Mixologist Kelley Slagle of Cocktail Kingdom - Biography
New York City, NY
Kelley Slagle, a native of Southern California, moved to New York City in 2002 to follow her culinary dreams by attending the Institute of Culinary Education. Upon graduation from culinary school her exploration of the bar began and there has been no looking back. While working as a chef and bartending on the side, she continued to train her palate by tasting food and wine as well as attending numerous wine courses and organizing tasting groups. She then went on to complete the Level 3 Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and did so with Distinction.
But her desire to work in wine was thwarted (in a good way). Originally seeking a sommelier position, Kelley accepted a job as bartender at Hearth Restaurant in NYC’s East Village. Under her direction, the restaurant (already highly respected by industry peers for its eclectic wine program and outstanding food) became a cocktail destination as well. While there she was responsible for the creation of the terroir-based Tequila and Mezcal menus as well as creating a cocktail program that could get the attention of the wine enthusiast clientele. During that time she was part of the 2009 Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales of the Cocktail, worked as brand ambassador for Partida Tequila and traveled to Oaxaca and Guadalajara Mexico to further her education on agave spirits. With the opening of the wine bar Terroir: Tribeca she was hired to create the wine and beer based cocktail menu that went on to receive rave review in the New York and national press as well as get the attention of the wine focused clientele.
In 2010 Kelley took her show on the road so to speak. Working as a freelance wine and spirits educator she has been seen teaching wine and cocktail classes at the Astor Center for Wine and Food, promoting spirits based cocktail education with several NYC wine and spirits distributors as well as creating cocktails and menus along with and staff trainings for restaurants and bars. 2011 and 2012 found her as a presenter at Tales of the Cocktail, the premiere cocktail conference in the country.
Currently Kelley is often found up in the Hudson Valley tracking down local ingredients and purveyors to use in her vinegar and spirituous creations or you might find her at Cocktail Kingdom, a specialty retailer of bar tools, cocktail books, and bitters, where she continues to share her love for the craft of the cocktail.