New York, New York
Tends Bar AtSidewalk Cafe
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THL: What are your other gigs and interests?
I love to doodle: I have designed menus for every restaurant I've worked in. And love to eat and drink more than just about anything else.
THL: What is something that best represents your personality?
I once heard someone say "I make decisions based on what's going to make the best story." I've tried to live my life like that ever since.
THL: What is your bartending style?
I like to think I'm the modern version of the classic cocktail bar keep. My grandfather was a bartender/bar owner. He was always amazing at talking to customers and being "bartender wise." It's a different era, but I strive to bring that old school charm and customer service into the new world that is the modern bar.
THL: How do you find inspiration for new cocktails and recipes?
The kitchen is always a source of inspiration as well as finding new spirits or playing with old spirits I've never given much thought to. I actually get most of my best ideas in the shower.
THL: Besides bartending, what things do you do well?
I'm very handy. I can build and/or fix just about anything. I also have a great sense of direction.
THL: Ever had any strange customer requests while bartending?
I've had a few customers ask me for my tie and/or suspenders while I was working. One time a couple also asked me, in the middle of our dinner rush, if I could send someone to the store to buy them a bottle of wine because they didn't like our selection.
THL: What is your favorite after-shift drink?
When it's not a beer, I tend to go Old Fashioned. I especially like a Laird's Apple Brandy Old Fashioned. Just a splash of simple, two dashes of Angostura and an orange twist.
THL: What is the one thing you can’t live without from your home liquor cabinet?
Other than the obvious nice bottles of whiskey and gin, Luxardo Marischino Liqueur. Without it, I couldn't make my Sunday morning Aviation or my late night Martinez.
THL: What is the most underrated cocktail?
The Cosmopolitan. It's become such a stereotypical club drink and has strayed so far from it's original form that it's usually just overly sweet and fruity. When made with all fresh juices and with the correct proportions (and no simple syrup), it is a very well balanced and completely respectable drink. Especially for a vodka drink.
THL: What is the test of a great bartender?
I'd say the test of great bartender is the ability of a bartender to serve a great Sazerac, a Manhattan, a Dirty Martini, a beer, a glass of wine, a Cosmo and a shot of Jameson to seven different customers with the same amount of care and respect for each one. Nothing bothers me more than seeing bartenders visibly judging customers for what they want to drink.