Brooklyn, New York
Tends Bar AtMaison Premiere
THL: What are your other gigs and interests?
Other Work: Bar and Portfolio Consultation, Marketing, Media
Hobbies: Writing, Film, Television, Music, Pinball, Dandyism
THL: What is something that best represents your personality?
I have to touch every single bottle behind my bar before I start my shift. No joke. If I am not able to I am bartending lopsided the entire shift.
THL: What is your bartending style?
I like to make people feel welcome. However, bartending is a serious profession to me and that is something I am very proud of so it is also important to me that part of my style as a bartender is reflected in that, I think it really does make people feel good about choosing to come to my bar to have my drinks and see how much effort I put into the details of what I do behind the bar. I have always had the philosophy of "different pair of shoes for everything I do," so literally and figuratively I have a particular dress code when it comes to getting behind the bar or performing for service. It helps me get me focus and get into that role.
THL: How do you find inspiration for new cocktails and recipes?
Bars, conversations, great dinners, great bartenders, books, cooking, my friends, I think just making drinks and trying them out on people I trust has always been a great influence. Finding a balance between reverence and originality is always a fine line, and I will most likely spend the rest of my career trying to master that quality.
THL: Besides bartending, what things do you do well?
I am getting pretty good at pinball these days. If I knew enough bartenders in my circle who were into it as much as I am, I would considering starting a team to join the Pinball League. People who don't know me very well don't know that I am into dancing. I have been told I am a good dancer. In my life (not so much these days), I have been decent at skateboarding and playing the drums as well.
THL: Ever had any strange customer requests while bartending?
Nothing is that strange to me anymore. I can't think of anything too crazy. After a while you tend to kind of get used to it. A lot of stories I have told and been told by other bartenders all kind of blend together. They all sort of have a natural similarity: people can be strange and unusual, and when people get drunk those qualities can become extreme. Sometimes the bizarre request and odd behavior is more outlandish than others. That is something about the job that makes our lives interesting, not always positive but certainly an experience and it is our job to know how to professionally deal with it.
THL: What is your favorite after-shift drink?
a) An IPA with an ounce of Campari dropped in
b) A Pilsner or Kolsch with an ounce of amaro dropped in
THL: What is the one thing you can’t live without from your home liquor cabinet?
London Dry Gin. Because when I run out vermouth for Martinis I can always make a Gin and Tonic, sometimes simple drinks make the best cocktails.
THL: What is the most underrated cocktail?
The Champagne Cocktail. I might be one of few dudes around who will order this drink tirelessly unashamed. Not that it is a drink to be ashamed of (how could you be ashamed of Champagne with sugar and bitters?), it is just one of the most basic drinks you could possibly make and it has such a great quality in almost every case. A lot of people still are not aware of that beverage, I often enjoy introducing my guest to it.
THL: What is the test of a great bartender?
A bartender who is mindful of his or her surroundings at all times, personable, focused, gracious. A bartender who knows how to make great drinks can be a sought after commodity in a lot of places; but even in our community, when most bartenders go out to see other bartenders its not because they make great drinks (definite plus), its because they offer great company and care for the people who are in it.