Behind Bars: Logan Demmy at The Citizens Trust

Erica Thompson

Like many businesses Downtown, The Citizens Trust is getting into the holiday spirit. If you walk in the upscale cocktail lounge, you'll hear traditional tunes and see the standard lights, garlands, foam boards covered in wrapping paper and Nutcracker characters decorating the bar.

But the cocktail menu is far from the norm. Between now and Dec. 31, The Citizens Trust is hosting “Miracle on Gay Street,” a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar. (Based in New York, the Miracle concept currently boasts dozens of participating locations worldwide.)

That means you can order drinks like the Snow Ball Old Fashioned and Run Run Rudolph.

“The recipe book that they give you is really well laid out. I just had to modify it,” bar manager Logan Demmy said.

For example, instead of using the suggested butterscotch candies to infuse the whiskey in the Snow Ball Old Fashioned, Demmy made butterscotch in-house. It's easier to extract the flavor, and it reduces waste.

To say Demmy is a cocktail technician is an understatement. He spent five years at the high-end cocktail bar Mouton in the Short North before moving to Singapore. There, he managed 28 HongKong Street, which was included on The World's 50 Best Bars 2018 list released by the group William Reed Business Media, based on votes by more than 500 industry experts. He also worked as a brand ambassador in New Zealand.

“I have a much different viewpoint on service [and] on ingredient handling,” Demmy said of his time abroad. For example, while European and Asian bars value precision and exquisite movements, much of the American market is about speed and high volume.

Additionally, some Japanese bartenders carve ice like art, but the way they handle it with their hands would be considered a health code violation in the U.S.

“The thing I've always loved about the American bars is there's a lot more [focus on] engaging with customers,” Demmy said.

At The Citizens Trust, Demmy and his team are creating a technique-based culture, designing cocktails with centrifuges and rotary evaporators. “For us, it's really about being able to focus in on the quality of the product, really nailing down those syrups or the infusions,” he said.

They also want patrons to get the best value for their money. “We might have $15 cocktails, but that's because we'll be using a $60 or $70 bottle of spirit,” he said.

Following “Miracle on Gay Street” — “I still really want to get some train [sets] in here,” he said —The Citizens Trust will work on a January menu inspired by the lame-duck period in government.

“So, it'll be cocktails named after ducks,” he said. “I feel like there might be a goose in there.”