How long have you been bartending and how did you get started?
I’ve been bartending for a little over 2 years. Scratch just had it’s two year anniversary a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been here the whole time. I had just moved back to Norman from Austin and applied for a few jobs and instead of actually following through on those jobs that I didn’t really want I just stayed at home mostly writing songs about the interview process from each job and posting them online. As luck would have it one day I heard my good friend Ira from bittercube was in town doing bar training at this new place called Scratch and he called me up and asked me to come by. I fell in love with it and more importantly the bittercube way of bartending almost instantly. So I got the job the good ol’ fashioned way… nepotism. Ohhh now I want an Old Fashioned!
What is your favorite bar right now?
My favorite bar is Beerland in Austin, Tx but that has nothing to do with cocktails. It’s just a great place! As far as cocktail bars go The Wsky Lounge in Okc is pretty good but the ones that inspire me the most are still ones that I haven’t been to yet but I love the creativity and ethos of all three of these bars; The Aviary in Chicago, Midnight Cowboy in Austin, and of course Eat Street Social whose Facebook I go to almost daily to see if there’s something I can’t rip off. I mean riff on, I mean riff on!
Where can readers find your drinks?
It’d be great if they were at other places besides Scratch but as far as I know that’s the only place you can get them. Unless of course you count when I invite people over to my house to what are affectionately known as “Captain’s Yacht Party”. If your readers do show up at my house just make sure they don’t let George out. George is a cat.
What is one piece of advice you have for home cocktail enthusiasts?
“Keep it simple, keep it precise.”
That advice is more for the new enthusiasts but it’s something that even old pros need to be reminded of from time to time. Take your time jiggering out your proportions to make sure it’s exact and that the fresh lime juice you’ve had in your fridge for just 2 days is unfortunately not fresh anymore and will ruin your cocktail. My favorite thing to do at home is make different syrups because it’s the most cost efficient way to have fun making cocktails at home while also drastically changing each cocktail’s profile depending on which syrup you use. Lastly, talk to your bartender. I might not have all the answers but I also know a guy that knows a guy.
What is a memorable moment of your bartending career?
The first one that comes to mind is when Sooner legend Barry Switzer burst through the door looking like a king from Game of Thrones with his white fur coat on that draped all the way down to the floor and ordered a Pinot Noir. It was glorious. You have so many memorable nights though working at a bar but the main goal of any bartender is to make sure it’s just as memorable for the guest. Be it with a spectacular cocktail or just an overall great time. Because in the end, they might come because they heard you make a great Manhattan, but they’ll come back if it has the same sentiment as the Cheer’s theme song. Which is what every bar strives for.
1 1/2oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
3/4oz Cocchi Americano
Bittercube Orange bitters
Creme de Violette foam
Violette foam- 2 egg whites, 1 oz heavy cream, 2oz lemon, 2 oz simple syrup, and 2oz creme de Violette