You might know Brooks Reitz as the founder of Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.—the stylish brand of tonics, bitters and boozy cherries. And that's because it boasts a devoted and vocal fanbase that ranges from Olivia Wilde to Sean Brock. But Reitz is also a a restauranteur with a burgeoning culinary empire around his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Each establishment is as considered and tastefully presented as the bottles and jars that kicked off Reitz's career, with food and drinks that are thoughtfully sourced, inventive and award-winning. Which is to say, this is a guy who sweats the small stuff when it comes to nailing the details. You might say that's been the secret to his success. To get a closer look at how he does it, we asked him to share his morning routine on an average workday.
Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.
I'm actually an early bird.
Most days, I'm up by 6:30 am.
I always get at least eight hours of sleep. Always.
Sometimes more, but never less. Once I hit 30, the real value of good sleep became very apparent. Now I take it seriously and do it all: cold room, proper eye mask and ear plugs. I'm a sleep warrior.
I exercise five days a week and I like to knock it out early.
As soon as my alarm goes off, I fumble through the dark to brush my teeth and change into my gym clothes. I see a personal trainer three days a week, and do hot yoga the other two. It sets the tone for the day and keeps me focused. I also know that if I get my ass kicked before 8 am, then nothing else I encounter that day will stress me out, because I've already crushed myself!
But a rest day is essential.
My routine is pretty intense and then I will usually take an easy run on the weekend; always with one rest day.
Good coffee is key.
I drink an espresso right before the gym (at the shop next door), and an Americano over breakfast afterward, from the coffee shop down the way from our house.
Leftovers make the best breakfasts.
My go-to breakfast is a two-egg omelette, with avocado and tons of roasted vegetables—most of which are usually from dinner the night before.
I don't like waking up hungover, but it's an occupational hazard.
My approach is Ibuprofen and lots of water, all day long, plus clean eating. I'm no longer a burger and fries hangover kind of guy.
When it comes to grooming, I'm pretty low-key.
I'll likely toss on a cap before bothering with hair product, but have found a few products that work well for me. And if I haven't, I swipe whatever my wife is using. I don't like a clean shave, it irritates my skin, plus I like a bit of stubble.
Clockwise, from top left
Matte UV Defense SPF 50,
$34 by Skincueticals
$4.99 by Old Spice
$1.80 by Muji
free on iOS, Android and Gmail
$58 by Noah
$50.99 / $30.05 by Wahl
I'm currently trying to modernize my calendar.
I'm in the transition phase from a written Moleskine calendar, which was my trusted system for years. I felt the desire to migrate my planner to my phone, and am attempting to use Google Calendar and Evernote to track my days digitally. I would say I'm still sorting it out, and trying to find the best approach. Both have their shortcomings.
I love clothes and I'm very interested in them. Always have been.
But I am a "pant phase" kind of guy. I'll wear the same pair of paints for a couple weeks, just switching out my shirt. I hang them on the back of the door and wear them until they demand a wash. I've got one very casual restaurant, one a little more classic clubby, and another white tablecloth joint. So, I try to wear something that feels comfortable and at home in all three. I love a nice sport coat, but I don't wear them as often as I'd like.
One of the most important parts of my morning is connecting with my wife.
Just having conversation before leaving the house. I always make sure it's the last thing I do before I leave.