“I came here from Miami. I’m a Florida boy, born in New York, lived all over Florida. I’ve been in hospitality for almost 20 years now. Started working at Subway as a kid, worked in several kitchens and as a waiter, and eventually made my way to bartending. I worked in corporate America for many years, too, but now I no longer have to fit myself as a square peg in a round hole, and that makes me happy. Being able to express myself.
I love Delish so much as an artist because she’s also very bold and out there, wild and crazy, but also distinctly New Orleans. Being New Orleans is hard to explain to someone, though. It’s just a different outlook. Miami is go-go-go, make a bunch of money. Here it’s like, have fun, have a new experience, and do something new. That’s New Orleans to me.
One of my favorite spirits right now is aquavit. I’m taking my traditional New Orleans cocktail training and putting it to that spirit to get something that both tastes familiar and very different.
Almost every drink I make is stirred. My go-to is Amaro Montenegro—I love Italian digestives. A double Montenegro with a splash of soda and a twist on the rocks—nothing makes me happier. For this cocktail I used Cocchi to add some body, and when it came to bitters, I had a lot of choices, but I wanted a New Orleans traditional thing to bring this back home, so I went with Peychaud’s. I wanted this cocktail to come out bold and funky just like Delish.
Now if you’re wondering about this bar and the 21st amendment, it was the repealing of the 18th amendment and the end of prohibition. So the 21st was basically the government saying, ‘Our bad!’ So here, we celebrate drinking and just enjoying life.”