From the Weekender: Hitting The Bar With… Preston Eckman
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.
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.