rex Music.
Logo by Jess Machen

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