In an effort to curate unique and engaging events that center around music, art and cocktails, Bourbon Steak’s Head Bartender, Torrence Swain, has combined multiple mediums to create one engaging experience with the Good Life Cocktail Club. We caught up with Swain about his unique take on the pop-up party concept, launched earlier this year.
On Tap: When was the first Good Life Cocktail Club event, and what was the theme?
TS: The first Good Life Cocktail Club was in February under the theme of experimental cocktails, [and] the soundtrack was house music.
OT: What is your creative process for coming up with a cocktail menu and corresponding playlist?
TS: I think about what I want to do with the cocktails and then Tanya [Ellis] curates a playlist that corresponds with the idea or theme I’m going with. For instance, the theme for March was Freaky Tiki. We wanted to do something different, so Tanya and I decided that we would do Afrobeat instead of traditional surfer tunes. We encouraged our guests to wear dashikis or tiki shirts to match the mood, [and] we even featured cocktails by the names of Dashiki Tiki and Afro Zombie. The vibe was truly festive, and we sold out of every cocktail.
OT: What cocktail and music pairings are coming up later this spring?
TS: We are feeling like May will be about disco. [We] haven’t come up with a title for it yet, but it will feature a video of disco movies and shows, disco-era cocktails, and a disco ball, for sure.
OT: Beyond the cocktail club, what other events does the Good Life Collective host in the city?
TS: In the past two years, [we’ve] held a late-night New Year’s Eve event called the Bartenders’ Breakfast. It is a hospitality industry-focused event in that it is held after midnight and features a team of guest bartenders, and the party starts late in order to host folks who just got off work. Music and art projects include two installations of the Sleeveface project, as well as a “Vinyl and Vino” event.
OT: Any Good Life Collective events coming up?
TS: Be on the lookout for the #StayWoke Social, which is a coffeehouse forum about social issues, and of course, the Bartenders’ Breakfast!
Follow Swain’s Good Life Collective: @goodlifecollective on Instagram and @goodgirlsnboys on Twitter.