This month we partnered up with dj and founder of Disco Cubes, Leslie Kirchhoff to bring you a refreshing & energizing spring mix. Leslie first began her journey to creating Disco Cubes when she was traveling the world as a dj, experiencing inventive cocktails and noticing an opportunity for creativity within mixology- ice cubes.
She launched Disco Cubes in 2018 and has since worked with note-worthy brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Cartier, and Moët Chandon. Leslie is also an incredible photographer, as well as a “cocktail consultant.” Want to harness your inner-mixologist? Pre-order her stunning cocktail book which is scheduled to launch by April 7th.
Tune into her playlist, pre-order her cocktail book, and read on to learn more about Leslie.
Questions for Leslie:
We gotta know – why ice cubes? What inspired you to start Disco Cubes?
Well, nobody was doing much of anything with ice cubes at the time! I somehow had found something that hadn’t yet been tapped into, in a time where it felt like everything else had been explored and done many times before. I realized that an ice cube is a blank three-dimensional canvas for tiny things—I’ve always loved tiny things. There’s also something about the experimental aspect of it all, since you never quite know exactly how things will freeze. It really started as an experimental hobby and grew from there into a business and art project. It’s continuously changing.
Your cubes and cocktail mixes are so unique. How do you stay inspired, or come up with ideas for new recipes?
Oftentimes I find that one little thing will spark inspiration. So I’ll start there, and then build on it. Whether it’s a beautiful piece of produce that I want to use as a garnish, like a cherry tomato with a scraggly stem, or a technique that I see someone else using, like a parmesan simple syrup that was in a cocktail I had at Dr. Stravinsky in Barcelona, or corn in a cocktail I tried in China. Travel is my favorite way to find inspiration, just exploring the unknown with an open mind. Even a painting, a sculpture, architecture, or a photograph can inspire anything from a color I want to achieve to a vibe I want to embody.
You were a DJ before starting Disco Cubes – are you still DJing on the side? How are you balancing everything?
I am! I don’t DJ as much as I used to, since my schedule is always full with Disco Cubes and other photography work, but it’s truly my favorite side gig, and a welcome relief from the daily grind. Balancing everything is really tough, but I’ve been building systems for each facet of my business, and I keep a pretty strict calendar to make sure I stay focused and organized. When I started getting busier and busier I really had to learn how to say no to certain projects and realize the value of my time.
What’s your relationship with cannabis and CBD?
I love cannabis and its ability to make you look at the world with a different perspective. Living in LA has been great since it’s been easy to explore specific strains and find my personal preference. I love creative upper sativas, and I swear I come up with some of my best ideas when I smoke and either brainstorm about a specific project, or just let my mind wander. CBD comes in and out of my routine. If I make a bulletproof coffee in the morning, I blend in an MCT-oil-based CBD tincture to boost it up. I make sure to take CBD in times of extreme stress, too, or when traveling.
How has cannabis use helped you in your career?
As corny as this sounds, it really helps me see beauty in the world around me. I’ve lived in my house for 2 years and just the other day, after eating a little cannabis-infused-chocolate, I realized how beautiful and photogenic my bathroom sink is, which inspired me to create this hand-washing video. Disco Cubes is such a conceptual project and it can be anything I want it to be, so I really value the time I set aside to think about things from a different perspective and tap into a creative headspace while I don’t have to deal with the day-to-day.
Most valuable lesson you’ve learned since starting Disco Cubes:
Don’t rush into things. If I would have launched Disco Cubes when I initially had the idea, it would have been a completely different business, and I’m so thankful for the amount of I spent mulling it over, researching, and reassessing my approach and plan. Also, business contracts. Always have contracts in place. And trust no one. (Haha—kidding, sort of).
Someone’s visiting LA for only 24 hours, where are some must-go places?
Somehow this is a tough question for me to answer…I’m a bit of a homebody. Hauser and Wirth could be a good place to start. And check out what other galleries have great shows up. Follow that up with tacos at Sonoratown, sushi at Hama, or drinks at The Nomad. Then take a leisurely hike and enjoy the weather and the sunset!
It’s voyeuristic, but everyone wants to know – what’s your weeknight evening routine look like?
I’ll start by saying that robes and AirPods have changed my life. When I get home, I put on a robe, and then try to immediately meditate in my hammock for at least 10 minutes. If I don’t meditate right away, I don’t do it at all. Then I’ll either call my family or a friend, or I’ll put on an audiobook, podcast, or music while I prep and cook dinner. I love cooking. Some nights are productive, and I often work a little bit more after dinner. But lately I’ve been trying to take it easy and just read, watch a movie, or take a bath.
Rapid fire music questions:
Because you’re also a DJ, we’ve got some music questions…
When you want to get the party started, you play:
Desert island album:
Lesser-known artist (can be old or new) you’re loving right now:
Charlie Rich has been my 2020 soundtrack.
Go-to karaoke song:
I’m actually not a karaoke person! But maybe that’s because I haven’t found the right song…
Favorite artists/albums to listen to while working:
I love listening to the radio! KCRW is the best. Turning on the radio takes all the stress out of choosing what to listen to. But when I really need to get work done, I can’t have lyrics on. Sometimes I love to put on meditation music—Laraaji is great. Or I’ll put on the Chopin radio station on Spotify.
Your baseball “walk up” song would be:
In case you and Leslie are music soulmates, we wanted to share the link to her Spotify.
General rapid fire questions:
Go-to cocktail order:
Negroni. Or whatever the coolest looking cocktail on the menu is.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever frozen in an ice cube:
A walnut—it did not look good. Or a tiny plastic baby. Or a whole head of lettuce, frozen into a big cooler. Or an old broken fan.
Favorite pair of jeans:
Favorite way to consume cannabis:
I love rolling my own little tiny joints. Also lately, chocolate bars.
Tune into more of our playlists by following us on Spotify and read the inspiration behind our other playlist collaborations: March Rosebud Playlist: Rosebud CBD x Stef Osofsky, A Fresh Start and February Playlist: Rosebud x FallForVee, All You Need Is Love.