Bravotv.com: We hear a little bit about your background, but where can people try your stuff? What was your road to becoming a mixologist?
Lindsay Nader: I come from a family of performers. My father was an actor for many years on Dynasty and All My Children. I studied theater arts from elementary school all the way through college and luckily found representation the moment I moved to NYC after leaving The University Of The Arts in Philadelphia. Some of my credits include Law & Order, The Messenger with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, and a lot of independent film. I wasn’t able to support myself on acting alone, so on completion of an indie film, I began looking for part-time work in the service industry, and that’s when I struck gold. PDT (which stands for Please Don’t Tell) is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar in NYC’s East Village and one of the most iconic and recognized bars in the world, winning worlds best cocktail bar in 2009 at Tales Of The Cocktail, the Oscars for the bar world. I was hired as the door girl and quickly fell in love with the revival movement of classic cocktails. I discovered I possessed a culinary sensibility and wanted to try my hand at the trade, as the performance aspect of bartending intrigued me. I was extremely lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. The level of training I received from my mentor Jim Meehan, who is regarded as one of the most successful and influential personalities in the bar world, paired with the camaraderie of his amazing staff, gave me the skill set to tackle every aspect of the cocktail/spirits industry. In the summer of 2010 I signed on as Cocktail Editor/recipe tester for Food & Wine magazine’s 2011 Cocktail Book, a highly esteemed annual publication. Since returning to my home town of Los Angeles, I have had the privilege of working with Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, Food & Wine magazines Best New Chefs of 2009, designing a classic drink program for the opening of their second endeavor, Son Of A Gun. I then went on to join Houston Hospitality, a design firm run by twins Mark and Jonnie Houston who are responsible for creating some of the most well-known bars in Los Angeles, including Harvard & Stone, La Descarga, Pour Vous, and No Vacancy. In 2012, I co-founded Elysium Craft Cocktail Services, a consulting and private event company. I also began to write about my adventures and opinions on my blog N.A.D.E.R. For the last year I have represented the Remy Cointreau spirits portfolio as the California Cocktail and Spirits Expert, and am now currently the Los Angeles Brand Ambassador for Absolut and Absolut Elyx Vodkas. I’ve been so lucky and blessed with every opportunity I have had!
Bravotv.com: What's your favorite cocktail? Why?
LN: My favorite is the Sazerac, a variation of an Old Fashioned and a New Orleans specialty. A Sazerac can be made with cognac or rye whiskey, with the addition of a little sugar, bitters, and an absinthe rinse. It’s a bruiser, but absolutely delicious! Although this appears to be a very simple cocktail, it takes a great amount of skill to make one perfectly. I enjoy Sazeracs most during the winter months, snuggling up with a sweetie.
Bravotv.com: If you were any cocktail, what would it be?
LN: A classic gin martini, which is strong, sexy, and timeless.
Bravotv.com: We're first introduced to you as Nina's friend, but how do you two know each other?
LN: Nina and I met through overlapping social circles in Los Angeles. I connected with her immediately. She’s real, she works very hard, and her passion for food comes alive in her cooking. Nina and I share similar views on how we eat as a society. I was raised macrobiotic and had very progressive i.e. “hippy dippy” parents that taught me to be conscious of what I put in my body. I was fortunate enough to have a mother who worked on biodynamic farms, owned an all-natural bakery, and always kept a garden, out of which we ate multiple meals each week from its yield. With heart disease, obesity and many other food related epidemics taking a strangle hold on our nation, it’s people like Nina who are making a difference. I try and surround myself with aware and positive people like her.