Since our bartender and blogger Q&As have been so popular on the blog, we’ve decided to expand them to the HARLEM family, as well! Our Midwest Regional Sales Manager, Mike Mallory, was kind enough to step up and be the first to chat with us from the Nolet Spirits sales team. Mike is based in Chicago, but covers 11 states across the Midwest.
How did you get into the spirits industry?
I started in the beer industry when I worked for Coors after college. After a few years, I gravitated to the spirits industry and I’ve been doing that for almost 18 years. Over the last 10 years, I have worked for Nolet Spirits, in both New York and Chicago.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love how the industry and marketplace are constantly changing and evolving. It sometimes makes the job challenging, but it is always interesting. I am fortunate to work in what I think is the greatest industry in the world. We work hard and we play hard!
How is the bar scene in your city different from anywhere else?
Chicago is a huge sports town. Between the Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox and “Da Bears,” there is always a game on and loyal fans are constantly out in the bars enjoying their favorite drinks and rooting for their teams. Chicago fans are extremely loyal and fiercely competitive, which makes it a lot of fun to visit different bars and restaurants to watch the games.
What do you like most about HARLEM?
I like that HARLEM is so mixable, yet it still has a very complex profile. It is extremely versatile because of the citrus notes. HARLEM works great in countless shot creations as well as cocktails.
What is your favorite HARLEM shot cocktail?
I am a purist, so I like a shot of HARLEM, straight-up – the colder, the better! I also really like the HARLEM Bull Run. The citrus notes in all the ingredients work really well together and it’s not too sweet.
What is the most interesting experience that you’ve had on the job?
Let’s just say that doing this for 18 years and being out and about a few nights a week for work, I’ve seen some “interesting” things.
If you could create a new HARLEM shot cocktail, what would it be?
I am always trying to come up with new ideas for HARLEM shots. Right now, I am working on one that has HARLEM, limoncello and some lemon zest. It’s a work in progress. I will let you know how it turns out!