From the Weekender: Hitting The Bar With… Preston Eckman

The Adsum barman and Beefeater/Plymouth regional brand ambassador talks booze

Age at which you took your first drink: Probably 14. It was a wicked combination of everything at my father’s back bar.

Most overlooked bar ingredient: Ice. It’s such an integral part of the cocktail, but people don’t pay attention to it. At Adsum, we have three different kinds of ice. We make our own cubes. A perfectly built cocktail with all of the proper ingredients and ratios can be completely destroyed by being overdiluted.

What drink you make to convert a gin hater: I like to make them a Southside. It’s like a gin mojito. Or a Fitzgerald, which is a gin sour with Angostura Bitters. At Adsum, you can try the Logical Consequence ($12) or the Elixir Classique ($11).

Preferred bar snack: Samurai Snacks. They’re roasted peanuts covered in a rice paste and then baked. Some have wasabi. Some have sesame seeds. Other than that, when in Pennsylvania, eat pretzels.

Where we can find you when you’re not working: To enjoy a cocktail, I love Chick’s. I love Southwark. Love that neighborhood. And of course, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company.

Wine or beer: Depends on the situation, of course. By right at this very moment [12:20pm on this hot Wednesday], I want a nice, crisp, high acid white wine. A vinho verde would be excellent, especially after the gin craze I had last night. Or a really grassy sauvignon blanc. Or a sour beer. I just had the Ommegang Zuur at Rembrandt’s the other night.

Drink to order if we want to piss you off: A Miller Lite. A lot of people might say mojito, but that’s actually one of my favorite cocktails to make.

How long the whole craft cocktail thing will last: It’s here for good, barring another round of the Noble Experiment [aka Prohibition].

Percentage of Philly bartenders who can craft a proper martini: I’d say it’s risen dramatically in the past five years. But until everyone knows how to make a proper martini, I’ll always say not enough.

Olives or a twist: A twist. But I’ll take olives on the side.

Whether you’ve ever had a tequila worm: Ah, yeah. But to be honest with you, if you see a worm in tequila, it’s probably not the best tequila.

Name of your preferred tequila: I like Azunia a lot. Corralejo makes some bitchin’ stuff. And, of course, you gotta love David Suro’s Siembra Azul. For mezcals, there’s a new one called Vida that just became available in the state, and there is also a great one coming to Philly in September called Illegal Mezcal.

How much you hate the word “mixologist”: I don’t hate it. But I don’t ever call myself that. I just make good cocktails.

Thirsty? Preston mans the bar at Adsum (700 South 5th Street, 267-888-7002) Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Tell him I sent you.