Sarah Ruiz

Meet the woman who helped create the best cocktail menu in the world

Where are you from? 

San Francisco, California. 

Where do you work, and where have you worked? 

I am currently the bar director for Juliana Bar in Guayaquil, Ecuador - we won Best Cocktail Menu at 50 Best earlier this year!

I started my career with Kimpton hotels, working to develop bar programmes and concepts across all of their sites, something like 60 nationwide. I’ve worked in fine dining restaurants - bar director at The Dabney in DC, which has one Michelin star, and I also consulted on the pairings at Maum, which has two - but my most notable previous role was probably at San Francisco’s Pacific Cocktail Haven, when we won Best Cocktail Bar in America at Tales of the Cocktail 2020 and placed #74 at 50 Best the same year.

I also had a stint in Mexico curating an endemic spirits portfolio for a wine importer! 

Where will we find you on your nights off? 

I have a newborn at home so my nights off are pretty slim, but typically cooking and enjoying drinks with friends and family. Ecuador has the most amazing produce to cook with, and being a port city in Guayaquil absolutely everything comes through here - from land and sea! Our menu, Diverso, is all about celebrating this biodiversity, championing local farmers and working with indigenous communities to protect our heritage. 

What is your favourite cocktail? 

I’m typically a beer and shot type of gal, but I love a good Last Word or 50/50 Martini.

What’s been your most bad-ass bartending moment? 

Making Martinis for Michelle and Barack Obama when I was at The Dabney. 

If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing? 

I would love to be a Cognac blender. 

What is your desert island bottle? 

Any Ancestral Arroqueno Mezcal.

What is your hangover cure? 

A morning shower beer - that's a cold beer in a hot shower!

If you were going to make a BarChick cocktail, what would you call it and what would be in it?

Bitter Bae - amaro, mezcal, coffee and salt, served over a large rock with a trimmed lemon twist. It's a stirred, spirit-forward cocktail that's bitter, rich, and smoky thanks to the combo of mezcal and amaro!



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