Mixologists Alie & Georgia Spill the Beans-Flavored-Martini
YouTube drink masters talk about their new video series, fave drinks and cocktails that even gross them out.
BY BROOKE SAGER
From drinkable sushi to the McNuggetini, (pass the BBQ sauce!) nothing is off limits for Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark. The two quirky mixologists began shaking things up with delightfully repulsive recipes and how-to videos on YouTube and quickly began getting buzz.
Allie, a former L.A. bartender, has even created special drinks for Madonna and Mariah Carey. She learned the hard way not to bring vegetables anywhere near Drew Carey. Georgia served as culinary guinea pig for grassroots website Losanjealous.com and spent some time as a blogger and journalist. The ladies eventually joined forces to make some of the most outrageous drinks the world has ever seen. These days they star in their own web series, Drinks with Alie & Georgia, on Food2.com. Tune in for a new webisode every Monday. Not sure you can stomach garlic vodka? That’s okay—you’ll get tipsy off the BFFs’ dark humor and matching vintage attire.
They really are like two olives in a martini. Can you guess where they first met? “At a dive bar in L.A.,” they tell BettyConfidential.
Why are we not surprised?
What’s your favorite part about concocting cocktails?
Alie: It goes back to the Prohibition Era when society was completely male dominated. Even to this day most bartenders are men. Georgia and I like to counteract that. We like the type of cocktail innovation that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is no reason to get stressed at a bar!
Georgia: You can also tell a lot about a person based on what they order. It’s very interesting. We try and make mixing drinks more fun and accessible.
What do you girls order when you go to a bar?
G: It really depends on the bar. If I’m at an old fashioned bar, I’m a whiskey kind of girl. But I love trying new things. If the word “ginger” is written somewhere on the menu then I’ll definitely order that.
A: I have two standbys, but for me it also depends on the bar. If I arrive to the bar hungry, I’ll get a White Russian. But if I’m at a dive bar, I’m certainly not doing that—I don’t want them using moldy crème that’s been sitting in their fridge for years. I’ll substitute with something safer, like vanilla vodka with a dash of Godiva liquor. My other go-to is a drink we call the “Wardcicle” because I order it all the time—it’s vanilla vodka and soda with a cherry. It’s light, simple, and delicious.
You two have such different go-to drinks—how do you agree on what cocktails to make?
A: It’s because we have such different tastes that creating drinks is really fun.
G: Definitely. Alie always comes up with something I would never think of.
What’s your favorite drink that you’ve concocted?
G: Without a doubt, the Peanut Butter & Jealous.
A: I like the Wild Turkey, but it’s pretty heavy and strong. I also really like the Chocolate Cherry Bomb because I have a huge sweet tooth.
Have you ever made something that even you girls were too nervous to try?
G: Alie one time thought of doing a Tuna Casserole Cocktail.
A: Yes, I did try to sell her on tuna juice as a mixer. I was not successful. We also did the Ham Daiquiri as a promise to some of our viewers. It was kind of a joke at first, but then we really did it. We actually shot it on my birthday right at midnight. I was looking down at the drink and just thought, “Wow, I’m about to drink a glass of liquid, puréed ham.” What a way to start out the year—I never want to do that again.
How many cocktails to you have in your repertoire?
A: Dozens and dozens! We have at least 40 or 50 drinks. And as of now, we have shot 12 videos for our series.
G: Actually, we’re currently working on a mixology book. All the ingredients for our drinks will be listed in there.
How do you guys come up with new drinks?
A: Georgia and I have a game we play. It’s called, “If you could eat anything right now.” There are no price or accessibility barriers. Last time, I thought about the time I ate Pad Thai in a forest, and it was great! Drinks came out of that.
Alie, what was it like bartending and serving celebs like Mariah Carey and Madonna back in the day?
A: It was a bit harrowing, actually. I worked in film, so I did a lot of catering for celebs. Just FYI, do not bring veggies anywhere near Drew Carey… he’ll get pissed! Sometimes, it would be 3 a.m. and I’d be on set chopping watercress for Mariah Carey. It was really interesting to serve people who could eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and see what they’d order. If Mariah wanted that forest Pad Thai right now, she could get it.
Georgia, you were an “exotic food tester” before you began making drinks. What made you go from food to drinks?
G: “Exotic food tester” was kind of a name I gave myself. Whenever I ate, I’d think, “What would I want to drink with this?” The transition just made sense. There is so much missing in the cocktail world. People are intimidated to come up with their own drinks, which is a bummer because it’s such a fun thing to do at home!
Are the videos in your series scripted, or do you mostly just go with the flow?
A: We do prepare scripts, but then we say whatever we want to say. We try to make the videos goofy, wordy and overwritten to begin with. Then we see where it goes. Part of what we do involves finding a balance.
G: There have been times we’ve filmed four recipes in a day. Then we end up kind of tipsy. We really just try to have fun with it.
How do you pick out your outfits for the videos?
G: A lot of it is from our own closets. But there’s also a circle of L.A. thrift stores that we love to shop at. We share our clothes, too. If you watch closely, you’ll be like, “Wait a minute, didn’t Alie wear that seven videos ago?”
A: We also have fun scoping out props. We use a lot of vintage glassware in our videos. Sometimes when we’re out shopping we take notes on fun things we see.
G: And then it hits us, and we say to each other, “Wow, this is our job. This is amazing!”