Born and raised in Chicago, Tim Williams started working in the hospitality industry as he studied at DePaul University, first as a doorman then a barback and finally a bartender. He eventually worked his way up to design the cocktail program at Province with additional bartending stints at Mr. Brown's Lounge and Japonais.
Around that time, local bars The Drawing Room and The Violet Hour started receiving accolades for their unusual approach to making drinks. Tim finally understood what it meant to be a mixologist. In fact, he says that's one of the few things he had conviction about in his life.
Always striving to be a student himself, Tim started Pour Souls in 2012 to educate people about cocktails and have fun with them. He's taught numerous classes to the public in addition to developing staff training and opening programs for restaurants and bars. He regularly consults with local restaurants and bars on brand relationship management, cost control and menu development.
Tim's mission is to make people feel comfortable making a drink at home or confidently ordering a drink when they're out. He does this via hands-on cocktail classes and private mixology events at The Chopping Block on behalf of Pour Souls.
I really like a lot of the bottles by the 86 Company. The spirits themselves are extremely high quality, versatile and affordable. Also, the bottles themselves are attractive, they're great for batching cocktails (they have measurements on the sides), the labels are easy to remove and they have three different grip-points.
If I had to pick an absolute favorite I would have to go with the Cana Brava rum. It's a delicious Panamanian rum, made in a Cuban style that for so long we were unable to get in the US. Cana Brava is well rounded, excellent for shaken cocktails and like all 86 Co. products, comes in at an exceptional price.