If you haven’t heard of LiveWire Drinks you probably will soon. Founder Aaron Polsky, who was the manager and well-known bartender at the Harvard and Stone in Hollywood, has a vision to turn both established and up-and-coming bartenders into celebrities with rockstar like status by collaborating with these accomplished mixologists to craft canned-cocktails. The cans will function essentially as a record cover with the bartender’s likeness and cocktail prominently displayed on the label.
LiveWire’s current release is Heartbreaker, a crisp and juicy blend of Vodka, Oroblanco Grapefruit, Kumquat, Jasmine, and Ginger, with notes of honey and a bubbly finish, also Golden God (coming soon), made with rye whiskey, brandy, apricot, elderflower, and green tea, both crafted by top Los Angeles bartender Aaron Polsky himself & features art by L.A.-based tattoo artist Henry Lewis.
“What LiveWire is doing is allowing bartenders to profit off of their intellectual capital rather than on a time-based model,” says Polsky. “So instead of literally putting in the hours for which you’re paid, you can scale in your work like an artist does and make money that way.”
As anyone in the industry knows, becoming an accomplished bartender is no easy gig. Not only does it require a wide array of skills and creativity that most of us mere mortals are not blessed with, it also comes with a less than ideal work schedule. In recent times that means no work at all due to the recent closure of bars. But pioneers like Polsky are taking steps in the right direction to create a system that rewards bartenders for their ability and craftsmanship by allowing them to profit from their trade in a sustainable & scalable manner. Polsky has answered the question our readers so often ask us here at FineDram.com, “What can I do to support bartenders?”
Of course, LiveWire can’t currently help every bartender in need by providing them with their own line of Canned Cocktails, but they are “raising the bar” by creating awareness and recognition for the artistic talent inherent in the profession which our local bartenders, whom we have grown to love, have chosen.
Polsky’s vision includes more than just paving the way for bartender’s to profit from their mastery in mixing. He is also laying the groundwork for a talent agency that will offer job placement and legal services not just for those who release a cocktail with LiveWire but any bartender solely looking for career or legal advice can do so.
Each month he plans to introduce a new addition to the line. Next up is Harvard & Stone bartender Joey Bernardo, who will be followed up by Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo, Christine Wiseman of Broken Shaker, Moe Aljaff of Two Schmucks, Yael Vengroff of the Spare Room, Chris Amirault of Otium and Erin Hayes of Westward Whiskey. He’s now working with around 15 bartenders, most of whom are clustered around L.A.
The LiveWire cocktails will clock in at 7.5 percent ABV and retail for $5.50 per can with a royalty paid to each bartender. Currently available in limited quantities in California, the brand hopes to launch soon in several other states. If all goes as planned current legends of liquid known behind the bar will surface from every hot spot of nightlife around the nation and end up being a regular feature in your fridge refreshments.