Cocktails & Conversations with Greg Matheson

Veteran barman Greg Matheson is one of those rare individuals who listens more than he talks. 

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Master of Hospitality
at The City Club at de Rosset
Know any good jokes?

What's the difference between The Rolling Stones & a Scottish Man?
I'm not sure.

The Rolling Stones sang, "Hey you, get off of my cloud" the Scottish Man says, "Hey McCloud, get off of my Ewe"
How long have you been bartending?

Started bartending in 1991 at Gatsby's in Asheville. I was a student and I lived above the bar. It was an exciting time! My first job in Wilmington was, and still is, at City Club. I managed Percy's Jazz Bar for the previous owners from 2002 to 2005. It was the first smoke-free bar in town named for jazz legend Percy Heath, a native Wilmingtonian. During that time I really started taking an interest in the history of mixology.
Has the craft taught you anything?

I adhere to the "Bar Golden Rule" which is to treat your patrons as you wish to be treated. I am also a firm believer in knowing the history of your craft . As in life, how can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?
What's the crazy scene you've ever witnessed?
As any good bartender, we never tell! However, I will say that just when you think you've seen it all - you'll find that you stand corrected!
Favorite drinks to make?
The de Rosset Pimm's Cup is my favorite creation. I find adding ginger beer in place of lemon/lime soda is a refreshing twist. I also add the muddled cucumber, lemon and mint as well as Hendricks Gin to make the cocktail my own.
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de Rosset Pimm's Cup
I also enjoy making the Dram Tree Rum Swizzle, in which I make my own falernum by roasting cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Once the oils are rendered, I combine them with lime zest, and julienned ginger in neutral spirits for forty-eight hours. Once strained, I combine the liquid with simple syrup infused with pure almond extract. It's a much lighter and more aromatic version of the rum swizzle.

Favorite cocktail spots? 

 Spice Market in New York City, Husk in Charleston, South Carolina and Commander Palace in New Orleans. 

The deRosset Pimm's Cup1 1/2 oz. of Pimm's No. 1 Liqueur1/2 oz. Hendricks Gin3 oz. Goslings Ginger Beer1 Fresh Mint Leaf1 Cucumber Wedge1 Lemon WedgeMuddle together the cucumber wedge, mint, & lemon wedge. Add the PimmÃÔ & Hendricks in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain over ice in a tall glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a cucumber stick and mint leaf.

Dram Tree Rum Swizzle1 1/2 oz. Bacardi Superior White Rum1/2 oz. Falenum1/2 oz. Roses Lime JuiceCombinethe rum wit the falernum and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake well, strain and serve in a rocks glass over one large rock. Garnish with a candied lime twist.