Meet Your Mixologist: Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark (Part 2)
Last month, Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, the L.A.-based Cooking Channel cocktail queens, revealed their most disgusting cocktail to date (Ham Daiquiri!?), how they got their big break and what inspired their most (in)famous cocktail, the McNuggetini. This month, for Part 2 of the Alie & Georgia interview, they talk about what crazy culinary stunts they pull in their new show Classy Ladies, their favorite vintage shops and bars in L.A. and some Proust questionnaire pandering.
What is Classy Ladies about and how does it differ from your other shows?
Alie Ward: Our past series, Drinks with Alie & Georgia, was us shaking cocktails and being weird behind a table. Pretty basic stuff, like Nazi jokes, Snoopy Sno Cone machines, and blowtorches. In Classy Ladies, we take culinary classes (classy get it?!) in things like oyster shucking, marshmallow making, and soda pop, and then come back to our kitchen to create a cocktail based on what we learned. We get to have adventures and meet rad people who are passionate about their craft. Also we got to have a hot dog eating contest while wearing fancy vintage dresses, which was very classy.
What do you think your piece de resistance cocktail is to date is and why?
Ward: I really loved the 5-Spice on Ice because it's a complex taste, but a fun nod to a classic boozy Sazerac — which I love — but it definitely has an experimental edge to it. But I think my favorite, favorite new drink is the Can't Beet A Gin-ger Fizz because it involves a gin infusion, which I love doing, plus interesting ingredients (a whole beet!) and it's tart and tangy and herb-y, I could drink them all day. SHUT UP IT'S HEALTHY. Also? It's chock full of puns. We take care in making up the dorkiest names possible for our beverages.
Hardstark: We get asked to make cocktails on stage at comedy shows around town or at parties and events. We both love the challenge of creating a drink that showcases the theme of the event and has a story to tell. Recently we were asked to make a cocktail for a Breaking Bad themed comedy night. I love the Breaking Bad show and I think we represented it pretty well with our cocktail. We used Yerbe Mate tea (which is like crack), Blue Curaçao, mezcal, and then we made a spicy simple syrup using chili pepper. It was blue in hue, had a touch of "chili p," and since Alie had once had an intervention involving Yerbe Mate and I had a crazy reaction to mezcal, it fit the theme perfectly.
Vintage dresses are your signature outfits, where are your favorite places to shop vintage in L.A.?
Hardstark: We've got vintage dress shopping down to a science. Buying dresses for our web series requires ten dresses each that coordinate well with the theme and the other's dress, which is quite a challenge. We start at Shareen's, which is a secret dress shop outside of Chinatown (don't tell anyone about it!). We also like Jet Rag, American Vintage, and Iguana. Our vintage dress collection is pretty sick. Seriously, our closets looks like Toddlers & Tiaras meets RuPaul's Drag Race meets Mad Men.
What is your favorite bar in L.A.?
Ward: I love being tucked into the back of Eveleigh, which is located on the cultural skid mark that is the Sunset Strip. It's quaint and elegant and rustic and the bar menu — by Mr. Dave Kupchinsky, a.k.a. Ol' Man Winter — is across the board delicious. I also love Cole's and Varnish for classic cocktails, the Library Bar at the Roosevelt for drinks with crazy fresh ingredients, and Julian Cox makes insanely wonderful drinks for Playa. His Diving Bell is one of my favorite libations in Los Angeles.
Hardstark: What I want in a bar depends on so many things: my mood, what I feel like drinking, if I feel like running into any exes. So my favorite bar changes regularly. I love Big Bar in Los Feliz when I want sunshine and people watching, El Coyote when I want a strong Margarita and good-bad Mexican food, The Roost in Atwater when I need a dark divey hangout, and El Prado in Echo Park for great beer and music.
Photos courtesy of Food Network's Cooking Channel and Alie & Georgia