I have been creating cocktails for over 19 years, but didn’t really get into true “mixology” until about six years ago. Then about five years ago, the company I was working for conceived the idea that became Noir Bar. Noir had a very speakeasy type feel to it, with the added Vegas pizazz. In there we did not have a cocktail menu. We kind of just created cocktails for people on the fly. We would do a little interview with the guest and get an idea of what they liked and go from there. We had a tremendous amount of liquors, liqueurs and fresh ingredients from which to create. I loved the concept and working there.
Tell me a bit about your bar. What would you tell someone who has never been there before?
Currently I am the corporate mixologist for the Sugar Factory American Brassiere and the Chocolate Lounge. Both of the menus that I created were built around the theme of the venue. In the Chocolate Lounge I created a menu filled with all different types of chocolate cocktails. As you probably know, the Sugar Factory is a candy store, thus I made a menu filled with cocktails that would take you back to your youth. There is every thing from a Blow Pop and a Hubba Bubba to a Swedish Fish, Grape Crush and a Twinkie. For anyone with any sort of sweet tooth, this could be your beverage paradise.
What do you love about working behind the bar?
I like creating an experience for people. When people try one of the cocktails I create, I want it to be an experience. I love to create a cocktail for someone and they tell me “That’s the best drink I have ever had.” It makes you feel a sense of satisfaction with what you are doing behind the bar.
What sets Hpnotiq Original and Hpnotiq Harmonie apart from the rest of the cocktail world?
Hpnotiq and Hpnotiq Harmonie are really very unique. Their delectable flavors and delightful colors make them not only mixable but help to add beauty to cocktails.
What is your favorite signature Hpnotiq cocktail? (Bubbles N Blue, Hpnorita or Roq Candy Martini)
I have to go with the Hpnorita. I am a pretty big fan of tequila.
Tell us about your specialty Original Hpnotiq/Hpnotiq Harmonie cocktail. What occasion is it perfect for?
The Hpnotiq cocktail I did goes along well with the theme of the Sugar Factory cocktail menu. I did a cocktail called an Ocean Blue. It has Hpnotiq, Raspberry Vodka, Blueberry Vodka, Blueberry Schnapps and fresh sour mix. Its has the flavor of a blue-raspberry freeze-pop. The cocktail comes out bright blue and we finish it off by floating big blue gummy-sharks.
You have probably heard fair share of pick-up lines — what was the best/worst?
I’m not sure about specific pick-up lines, but I like to watch guys crash and burn at the bar. So many try so hard. I especially like when they try to use their job — or fake job — as their tool to pick them up. That is always a big crash.
What advice do you have for someone trying to approach someone at a bar?
Be yourself and be genuine. Don’t try to sell yourself. Everyone likes to talk about oneself so let them. Be a good listener and you will get a lot further.
What is the one thing behind the bar you cannot live without and why?
I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one thing, but I guess a shaker tin. Everything I make or drink needs to be very cold!