Hilton Head’s best bartenders take a step out from behind the bar to tell us a little about themselves.
What was your first drink?
7 & 7. I was 13 years old. Nothing good. My first drink as an adult was Goldschlager—a shot of Goldschlager at the top of Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada.
What inspired you to bartend?Almost like any other bartender, we kind of fall into it. You start it as a college gig and find out if you’re any good at it or not. If you are you can make money at it, it becomes your profession and you make a living.
What inspires you now?
Besides the fact that I own the place?
Most popular drink:
The Blonde Bombshell, which is a combination of Malibu, Tuaca, Peach Schnapps, orange juice and pineapple. It’s our number one selling drink, all summer long. It is very good.
Favorite drink to make? The one I make for myself, I guess.
Tequila on the rocks, a squeeze of lime.
What are you known for?
Remembering people and remembering their drinks, just like my wife. Walking in—they might not have been here for a year—but when they walk in their drink is on the bar.
What do you like to experiment with?
I like to take liquors that most people don’t think will taste good together and make them taste good together. My new favorite one is Tequila and Bourbon. People always asked, ‘What do you drink?’ My answer was Tequila and Bourbon, and the next question was always, ‘In the same glass?’ And I figured hey, I’ve stuck worse in the same glass and liked it.
What’s your favorite part about being a bartender?
The challenge of being able to do it—to be able to serve multiple people at the same time, to be able to keep everything right in your head, just to be able to do it. You know that everyone’s having a good time when you’re pushing that many drinks over the bar. It’s just fun.
Favorite type of crowd?
Quality. I’ll take quality over quantity any day. Respectful. And in all reality and seriousness, every bartender across the world, loves a respectful customer—someone that understands it’s still a job.
Best part of the day?
The busiest time—when the bar gets slammed and you’re three deep, head down, serving drinks for three plus hours and you can’t look up. It’s my favorite part of the day.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I was a boat captain for a long time. I had my coast guard captain license and during the summer and I would teach kids how to water ski out on Shelter Cove.
What has bartending taught you?
I’d have to say the ability to concentrate on more than one thing at once. It’s grace under pressure. Imagine having 100 people screaming different things at you all at once and you have to have a smile on your face and have grace under pressure. And that’s what it is. It taught me not to overreact in a situation and to keep calm and carry on.
Be patient and love what you do. It’s kind of like raising kids.