New York City, USA
Employees Only and Macao Trading Co, NYC
Chili's. Applebee's. Outback Steakhouse and Olive Garden. Just kidding. I have a long list of restaurants, bars and bar men/women I respect around the world. A very long list, shortened: (All NYC version, in no particular order) Lighthouse BK Extra Fancy Raines Law Room Ward 3 Flatiron Lounge Mother's Ruin Saxon and Parole Mayahuel ... and many, many more
It depends on the season/time of day, but I love well-made margaritas and gimlets. I also tend to gravitate towards spicy cocktails. At the end of the day, a shot of Fernet and a cold Pilsner is my go-to.
Jeez.. There has been so many, but outside of winning the 2012 Cocktail World Cup in New Zealand and being a part of the Employees Only bar team who won the 2011 World's Best Cocktail Bar award at Tales of the Cocktail, believe it or not, my most bad ass moment happened in a losing effort: May 14, 2012. 7 different cities worldwide competed in the first ever Global Rematch Beeyatch Competition. Rematch is a speed-tiki cocktail competition. The same 10 tiki drinks as fast as you can, with time deducted for penalties [bad tasting drinks, wrong ingredients, a few ice chips in a balanced daiquiri, etc]. This unsponsored, Fight Club-style competition started several years ago in the UK by the one and only Paul Mant (and friends) and has since traveled all over the planet. On this day in May, records were broken. I finished in 81 seconds - the fastest in the world. After penalties, I finished 2nd overall to a well-deserved London bartender. I was the first loser, but I paved the way for Americans. This competition is in its second year in the US, and my performance put pressure on all others worldwide who already have several more years of experience, and we all know what pressure does - it bursts pipes. I learned from my mistakes, and it's literally only a matter of time before I conquer Rematch. In the meantime, in America, I am the face of the competition (under Giuseppe Gonzalez, of course), for now - and that makes me proud.. and a bad ass. I'll never forget the roar of the crowd.
I hit it...2 times!
Take that brass ring of bartending, break through barriers and pass on wisdom to a younger generation someday. There is a lot of talent out there, especially with young American bartenders. A lot of them, however, lack leadership. I want to be a well-rounded, level-headed bartender that people can look up to. Ultimately, a bartender is only as good as the people he works with - surround yourself with winners and you'll have no choice but to win. My goal is to own a few bars and restaurants of my own. Everything I do between now and then is all part of the big plan.
Both, by me: Me: "Excuse me, Miss? There's no smoking in here." Girl: "But I'm not smoking.." Me: "Yeah ya are.. You're totally smokin'!" Works like a charm, but it's so damn stupid. Whatever, we agree bars are supposed to be fun, yes? A mentor of mine once told me, you'll never get laid unless you ask.
I am a former intelligence specialist in the US Marines, and I'm afraid of frogs. I enjoy making people happy.. I really do. Never take me too seriously, because I never do. I am but a member of a large cast of characters in this business.
"Maria" 1/2 oz Aperol 1/4 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur Sugar Cube soaked in Angostura Orange bitters. Prosecco Add ingredients in a champagne flute. Finish with an orange zest.
50/50 Tanqueray and French Vermouth. Dash of orange bitters. Stirred. Up. Lemon Twist.
Big and strong.