Today we speak to cocktail wizard Leif Huckman about his career and personal style.
I am a proud California expat who has lived in New York for over 15 years now since coming here for college. I studied theater, then started a band and of course began bar tending immediately thereafter. I was lucky to get into the bar scene at a moment when the craft cocktail movement was just beginning to crest into popular consciousness. I had amazing mentors and opportunities to work at benchmark establishments in New York (Freemans, Bette, Gold Bar, The Tasting Room, Marlow & Sons & 5 Leaves to mention a few) and I fell in love with not only the art of making a great drink, but the art of creating the perfect space in which to enjoy that drink. I never stopped playing music, but I took each opportunity I could to further my experience as a bar man and eventually that led to a point where I decided to create a bar of my own, Donna in South Williamsburg.
It’s a magical, transporting room with exquisite beverage and endless good vibes. We had a fire that shut our doors in November of 2013, but we built it again, re-opened in June and it’s better than ever. Now, I am preparing to hit the road playing bass with Ex Cops. I thought that one day I might have to choose between being a musician or being a business man, but so far that day hasn’t come.
Ask for my personal style:
Shirts: Summertime: almost exclusively tank tops, either vintage such as my wife’s grandfather’s old UC Berkley basketball jersey or simple modern tanks from H&M, American Apparel etc. Wintertime: Brooks Brothers/Polo button downs or vintage flannel.
Accessories: None, except for an old man fedora I wear in the wintertime which I purchased at an Hassidic owned hat shop on Broadway in Brooklyn.
Outerwear: A well-worn Levis denim jacket, a very well worn Italian leather motorcycle jacket, and a Barbour knock off parka.
Favorite Cologne: None, only Old Spice Fresh deodorant.
Your favorite App: Right now, Uber. It’s made taxi travel to, from and within Brooklyn much more accessible/affordable than it was before.
Favorite piece of technology: My iPhone. I could think of something less obvious, but I truly couldn’t imagine working without it.
Next tech purchase: Probably a new pedal for my bass guitar.