Do you have a nickname when you’re behind the bar? Not that I know of but regulars have started calling me JoJo… especially after they’ve had a few too many. [laughs]
When and why did you get into Mixology? I have always been curious about bartending and being a bartender enables me to apply my curiosity creatively.
What cocktails are you best known for? My novelty shots and asian inspired cocktails.
What item can you not live without behind the bar and why? A channel knife, because I use a lot of fresh fruit and the channel knife enables me to cut them up properly.
What makes Aka different from other places? Aka loosely translated means red in Japanese and red to me signifies passion — that is what sets Aka Sushi House apart from other places, there is always an underlying passion in everything that we do… especially at the bar.
What is a good “insider tip” for someone who has never been to Aka? Come on Friday and Saturday nights, of course.
What is the craziest thing you have ever seen while being behind the bar? Too many to narrow down, but I am always amazed at how fun loving and free spirited my patrons are. I have, by far, the most uninhibited patrons in H-Town.
What is your favorite part of what you do? Talking to my patrons. In the end, having great dedicated patrons is an integral component in bartending because you ultimately have to listen to them and by talking to my patrons, I can hone my bartending skills.
What do you think sets Hpnotiq apart from the rest of the cocktail world? Hpnotiq dares to be different yet versatile.
What is one of your signature Hpnotiq cocktails? The Hpnotiq Harajuku Cocktail and our new Geisha Harmonie
1 1/2 oz Hpnotiq Harmonie
2 oz Ichiko (Sho Chu)
1/4 oz Lychee Liquor
garnish with lychees served in a martini glass