New Taste, Old Ideas

Logan Mosteller, Beverage Director of Watts & Ward
Logan Mosteller, Beverage Director of Watts & Ward

Logan Mosteller looks a bit young to be the beverage director for South Blount Street’s speakeasy-style cocktail bar Watts & Ward. But talk with him for five minutes and you quickly realize that Mosteller exceeds his years in knowledge of, and passion for, his trade—a trade he says was never on his radar for most of his life.  

Growing up in a household that’s members only imbibed with the occasional glass of wine, Mosteller “got hooked” into the curious world of bartending just days after his 21st birthday, securing his first role behind the stick at the bustling Cowfish in North Hills. Mosteller spent a year and a half learning cocktails and developing his style and when he left to try his hand in corporate America, a longing to return to the bar quickly overcame him.

“I couldn’t shake my love for the work,” Mosteller says of being away. “I would come home from work and read about cocktails, the art of bartending and cooking, and would doodle recipes to try.”

Certain of his calling, Mosteller knew it needed to be the right environment—one that would take him out of his comfort zone and engage him creatively. Lucky for him, when the opportunity came to work at the newly-opened Watts & Ward nearly three years ago, he was happy to jump back in. He secured an apprenticeship under then-bar director Daniel Barnes, who he credits for helping him take his bartending career to the next level. 

Fast forward to now and the majority of Mosteller’s work goes on behind the scenes preparing his team to deliver consistent, quality drinks in a timely manner—no simple feat given the sheer volume of the subterranean space and the three working bars in cavernous rooms that fill to capacity on any given Friday or Saturday night. While still a “work in progress,” Mosteller says his current projects include expanding the large-batch program and building a selection that’s strong enough to encourage patrons to try at least two signature drinks, at least one of which that’s unfamiliar to them.

With an offering of more than 20 house-made products including tinctures, bitters and infusions, Mosteller says his favorite products are the regional Amari because of the time and extensive ingredient list required for producing them. Hosteler says his main inspirations for drinks come from travel, cooking and reading, but when he’s drinking close to home, he enjoys Santa Teresa Rum, Teeling Rum Cask Irish Whiskey, Ramazzotti and other Amari.  Admittedly, Mosteller says, he prefers infusions over syrups and he pays careful mind to not turn every flavor into a sweetener. This explains why Mosteller seldom drinks an Old-Fashioned, he says, as they’re often “overly sweet and usually used to hide bad whiskey.”

Vincenzo’s Revenge, Cactus Garden and the So-to are some of the staff favorites from the Watts and Ward menu.  A favorite new cocktail is the Foxfire:

Foxfire

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey Rye
1 oz. Vino Pasubio
½ oz.Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
3 dh. Jerry Thomas’ Decanter Bitters
Flamed Orange Zest

Stir ingredients over ice 25-35 seconds. Julep strain into Nick and Nora glass. Heat oils of orange with a lighter and express cocktail through the flame over the cocktail.

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