The first time I met Aaron Polsky I was confused about whether I was meeting a frontman for a band or a bartender. One thing was immediately clear, even if his profession was not, was that this was a guy who looked at the world through a different lens. Maybe it was his rockstar hair and shirt open to his navel that signaled this guy relishes bucking norms, but one conversation with him and you could tell this thoughtful, intelligent guy had the ambition to really do something that made a difference. He had an insatiable curiosity and drive to understand all angles of the industry he’s dedicated himself to.
For those of you living under a rock, let me introduce you to one of the most progressive and creative bartenders I know. Aaron began his career in New York City at the age of 18 working for Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery, then as a host at the acclaimed Milk & Honey, and finally at White Star where he trained behind the bar with the renowned, Sasha Petraske. After departing from White Star for Eleven Madison Park, Boom Boom Room, Neta, and Amor y Amargo he began to build his loyal following.
His innovative methods of infusing flavors, unique modern approach to classic cocktails, and his vibrant personality have made him undeniably one of the most successful bartenders in the world. Currently working in LA, he heads the bar at Houston Hospitality’s Harvard & Stone. Harvard & Stone is a five-time Spirited Award nominee and is consistently recognized as one of the best bars in the city by industry and media alike. Here he is able to showcase his rock n’ roll persona through his bold, sophisticated, and well-balanced cocktails.
I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to collaborate with this bartending pioneer. I was able to travel to the University of California Riverside with Aaron and six other spirited industry experts to explore rare citrus varieties, and discover how to innovate with citrus in unique ways. Givaudan’s collaboration grove with the University of Calfornia Riverside provides a unique opportunity to experience citrus inspiration in its fullest and freshest form, straight off the tree. We walked among rows of trees draped with brightly colored citrus fruit and branches decorated with fruit of every size and shape. We stopped along the way, zesting and tasting these citrus varieties while talking about using them to reinvent classic drinks or create new, unique beverage combinations.
Over the past two years, Aaron has been taking his skills behind the bar and bringing it to the public. He recently launched a line of high-end, ready-to-drink canned cocktails called LiveWire. At first glance, you may think his new line of canned cocktails are simply that. But you’d be mistaken. Aaron could have just made some great tasting drinks that are refreshing and convenient, perfect for celebrating any occasion. Instead, he has a vision of transforming the professional bartending profession, showcasing the talents of individuals in the industry who have traditionally been limited to creating cocktails behind the bar for a few to sharing their creations from coast to coast in the hands of those who may never be able to experience their talents through a bar.
LiveWire isn’t just a brand of new canned cocktails; it’s a talent agency capable of introducing incredibly talented bartenders to consumers who may never take a step inside their bars by putting a can of an elevated and upscale cocktail in the hands of consumers from coast to coast. LiveWire is a mashup of music industry ideas, celebrity chef culture, and damn good cocktails. You aren’t just getting a fantastic cocktail, you are supporting a real human being and their pursuit for professional excellence within their trade.