Story Andrew Hazzard | Photograph Luisa Porter
The joint is new, the bartender, young, the feel, classic. Step inside Commodore Bob’s Yacht Club in Starkville’s Cotton District, and enter a setting that might actually have yachts moored out back.
Twenty-one-year-old Brady Hindman created the entire cocktail menu at Commodore Bob’s, but only one drink bears his name. Order a Brady’s Homemade Cola & Whiskey and taste the crisp refreshment of scientific, handcrafted mixology.
Hindman pours an ounce of a seven-oil blend of sugars and spices that he painstakingly put together by measuring out milliliters of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla — among other, more secret ingredients — with syringes. A sharp click of the soda gun releases five ounces of carbonation. One-and-three-fourths ounces of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey are added. Hindman fills up the remainder of the glass with ice and mixes the drink using a long, elegant, silver stirrer and forceful twists of the wrist. He inserts a Christmas tree of rosemary. You sip. You smile.
Commodore Bob’s is a place where every drinker becomes a connoisseur of sorts. Each cocktail is designed and made by Hindman, whose youth is overshadowed by his passion for the history and practice of his trade.
Hindman honed his craft in New Orleans, where he worked for the NFL’s Saints and on Bourbon Street. It was there he earned a mixology and beverage management certificate and found an appreciation for one of the nation’s many taste-driven passions. Hindman, who hails from West Point, says he is happy to be a part of bringing a classic mixology culture to the Golden Triangle.
With his hair tied back and sporting a Bulldog maroon bow-tie with contrasting vest, Hindman exudes the self-assured charm of a man whose experience goes beyond his years. As such, his role is consistent with the restaurant’s made-from-scratch emphasis.
“Everything here is homemade, down to the cola,” he said.
BRADY’S HOMEMADE COLA & WHISKEY
1 ounce seven-oil mixture
1.75 ounces Bulleit Frontier Whiskey (bourbon)
5 ounces soda water
Iced and stirred
Garnished with sprig of rosemary