Joe Eifler and partner David Alan are the minds behind the popular cocktilian blog, the Tipsy Texan (www.TipsyTexan.com). Eifler talks to G Style about the inspiration for Texas’ tipsiest blog, Austin’s sophistication level when it comes to cocktails and the area’s hottest mixologists.
How did the Tipsy Texan start and how did the name come to be?
I found Dale DeGroff’s book, “The Craft of the Cocktail.” It is laid out like a course book of sorts, so we started mixing and haven’t looked back. It is a passion.
What is the range of drink projects, assignments and opportunities you’ve been involved in?
Most of our non-blog work has been for charity events: Green Corn Project, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Family by Choice and others. We’ve done one wedding and one large party on the side. Currently, we’re finalizing the plans for a craft cocktail happy hour to be hosted at a local establishment.
What is the difference between a cocktilian and a bartender, in your eyes?
The cocktilian has an appreciation for and understanding of the history of the story of the cocktail, in general, and the histories and stories behind individual cocktails. There is an attention to detail and the quality of the ingredients, as well. The bartender is often in the position of slinging volume, though they are likely seldom challenged to do more by the establishments in which they work. Now that I think about it, the cocktilian seems to me to be the person searching for what the craft mixologist can produce.
What is the coolest thing about Austin’s drink scene? The most disappointing?
The coolest thing is that we have so much potential to grow the cocktail culture. Mixologists like Bill Norris, Ben Craven and Mindy Kucan are paving the way. The most disappointing is that people just don’t know or care about what they are drinking.
What other mixologists do you look up to and where do most of your ideas and training come from?
Local mixologists would be Bill Norris, Ben Craven and Mindy Kucan. Nationally, there are too many to recognize: Dale DeGroff, Chad Solomon (who is from Austin!), etc.
What is your idea of the ultimate cocktail party? Who would be your special guest?
Honestly, it would have to be a simple affair with friends and family where we relax, shake some cocktails and whip up some food. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ass-shaking party. The guest would be my dad’s father. I never knew him and would love to sit down with a glass and chat.
Do you think the stereotype that gay men prefer sweet drinks is a generalization based on fact or fiction?
I think it’s fiction. I blame the club culture because all they offer the poor boors is sweet swill.
Does Austin resist sophistication?
I think we resist pretentiousness, not sophistication. Pretension is haughty. Sophistication is a refinement and poise. In the vernacular, it’s cool. Austin just has not been offered the right venue yet.