Picture of various glasses filled with alcohol

Cocktail Connoisseur: Ryan Maybee

Ryan Maybee is a restaurateur with expertise in the fields of wine, spirits and mixology. To him, the craft of bartending is more than just making a drink. Rather, he believes bartending is a true skill akin to the professionalism of chefs and their culinary educations. This belief in bartending as an art form has been the basis for his career and educational pursuits in the beverage industry.

In 2007, Maybee turned his vast knowledge and experience into a comprehensive consulting business. He launched RoundTable Marketing and Consulting, which specializes in wine list and cocktail menu development, staff training, and restaurant and bar consultation. Later that year, RoundTable partnered with beverage industry expert, Doug Frost, to create the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. The annual competition showcases some of the most talented bartenders in Kansas City and serves as a benefit for a local charity, the HALO Foundation.

In 2009, he opened Manifesto, a small, speakeasy like bar focusing on classically inspired cocktails using all fresh and homemade ingredients. In a short time, the bar has already received overwhelming local and national attention by being noticed in The New York Times, Esquire, and winning Small Wonder Bar of the Year 2010 by Nightclub & Bar Magazine.
Two men sit in a distillery laughint. A barrel sits between them, and two bottles of alcohol are on the barrel.
Andy Rieger and Ryan Maybee
The Rieger Hotel opened in 1915 and was home to many traveling salesmen, railroad workers, and passersby during Kansas City’s formative years. The three-story brick building has a long, rich history and much of the décor, including the tile floor and the bathroom fixtures remain original. It was originally owned by Alexander Rieger, the son of Jacob Rieger, who was the founder of J. Rieger & Co. Whiskey. J. Rieger & Co. operated out of Kansas City’s West Bottoms neighborhood, also known as “The Wettest Block in the World”, from 1877 to 1919. The whiskey distribution company became one of the largest in the country before Prohibition and the Volstead Act put an end to their success. But the Rieger name lived on here at the hotel, and in 2010 The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange brought back that classic name and identity. It’s our goal to honor the history of the Rieger name while adding a new and lasting landmark restaurant to Kansas City’s culinary landscape.

Recipe for The Pendergast:

1/2 ounce Bénédictine
3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
Couple dashes of Angostura Bitters

Pour over ice. Stir to chill. Pour into glass. Zest with a lemon. Enjoy.