If you’re reading this section of Paste, you probably already love booze. You love the way it tastes. You love the way it feels. And now, you’re going to love the way it looks (I guarantee it). Natalie Migliarini is the mixologist responsible for the aesthetics behind the blog, Beautiful Booze, and with an instagram account over 31K followers. She moved to Seattle seven years back, where she started hosting soirees at her house, and discovered her talent in the home cocktail scene. Having studied textiles in college, she already had a knack for aesthetics, and from her desire to share her recipes and creations, a blog was born. A beautiful one. Paste caught up with Migliarini to talk about taking beautiful boozy pictures.
Paste: What was the first cocktail you tasted that inspired you?
Natalie Migliarini: I attended college in North Carolina and we consistently drank bourbon and gingers. After college I began to collect all different kinds of bourbon and often had bourbon-tasting parties at my home. This all preceded me discovering and loving classic bourbon cocktails, including my all time favorite cocktail, the Boulevardier.
Paste: Where inspires you?
NM: Seasonal ingredients, travel, and ingredients from around my home. I like to use items from around the kitchen, leftover ingredients that I was already incorporating in the meals. I have a lot of fun perusing the various aisles in stores finding original and interesting ingredients. I have recently started traveling around Central America and Mexico for inspiration for cocktails.
Paste: How do you start a new cocktail?
NM: My creative process usually begins when I come across a spirit or liqueur I would like to use. From there I like to find one major complementing ingredient.
Paste: On your website, I see you have a background in writing grants. Are there any skill sets that transfer to mixology?
NM: Yes, in my former life I worked in public health writing and creating programming for Universities. This experience helps with the business side of Beautiful Booze. With the grant writing you have to bring something to each application that makes it stand out to get funding. This is also true with cocktails. You want to intrigue your audience with flavor profiles and creative cocktails that inspire them on a daily basis.
Paste: Where can people taste your cocktails?
NM: At home. My website is a home bartender platform with over 350 recipes that I created. I have done occasional cocktail pop ups in Seattle.
Paste: What’s the Seattle cocktail scene like?
NM: Awesome. I love that you can go into any restaurant and get a great craft cocktail. This cocktail scene is enhanced with all the local distilleries that are right in the city.
Paste: Any tips for the amateur trying his hand at home with one of your recipes?
NM: Some of my tips would be to just relax and enjoy the process of making the cocktail. I have no training as a bartender, so I am essentially just going with the flow myself. For example, I don’t always have a cocktail shaker available so I use a mason jar. One thing that is always helpful when making cocktails is to have a lot of ice on hand, especially if you are entertaining.
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Raspberry Pops and Bubbles
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DIY Citrus Gin and Tonic Bar
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DIY Bourbon Tasting Party
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Vanilla bean and Jalapeño Paloma
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Pineapple Tequila Sour
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Champagne Mint Julep
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Strawberry Moscow Mule
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Grilled Pineapple and Mint Tequila Lemonade
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Earl Grey Mint Julep
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Pretzel Dulce de leche bourbon shake