Distilling Spirits: Veteran Bartender Jason Kosmas Launches The 86 Company

Ever since mixologist Jason Kosmas hit town in 2010, he’s been a busy guy. In less than two years he’s shaken and stirred at Neighborhood Services Tavern, Bolsa, and Marquee Grill. Today he told me he is starting The 86 Company, which introduce new brands of  spirits. “I have been working on this for years but it is finally coming to fruition,” Kosmas said. “My partners, who are rooted in the craft cocktail movement, and I will collaborate with some of the best distillers in the world to make liquids and brands that are geared towards mixing in cocktails.”

So far, they have created four brands: Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Cana Brava Rum, Fords Gin, and Tequila Cabeza. “The products are all made to be tools for the bartender,” said Kosmas. “The informative and whimsical labels speak to that.”

Kosmas will remain in Dallas. “In fact, we are doing our initial launch in Dallas before New York City or California,” he said. He is still working at Marquee Grill but he is no longer a day-to-day manager on the floor. The 86 Company will make it’s debut at Craft Cocktail Texas which takes place June 14-17.

Kosmas elaborates below:

These are high-quality spirits are simply quality BS put in a practical ergonomic bottles. There are a lot of high quality spirits out their but because of their packaging and advertising budgets, the price of what is in the bottles is inflated. Ours are priced to democratize the ability to make good cocktails.

Our brands are multi-purpose ingredients for most of the classic calls but are also flavorful enough to inspire new creations.

For example for each category:

Vodka-round and naturally sweet, made from winter wheat mash, with a grainy finish. Smooth quality vodka with enough character to accentuate a cocktail instead of turning it into alcoholic fruit punch.

Rum-3 year-old aged and filtered light rum made from molasses. Makes the best daiquiri and mojito I have ever had. It is kin to the old Cuban-style rums which no longer can be found in the US. Also is at 86 proof (where the flavor really shines in cocktails).