Celebrate the Year of Vonnegut in Indy with 11 cocktails concocted by the city’s top mixologists. For 11 weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to try these Vonnegut-inspired cocktails.
For each drink, I sat down to catch up with the bartender who crafted it, asking him or her a series of questions about what inspired the drink. This week is a Q&A with William Mohring with Plat 99.
Armageddon in Retrospect
Q: Can you give me some background on yourself? How long have you been in the food and drink industry?
A: Food and beverages have always been present in my family. Growing up with a half Filipino/half Irish Catholic family, getting together with celebrations that involved food was always a big thing when we were younger. My parents said, “If you wanna buy the clothes you wanna wear and listen to the music you wanna listen to, you need to go out and get a job.” So my first job was bussing tables and washing dishes, and I just kind of worked my way up the ladder in the restaurant industry, working pretty much every position to get where I am today. I’ve been at Plat 99 for almost three years now.
Q: What drew you to work at Plat 99?
A: The uniqueness and the creativity that we’re able to harness and express on a daily basis. I think the space speaks for itself. It’s super unique, and I’ve never had the pleasure of getting to say, “I get to come to work in a living, breathing piece of art,” before now. So that’s really what inspires me and drives me on a daily basis.
Q: What would you say you’re all about at Plat 99?
A: We’ve always been known as a very artistic space. We have beautiful ambiance, great cocktails, and great beer and wine programs as well. And then, delicious food to match it all.
Q: Tell me about your Vonnegut drink.
A: The drink is called Armageddon in Retrospect, which was a group of Vonnegut’s work that was released by his son post-mortem. I thought it was unique that he was able to essentially live on through works that were previously unpublished. So I took that as inspiration, as he is a wonderfully celebrated Hoosier, and thought about how I could tie that into what we do from a beverage perspective. We work with a great local partner in Starlight Distillery, which is in Southeastern Indiana, and they grow their own corn for their bourbon. So I decided on bourbon, since Vonnegut’s books mention scotch more than once, and it’s in the whiskey family. And then, I was thinking, “What else can I do to show off Indiana besides having a homegrown spirit?” And then, I thought of persimmon fruit. I put a little twist on that, and spiced up the syrup, then matching that up with a wonderful fresh lemon juice, some apple cider liqueur and some homemade orange bitters that we do here at Plat.
Q: Does Plat 99 ever make other themed drinks like this?
A: We have, yeah. We most recently did a literary theme for our cocktail titles on our previous menu. We don’t have a theme on our present menu, but we’re hoping to do more of that going forward.
Q: What did you enjoy about coming up with this Vonnegut themed drink?
A: The creativity that we’re able to harness and express is what it’s all about for us bartenders and mixologists. We’re here to express ourselves through our work, just like an artist or a chef would. That creative process really inspires me on a daily basis.