The Blackbird Audio Documentary


WHAT IS THE BLACKBIRD? Have you ever had a Blackbird? Do you know what goes into a Blackbird? Do you know who created The Blackbird and where? Our Josh decided a while ago to do some digging about this ubiquitous Toronto Industry handshake. Over the course of 5 installments in this audio documentary he talked with dozens of bartenders, representatives from brands, published cocktail historians and eventually…the creator of The Blackbird.

In the first episode we explain what we are trying to do here and also have a chat with historian and author Christine Sismondo. Josh wanted to ask Christine about the phenomenon of shots, cocktails or drinks that only exist in one geographical location and somehow never travel from that city, or sometimes even that bar.

The mic then gets passed to those behind the bar who have been making, selling and drinking Blackbirds, but aren’t quite sure what it is they’re serving, or at least have gotten the name wrong. Over the course of about 2 years Josh asked dozens of bartenders from across Canada about The Blackbird and got a wild variety of answers. This is a great way to see what you might have already known and what you can learn about how drinks evolve over time. This episode exists to show that sometimes something can be so catchy that the substance gets misconstrued.

The audio documentary ends with an interview with the creator of the Blackbird. Who and what bar are they from? How did it come to be? You will have to listen to find out.

Each episode of The Blackbird is under thirty minutes and is easy to digest. This audio documentary is about drinking and drinking culture and how it can travel and evolve – or not. Our hope is that it inspires listeners to think about community within the cocktail industry, about what that means and about how we can make it all stronger, even if that starts with just one shared shot.

You can listen to The Blackbird on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, as well as on Simplecast.

Josh Lindley
Co-Creator at Bartender Atlas
Josh Lindley has been bartending in Toronto since 2007. Before working for Hendrick's Gin as a Brand Ambassador he was bar manager at Campagnolo and a hired gun at Bar Isabel before working at Chantecler, Le Phenix and Eataly. He has contributed to many magazines, tv shows and newspapers with his recipes and opinions. He recently put his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Humber College to good use through The Blackbird audio documentary. Currently pouring at Civl Liberties and teaching cocktail classes for Evelyn Chick's Love of Cocktails, he enjoys being an ambassador to Toronto and talking about horror movies, punk rock and basketball.
Josh Lindley on FacebookJosh Lindley on Instagram