What I Drink is a series featuring legendary bartenders to learn about how they got started, what they love to drink and discover their go-to cocktail recipes.
After stints at Clover Club, Dutch Kills, Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club and PKNY, Giuseppe Gonzalez finally opened his own bar this year as he brings us Suffolk Arms on the Lower East Side. It’s a warm bar with classic charm; sketches of NYC notables hang on the walls, rappers, actors, and lawmakers all mingling. He’s doing everything his own way; that means a whole menu section of vodka drinks (including an espresso martini) and an incredible case for the piña colada, topped with bitter Campari. Here, he talks about his history and favorite drinks.
When did you know you wanted to work behind the bar?
My father and grandfather were bartenders. Honestly speaking, I never wanted to be a bartender. I always knew it was a tough life. We see and deal with a lot of things that aren’t “typical.” Your connection with alcohol and people change. I never wanted that.