Kyle Ford

Text by Eileen Chiang

Dapper as Dan and thickly mustached in a gentleman’s three-button waistcoat, Kyle Ford is a callback to days where integrity stood behind the bar and delivered your libations with true craft and an authentic smile. Co-founder of Ford Mixology Lab with his wife and former high school sweetheart, Rachel Ford, Kyle is devoted to the art of the cocktail and a staunch advocate of the so-called “farm-to-glass” approach to his craft.

Kyle—who grew up in Sacramento, like his wife, amidst the enviable abundance of fresh produce in the Bay Area—thrives on mixing fresh ingredients with fierce spirits, creating tantalizing and original recipes inspired by the classic repertoire of bartenders past. His dedication to the careful curation of ingredients and conscientiousness for sustainable imbibing quickly brought him a cult following at the Savoy Tivoli, a lauded San Francisco  cocktail lounge. His secret cocktail menu that employed fresh, local ingredients and fine spirits led to his recruitment by two of the foggy city’s top drinking establishments, 15 Romolo and Rye. More recently, his soulfully developed and ever-evolving skills earned him the venerable post of  Corporate Mixologist for Rémy Cointreau.

An avid history buff, Kyle is deeply immersed and passionate about resurrecting classic and forgotten drinks with painstakingly accurate proportions, profiles and ingredients. His impressive attention to detail and relentless inventiveness helped him win the Grand Prize of Bärenjäger’s Annual Bartender Competition, where he created a three-ingredient vermouth-based cocktail called the S.S. Europa.

Born out of the desire to help Americans get back in touch with Prohibition-era drinking traditions, Kyle and his wife Rachel serve New York’s finest restaurants and bars, providing entertaining and informative videos on their website, fordmixologylab.com.

As Kyle reminds us, “The best cocktails do not live behind speakeasy doors; they live behind your own.”

Blue Note
Recipe by Kyle Ford

1.5 oz. Stolichnaya Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Crème de Violette

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a brandied cherry.

“In Jazz and Blues, a blue note is played at a slightly lower pitch than that of the major scale for expressive purposes. Similarly, this cocktail uses the backbone of the Cosmopolitan and syncopates with the floral expressiveness of the Aviation.” – Kyle Ford.

THE SPRING ISSUE

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