Jesse Palmer may be famous as the host of The Bachelor, but he wants us to know his life doesn’t merely revolve around reality TV: He likes to get out and enjoy the real world. He’s also partnering with TINCUP whiskey on an intriguing new campaign to encourage more people to get out, meet new people, make new friends, and perhaps even forge new romantic connections.
Wait, so Jesse Palmer wants to set us up on blind dates? No, not quite. Instead, he’s helping TINCUP launch its “Find Your Partner in Adventure” campaign. This starts with three special group dates this summer: one in New York, one in Colorado, and one in California. As TINCUP was preparing to launch this new campaign, I spoke with Jesse Palmer about his favorite kinds of dates, why we should look beyond dating apps to find someone new, and how whiskey can be quite romantic.
What is TINCUP, exactly? The company considers itself “Mountain Whiskey” and calls Colorado its home. TINCUP cuts American whiskey with local Rocky Mountain water that infuses some of that Colorado adventurous spirit the state is known for.
Though the idea of dates over whiskey may not seem all that “exotic, “TINCUP wants us to think beyond the usual meet-cute at the bar over Manhattans and the typical rowdy bar party full of frisky whiskey shots; rather, TINCUP wants us to rethink “date night,” ditch our usual dating apps, and join them to “Find Your Partner in Adventure” through their specially curated events full of hikes dubbed “TINCUP Mountain Mixers,” which are outdoor activities and new ways to enhance old fashioned favorites (pun intended) with TINCUP whiskey.
I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with the one and only Jesse Palmer about why it’s time to put down our phones, pick up some TINCUP whiskey, and get ready to embark on new dating adventures.
The questions and answers below were lightly and carefully edited for clarity.
Why are you now taking on this mission to get more people out and try a very different dating experience?
I love the concept of encouraging people to get out in nature and build deeper connections in person. I met [my wife] at a boxing class in New York City. We take our dog on long walks, and I feel like those environments allow you an opportunity without distractions to make sincere and more profound connections.
It fosters that, so I think marrying the two with TINCUP and finding your partner and adventure in this campaign, I believe they have been a perfect synergy and something I wanted to be a part of.
Why do you think it may be harder for people to make real connections when they try building their relationships online first, instead of doing it “the old-fashioned way” and IRL?
I think times are changing. I think dating apps are good in a lot of ways. It seems like people are busier than they had been before. Due to the advent of technology and media, people’s attention spans also seem to be a lot shorter today than they used to be.
Sometimes, the ability to step away from all these devices, slow down, and have in-person connections and opportunities to dive deep and do things in a genuine fashion feels like it’s a dying art in many ways. This campaign allows us to get back to something more like “old-fashioned dating.”
This opens space to create connections, and it’s not all about romantic relationships. It’s about friendships, too. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out of your comfort zone, enjoying the beautiful outdoors in this beautiful nature, and meeting people in a group setting. It’s not one-on-one, so it’s not like a blind date where you’re showing up and don’t know what will happen. It’s designed to take the edge off and allow people to hopefully feel like they can be themselves, share their passion for the outdoors, and then see what that leads to: It may be friendships or romantic connections. I think anything’s possible with this campaign.
What’s your advice to anyone apprehensive about doing an in-person date or meeting without meeting someone online first?
Remember that everybody’s probably a little bit nervous. I don’t think anybody you know is going into this feeling 1,000% confident. Having those “butterflies in the stomach” is part of the fun, as is simply being authentic, original, and yourself.
When people try to be something they’re not, others can sense that. It’s good to make the truest representation of oneself: Just be yourself. Everybody else is going to be nervous as well. As long as you’re going out there to have fun, be open-minded, enjoy the great outdoors, and enjoy some incredible whiskey together. I mean, what could be better than that?
Do you have any additional tips on approaching someone?
Everybody will have their own style based on their personality. I know for me, self-deprecating humor is generally what I lean on. I’m Canadian, and we’re very good at doing that. We’re very good at making fun of ourselves!
That’s usually a good icebreaker, letting people know you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re not trying to be “too cool.” You’re just there to enjoy the experience, and sipping some TINCUP whiskey might also help.
Which outdoor activities are best for getting to know someone?
I like hiking, and I like dog walks. Those are probably my two favorites. There’s so much fantastic topography around the United States, which varies. This country is gorgeous. That’s what I’ve always loved.
With dog walking, I love dogs. I love animals in general. Hopefully, the person you’re doing it with does, too.
These are easy things that feel natural and don’t feel forced. You might do them anyway if you’re by yourself. It also allows you some space to focus on the conversation and the potential connection. I think these are two good things for many different reasons.
Do you recommend people avoid certain activities or venues for a first date or group date event?
Ah, probably a mosh pit. Death Metal. Running of the bulls might be a bit too dangerous.
So, no first dates in July in Pamplona?
I mean, you might impress someone with your willingness to show your culture, your willingness to travel and seem worldly, and your extreme bravery.
With that said, I think it’s hard to focus on one another if you’re in surroundings with a lot of noise and distractions. It might be too hard to “dial in” and build that connection.
Do you think planning a date or group outing at the most stereotypically romantic spots, like a beach or mountainous area with a lovely waterfall, makes the most sense? Do you think trying something slightly off the beaten path may be worthwhile?
Sometimes, you risk making it look too obvious: “Okay, we’re sitting right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Got it. I know what’s going on here!” It doesn’t need to be Versailles. You don’t have to be at a beach in Tahiti.
This is why hiking and taking your dog for a walk around a nice neighborhood works really well. I think anything to be more disarming generally helps. That’s why I like pairing self-deprecating humor with a more relaxed approach. You don’t have to get dressed in a tuxedo with a rose in your mouth and a private jet on hand. Especially if you’re meeting for the first time, try meeting in a more relaxed setting with an excellent old-fashioned in your hand featuring some good TINCUP whiskey.
Are you saying it doesn’t necessarily have to look like certain dates we often see portrayed on certain TV dating shows?
What, you’re saying taking a helicopter to land on a yacht and be served champagne is not typical? Yeah, I got it. I know what you’re saying.
It doesn’t always have to be like that, but maybe that’s your budget. Maybe you are an oligarch, and that’s what you want to do. Good for you. But you know, you always try the TINCUP whiskey instead of the champagne.
From what I understand, this campaign will utilize digital platforms to help people meet in person. How is this different from meeting in person after “running into each other” on Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, or another dating app?
Right. The TINCUP Mountain Mixers campaign uses its digital platform to inform people of the events happening around the country and then push them toward taking that next step to show up and meet everybody in person to establish new relationships. If that makes sense, I see this as different from the typical “meetings” based on a dating app.
What do you think is prompting this change? What do you think motivates some millennials and Zoomers to ditch the good old dating apps and try something that, for our generations, feels very different?
I think part of it is what’s happened recently, right? The pandemic forced us all inside, and I think we lost that ability to connect and be with each other in person. We lost many opportunities to be with our friends and our family. I think people are excited and anxious to get back out in the world.
For many of us, “normal” often includes dating apps, and sometimes we feel safer meeting someone online first because of “stranger danger.” Do you have any additional tips for easing people into trying something different? How can we “do it old fashioned” while enjoying an old-fashioned with TINCUP?
Because it’s in a group setting, I think that should help take much of the edge off. Hopefully, this will help people take that leap of faith, come out, and enjoy. I know for myself in my life, there have been a lot of times when I felt some trepidation.
I had some hesitations on things in my personal and professional life, but I’ve learned to live more by not saying no very much. Taking that leap of faith, it opens doors that you never knew were there, and it opens the doors to new relationships, new people, new experiences, and new opportunities. I think that’s a big part of this as well.
Okay, so you have a full calendar of events coming up.
We’re trying to encourage a community of people that come together who share a passion for the great outdoors, a love for nature, and a passion for great whiskey. Here, you can come together and enjoy that during these outings that TINCUP will host in Colorado, upstate New York, and in Los Angeles, where I’ll be present.
We’ll be doing some great guided hikes, and there will be some cool cocktail programs. This will be so much fun, and it will be an environment that hopefully doesn’t feel forced. It doesn’t make people feel like they’re in a completely different and unique atmosphere. This should feel much more natural, and I think people will enjoy it.
What are your favorite ways of enjoying whiskey? Have you had any chances to experiment with excellent new TINCUP-enhanced cocktails to serve someone special?
I’m a big whiskey fan and love an old-fashioned. I’ve been tinkering with TINCUP and working to find my new favorite cocktail, which I think has a nice nod toward my Canadian Heritage. It’s a maple old fashioned, perhaps a “mountain maple old fashioned,” if you will.
It’s great around a campfire. It’s great out on the town, yet it’s also great on a patio. It’s great on your roof in New York City. It’s great just about everywhere. It travels well.
Jesse Palmer’s Mountain Maple Old Fashioned
- 2oz TINCUP Rye
- 1/4 oz. maple syrup
- 3-4 dashes of chocolate bitters
- Orange peel garnish
- Pour TINCUP into a mixing glass, and add maple syrup and bitters.
- Stir until maple syrup is dissolved.
- Add a large cube to the mixing glass and stir.
- Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube of ice.
- Express the oil of an orange twist over the drink, then drop it into the mirror to garnish.
We hope you’ve found some new inspiration to head outside your comfort zone, enjoy some new adventures, and perhaps meet some new and amazing people along the way. However you prefer to enjoy your whiskey, we hope you enjoy it responsibly and have a great time out there.
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