Common Man Cocktails is about simplifying the art of the craft cocktail. Cocktail creation is an art just like baking, grilling and other forms of cooking. Cocktail recipes are artistic in flavor design, aromatic properties and the visual theme. But, cocktails do not have to be snooty and pompous–they can be a fun activity.
We’ve been doing this for over ten years and over the course of that time we have learned a great deal of information which we intend to share with our audiences. Initially, we started Common Man Cocktails as a way to discover cocktails like “the average guy or gal” but something changed…we learned new stuff and we got better at the art.
Today, we know more than the “common man” about cocktails but we consider our presentation style very much catered to the new cocktail enthusiast and try to blast them with tidbits of information while entertaining them.
Derrick Schommer is the host of Common Man Cocktails but does not do it alone. He brings together a team of friends that want to have a good time, discover new cocktails, and make people laugh. Derrick’s role is cocktail preparation, video editing, social media management, and website creator. By trade, Derrick is a software developer by day and an enthusiastic youtube creator by night.
Derrick started this adventure only knowing how to make a Margarita and a pretty shitty-ass Mai Tai recipe–almost zero experience in cocktails. One day he created a youtube channel and changed many people’s perspective on cocktails. Ten years later he is published in Merrimack Valley Magazine for his knowledge and experience in cocktail creation.
Derrick’s main drive for continuing the show has changed over the years. Originally, he thought maybe he could make money on it, but over ten years that has not worked out so well. However, he has changed many people’s lives by giving them a new perspective on an industry they knew very little about. A handful of viewers had no real direction in their lives and, after watching the show, have become full time professionals in the hospitality industry. Wine tasters, bartenders, bar managers, and more! Turns out, this little Youtube show has changed at least one persons life and that’s been amazing. Our new focus on the shows direction: take folks interested in cocktails and start them down a path of discovery. You just never know where it is going to take you!
Ian Andrews has been a co-host for over four years, replacing Derrick’s cousin Doug Petersen after he moved back to North Carolina and started a family. Ian arrived one day on the set because he happened to be visiting and instantly he was hooked. Ian knew very little about cocktails but, in the next few years of discovery, he has become well-educated and spreads his knowledge to those around him. His role on Common Man Cocktails is to oppose Derrick in both taste and personality. Where Derrick yells, Ian is calm and chill. Derrick spends time loving slightly sweeter juice-forward drinks while Ian tends to love the classic spirit forward flavors. Ian maintains a well-organized area around him while Derrick allows chaos to reign.
Ian, also a software developer by day, met Derrick in college and they became roommates through their college years of education. Ian’s main role has become “the bartender” making the drinks while Derrick lays down history and education. Ian’s the color commentary for the show. Ian is also responsible for introducing Dan to the show.
Dan Brodeur was introduced to the show in 2014 when he visited to help us with a Bloody Mary contest. Ian told Derrick he knows this guy (his boss at the time) who would get along great with him. Dan and his wife quickly became friends of Derrick and his wife Jennifer (and their kids all got along too!) Dan has become a frequent co-host of the show, rounding out (or amplifying) the humor and intensity Derrick brings to each episode.
There is no doubt these three goofy guys have the chemistry and the drive to make an entertaining video show. Dan compliments Ian’s tastes in cocktails along side Derrick’s taste in cocktails and brings an interesting new perspective to each drink they discover on the show.
Imagine having a fun time, exploring new cocktails and enjoy every moment of it–that is what defines Common Man Cocktails. You don’t have to be a professional bartender to make a great drink and have fun doing it.
Jennifer Schommer, Derrick’s wife, is not a frequent co-host of the show, but she does do a lot of the background work including monitoring our live broadcast and interacting with fans during filming. She spent many years doing initial editing for each episode and some of the photography. Her most difficult job is keeping Derrick and Dan on track when they fall off the rails and go down a dark path of experimenting, rambling and jumping around.
Jennifer has spent many years focused on the creation process and flavor connections in cocktails. She designed cocktail recipe e-books and has entered into cocktail contests along her paths of discovery. She is a published recipe creator in the MuleHead 75th Anniversary cocktail recipe book with her Wise Oaxacan Mule recipe.
We’ve had many great hosts on our show: Doug, Curtis McMillan, cocktail author Warren Bobrow, the folks of Rumson’s Rum and other friends and family. Each individual has brought both knowledge and fun to their contributing episodes. We hope to continue to expand our family as we maintain our deep dive into cocktails.
No, our co-hosts are not professional bartenders. We prove time and time again that a home cocktail enthusiast is a fun and spirited adventure which doesn’t force us to work nights and weekends.
In Full Disclosure
Many of our reviews are done with samples sent from PR firms and brands. When this is the case, we make it known on our video show and text-reviews. We speak our mind and let the brands know what we really think of their products because it will, overall, help the fans understand and trust our judgement. If you’re looking for us to review your spirit, you can always contact Us.