My Last Drink

The idea of writing this article came to me after reading a wonderful book “My Last Supper” by Melanie Dunea, published by Bloombury USA, a must read for foodies. Morbid? No…chefs have been playing the “my last supper” game among themselves for decades, if not centuries, but it had always been kept within the profession until now.


The book starts out with a preface that historically chefs would sit around a table late at night after the last patrons have left sharing conversation as they nibbled on leftovers and enjoyed a drink, or a pilfered vintage of open wine bottles. Eventually someone would say “If you were to die tomorrow, what single drink, what one mouthful of food from anywhere in the world or anytime in your life would you choose as your last?” Since in the Mix magazine features drinks as its first course, I wondered what would some of the great F&B managers, mixologists and Sommeliers choose if asked. So, we posed just that question and more to a few friends and business colleagues that many of us know. The best part of this adventurous exchange is that CORETM receives a contribution by each correspondent.

• What would you imbibe for your last drink should you die tomorrow?
• Who would you drink with?
• What would be the setting for your last drink?
• What would be your meal that accompanied your last drink?


Macayla Peterson and Kristen Gridley

Kristen Gridley
Account Manager and Bar Chef, iMi Agency
• Definitely Don Julio Blanco and Squirt! I got hooked in Guadalajara
• My girls (you know who you are)
• In a hammock, on a private beach where the only sounds are the waves rolling in and quiet conversation among friends
• Fresh guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and fresh chicharrones. You don’t need more than that when everything else is perfect

Macayla Peterson
Account Manager and Bar Chef, iMi Agency
• Veuve Clicquot Champagne La Grande Dame Rose
• My husband, even though he’s not a big fan of Champagne (If I’m going to check out the next day he can suffer through it) and my dad. The two most important people in my life
• Sitting in a rocking chair, on the porch of a cabin on top of Mt. Rainer
• I’ve eaten at some of the most amazing restaurants all over the US and Europe, but my favorite meal hasn’t changed since I was kid. Surf and turf! Alaskan king crab legs, filet mignon and a baked potato

Brittany Chardin
Account Manager and Bar Chef, iMi Agency
• I would have all my friends and family gather around a pool sized scorpion bowl with 20 foot long straws for everyone. Each person would have had to bring a fresh and exotic tropical juice or some amazing aged rum to add to the mix and we would simultaneously be adding to it and drinking it. A Solera Scorpion bowl of sorts filled with rum-love for everyone. With those long straws we could get into some serious shenanigans
• Heck the drinks on the house…come on by
• Oh, well, that would have to be someplace moderately warm, no humidity, lots of sun, near the water, with a gentle ocean breeze, not so far from from civilization with good sanitation and friendly service professionals to attend to our every need. Even though it’s my LAST drink, I would want to enjoy myself
• At least 25 platters of different things. Roasted meats: pig, goat, lamb; lots of different sorts of vegetables; cheeses; breads and Coconut PIE


Brian Yost
President, Onsite Products Global Music, Live Nation
• My last drink would be the tallest glass that I could find, frosted and filled with ice and topped with four fingers of Jack Daniel’s
• I’d be drinking with family, celebrating life, each other and toasting to their futures
• Sundown, in my back yard, overlooking Black Mountain
• Something simple, like a few grilled hot dogs, topped with crunchy sauerkraut

Doug Jackson
Sr. Director of Beverage Development, Darden Restaurants
• Obviously a very difficult question to answer…after much thought I would have to say an Irish Coffee from Buena Vista in San Francisco. Heavy on the Bushmills of course (although, making it with Jameson 18 wouldn’t be a problem for me)
• This is easy to answer…my wife and 3 children
• Sitting on a boat or anywhere overlooking the ocean at Sunset. Cabo, Jamaica, the keys…I’m not too picky.
• Another Irish Coffee from Buena Vista, of course

JP Etcheberrigaray
Vice President, Food & Beverage Americas, InterContinental Hotel Group
• …BUBBLES TO DIE FOR…Champagne Rose, of course! (it is a celebration of life after all…)
• Surrounded with all who appreciate me, and if nobody, will try to follow Errol Flynn
• In the Caribbean, naturally, barefooted. Everything tastes better BAREfooted


Mary Melton
Beverage Director, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
• Vintage Pink French Champagne
• My wonderful husband, mother, sister & brother
• Secluded California beach at sunset…toes in the sand
• Fettuccini alfredo (extra cheese please)

Don Stanczak
Senior Food and Beverage Executive, Interstate Hotels & Resorts
• A great red wine Chateau Palmer, Romanee Conti, or Grange; the vintage of course would be predicated by the anticipated date of consumption
• My family, watching the grandchildren play, knowing that they have their entire life in front of them
• On the beach in Charleston, South Carolina
• Our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complemented with imported French Cheeses including Reblochon, Livarot, Epoisses, and Saint Marcellin. A little vintage port or sauterne would be nice also

Tylor Field III
Vice President of Wine and Spirits, Morton’s The Steakhouse
• Domaine de la Romanee- Conti, “La Tache”
• T.J., III (My better half)
• An October day in Piedmonte Italy overlooking the city of Alba while being serenaded by Allison Krauss
• Black truffles with soft boiled eggs and caviar


Doug Zeif
Vice President, Food & Beverage Americas, Hilton
• Billecart Salmon Brut Rose
• My beautiful wife, Jennifer
• Sitting on a promontory on Wailea Beach, Maui, watching the final sunset
• Local, line-caught fish caught directly in the ocean below. Simply grilled with local vegetables in extra virgin olive oil and fresh, local-grown herbs

Francesco Lafranconi
National Director of Mixology & Spirits Educator, Southern Wine & Spirits of America Inc.
• Billecart-Salmon Vintage Champagne
• My wife
• Mountain chalet in the winter covered with snow
• Anything cooked by Daniel Boulud

Tony Abou-Ganim
The Modern Mixologist
• Negroni
• My Nephew Anthony Abou-Ganim
• Florence, Italy
• Pan fried pickerel and french fries

glenn-banner-4Glenn Difiore
Senior Purchasing Director, Food & Support Services, Aramark
• Negroni on the rocks made with Bombay Sapphire
• My wife of 31 years
• The patio of Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano, Italy
• Cioppino

Stan Novack
President, Novack Consulting, LLC
• My last drink would be a well aged (30 + years) scotch, served neat
• Perhaps George Washington, since he established one of the first distilleries and it has just been reconstructed
• Mount Vernon, overlooking the Potomac
• The meal would be shrimp ceviche, Kobe Beef, seasonal vegetables, a dark chocolate soufflé

Sue Morgan
Vice President, Franchise Food & Beverage, IHG
• Caymus 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon
• 12 of my favorite family members and friends
• A garden in Tuscany at dusk, candle-lit
• Cheeses, Scottish Salmon with wild mushroom ravioli and brussels sprouts tumbled in Myer lemon infused olive oil…and garlic, plenty of garlic

1cut-diannaDianna Stoffer
CFBE Brand Manager of Food & Beverage, Hotel Indigo
• A perfect margarita
• My husband
• On a sail boat in White Bay at Jost Van Dyke
• Grilled fish (whatever we catch that day) fresh mangos and pineapple

Jen Robinson
Principal, The Pineapple Group, LLC
• For my last drink, I would have to go with something sentimental, which would mean a great wine. A 1997 bottle of Caymus would have to be the choice
• I’ve often said that what makes a drink better are those you share it with and for my last drink, it would be a very special group of friends simply known as the Musketeers
• I have shared so many wonderful memories, places and times with this group that it would be hard to choose. They all hold special memories from the first place we had it to the most recent. For my last drink, I would say Oxford, Mississippi because none of them have ever had the chance to visit and before I go, I want to share it with them because they’ve heard me talk about it enough
• Imported cheeses, breads, and fruits; followed by a filet mignon prepared just perfectly. And for dessert, my all time favorite, crème brûlée

resized_dougfrostDoug Frost
Wine Consultant and Writer
• This might be a downer for some people, but i’ve actually done a last drink. It was a few years ago: I had accepted the role of choosing the last flavor for a friend of mine who lay dying of AIDS. His brain had made him dumb, but not numb and not insensible. I took a bottle that I knew he loved into the hospital; actually the rules of the day being what they were, I had to sneak it in. I poured him a glass and, as I say, he was incapable of speech. He just marveled at it, his eyes as wide as the sun outside his window and he tried to mouth the words. It remains a touching but deeply sad memory.
• So maybe it’s hard for me to play along in a game of “last drink” or at least to have the right attitude in doing so. and I like too many drinks to even imagine answering the question but if you found me in an honest moment; my answer should very likely reflect two obsessions: Mezcal and Riesling. I end many evenings with a shot of Del Maguey Tobala, and so do a number of my friends. I also love drinking great German Estate Rieslings and I have a deep love of the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr wines of Fritz Haag. Perhaps a 1990 Auslese might put a broad smile on my lips.
• But if you find yourself selecting a wine to bring to me in the hospital, rest assured I will be grateful for anything you bring: any spirit, any cocktail, any wine and any beer.