A Recipe for Growth: 1 Bold Cocktails

by | May 14, 2024 2:36:03 PM |

At 1 Bold Step, we take providing quality service to our clients very seriously, and additionally, we like to have a lot of fun as a team. Recently Caleb, our Brand Strategy Director, suggested we needed a suite of original 1 Bold Step cocktails to augment our team’s once-a-month, Friday afternoon “tools down” gatherings. So we did. And they were a hit.

Since yesterday was World Cocktail Day, we thought why not write a blog about how it went?


The Making of Our Mixtures  

We run EOS as a management framework here at 1 Bold Step, so Caleb went on to propose the cocktails should be named: The Visionary, for our CEO, Jennifer Jurgens, The Integrator, for our President, Adam Clarke, and The Aspirin, for our company’s mission to soothe our client’s headaches. 

The team thought Caleb’s idea was a hoot and Danielle, our Marketing Operations Manager, suggested that I do the work of crafting the cocktails. When I’m not helping our clients optimize their business processes and memorializing those processes in HubSpot, I’m a bit of a cocktail enthusiast. However, designing original cocktails is a formidable challenge these days. 

Cocktails took off in the mid-1800s following the proliferation of the commercial ice trade. Since then, a lot of great cocktails have been invented. Then more recently, the craft cocktail renaissance happened, from roughly 2004 to 2017. During that period, almost every combination of spirits, modifiers, and bitters were tried in some form or fashion. 

Bourbon was “washed” in bacon fat, glasses of Old Fashioned were served in clouds of hickory smoke, and whole cocktails were clarified with milk and citrus, to name just a few esoteric treatments. Given all that, it would be hard to come up with something “original”, but I still agreed to try to create three new specifications to represent 1 Bold Step.

My goal was to conceive cocktails that were delicious but easy to make with ingredients that were readily available and not too expensive. I tested, tweaked, and tasted quite a few versions until I came up with the ones listed below. Let’s call them unique, but probably not original. What follows is a little story and recipe for each bold cocktail that I hope you will enjoy and give a try. 


The Visionary 

Jennifer Jurgens is the founder and visionary behind 1 Bold Step. She has a long and varied career that started with a degree in supply chain management and matured into leading both for-profit and non-profit organizations to success. She has traveled the world from Qatar to Iceland to Brazil and is whip-smart, sophisticated, and spunky. 

Back in 2009, when I first met her, after having temporarily relocated to West Michigan, she was one of the first people I met and took it upon herself to introduce me and my wife to “people who don’t suck” locally. That's how we started to make great friends in the area, and a key reason why we chose to make West Michigan our home. Jen was a big part of that decision. Some 10-odd years later, after my business partners bought me out of my last leadership gig, Jen invited me to saddle up with 1 Bold Step, which she had just launched formally with Adam. 

A cocktail to represent Jen needed to be complex, unusual, and have lots of depth. This recipe is inspired by a mysterious cocktail from the 1980s or 1990s called Mexican Lover, whose history seems to be lost to time. I made a batch for a Christmas party that Jen and I both attended, and she liked it, so I decided to use it as a starting point for a drink in her honor. I kept the split base of cognac and aged tequila but replaced the sweet vermouth with a more complex triad of modifiers plus some mole bitters. I give you The Visionary:

Pouring shot for Old-fashion glass1 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac

1 oz Gran Centenario Anejo tequila 

1/4 oz Benedictine

1/4 oz Amaro Averna

1/4 oz Cointreau

3 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a double old-fashioned glass with a single large ice cube. Optionally, garnish with an orange twist.


The Integrator 

Adam Clarke is the President of 1 Bold Step and our Integrator. I originally met Adam back in 2010. He was an up-and-coming businessman who joined our volunteer team that was producing the inaugural TEDxGrandRapids conference, which I happened to be leading. Adam handled applications and registrations, which was a very important and detailed responsibility. (As an aside, Jen was on the TEDx team too. I think that’s where Jen and Adam met.) 

Most importantly, Adam was known to everybody on the team for his upbeat attitude and unshakeable dependability. When Adam said something was going to be taken care of, everyone could feel sure that it would absolutely get done. He is still like that, trustworthy and dependable. 

When crafting a cocktail to represent Adam, we all knew it had to be rum-based. Adam is a rum guy. I’ve had the privilege of sipping some great rums with Adam. It also had to be easy to drink to “integrate” the tastes of our whole team. This mixture is based on a variation of the 18th-century Jamaican cocktail, Planter’s Punch, but with a few little tiki tweaks. I give you The Integrator:

Shaker pouring into Collins glass1 oz Wray & Nephew overproof rum

1 oz Plantation Pineapple rum

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

1 oz simple syrup (1:1)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice then roll into a Collins glass. Optionally, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. 


The Aspirin

Part of our mission statement at 1 Bold Step is to be the aspirin for our clients and help ease their headaches. It fills us with passion and makes our work meaningful to assist our clients in solving their business problems and progressing their organization toward achieving their goals. A cocktail called The Aspirin had to represent our brand in a big way. 

This recipe is built on the scaffolding of a classic Manhattan. I selected Old Forrester 100 Straight Whiskey to represent Jen, powerful and a good mixer. I picked Hamilton 86 Demerara rum to represent Adam, strong, and dependable, but with a hint of sweetness. The team is represented by Amaro Montenegro which has a collection of unique flavors and was once called “the liquor of virtues.” A little Fernet Branca gives the whole thing a slight medicinal bite because, well, it’s an aspirin. Finally, we spice it up with three dashes of Peychaud's bitters to round out the profiles. I give you The Aspirin:

Stirring drink into coupe glass1 oz Old Forrester 100 Straight Whiskey

1 oz Hamilton 86 Demerara rum

1 oz Amaro Montenegro

½ oz Fernet Branca

3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish. 

I hope you give one or all of these unique bold cocktails a try. I think you’ll be pleased. Better yet, engage 1 Bold Step to build your organization a Strategic Marketing Plan, and I’ll personally make you the cocktail of your choice, one of these listed here, or something else to match your tastes, at our office here in Grand Rapids. Cheers!


Steve Frazee

Sr. Solutions Architect

& Chief Mixologist

About 1 Bold Step

At 1 Bold Step we believe that everything can be more efficient, but especially marketing. Acting as an extension of a client’s marketing department (onsite or virtually), we help create systems, order, and accountability. With a focus on increasing sales and proving return on marketing investment, we’re determined to change marketing from overhead to value add. 


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