We don't see Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix fight very often, but when we do, the argument is about cocktails. Well, that at least seemed to be the case earlier this season of Vanderpump Rules when things got heated between the SUR bartenders as they discussed Tom's possible involvement in the cocktail book Ariana had been working on.
In the episode, Ariana seemed to feel quite strongly about taking on this project without Tom by her side. So imagine our surprise when Tom revealed to The Daily Mail in February that the couple had decided to work on the cocktail book together, after all.
When The Daily Dish caught up with Ariana earlier this month, we had to ask her what caused the change of heart. "When Tom had initially started talking about me doing this cocktail book and how he should be involved and all this stuff, I obviously was initially pretty annoyed because, if he wants to be my business partner, insulting me is not exactly the way to do it. Also, I had put a lot of work into it already, and I felt like, 'Oh, you're just gonna jump on,'" Ariana explained. "He was very persistent in wanting to be involved. He has put in the work. He has really shown that he is a huge asset, and I think that we are stronger together in that regard, because we bounce ideas off of each other, and I think that we've had a lot of fun in our kitchen creating cocktails for this book."
Ariana admitted that she and Tom do still sometimes clash as they continue to work on the book, but luckily, they have a third person, Allie, Ariana's book partner who has been with her from the beginning of this project to help settle disputes. "Allie being involved is a great tiebreaker and also a great professional opinion on what's gonna actually work for a book and what's not gonna work for a book," Ariana said. "So I think that we're gonna have a lot of fun creating all the cocktails. I think we're about a third of the way there. So we're making some great headway."
So far, Ariana, Tom, and Allie have worked out about 20 of the 40 to 50 cocktails they're planning for the book. "We're gonna be doing some twists on some classics in there," Ariana explained. "But a lot of them are gonna be situational-based. So what to do when you come home from the bar at the end of the night and you don't have anything, how do you make a cocktail from that?"
"Sugar Baby," "Basic Bitch," and "the One Upper" are just some of the titles of the spirits you can expect to find in Ariana and Tom's book. "Inspiration for cocktails, I feel like, comes from all over. It might come from thinking of a situation, like what's a good drink if it's you and your buddy, like what's a buddy cocktail? Sometimes a name, if you think of a name, and then you think of something to fit the name," Ariana explained. "Sometimes, honestly, you just think about what would you want in a drink. Like, what would I want right now in a cocktail? And that really helps sometimes. Like, oh, I would love something that's got coffee but also has a hint of cinnamon. Boom. And you start working on ingredients. Cocktails, for the most part, have a similar ratio of ingredients. You've just got to figure out what you want those things to be."
Of course, the challenge is going to be making sure that everyone can craft these cocktails in their own homes, whether they've worked as a bartender at SUR for years or have never picked up a shaker in their lives. "For Tom and I, it's second nature to make a cocktail. It's second nature to be able to create something and then as you're doing it, you might want a little more of this or a little less of this. For somebody who doesn't know how to make cocktails or doesn't do it on a normal basis, there's a lot that goes into it that they might not think of," Ariana said. "So we're gonna have a section in our book, like a glossary of terms, like what does it mean to muddle, and what does it mean to zest, things like that. And then we're gonna have a list of tools so when people open the book, they're not just like, 'What?'"
But crafting cocktails is all about bringing your own unique flair to it, too. "The fun is in the creativity," Ariana said. "Bartending can be very stressful, but creating cocktails is all about creativity, and I think that is really fun."
Ariana said she hopes to have the book out by this summer and plans to go on a huge book tour around the country with Tom to promote it. "I think we'll have a lot of fun together traveling. We love to travel together," she said. "So I think that traveling together, promoting the book, and meeting people and making cocktails for them, I think that it's going to be a really good thing. We're having fun."
So who's the fairest SUR bartender of them all? Watch the Vanderpump Rules crew weigh in on this burning question, below.