He left his copy of The Bartender’s Bible by the bottles and consulted it before making a drink, essentially giving himself a rapid crash course in bartending. It worked, and from there Goldstein worked his way around a few different restaurants, eventually landing at Red Farm, a now beloved collaboration between chef Joe Ng and restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld. That’s when bartending became his life.
In 2014, Goldstein launched Muddling Memories, a cocktail consulting firm and catering company, and his creations immediately took off around New York City. At Upholstery Store, he served mystery flasks hidden inside of books. (The drinks were made specifically for whoever ordered them, and Goldstein hollowed out the books himself—with some help from his dad.) At The Fat Monk, he created a hot pink highball garnished with a unicorn cutout, which was called My Lisa Frank Notebook. The name alone was enough to make any ‘90s kid feel a flood of memories. At NYLO, he made a drink served in a snowglobe (yes, he made the snowglobes as well—and if you were one of the many people who stole one, he would like it back). Another project at NYLO was an actual Willy Wonka-themed menu, for which Goldstein designed a cocktail in a gumball machine. These drinks aren’t just Instagram bait (although they certainly do show up nicely in your feed). They are experiential—meant to be enjoyed in the moment, meant to create a memory in your mind.