We have long turned to Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. when making our custom cocktails at home and for our Friends of the Café dinner series at The Factory. Jack Rudy was founded by Brooks Reitz (husband to our designer Erin Reitz) in 2010. Since that time, Brooks has slowly grown a small food and beverage empire that continues to gather renown.
Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Brooks worked restaurant roles from busboy to owner, and knew the insides of the culinary world from all points of view. After learning under and bar managing for James Beard Award-winner Mike Lata, he opened his first restaurant, Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop (nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Hospitality this year), followed by the beloved Little Jack’s Tavern. Brooks and his team expanded to open a classic Italian restaurant, Melfi’s (one of Natalie’s all-time favorite restaurants), Monza Pizza Bar, and The Oyster Shed @ Leon’s. All of them have warm and inviting atmospheres and top-notch cuisine. In 2017, he created the delicious Oyster Shed Rose—a “wine designed for coastal seafood”— partnering with Harry Root and Grassroots Wine—new vintage releasing in 2021.
Brooks runs his family-based cocktail company, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., with his partner and cousin, Taylor Huber, which was founded to create and reinvent classic bar staples like tonics, bitters, syrups, mixers, and more. Jack Rudy was inspired by Brooks’ and Taylor’s great grandfather– who was known as a bit of a daredevil, an inventor, and a craftsman. He was one who “loved to entertain, to enjoy a good smoke, a round of drinks, and his wife’s gourmet cooking, sometimes to excess.” His spirit inspired the small-batch products and tools that his namesake company sells, all of which are loved and used by cocktail aficionados everywhere.
Because we’ve all been spending more time at home than in the restaurants and bars we love, Jack Rudy’s new products like their (soon-to-be-released) Margarita and Bloody Mary mixes ensure that our brunches and evening patio dinners will not lack spirit or flavor. Brooks has been sharing some casual cooking and cocktail videos—filmed and laughingly commented on by Erin—on Instagram, so follow along for tips on making everything from fish sandwiches, to crab toast, and don’t miss the frozen gin and tonic—a recipe from Leon’s. Look for updates on Brooks’ restaurants and new Jack Rudy products coming soon.
P.S.: In 2013, we began producing an organic cotton bar towel to go along with Jack Rudy’s line of bar tools. Our bar towel collaboration (pictured in the lead image) is available on Jack Rudy’s website.
P.P.S.: We’ve put together a list of cocktail recipes on our Journal featuring Jack Rudy mixers. Serve (responsibly) with organic cotton cocktail napkins.