Hey there, my name is Skylar; I'm a writer and photographer. I usually live in Seattle, WA, but right now, I'm a nomad (aka vagrant) and living out of a backpack.
What I'm drinking: a negroni - but ask me tomorrow.
What I'm cooking: probably shakshuka - I make it better than you, come at me.
What I'm watching: probably Succession.
What I'm reading: Broken April by Ismail Kadare.
My work is primarily supported by kind people like you. If you find it of any value, please join the fray and become a Grog Club member:
Phew, you made it this far. I suppose you're one of those weirdos like me, interested in the person who made the thing you're reading and/or looking at. So let's get into it.
The Origin Story
My first trip abroad ever came in 2017. I had just finished paying off my student loans and had been waiting for a few years to treat myself. I got a very cheap, $230 round-trip flight to Belgrade, Serbia. I had NO idea what was in Serbia, only vaguely aware of where it was on a map. But it was somewhere foreign, somewhere different. And that's what mattered to me at the time.
That trip changed me. There are so many memories from that trip that I can still, and probably always will, see so vividly in my mind. Perhaps more than any was a small, unsuspecting basement bar tucked away in downtown Belgrade called Rakia Bar. They served, well, rakia - a Serbian/Balkan brandy made from different types of fruit. It was delicious, I had never had anything like it before. The bartender, who was about as curious in my curiosity as I was, explained the different types of fruits and poured a little of each into small glasses for me to try.
From that moment on, something started percolating in the back of my mind.
Then, a few years later, some friends and I took a tour of the Jameson Distillery on a trip to Dublin. Our tour guide told us a story about how back in the day, workers used to get a ration of whiskey after their shift, dubbed “the daily grog.”
That was it.
This story made me realize how alcohol has played an essential role in not only the development of civilizations but also our personal history. It has been the center of technological innovation, weaponized by governments, and shared with family and friends around the dinner table. So, I thought it would be interesting to try and use alcohol as a lens to view and write about my travels.
The Daily Grog was born.
Also, I just liked the sound of it.
I guess nowadays we're called "creators," but to be honest, I don't really like that name. I do, however, create things on occasion.
Most of my work is done through this website and a weekly newsletter called "The Daily Grog." There are a few topics that my work tends to focus on:
Booze: the raison d'etre of The Daily Grog, if you will. As mentioned above, this topic is what started me down the travel writing journey. Using alcohol as a way to tell stories about the places we go and the people we meet. This includes doing deep dives on drinks and their history or even talking to makers (distillers, brewers, winemakers) about their craft and how they view where they live.
Travel: Probably the most open-ended part of this newsletter. Never say never, but I will mostly stay away from "best of" lists and other shit like that. I've written them before, but I don't find them very satisfying, and they get outdated quickly. I do have some city guides that members have access to, however. My goal with the City Guides is that they are a living document, one where members can collaborate, offer suggestions, and create a like-minded community of folks that appreciate the same parts of traveling. Plus if you eat and drink at the spots on my City Guides, I'm damn confident you'll have a good time.
Gear: I am a not-so-closeted gearhead. Seriously, it's a problem. I spend way too much time thinking about all the shit we carry and why we carry it. I'm also a minimalist, and I travel with a 35L backpack - that's it. There are so many benefits. As such, I'm extremely picky about what comes in my backpack with me. So I started reviewing gear because I find it oddly therapeutic, and you might find it oddly helpful.
Photography/Filmmaking: These are newer hobbies of mine, but ones that I am very passionate about and love to dabble in. I'll publish "photo walks" of the places I've been, with pictures that I think are worth a damn.
Misc: Sometimes, I feel the need to talk/rant/discuss something that is top of mind for me. It's probably adjacent to the other topics but doesn't quite fit squarely in any one category.
If this sounds interesting to you, subscribe to the newsletter, and you (probably) won't regret it.
Re-defining Grain to Glass in the San Juan Islands - Sip Magazine
A word on platforms - let me be clear, I HATE just about every form of social media. Seriously, I loathe them. But I do begrudgingly use them on occasion:
Once upon a time, I built data products for universities to better manage their data and analytics infrastructure on campus. If that's your sort of thing, find me here.
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If you have questions or just want to say hi, email me at email@example.com - I'll do my best to respond.