Lush Life

Lush Life

Where can you learn to live life one cocktail at a time? Here on the Lush Life Podcast discover why an old-fashioned is the drink of choice, who is making their own bitters and how ice, or lack there of, is transforming the cocktails you drink. Hosted by your favorite drinking companion, Susan L. Schwartz, the Lush Life Podcast introduces you to the movers and shakers of the cocktail world.


January 24, 2023 38 min

Behind the doors of Warehouse 1, up north in Scotland’s Speyside, there is something brewing that we are all going to want to sample. Especially after you’ve heard it all from my guest today! 

Here to reveal the wonders of not only in Warehouse 1 but also the entire Glen Moray range is Iain Allan, Global Brand Ambassador and Visitor Center Manager for Glen Moray Distillery

An Elgin local, who traveled all over the world but chose t...

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Say his name in any bar around the world, and most bartenders will immediately whip out a well-worn copy of his eponymous bible of bartending. Today we meet the legend who not only authored that classic but so much more! 

If you didn’t know it already, our guest today, Jim Meehan, is one of the most celebrated bartenders and bar operators, as well as the author of The PDT Cocktail Book and the one and only Meehan’s Bartender Manual....

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When making cocktails, do you ever feel like something’s missing? One of our guests today did, and he made it his mission to fill that void. 

Chris Tanca, Founder of Cordusio, was that man. He was trying to make a cocktail and could find the spirit with the exact flavor profile he was looking for. So he created it, and now Cordusio, the world’s first red berry aperitif, is hot off the presses.

In fact, I met Chris at Venice Cocktail ...

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Did you ever look at a loaf of bread and see a bottle of vodka waiting to happen? Our guest today did, and now that bread has become the vodka that took Venice Cocktail Week by storm.

Frank Grillo, the co-founder of Altamura Distilleries, wasn’t just looking at any old slice of bread when he saw a bottle of vodka, but one he had made with Altamura wheat. 

If you haven't already heard of Pane di Altamura, as it's called in Ita...

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How is it possible that you move to one of the chicest, if not the chicest, cities in the world and not find an even passible martini?  Today’s guest is living proof that anything is possible!

Today joining me is the inimitable Forest Collins, founder of, which chronicles her search for the best cocktail bars in Paris as well as loads of other cocktail news from all over France. 

She is the creator of the iOS app Paris...

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Do you remember me talking about Venice Cocktail Week earlier this year?  If you are an avid fan of Lush Life, you might recall I was there for the launch of what has become one of my favorite weeks of the year. 

The city of Venice has always had a special place in my heart.  The introduction of a week celebrating Venice’s drinking establishments was genius, and I am so thankful to Paola Mencarelli and Bianca Grisolia for including ...

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Have you ever described the potato as lowly? Well, the heritage variety of potatoes that is at the centre of today’s episode is anything but. In fact, it’s regal.

Today on Lush Life, Emma Hamilton, the co-founder of Edwards 1902 Vodka, will attest to the fact that the King Edward potato should be respected, not only for being a tasty tuber but for being at the heart of an award-winning vodka.

She and her founders have gone on to crea...

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It was her grandfather’s Manhattan that inspired our guest to love the art of making cocktails, but what was it about that Manhattan that would lead her to New Orleans? 

I’m Susan Schwartz, your drinking companion, and this is Lush Life Podcast, every week we are inspired to live life one cocktail at a time.

Joining us today on our episode sponsored by Louisiana Tourism is the fabulous Abigail Gullo. Creative Director, Loa Bar in the...

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First up! This is a 2 parter, so for those of you who missed part 1, go back to the previous episode and start there! If you are ready to join us for Part 2 of Asian Rice Wines and Spirits.  Then let’s go! 

I’m Susan Schwartz, your drinking companion, and this is Lush Life Podcast, every week we are inspired to live life one cocktail at a time.

We’ve discussed Sake, Shōchū, and Soju, now it’s time for Baijiu! Our trusty guide has bee...

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What a way to begin Season 7!  By attempting to tackle the category that is Asian Rice Wine and Spirits? We would be truly destined to fail if we didn’t have such a spectacular leader to guide us through.

How can I describe Marie Cheong-Thong? She is not only one of eight spirit committee members of the IWSC but also Chairman of the British Sake Association, a Council Member of the Association of Wine Educators, a member of both the...

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October 17, 2022 3 min

Is it that time already…the leaves are falling, there is a chill in the air, and I’m back with a new season to keep you company.

I’m Susan Schwartz, your drinking companion, and this is Lush Life Podcast, where every week, we are inspired to live life one cocktail at a time.

Yes, next Tuesday, I bring you Season 7 of Lush Life.  This season it’s more of the same  - great conversations, great cocktails, and a few bar suggestions from ...

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During  lockdown, I received cocktails from some of the world’s best bars delivered right to my door.  Who should cycle them over to me at a moment’s notice? None other than the drinks legend who is my guest today.  

Many of you who filled out my Lush Life survey, asked for more interviews with industry legends; well, here you go. Fabrice Limon is at your service. He has too many titles to list here, and most of them are Managing Pa...

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What is the saying, when life hands you sugar cane, make rum, right?  Well, my guest today is making way more than white rum, aged rum, and rhum agricole down south in Gonzales, Louisiana, that’s for sure. 

On Lush Life today, sponsored by Louisiana Travel, I am thrilled to have Andrew Soltau. Co-Owner and COO, of Sugarfield Spirits to guide us through how he and his brother found their way to Gonzales Louisiana in the middl...

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Have you tried to find Le Syndicat bar on Rue Faubourg Saint Denis?  They don’t make it easy. Our guest today explains what’s going on behind all those posters and why it’s not to miss on your next trip to Paris.

I think we need to toast to the father of Thibault Massina, the Creative Director at the one and only Le Syndicat bar in the 10th arrondissement in the City of Lights. Thanks to his introduction to wine’s merits at an early...

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Our guest today fell into distilling after years of being a self-proclaimed Pinot chaser. What is it exactly that drew her over to the spirit world? 

Sarah Elsom, Master Distiller of the Cardrona Distillery on the South Island of New Zealand, knew she wanted to work in wine from the age of 16.  That passion took her all over the world and back again.

When she returned home, she was lucky enough to walk into the fledgling Cardrona Dis...

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What to do when your country bans alcohol sales during the height of covid, and you own a distillery? Create a non-alcoholic spirit, and then find the perfect partner to help you introduce it to the world.

Danielle Schoeman used her distilling know-how to produce Mahala Botanical, then she sent it to Paul Scanlon to see what he thought. After years working for a drinks company, he was ready to bring one of his own to market. It was ...

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I have a penchant for wild cats; one, in particular, go tigers! Now there is another cat begging for my attention, and I just can’t ignore it. Who could when these cats are distilling rum?

On Lush Life today, sponsored by Louisiana Travel, I am thrilled to have Tait Martin, Ph.D., President & CEO of Wildcat Brothers Distillery who is with us to recount the story of how a cocktail made with their rum found its way to bein...

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April 18, 2022 47 min

If you already call yourself a cocktail fan, then I will take it for granted that my two guests are already known to you. If not, I am proud to introduce you to The Cocktail Lovers!

Who are the Cocktail Lovers? Just the industry icons who launched the award-winning The Cocktail Lovers magazine 11 years ago. 

Individually they are Sandrae Lawrence and Gary Sharpen. They’ve been listed on the London Evening Standard’s The Progress 1000...

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The daffodils are out and as some of you may know from previous episodes that when the daffodils come out, I get behind the mic for a short chat.

I need to thank all of you for being so patient with me. It’s been kind of a crazy year. In between traveling and covid and other life stuff, I know Lush Life has been a bit sporadic! 

I also want to thank all of you who have helped me by filling out the Lush Life 2022 survey. If you had no...

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Hidden away under the Bloomberg Building in the City of London lies the remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras, which you can visit. So what does that have to do with drinking? Our guest today is definitely the one to answer that question! 

Francis Grew, one of the fantastic curators of the fabulous Museum of London, knows all about the Romans in London and more specifically what the Romans were drinking in London when it was known ...

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