Two female mixologists in Inglewood, California are among the first pioneers to pave the way in an emerging libations category. The talented team behind MiddleBar, a soon-to-be iconic brand, have succeeded in developing an innovative process that enhances fermented (non-distilled) spirits naturally by infusing a cornucopia of fresh herbs, fruits and botanicals, to create deeper, more complex flavor profiles. The MB duo has designed a menu of wildly unique cocktail concoctions that are so delicious, no one notices the alcohol content is slightly less than traditional mixed drinks.
The original claim to fame for seasoned mixologists Corrie Scully and Renie Schoenkerman, was their award-winning Bloody Mary recipe, appropriately dubbed MiddleBar Mary. Next, they introduced an exclusive collection of Farm Fresh Mocktails, as well as a line of Cocktail Accoutrement.
Then in December 2017, MiddleBar expanded into the restaurant arena with the opening of its inaugural Dinner Parlour & Bruncherie. The burgeoning Inglewood Market Street location was chosen for its strong community, which MiddleBar is “infusing” with its hip, cultured vibe. Scully and Schoenkerman’s conceptual cocktails are now paired with a harmonious mix of farm-to-table dining and musical entertainment, set amidst an intimate atmosphere that pays homage to MBs southern roots. The MiddleBar mixology brand now encompasses a restaurant, performance venue and bar, one with drink offerings of the highest caliber even without hard liquor, and you won’t this find anywhere else.
MiddleBars new custom-infused ensemble of fermented cocktails have received five star reviews, and not once has anyone mentioned the lower alcohol by volume—24% compared to 35% and above for most liquors. But they certainly enjoy the lower price points.
Recently, a few brave companies began selling fermented spirits, which maintain the signature “tails” or bits of individual flavor inherent in each. However, fermented spirits aren’t always pleasing to the palate on their own. Like many base ingredients, they may start off flat, but MiddleBar’s cocktailing craft transforms them into an elegant, medley of delectable flavors.
MB’s new cart du jour natural fermented cocktails includes house gin and vodka infused with a potpourri of herbs and botanicals, making their Martinis and MiddleBar Mule a carnival of taste. And the vanilla bean infused bourbon is simply outstanding in the New Fashioned and New Amsterdam.
Schoenkerman says, “We’re looking into aging our bourbon in barrels. Adjusting levels of char on the wood is fun to play with. One day, we might even bottle our own brand.”
The MB Blackberry Basil Sunrise incorporates a tequila fermented from the very same plants as the distilled version, lending it a similarly robust taste. The celebrated MiddleBar Mary rises to an even higher level in their signature MB Bloody Maria.
MiddleBar’s spiced rum features an especially interesting ingredient—Coffee. Silverback Coffee of Rwanda is MB’s brand of choice, not only because it’s a superior product, but it also benefits Rwanda’s people, wildlife, arts and culture.
Their beer and wine license extends to include a smorgasbord of delightful beverages, such as the MB Aperol Spritz, Dirty Herb Martini, and a Basil Grapefruit Sunrise.
A 32oz bottle of the acclaimed MiddleBar Mary can be purchased for $12 at the eatery, as well as MB’s branded line of Pickled and Cocktail Accoutrements, which run the gamut from Lagniappe Beans to Bourbon Poached Cherries.
Scully says, “MiddleBar offerings go beyond a standard full bar, but the key difference is our emphasis on meaningful socializing rather than getting sloshed. It’s rare to find anyone else whose doing what we are doing, and near impossible to duplicate the way that we’re doing it.”
For over 10 years years, Scully and Schoenkerman have been united by their mutual love of cooking, entertaining, music and collaborative mixology. Scully brings her New Orleans background and culinary expertise to the MiddleBar table, while Schoenkerman is a scientist hailing from long line of scientists. Her profession as a therapist has played an important role in MiddleBar’s overarching philosophy.
Schoenkerman says, “There’s strong data to support the valuable health benefits and increased well-being of simply gathering with friends or loved ones to share quality time, while enjoying earth’s abundant blessings. That’s what MiddleBar is all about.”
Founded in December 2017 by Corrie Scully and Renie Schoenkerman, MiddleBar is Inglewood’s unique new Dinner Parlour and Bruncherie, featuring farm-to-table menu, original Farm Fresh cocktails, mocktails and MB’s award-winning MiddleBar Mary. Evolved from a love of music, cooking, cocktail creation and hospitality, dining at MiddleBar is a flavorful experience in a harmonious atmosphere. Come gather with loved ones and share delicious memories at MiddleBar.
129 N Market Street, Inglewood, CA 90301 / 323-454-7577 / www.middlebar.com