When we think of great artists wielding their pens or their paint brushes, or even master chefs effortlessly flambéing, we hardly think of the mistakes, and the many failures, they had along the way.

As with any craft, there is a long learning curve to becoming a master. This education is rooted in the ‘no shortcuts’ method of trial and error. Even after years of practice, any artist, writer, or in our case, bartender, will tell you that the learning curve is never complete.

The spit bucket isn’t exclusive to wine snobs.  Even the greats among us will at some point shake up a bad (or gag-inducing) drink.

Shake it. Stir it. Try it Again.

There have been plenty of times at our own bars that we’ve dumped glassfuls into the sink. An orange mocha cocktail? Maybe not. A red-hot rainbow tequila? Close, but not close enough.

As each seemingly brilliant idea enters Columbia’s sewer system, we mourn and move on to another equally ambitious concept. Without the willingness to fail, we lose our spirit to innovate.

Distilleries, breweries, and wineries are continuously experimenting with their products. How else would we know the sweet pleasures of a beermosa or a wine slushy?

We love to catch our co-workers, and ourselves getting caught up in the verbal volley of “What goes with this?” or “What if we try that?” No two spirits are exactly the same, so no two spirits will make the exact same drink.

As with cocktails, and as with life, trying the way that makes us question and curious will gift us the best reward.

Next time you’re at one of our bars, ask for something different. We would love to breakdown the process of creating our signature drinks. Maybe we can make a swap or two to make your cocktail your own mind-opening adventure.