Competitors in MCW's kickoff, the Agave Gauntlet: Casa Noble Cocktail Relay, will be paired off into teams by drawing straws the night of the competition. Some are longtime pals, some are relative newcomers; some gregarious, some a touch reserved: we figured we should level the playing field by helping them, and you, get to know each other a little better a head of time.
CONTENDER: Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald was among the first to reply to our survey of incredibly intimate questions with the appropriate balance of levity & professionalism. McDonald only recently moved to Madison to helm the bar at the forthcoming Field Table, but he's a veteran contributor to Wisconsin cocktail culture through his work with Bittercube and at a slew of Milwaukee restaurants and bars. He's also president of the state's chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. We're delighted to welcome him to the fold.
Where you work + your shift schedule:
Field Table, schedule TBD
Most of what I post is on @usbgmke
Who do you consider a mentor? Most important lesson they taught you?
Darkwing Duck. How to get dangerous.
What sensations/emotions does the phrase "personal brand" immediately invoke?
Anxiety and fear...a bit of a tickle.
Favorite work of art:
Tequila: sip neat, or in a cocktail?
Neat. Gone are the days that only allow us to shoot rail tequila, with a lime and salt. There are so many great products that serve us better with no noise.
MSG: Parmesan or Uncut Powder?
Setting aside lime & orange--what are your go-to flavor combinations for agave-based distillates?
Spices, I love Manhattans with agave-based distillates. Also spices and peppers. Real hot right now. Pun a bit intended.
What's your favorite Wisconsin/Midwestern source of acid – something tart/tangy to balance a cocktail?
Shoot me, Cranberries. We cultivate a lot of cranberries here and they offer a tart acidity not found in many fruit.
Over-under on how soon Wisconsin will be wine country:
I don't gamble so I really don't know what that means. As soon as this whole climate shift gets to it.
Your favorite tool (bar... or life):
Favorite vessel you've sipped out of:
Whole pineapples with crazy straws shared amongst great friends.