Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sip a Tipple

Everything happens for a reason.

It sounds trite, but it's a personal philosophy I hold near and dear - which leads me to wonder if the universe was working in harmony and leading me to delay posting this piece by a month and a half.

I met cocktail expert Molly Wellmann by chance when some of my friends and I stopped by Lavomatic after a Cincinnatus Association meeting. It was a heady, discuss-the-issues evening, and we were happy to unwind and lighten things up with a cocktail.

We had no idea what awaited us.

An effervescent gal was behind the bar, radiating fun and excitement about her craft. We were happy to oblige.

I returned to Lavomatic with the intent to pick Molly's brain about seasonal crafted cocktails, and was impressed by a brief list of thoughtfully designed drinks.

Molly Wellmann's Fall In A Glass - with Zwack, dry vermouth and cinnamon tincher

Bluegrass Brit and I combed over the list and tried smaller versions of these cocktails, starting with a Butternut Squash-tini, complete with Molly's homemade falarenum, a mixer made with rum, ginger, limes, clove and nutmeg. Molly treated us to a variety of other seasonal sips, some smoky with cachaca (a liqueur made of sugar cane that is grown at high altitudes in Brazil) and others warm and hinting of caramel tones. Gotta love bourbon.

You don't need to have a conversation with Molly to discover her talents - a good set of taste buds will lead you to make your own decision about this woman's skill, which makes the best of fresh ingredients and patiently manipulates them into perfection.

Indian Summer - named after a Broadway show - with sunshine bitters, Lillet and champagne

What I really enjoy about Molly is her passion for the drink.

A well-read cocktail historian, the tattooed beauty can tell you the roots about the beloved Martini (the original was first called a Martinez) and can also recommend a solid brunch cocktail if you're wanting something other than a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa (Molly suggests a Corpse Reviver - there are several versions, she'll make whichever one suits your palate).

Molly is a Cincinnati native who spent a stint in San Francisco before returning to our dear Queen City. A self taught mixologist, she relies on her beloved copy of the Savoy Cocktail Book, which was originally published in 1930 and has more than 750 libations to love.

Few bartenders in Cincinnati make their own bitters - Molly has a variety of them to alter the dimensions of your drink du jour. Also capable of making her own flavored liqueurs, Ms. Wellmann says she's also a skilled jeweler and nutritionist.

A woman who can make my drink sparkle *and* healthy - who could ask for anything more?

Molly recently parted ways with Lavomatic, which makes me wonder if the delay of my writing this blog post was kismet.

For weeks I was coping with technology problems involving both my computer and video camera - now that it's all worked out, I'm thrilled I get to write about Molly Wellmann's talents and the huge opportunity that awaits a local cocktail establishment.

Molly is seeking a chance to serve up sparkling cocktails at another lounge or bar - and her adoring fans (and there are many) are anxious to see where she lands.

Interested parties can reach Molly Wellmann at

Who's thirsty?

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