To be honest it was the most sustainable job I could find in school and that carried over to when I was playing music too.
What’s the most important thing about making a cocktail?
The most important thing in putting a cocktail together is that it is tailored to the guest who ordered it. If it makes them happy, it makes me happy.
Have you noticed any trends in 2018 in the way that people are ordering?
People are more attentive to the quality of spirit and other ingredients going into the drinks. It’s a really nice thing to see actually, it gives the bar and bartender more accountability.
What cocktail trends are you tired of?
I’m not sick of any cocktail trends per se, a good drink is a good drink. I am sick of bars trying to be things they aren’t though. If you’re a fancy cocktail spot, make over-the-top drinks with wild garnishes and glassware. If you’re a sports bar, serve shots and beers along with jack and cokes and vodka sodas. Each type of bar has its own place in the world – don’t try to wear too many hats.
Advice for innocent, bright-eyed young bartenders?
Start by bar-backing and doing syrup prep and don’t take yourself too seriously. Our job is to make people smile through drink and gesture, not wow them with esoteric knowledge about things they’ve never heard of. That being said, be sure to have that esoteric knowledge stored away just in case someone needs to be wowed.
What’s the best drink you’ve had recently that someone else made for you?
Michael Santos over at Fernside made me a Fatherly Advice (thank you Trevor Easter). I couldn’t have been happier.
Photography by Sergey Kolivayko, courtesy of Chef’s Roll.
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