“Seeing the amount of energy Tales of the Cocktail Foundation puts into fostering community and highlighting the work of people at all stages of their career via the online programming over the past year was impressive,” offers Shannon Mustipher. “Tales has impacted my life and career by helping me connect with more people, and to form meaningful working relationships as a result.”
Mustipher, who lives in New York City, actually began a career in hospitality through a lens of coffee and tea.
“I was a barista in college,” Mustipher says, where she “fell in love with learning how to make coffee with various methods. From there, I began to work in wine bars and restaurants, while mixing cocktails as a hobby at home. After four years of this, I asked for a few bar shifts at the restaurant I worked in and began adding 1 to 2 shifts at other places in my area until I became a full-time bartender at Glady’s.”
It was in a role as Director of Brand Advocacy for Bertoux Brandy in 2018 when Shannon first arrived on the scene at Tales of the Cocktail® in New Orleans, feeling like so many newcomers before her. “I was overwhelmed at times, trying to get to the various events and make connections with as many people as I could manage,” she says.
But the event was just the platform this Charleston-born bar chef needed.
“I have met and made friends there, which, in some cases, led to me being able to do guest shifts and lead seminars at bars that I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to access in that way.”
Like all great bartenders and spirits educators, Shannon knows the power of a perfect mixer is essential. At that first Tales, she met and mingled while serving Q Mixers with her team at Bertoux Brandy.
“Poor quality mixers tend to either make a drink too sweet/sugary or too bitter,” she advises. “If it does not add a good flavor or texture, a mixer only lengthens a drink, but makes the result boring and uninspired.”
After years of experimentation and finding the perfect mixer, Shannon’s Meet At Tales cocktail, the Antilles Rickey using Q Spectacular Tonic Water, is a brilliant display of the power of sugarcane in a cocktail consisting of her base of her Coconut-washed Rhum Agricole Blanc 110 and lime.
“The hospitality element, first and foremost, is what brings me joy working in this industry,” Mustipher says. “I enjoy seeing that guests at my bar enjoy themselves. I enjoy being able to provide that to a wide variety of people, connect over classic cocktails, and chat about spirits. After spending five-odd years running a bar program, followed by two years of focus on promoting my book, TIKI, 2021 was different from a work perspective. I began to pick up projects that involved creating content, recipes, and educational content, for consumption online. This was followed by an eclectic array of projects, ranging from creating a series of how-to cocktail videos, consulting for restaurants, and hosting live events.”
Today, Mustipher conducts market research and advises on strategies for positioning brands within new and existing accounts and markets. She develops cocktails and presents educational seminars on the topics of spirits, cocktail application and history for names like Pernod Ricard, Drifter Spirits, and Equianao Rum.
We cannot wait to see what Shannon comes up with next.
Q Mixers and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation present, Meet at Tales––a program going behind the scenes with eight industry leaders, delving into their best times at Tales of the Cocktail®––raising a virtual toast to the people, places, and drinks that have shaped their careers.
After several challenging years, Meet at Tales is a chance for our Industry Leaders to give advice and mentorship to those rising up. Six lucky Tales of the Cocktail 2021 registrants will be selected to Meet at Tales for a 15-minute conversation and will receive a custom cocktail kit developed by the Q MIXERS Industry Leader they are paired with. Following Tales, each Industry Leader will select one individual for a one-hour follow-up conversation.
We could think of no better partnership for this project than Q Mixers––a brand whose entire mission is to make truly spectacular mixers Additionally, during this year’s conference taking place in a hybrid format September 20-23, Q Mixers will host 4 Mix at Tales Happy Hour events ––each of which pair up 2 industry leaders to host a happy hour to field fun and pertinent questions, brainstorm, and have a few drinks of course.
Already registered? View the full Tales agenda to add Shannon’s or any other Mix at Tales Happy Hour events to your Tales of the Cocktail 2021 agenda.