“My first experience with Singha was at this killer Thai bar that used to be across the street from a place I bartended at back in the day. It was a cozy little spot hidden up some stairs and it was known as an industry hangout for the local bar and restaurant scene when they got off of work late at night. It was the kind of place that you could lay low without being bothered by anyone. Then one night someone handed me a Singha, and all I could think of was that it was exactly what I needed after working a long shift behind the bar.” – Erick Castro
Erick Castro initially built his cocktail empire at San Francisco’s Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch by searching for obscure recipes, methods and ingredients that originated prior to Prohibition. The bartending behemoth has created unique beverage programs that have earned a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists, including Esquire’s Best Bars in America, Food & Wine’s “World’s Top Bars” and countless nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans, and was recognized by the StarChefs organization as “Rising Star Mixologist” in 2010.
In 2013, Castro partnered up with Southern California’s hospitality collective, CH Projects, to launch Polite Provisions –which quickly received accolades such as Imbibe magazine’s Cocktail Bar of the Year 2014 and Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Bars. In 2014, he teamed up with the team behind Cocktail Kingdom to create Boilermaker in New York City, where it quickly earned a reputation as an East Village hangout with incredible cocktails. The bar has since been featured in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal and Wine Enthusiast, and was recently chosen by New York magazine as Best Serious Cocktails in New York City. Also in 2014, Castro, co-created Follow The Liter, an irreverent series of cocktail tutorials, produced and co-hosted by the crew at KindaFunny.com.
The series quickly reached views in the six-digits and there are currently more episodes in the works. In early 2015, Castro began writing a monthly column for Eater National where he muses on the world cocktails & spirits. As of January 2016, Castro launched an online bartender series titled, Bartender at Large, which chronicles the cocktail industry around the world. In addition, a full-length documentary of the same name will be released in July, 2016.