Where He Won
The Broken Shaker; Miami Beach
First Bartending Experience
One of my first bartending gigs was at a restaurant in Austin. They let me make the first cocktail from their new frozen drink machine, which I was pretty proud of at the time. I made a frozen mojito.
Guilty Pleasure Drink
I do love a good Jack and Coke every now and again. It’s a strange drink, but it’s pretty perfect sometimes.
Favorite Food and Cocktail Pairing
I like beer cocktails, and have been making one lately with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, apple juice, lemon juice and Miller High Life. It goes really well with our house-made beef jerky. That’s a no-brainer: beef jerky and beer.
Drink Everyone Should Learn How to Make
Every bartender should be able to make an old-fashioned. It hasn’t become completely played out yet. It’s so simple, but you can make it with different spirits—bourbon, tequila, mezcal, gin—and different sugars and bitters, and that way you have a cocktail in your toolbox for anybody who sits in front of you. It’s a serious drink but it’s not too overwhelming or too thought provoking. You take your time with it; it’s not a drink you just suck down.
Technique Every Home Bartender Should Learn
How to stir a cocktail, and how to make syrups. Making a simple syrup is the first step, and then your whole world opens up when you mix in a little lime juice.
What to Make with Limited Ingredients
If you have nothing else but some limes and a spirit and some sugar, you could do a caipiroska or a caipirinha. People are always impressed and it’s pretty easy. If you have some kind of cordial or liqueur, a base spirit and some sparkling water, you’ve got a winner there, too.
Sake Bar Decibel in New York City. It’s a Japanese restaurant with a tiny kitchen with an eating counter in front, and in the back it’s a crazy, intimate little Asian bar with low seats. They have a huge sake selection and snacks. It’s a cool mix of people all packed in, hanging out and drinking sake: models, nerdy types, Japanese kids.