Found at: Trapiche in Chester.
You have bartended in many different establishments. Have you acquired any followers?
I have and it's flattering. I have been bartending since I was 18, mostly in CT. Whenever I leave and move to another restaurant, those customers follow me. We've only been open here for a few weeks and I had 50 people in the bar that I knew from former establishments. I don't really remember their names, but I remember what they drink.
Do you consider yourself a mixologist?
Yes, I come up with things spur of the moment and sometimes by accident. I try to stay away from trends. I spend time reading cocktail books and tweaking them and adding my own flair. An example would be The Stormy Kraken, which has Kraken dark spiced rum. I then muddle limes and ginger together and add ginger beer. I think pairing is important. A server one time said Twisted Angel and I thought that would be a great names for a martini. I thought St Germain right away and a champagne floater. I like to use high quality vodkas and gins and use a liqueur with it. Some of the new flavored vodkas have given me ideas about creating my own infusions.
If a customer is unsure about what type of cocktail to order, what do you suggest?
I ask them what they like first and based on that I come up with a drink for them. Just because I like something doesn't mean others will, so I try to come up with drinks everyone will enjoy. I will be doing martini flights so that guests can sample all of the different types of martinis I make. We don't have one particular cocktail that is more popular here.