Food & Wine: Best New Mixologist Ezra Star
Best New Mixologist Ezra Star © Brian Samuels Photography

Ezra Star

Best New Mixologist

Where She Won
Drink; Boston, MA

Where was your first real bartending job?
I have been behind a bar for some time. I've worked on boats and in crappy clubs, but I would call my first real bar job working at a place called the Alchemist. It was a strange little local bar in a small neighborhood in Boston. We had Last Words and Negronis on our menu eight or nine years ago, which for Boston was a big deal, and no one cared. I was pretty horrible at making the drinks. I hadn't been taught about how to measure, nor any of the more basic skills I now take for granted as "the basics," but it was one of the best experiences I've had behind a bar.

What’s your favorite bar in the world (besides your own) and why?
My favorite bar in the world is really a toss-up between Attaboy in New York and Glass in Paris. Attaboy is my current standard of how to care, making drinks without making it get in the way of a good time. Glass is just the best—the last place at the end of every night in Paris. It has a light-up dance floor, hot dogs, is in a pretty rough neighborhood and is just all-around fun.

Give us one bartending tip that everyone should know.
The biggest bartending tip is that anyone can make a good drink, but it takes a person who enjoys taking care of others and having a good time to be a real bartender.

What is a drink everyone should learn how to make?
Daiquiri. Sazerac. I think that between a Sazerac and a daiquiri everything you need to know to make a cocktail can be taught: how to stir, how to shake, how to communicate to the person in front of you, how to use acid and sugar—and, most important, it gives you a starting point for everything else.

What’s your favorite dive bar drink?
Irish Whiskey. Irish Whiskey. Chartreuse. Irish Whiskey.

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