Meet Jude Goergen, the Boozy Mastermind Behind “Glass Backwards”

This Chicago native flips it in reverse but always takes a bottoms-up approach to making drinks.

Glass Backwards might seem like a contradictory idea at first. Film a drink being made, edit it so it views like a countdown clock back to the start, and throw some music to it. But it’s much more than that. It’s a furnished story about the make-up of a libation made by skilled craftsmen who don’t care about how fast you can funnel a beer (though they had to get their start somewhere, right?). It’s a cocktail of typefaces, hand-picked music, and alcohol. Maxim spoke with creator Jude Goergen about the inspiration, the process, curating the right music, and how shot-gunning beers got the creative juices flowing. 


How did Glass Backwards start?

It was a combination of a few things, but one 4th of July I was at party with some college friends of mine and they are notorious for shot-gunning beers and I happened to film it. I slowed it down a lot and played it back in reverse. It was pretty interesting.

Interesting transition from college partying to underground speakeasies…

I talked to a friend of mine who owns a bar here in Chicago and I was explaining to him this video and I was like, “this might be cool for a cocktail video.” I borrowed one of his bartenders and when we started sharing it with other people in the industry, I could tell that it was something that can be a little bit more than just a singular video, but perhaps be an actual series.

So you’re not only showing people elegantly shot videos, but also educating them on how a cocktail is made?

I think more and more people are getting the gist of it but a year or two ago, and still now, people would get really angry because of how long it would take for them to get a cocktail. You don’t really realize how much effort is going into this process. It’s not like they’re just popping off beer caps. Sure, visually it’s a fun thing to watch, but you learn how to make a drink and it promotes the bartender.

How do you curate the music associated with the videos?

I feel the music is one of the most important parts of these videos. I actually ask all the bartenders to provide me with what they consider would be a good pairing musically. I obviously have veto power so if something works then awesome; if it doesn’t then I’ll go and find something. And to be quite honest, that’s probably the most time consuming part of the whole process.

You’re like a drink DJ.

You factor in not only the type of cocktail but the name of the cocktail and the venue. So trying to encompass all of these things and represent that with music is really challenging but it’s really fun when it works out.