Hey guys! This is Nick, the deep-voiced torso and host of Cocktail Chemistry (proof).

My YouTube channel owes a lot of it's success to the Reddit community, and hitting the front page with some of my weird creations has inspired me to keep this side hobby an important part of my life.

My videos range from crazy presentations of cocktails to basic cocktails and fundamentals for those getting started. I've also done some fun recreations of drinks from TV and movies.

Ask me anything about cocktails and spirits, filming/editing on an iPhone, being a YouTuber, or hiding a dad bod with a black button down shirt...

Currently drinking:

9:00am: Pour over coffee with homemade Kahlua and cream

10:55am: Mimosa with fresh orange juice

12:07pm: Amaro Montenegro on the rocks


Hey team, that's gonna do it for me today! I'm off to get lunch and prep for the live chat this afternoon. This was awesome, hope to do it again sometime.



Comments: 325 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

OliverBabish82 karma

Would your rather drink 100 cocktail-sized horses or 1 horse-sized cocktail? If you were only allowed to drink one kind of liquor for the rest of your life, why would I ask when the only answer is whiskey? Did you have any homoerotic urges when you collaborated with Binging with Babish?

CocktailChem93 karma

All I read was horse-sized cock. I think that answers your last question too.

Will never forget when our beards touched <3

nekoblah68 karma

Best tasting drink you’ve ever had? Not limited to anything you’ve made on the show

CocktailChem108 karma

Oh man, such a good question. I like simpler cocktails where the flavors really blow you away. Probably the best example of this is something called the Glo Sour from Dave Arnold.

Basically does a rapid infusion of turmeric into gin, then makes a simple sour cocktail of it with lime and simple syrup. It's bright orange and insanely delicious.

So I did a video on it of course, it's the iSi whipper one

centech2 karma

Tell him to open a new place already!!!

CocktailChem2 karma

I hear its coming this year

Breadandextrabutter64 karma

Is there a certain ingredient you are just obsessed with? I for one will drink just about anything with campari in it!

CocktailChem77 karma

I love campari too!

I used to answer this question with "ginger", and loved making my own ginger syrup for moscow/kentucky mules.

These days I'd say Mezcal has me really intrigued. I love all the flavor combinations you can do with it, and generally swapping out gin for mezcal in cocktails is an awesome move

quattro300043 karma

Sazerac! What's your go to budget to mid-range whiskey for cocktails? What inspired you to start your webseries?

CocktailChem87 karma

I try not to spend more than $30 for mixing whiskeys, my go-to is Rittenhouse Rye. Can get it for like $23 at most places, awesome quality, and 100 proof!

What inspired me to start the channel was really to make a video on putting a cocktail inside a ball of ice. I'd serve it to my friends and they'd constantly ask how the hell I did it, figured it was easier to show them in a nicely edited video.

Then that video blew up, and I just kept going :)

Holy_Eagle27 karma

What is the most complicated drink you have ever created?

CocktailChem75 karma

This, hands down

boofbonzer816 karma

That was beautiful. Before clicking the link I first thought how hard can a drink get, boy was I mistaken. Great skill.

CocktailChem8 karma

thanks! went through a ton of booze to get that technique right

4nt1g027 karma

Whats the easiest to make but tastiest drink you can recommend?

(Also, will there be any more future collabs with bingingwithbabish in the near future? I really enjoyed watching that one haha)

CocktailChem68 karma

I had a great time collaborating with Andy! Hope to do it again sometime, maybe next time he's in SF (ahem u/oliverbabish)

Easiest tasty drink 2oz of your favorite spirit (bourbon, mezcal, gin, vodka) into a highball glass squeeze half a lime into the glass top with ginger beer and stir

Done, delicious

Manos_Of_Fate25 karma

Have you ever heard of a Kansas City shuffle?

CocktailChem24 karma

Kansas City shuffle

Just googled it. Mezcal and pineapple? Sign me up

Manos_Of_Fate13 karma

Actually, it was meant to be a reference to the movie Lucky Number Slevin, where the main character spends most of the movie trying to convince people that he is not Nick Fisher. It’s a pretty amazing movie. I didn’t even know there was a drink (though it’s really not that surprising).

CocktailChem11 karma

ahhhhh got it haha. Yeah when that movie came out I didnt hear the end of it

bwinsy22 karma

I like piña coladas! What is the best brand of tequila?

CocktailChem35 karma

If you're mixing into a piña colada, I wouldn't break the bank! My go-to is Tapatio (yes, same name as the hot sauce). Good price and great quality

TheDiggityDoink21 karma

What modern cocktails (i.e. made in last 15 years) do you think will be future classics?

CocktailChem27 karma

oo good one.

I'd bet money on the Paper Plane

sirmo9921 karma

Why hide your dad bod? Don't be ashamed of it. Also. How do you prefer your old fashions? I like eagle rare as a base.

CocktailChem29 karma

Shirts off series?

Eagle rare is a great one. I'm particular to rye old fashioneds, often an aged WhistlePig.

Then I add 2 hits of ango, a barspoon of maple syrup, stir over a big clear ice rock, and finish with a lemon twist.

That might be next...

sirmo999 karma

how about highwest campfire? Idk if my ego can handle a shirtless series. I wouldn't be able to focus on the cocktails...

CocktailChem10 karma

I love the campfire! Have a bottle in the liquor cabinet as we speak

Breadandextrabutter20 karma

Loved your collab with Babish! Do you have any plans for another in the future?

CocktailChem26 karma

Nothing on the books! But I wouldn't be surprised if we did another at some point. He's definitely upped his collab game since we did ours though!

Nico5359516 karma

I know you're content is focused on cocktails but, do you have a favorite sipping drink to have neat or on the rocks?

Also, as many other have said, keep up the great work!

CocktailChem13 karma

WhistlePig Rye or Japanese whiskey is good.

Really getting into the Amaro category these days as well. I love an Amaro Montenegro on the rocks for a lower abv drink

Kasematti15 karma

I've been wondering about this when it comes to many YouTubers and streamers. I get to ask it from you as, you sent me a notification on my phone via YouTube and I have nothing better to do at the moment.

What is your endgame in the interwebs, professionally? If everything goes the way you're hoping it does, where does the channel and everything associated with it take you? Do you have a safety net or a backup plan if things go south?

Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA, I wish you all the best and keep producing great content!

CocktailChem49 karma

I love this question because I think about it a lot. Currently I have a full time job in something completely unrelated (product marketing in cybersecurity). The full time job pays the bills and the YouTube channel serves as a creative outlet for me. It really works a different part of my brain and gives me a lot of satisfaction to interact with the community.

If the channel ever hit a point where the revenue was sustainable, or a crazy opportunity came up to do a show or something, I'd consider trying it full time. But living in SF and paying SF rent, I'm a ways off I think :)

Thanks for the question!

arod4814 karma

Is there a fictional cocktail you've wanted to tackle but haven't been able to?

CocktailChem32 karma

Hmm, the hardest one I did was the pan galactic gargle blaster, but that was a fun creative process.

I get asked a lot for Snake Juice from parks & rec, but dont really know where to start with that one!

SkinnyMachine14 karma

I think you take whatever is at the bar and dump it in a mop bucket and stir

CocktailChem12 karma


AngelSaysNo3 karma

I just watched the Pan Glactic Gargle Blaster video, it was awesome. Thank you for making that!

CocktailChem3 karma

My pleasure!

abigurl12 karma

What do you put in the pan galactic gargle blaster?!

MrQuickLine11 karma

You must unsubscribe from all but 5 content creators on YouTube. Who stays?

CocktailChem28 karma

Babish h3h3 Nerdwriter CGP grey How to drink

MrQuickLine6 karma

Why How to Drink? What do you like about that channel?

CocktailChem19 karma

I love the presentation of cocktails, and Greg's a natural in front of the camera. We were kicking it in NYC last time I was there, good dude, follow him


BluBerryHash10 karma

I like oranges and Rum what would be a good cocktail i could try?

CocktailChem20 karma

The Havana cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces Gosling’s rum
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Dash of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until cold, and then strain into a cocktail glass

larkei159 karma

What is the cheapest alcohol that you like?

CocktailChem19 karma

Smirnoff. I'm not picky when it comes to vodka, so I'd never spend money on it. My go-to vodka is called Gruven though, I think it's from Poland

Phatgod6 karma

What got you into making cocktails?

CocktailChem9 karma

Took an intro class in SF, learned the basics and got the confidence to start experimenting on my own. Having friends over for a pre-dinner drinks also helped refine my skills and saved money :)

ryan34ssj6 karma

How big is your bottle collection? Have you ever done a 'cribs' tour of all your stuff?

CocktailChem12 karma

I just reorganized my liquor cabinet, I think I have around 20 spirits and 20 liqueurs/amari

Trying to not hoard as much as possible, hosting parties helps cut through the stash

Pokefraker6 karma

Hey Nick! Huge fan. I have a bottle of pepper vodka in the house, what can I make with it that won't suck?

CocktailChem11 karma

I bet a peppery moscow mule would be awesome

ashberic5 karma

What's your least favorite cocktail that you've made on the channel?

Also, obligatory: would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or a hundred duck-sized horses?

CocktailChem3 karma

My favorite has probably been the glo sour from my iSi whipper video

One hundred duck sized horses. If I'm gonna die, I don't want my legacy to be that I was killed by a duck

afaizrif4 karma

Love your channel! Really like how creative and experimental you can get. My question is - Have you used an ingredient that at first glance, you wouldn't expect to work in a cocktail, but surprisingly it does? If so, what was the ingredient and cocktail?

CocktailChem13 karma

Vinegar. Seems so out of place in a cocktail, but when I made a cocktail with a ginger shrub I fell in love with it. So complex.

Also, salt. Like literally adding a pinch of salt to a cocktail. It really enhances sweetness and tempers bitterness, just like in food.

Thepresocratic4 karma

What are your favorite liquids (not limited to liquors) to break the bank for?

CocktailChem18 karma

Mezcal is pretty pricey, but I'm loving it.

Japanese whiskey is way over priced since it's so in demand, but I love it and will still fork over the $$ for a nice Nikka or Suntory

nallix4 karma

Hi. I follow your videos over on r/cocktails. Great work.

Favorite drink is a Sazerac. What's your recipe for one?

CocktailChem9 karma

Nice! That's a great community over there.

I like the PDT recipe

  • 2 oz Rittenhouse bonded rye whiskey
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 demerara sugar cube

Muddle the sugar and bitters, then add the whiskey and ice. Stir and strain into a chilled, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe-rinsed rocks glass. Twist a lemon peel over the surface and discard.

nallix2 karma

Oddly enough, that's pretty much my own recipe as well, but I often dash absinthe right into the mixing glass. Sometimes I add a dash of my homemade orange bitters.

CocktailChem2 karma

oh nice, how do you make your bitters?

speedchuckster3 karma

Any superhero themed cocktails you recommend?

CocktailChem8 karma

Jokers revenge. Jalepeño mezcal margarita served on a playing card

I dunno I'm just spitballing here

Nico535952 karma

Do you add a cayenne salt rim or is that too much spice?

CocktailChem3 karma

do it!

ClaudiOmega3 karma

Hi nick, first of all great work and love your channel! Here's my question: out of all the videos you made, which was the most fun to make and film? Keep up the great work!

CocktailChem7 karma

The most fun I have is with collaborations probably. The one with Andy from Binging with Babish was a lot of fun since we were on the same page with everything, plus he's a rad dude.

The Fog Burner was a lot of fun too, I was really happy with the presentation in the end

DaveDave_Org3 karma

Hey! First of all I wanted to thank you for your awesome content on YT, I really enjoy watching it :) I want to ask you if you enjoy other (simpler) beverages too, like beer or wine? Btw my favourite cocktail is Tequila Sunrise - I know very easy and simple :D, but do you have any suggestions which kind of Tequila one should use for it? Or how you could pimp it up a little bit? Sry for any grammatical errors and greetings from Germany! :))

CocktailChem9 karma

I'm more a wine guy, but I like a weisse beer on a hot day!

As for the tequila sunrise, I might suggest a riff on the bees knees

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 0.75 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey, 1 part water)
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz orange juice

MoistPockets3 karma

Hi Nick! I'm a big fan of your channel.

I'm doing a low carb diet and many cocktails are off limits because of the sugar. I've been enjoying vodka and soda water with lime at bars, and when I'm at home I use various flavored seltzers. Got any ideas to get something more interesting when I'm at a bar or for making drinks at home?

CocktailChem4 karma

My go-to for low cal is a japanese highball (though they can be pricey).

A tom collins is a good choice as well! Can tell them to go light on the sugar

Send_News2 karma

Hi Nick! Thanks for doing the AMA. My question is, besides your channel, what are other good YouTube channels for us cocktail nerds? Thanks!

CocktailChem6 karma

How to drink

the morgenthaler series on the Small Screen Drinks channel

Distinguished spirits does some great stuff as well

TheRepenstein2 karma

I am turning 21 this summer. What do you recommend for my first legal drink?

CocktailChem11 karma

moscow mule is a nice gateway cocktail, then have a glass of water, then a kentucky mule

SmileySunflowers2 karma

About how long ago did you start to have an interest in creating, researching, and mixing drinks? What lead you to it?

CocktailChem4 karma

Probably about 5 years ago. The initial reason was just to save money (drinks are expensive in SF!) but after taking an intro cocktail class and learning some basics, I got really into the science behind balancing a cocktail

Nico535952 karma

I saw your video awhile back showing a good starter bar but, for someone on a budget, is there a top 5 you recommend starting with to break in a bit slower?

CocktailChem5 karma

If it were me, I'd budget $100-120 and get

  • bourbon
  • light rum
  • gin
  • sweet vermouth
  • ango bitters

NewTGE2 karma

Know any good drinks with Root Beer in them? Love me some good sodas.

Also, the best mocktail you’ve ever had?

CocktailChem3 karma

Hmm, not with root beer. Rum would probably pair well.

If I were tasked with creating a cocktail I might make a boozy rootbeer float by reducing the rootbeer 6x into a syrup, and shaking it with cream and rum into a rocks glass.

edit: as for best mocktail, all of these ones are awesome

thedancingpanda5 karma

CocktailChem3 karma

woah, sounds amazing and dangerous

NewTGE2 karma

Great! Thanks. Is there any way that you can think of to substitute the 5 big boozes for non-alcoholics? (Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Whiskey, & Rum) [So, basically anything that goes reliably well with each one so that it pairs with the other things in the cocktail too?]

CocktailChem3 karma

hmm, to be honest it's not an easy swap. The cop out answer is water (still or sparkling), but a good mocktail should be designed without alcohol.

ForceFedCabbage2 karma

What is the most traditional way of preparing a French 75? And if you have one, what variation of it is your favorite?

CocktailChem2 karma

I believe this is the traditional way

I bet swapping the gin for mezcal would be tasty

ForceFedCabbage1 karma

Sorry to tack on, but I see some establishments utilizing cognac instead of gin, what are your thoughts on that?

CocktailChem2 karma

Probably pretty tasty! Definitely keeps with the french theme

tylerbowls2 karma

Hi Nick! I've recently turned 21 and even more recently fallen into your channel. You've taught me how to make a killer Old Fashioned, what should be the next on my list?

Thanks for the awesome videos. Keep up the good work!

CocktailChem5 karma

Thanks! Next up go for manhattan if you like spirit forward cocktails, or a daiquiri if you want to try a sour cocktail

SlippySlappy4202 karma

Hi, lately I've been making Irish mules, but instead of limes/lime juice I use apple slices, apple juice, dash of cinnamon and spoon of honey. It's become one of my favorites. Does this have a name so when I go out I can order it?

Edit: I just have to say this is my first time hearing of you, but your channel is mind blowing.

CocktailChem5 karma

Wow that sounds good! Is there enough citrus though? You could add a touch of citric acid to balance it

No idea if that already exists. I'd call it the irish american pie

dauren_iskakov2 karma

Hi! I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for your channel! After watching couple of your videos I started making cocktails at home. Right now my favorite is Smokey Grove by Jonathan Pogash. I recently bought some white dog whiskey and in plan to age it at home, but before that I am thinking of infusion with some aromatic tobacco. Do you think that it is a good idea?

CocktailChem2 karma

hey thanks!

You know I haven't gotten into tobacco infusions, they can be dangerous if not done properly.

Maybe someone in r/cocktails can answer that one

EastBayBass2 karma

I have a large bottle of Bulliet rye. I've been making pretty decent old fashionds with it. Do you had any kind of special take on this old school classic?

CocktailChem6 karma

use maple syrup as the sweetener, and black walnut bitters

SodaruD2 karma

Is it possible to make a good penicilin using the ingwer syrup from your moscow mule recipe? If so, which measurements should I use?

Thank you for your great content and for introducing me to the world of cocktails, which has become my new passion.

CocktailChem8 karma

I'd try

  • 2 oz blended Scotch whiskey
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice
  • 0.75oz ginger syrup

samnmax2032 karma

Thanks for the AMA, I'll definitely pull up your channel today!

Question: what is the best amount of muddling when creating a Mojito? I know some mixologists that prefer slapping the mint to express oils before simply adding to sugar, and others will muddle until bitter. Thoughts?

Also- is there an easy way to make mojitos for a crowd (or honestly ust a giant one for mahself at home)

CocktailChem3 karma

I'm in the slapping camp (sounds dirty)

You're really getting it for the aroma as well, so need a big bouquet slapped and placed on the top of the drink as well.

No idea how you'd batch those, especially since the mint flavor tends to dissipate

KilisGirl2 karma

Favorite rum based cocktail?

Btw huge fan! Keep up the good work :)

CocktailChem3 karma

dark and story with ginger syrup, or a daiquiri

carlyman2 karma

Potato or grain-based vodka?

CocktailChem9 karma

I have both in my cabinet, I can't tell the difference. Maybe my vodka palate is off but I'd just go with a decent $15-20 bottle

chevymonza2 karma

How would you make an eggnog? I love making it from scratch using brandy.

Also, I think I invented a drink using Milagro tequila, lime juice, Boylan ginger ale, and a whipped egg white. Served in a highball glass with ice. Is this already a thing?

CocktailChem3 karma

that sounds tasty!

Here's my eggnog recipe: http://www.cocktailchemistrylab.com/home/eggnog?rq=eggnog

chevymonza2 karma

Thanks! Might have to make it a summertime-in-the-a/c drink!

EDIT: Do you have a brandy preference?

CocktailChem3 karma

I usually go with an armagnac since it's more reasonably priced than most cognacs

tekkentuesdays2 karma

Hey Nick, you're by far one of my favourite web series! A little while ago I ordered a Gin Old Fashioned in a bar but haven't been able to replicate it. Any suggestions what I might be missing?

CocktailChem3 karma

Thanks! Man I've actually never seen a gin old fashioned before! What country was this in?

There is such a think as a gin sazerac, try that and see how you like it

sb761172 karma

Love the vids! In one of them, I suggested using vapor instead of smoke to make the presentation last longer. Did you try it? No real aromatics but it dissipates less.

CocktailChem6 karma

Hmm, not tried it!

The smoke is both for visual and aromatic effect though, I love that applewood flavor

Diaryofannefrankpt22 karma


CocktailChem3 karma

yep, I have a younger sister

Molladia2 karma

I Seem to only know of Southern Comfort drinks plain mixed with Cola or Dry.
What other drinks would you suggest trying with Southern as the star of the show?

CocktailChem5 karma

To be honest, I haven't had SoCo since college :(

I might throw it in a whiskey sour but pare back the simple syrup

carlyman1 karma

Favorite Campari based cocktails (other than a Negroni)?

CocktailChem4 karma

Um, a mezcal negroni? :)

I really like the paper plane (though campari is often subbed for aperol)

noidontwantto1 karma

Have any old fashioned tips?

CocktailChem2 karma

Use high quality whiskey, since it's 90% of the drink. A lemon twist goes a long way too

noidontwantto2 karma

Are Luxardo cherries really worth it?

CocktailChem6 karma

Yes, yes they are. Wish they weren't so pricey but they will last forever in your cabinet

CusetheCreator1 karma

When did you first discover your proclivity towards cocktails? Have you ever drank too much while recording a video?

Love your videos by the way!

CocktailChem8 karma

Once I took a class at a bar called Bourbon and Branch in SF. They taught me the fundamentals and history of cocktails and something just clicked. I love the cocktail renaissance happening now and I wanted to be a part of it. Plus it's cheaper to make cocktails at home than go out in SF :)

Last Friday I shot four videos at once, I was pretty lit afterwards

cubay1 karma

I love a good old fashion, but I wanted to switch it up so you got any recommendations?

CocktailChem2 karma

Try a rum old fashioned, or a sazerac

zigdon771 karma

What's the most expensive drink you have ever made/had?

CocktailChem9 karma

hmm, good question. Probably a vodka soda in a vegas club!

Most expensive I've made was definitely my song of ice and fire cocktail since it took so many damn tries to make it work. Used probably $40 of spirits just in the process.

Most high end cocktails bars in SF and NYC are pushing $16-18 dollars for cocktails now, which is crazy

PENNST8alum1 karma

Looking to make a cocktail on tap for my personal kegerator. What sort of cocktail would you recommend for longevity in a keg? I'm more of a whiskey guy if that makes a difference.

CocktailChem2 karma

I'd go with a boulevardier, good for batching. Make sure to account for the dilution you'd get from stirring by adding water!

edit: this is assuming you don't find negronis to be unpalatable

BombingBeltBro1 karma

What is the best cocktail with Gin&Tonic that you know?

CocktailChem3 karma

A cocktail with gin AND tonic? Not sure one exists beyond the original g&t!

I am planning to do a video on the perfect G&T at some point in the future

Regilux1 karma

Any horror stories about peoples’ drinks of choice? I work in a liquor store and had a guy once buy southern comfort, simple syrup, and sweet vermouth and insist this was the components of a manhattan.

Also, I’ve learned a lot from your videos that have helped me help people at work so thank you for putting out quality content!

CocktailChem3 karma

Hey thanks!

Occasionally one of my home guests will ask if I can use splenda instead of sugar. Not really a horror story but it makes me sad

SmilinJackFlash1 karma

I'm torn at the moment between Kahlua and my old neighbours homemade Damsin Gin. Sadly, I've yet to find a way to mix the two.

Any suggestions?

CocktailChem5 karma

uhh, a white dutch? Poor attempt at a white russian spinoff...

htebazileyelhsa1 karma

Have you ever had Allen’s Coffee Brandy?

CocktailChem1 karma

never seen it, what's it like? Just bought a leopold bros coffee liqueur that is excellent

dauren_iskakov1 karma

Thanks for advice, I will be causeous with tobacco infusion. I have one more question, last week I bought italian Limoncello and had made some cocktails with it, but nothing impressive. Can you suggest a good cocktail recipe for it?

CocktailChem3 karma

Huh, never seen a cocktail with limoncello!

Maybe just a little of it with some prosecco would be tasty

Portarossa1 karma

I've recently got into making flavoured syrups. My Earl Grey gimlet is currently going down a storm with my group of friends, but I'd like to branch out a bit. Are there any flavoured syrups that you'd particularly recommend, and how would you use them?

(Also, Long Island Iced Tea. I don't know if you've done a video on them yet, but I'd love that.)

CocktailChem3 karma

Ah nice, I've been meaning to do a tea video (probably with some fat washing).

You can make flavored syrups from almost anything! Try a raspberry syrup and a clover club cocktail, it's one of my faves

Portarossa2 karma

I don't know what fat washing is, but that sounds great. I'd love to see it! People always seem to shit on the Long Island as a way of just getting hammered quickly, but a good Long Island is a joy forever -- especially when you start getting into different mixers and syrups.

I love raspberries, so I'm all in on that. I guess it's just boil up the raspberries, strain out the pulp and seeds and add sugar?

KaysoJenkins1 karma

Regional whiskies seem to have become increasingly popular in the states. Do you have a favorite American whisky distillery?

CocktailChem2 karma

I'm partial to whistlepig and high west!