A Masterclass with Scott Baird

A Masterclass with Scott Baird

When we first started working on Kally, we spent a lot of time in our kitchen, mixing together ingredients that tasted good. Initially the goal was just to make drinks we enjoyed enough to replace alcohol on the days we didn’t want to drink. Then we shared our recipes with friends and got rave reviews. We realized we could be on to something, so we went hunting for a beverage guru (or two) to help us advance our craft.

We met a lot of great mentors, but an introduction to Scott Baird from Erik Adkins at Slanted Door that changed the course of Kally. Scott Baird and his partners had just won the award for World’s Best Cocktail Menu and we were thrilled when he offered to meetup.

Scott is equal parts bartender, chef, entertainer, entrepreneur, and dreamer. He brought us into his brain and helped us understand the science and art of crafting drinks from a mixologist’s perspective. We sat down together one day and tasted every non-alcoholic drink available—and we learned so much listening to him talk about each and every one. 

It was during this non-alcoholic masterclass that he turned us on to an ingredient that changed everything: verjus. It’s a bartender’s best friend, he told us. When someone would come in and ask for a non-alcoholic drink at Trick Dog, he’d reach for verjus first. 

He explained that verjus would help us with both acidity and body, two things that make an alcoholic drink and that a lot of non-alcoholic drinks end up lacking. We were familiar with verjus for cooking, but hadn’t considered it for our drinks and immediately started experimenting. 

Scott also introduced us to The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. This guidebook became indispensable as we built Kally's bold layers of flavors and it’s still something we reference today. 

We look back at our early collaboration with Scott with a ton of gratitude for his world-class expertise, his encouragement, and his belief in the potential of Kally. 

Read more about Scott Baird here.