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Seeing The Cocktail 'Glass Backwards'

By Paul Leddy in Food on Aug 2, 2013 6:20PM

08_01_13_glassbackwards.jpg There are the mornings after a night out on the town where one cocktail with coworkers or friends turns into three or four (or more). You lie in bed the next morning with a pounding headache and ask yourself, "How did this all start?" As you replay the evening in reverse, you realize that the night began, as all nights do out at a bar, with an empty glass that will receive your first drink.

A new cocktail video series called Glass Backwards recreates that replay as it shows the cocktail being constructed in reverse from the end to beginning. The Memento-like videos are the work of Chicagoan Jude Goergen and came about accidentally. "I shot a video last Fourth of July of some friends from college," Goergen explains. "They were shot-gunning beers and I did it in reverse slo-mo and it was very interesting to watch."

After seeing the results he thought it would be interesting to see if it could be applied to the cocktail-making world. "One day, I was talking to Andy [Gould] at Scofflaw. I told him that I had this idea that maybe I can use their bar to shoot this,” Goergen recalls. Gould loved it and said that they would get Griffin Elliott, now head bartender at Sepia to shoot it.

Bebida Rosada from Jugoe / GlassBackwards on Vimeo.

"It just looked beautiful and it tasted delicious. Everyone that I showed it to loved it. One thing led to another and it just sort of snowballed."

So why do the videos in reverse? "The primary reason is that it forces people to watch the whole thing," Goergen says. "The other thing is people are always trying to guess who or where it is. To me, revealing at the end makes the video much more interesting."

Part of the reason why the videos work so well is the carefully selected music that accompanies each video. "It can take hours to find a track that fits the theme of the drink," Goergen explains. He will even ask the bartender what song they would pick to go along with the drink. "Sometimes it works very well, other times not so much," Goergen says. "At least I ask them first to see what they come up with."

Tropic of Thistle from Jugoe / GlassBackwards on Vimeo.

While Goergen has focused on Chicago for the videos, he recently ventured out to his hometown of Cleveland and even shot videos during Tales of the Cocktail held in New Orleans. "Right now I am still pretty much focused on Chicago unless opportunities such as (the) one in New Orleans present themselves."

Beneficio de Café from Jugoe / GlassBackwards on Vimeo.

See Goergen's other videos at