Behind the Scenes

Volume #4: Colonial America

By Jonathan Laurel December 8, 2018 Behind the Scenes Cocktails

A century before the rise of the Cocktail, our eighteenth-century forefathers consumed much more alcohol than we drink today. Due to different tastes, as well as a lack of potable water, they drank porters, ales, hard ciders, and fortified wines—the only type of wine that could reliably survive the long sea voyage from Europe. The art of mixing alcoholic beverages itself was in a stage of baroque infancy. In our fourth volume, we unearth these… Read More

Seminar: “The Story of Absinthe”

By Jonathan Laurel September 4, 2018 Behind the Scenes Cocktails Events

Nothing encapsulates the “authenticity, lost” quality of Golden Age bar culture quite like Absinthe. Between 1840 and its eventual ban in Europe in the early 1900s, the much-mythologized “Green Fairy” soared to the height of drinking culture. Every day Parisians (and the French and Swiss, in general) conducted a daily routine that included two solid hours for absinthe every day, between 5p and 7p—the earliest version of… Read More

By The Numbers: House G&T

By Jonathan Laurel May 2, 2018 Behind the Scenes Cocktails

As you may or may not know, we keep our House Gin & Tonic on tap, a process that makes service super easy but that involved more numbers and science than we usually communicate. We pack 640oz of our house tonic and Castle & Key’s Restoration Gin under 16psi. And though it took about 24 tries to get the system right, it cranks out about 106 House G&Ts with inspiring consistency. So, in the end:… Read More

Guest Chefs @ West Main

By Jonathan Laurel April 19, 2018 Behind the Scenes Food

This winter our team spent time discussing the ways to develop and show off the culture we care about, the culture around which we built our bar. What enamors us about the cocktail is its rich history, its ingredients, and its iconic characters and stories; the surprising and sometimes utterly baffling experience of layering and recombining ingredients to an almost permutative extent that feels vaguely Borgesian; the colorful variations achievable when infusing spirits and the… Read More

Drink Better. About those Menus…

By Jason Jaggers January 30, 2018 Behind the Scenes

Early on, when we were first discussing the idea of West Main and everything we wanted it to be, we came up with the tagline “Drink Better.” For us, this phrase succinctly summed up our dream of building a truly world class cocktail program right here in the heart of bourbon country – a place where every detail matters and authentically exceptional cocktails are served in an approachable way. What we realized when talking about… Read More