You might think of bartenders as a subterranean breed, rarely seeing the light of day, but Jeff Frieders thrives outdoors. Born on a California pear farm, he spent his summers in college giving wildlife tours of Alaska. Even before that he had begun rock climbing, a hobby he has continued for his entire life. Thrillist took him into the Santa Monica Mountains to show his skill, then he returned the favor by taking us foraging in the Angeles National Forest.
There, he picked his botanical of choice to complete his carefully crafted cocktail: white pine, which he explained “has a sweet citrus-y, lemon oil note that pairs well with the warmer, nutty, chocolate notes of Rémy Martin.”
Pine pervades the cocktail, with smoked pine bitters recalling many a campfire at the end of a climb or hike. Lapsang Souchong tea is blended into the pine syrup, while Frieders says that “Lemon and orange oil and pine smoke finish the cocktail to tease and entice the palate before tasting the robust old fashioned that is The Last Pitch.” If you want to take a swing at it, the at-home version offers some handy substitutions.