This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Brian Van Flandern.
Brian Van Flandern is executive director of mixology, spirit education and special events for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in Las Vegas. He also is the author of the new book, “Whiskey Cocktails.” The book is the fifth edition of Assouline’s best-selling cocktail series.
In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Van Flandern talks about his move to Las Vegas; the explosion in craft cocktails; whisky vs. whiskey; passion in pursuit of excellence; and his plans for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Academy, where industry professionals are invited to learn from master mixologists, spirits experts, master sommeliers and cicerones.
Prior to joining Southern Glazer’s, Van Flandern was the president and founder of his own mixology consulting firm, Creative Cocktail Consultants, where he focused on spirits education, innovating cutting-edge cocktail lists and training professional bartenders in the art of mixology, comprehensive spirits education and Michelin three-star hospitality dining and beverage standards. He also designed and implemented successful cocktail programs for luxury properties and prestigious clientele, such as famous chefs Thomas Keller and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Throughout his extensive career, Van Flandern has been awarded numerous honors, including “America’s Top Mixologist” by The Food Network, “One of the Top Ten Hotel Bartenders in the World” by Travel + Leisure Magazine and “Top Ten Cocktail Books of the Year” at Tales of the Cocktail for his second book “Craft Cocktails.”
He was also appointed by Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits, as their first-ever Global Brand Ambassador and is a certified Spirits Professional by the United States Bartending Guild, of which he is a founding board member for their New York Chapter, which is now the largest chapter in the country.