tasting notes with
Proprietor of pubs, purveyor of spirits.
Tonic, Santa Fe.
A penicillin (blended scotch, local raw oak honey, lemon juice, ginger, smokey scotch).
recommended food pairing
Anything with a rich umami quality, like a tomato salad.
film/art/music pairing recommendation
Pairs best with satire. The great thing about this cocktail is that it has a juxtaposition of floral from the honey and lemon, with spice and iodine-y scotch flavors, so it has a natural juxtaposition and it’s delightful, just like satire.
I’m okay. No really, I’m fine. No, I’m great.
one thing you wanted to happen this year that did
When we first opened and were the new kids in town, we had a rush of locals who came to check us out, and I had this fear that six or nine months on we’d start seeing less and less of those faces. But I’ve noticed people have continued to come in and enjoy what we do, and we have regulars. It makes me feel really good about what we’re putting out there.
what was your first job?
A line cook at a day club, like a racquet club. I was 13, but told them I was 17.
what did it teach you?
I realized that hard work meets practicality. I wore these really impractical shoes working long shifts, and it led to me later snapping my Achilles tendon. It doesn’t matter how hard you work if, along the way, you end up losing these irrevocable things.
one thing opening your own business has taught you
No one will ever care about the business as much as you, and you can’t be upset about that.
teach us how to make a cocktail in three steps
1. Don’t cut corners in your ingredients. If you’re going to use lemon, use fresh lemon.
2. Keep everything in balance. Some of the best flavors are subtle.
3. Simplicity of execution. Things done simply well are way better than things done complex and poorly.
one skill you have that surprisingly turned out to be useful
Learning how to say “no” to people, but actually saying “yes, and.” I use that every day.
how do you feel about the word “mixology”?
I hate it. Bartending, in my mind, is a noble profession, it has existed for hundreds of years.
Bartending is something you learn over years and it’s hard and it takes training. Mixology is a part of this “startender” culture, where you pretend what you do is somehow really famous and special. No, what you do is an incredible service, but I don’t need a brand endorsement or to win a contest to feel good about it. Mixology is everything wrong with bartending.
one bartending trend that should die
Superfluous and inedible garnishes. Nothing should ever go in a glass that doesn’t serve a purpose.
a bartending trend that New Mexico should embrace
People have this habit of loving a brand, but it would be great to embrace these smaller, alternate brands with different flavors. It’s not really a New Mexico problem, it’s a people problem. We love our brands.
who would win in a fight between astronauts and cavemen?
Have the astronauts been in space? Yes. Astronauts are going to get slaughtered.
what comes next?
I want to work on this place until it can be a cultural part of Santa Fe. If you can become a part of something culturally, especially something that has existed for hundreds of year, that’s kind of cool.