Episode 260 – Jesse Sheidlower

Virtual Memories Show 260:
Jesse Sheidlower

“You don’t need to reinterpret drinks that have been perfect for 80 years.”

Time for a books & booze break! Lexicographer/bartender Jesse Sheidlower returns to the show (here’s our first ep.) to talk about bartending at The Threesome Tollbooth, a very intimate cocktail experience in Brooklyn (as in, there’s only space for two patrons and a bartender). We get into the origin of the Tollbooth and why it’s neither a “speakeasy” nor immersive theater, the confession-booth aspect of the space and the sanctity of the bartender-patron relationship, the reasons classic cocktails become classic and why barely anyone’s ever had a real daiquiri, and how you can get New Yorkers to stop looking at their phones. Plus, we talk about Jesse’s new built-in bookshelves (which are a sight to behold)! Give it a listen! And go check out The Threesome Tollbooth!

“A daiquiri is a fascinating cocktail because it’s a great classic cocktail and no one has ever had it. They all think it’s a frozen, slushy, overly sweet drink that they get in a mediocre Mexican restaurant. But a classic daiquiri — rum, lime juice and simple syrup — is an almost perfect cocktail.”


Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Via Twitter: Porphyricomic lexicographer & Threesome Tollbooth cocktailist. Past Pres, American Dialect Soc. Ex-OED. The F-Word. Barbells; cooking; motorcycles; Perl, Python

There’s a more extensive, albeit out-of-date, one at Jesse’s site.

Credits: This episode’s music is Nothing’s Gonna Bring Me Down by David Baerwald, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at Jesse’s home on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 Microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of bookshelves by me. It’s on my instagram.

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