Illustration by Chrissy Lau
Molly Wellmann may have made a name for herself slinging off-the-wall craft cocktails, but the co-owner of Japp’s, Neon’s Unplugged, the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, and the upcoming Myrtle’s Punch House and Hearth Room is clearly building a beverage empire.
You co-own three, soon to be five, bars. How do you do it all? I’ve got the best staff. I hire based on personality, and I can teach anybody how to make a drink.
What’s the plan for Myrtle’s Punch House? Punch bowls are about bringing people together; some of our recipes date back more than 500 years. But you can also get your gin and tonic or whiskey soda.
I also hear you’re working with Bromwell’s to open Hearth Room downtown. It will be for private events only. We had so many people who wanted to host wedding receptions and reunions at my bars that I paired with owner Jeff McClorey to make that happen.
What’s your drink recommendation for a sultry summer evening? Kitty Burke was a 1930s burlesque dancer from Cincinnati. A Reds fan, she once got so upset when a player couldn’t hit that she went down onto the field, grabbed the bat, and hit the ball herself. The only woman to ever hit in a major league game, her drink is two ounces of gin, two bar spoons of orange liquor, a couple dashes of orange blossom water, two big hunks of cucumber and about six mint leaves. Nothing is more refreshing than the Kitty Burke.
Originally published in the August 2014 issue