The Interview is in english, but my words are in spanish, i couldn´t be other way.

Nick es para mi el más "Odd" de los Odd Birds. No porque sea raro, sino porque es muy reservado. Hombre pocas palabras pero muchos cócteles. Un virtuoso. Casi niño prodigio. Tiene poco tiempo detrás del bar, pero crece a pasos agigantados. Es un gran amante del Whiskey, y siempre esta activo para lo que salga. Tiene una faceta muy interesante en su vida ademas de ser Bartender, es DJ. Pero no cualquier DJ, toca con Vinilos. Tiene una gran colección de Discos de todo tipo, y cuando los pone a girar en el bar, logra crear un ambiente muy cool. Es un tipo inteligente, moderno y activo en redes sociales (Síganlo, tiene muy lindo Feed en Instagram) ademas de ser muy trabajador. 

Nicholas Hogan

Age? Date of Birth
28, February 13th, 1989

Do you have a nickname ?

Where are you from? And where do  you live ?
Born in Jacksonville, FL currently residing in St. Augustine, FL

Since when working as a Bartender Mixing or drinks?
Craft bartending for a year-and-a-half.

La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, barba y exterior

Where did you study about  cocktails ? Or,  are you self taught ? Do you remember your teachers ?
I’m an avid fan of cocktail books and guilty of scrolling through pages and pages of instagram cocktail photos.  I am mostly self taught but have had great mentors/coworkers throughout my journey: Cesar Diaz, Josue Romero, Ryan Arvin, Zach Ramsey, Martin Tummimo, and Hannah Drozd to name a few. I am also Barsmarts Advanced Certified (I did my cocktail practical with Dale Degroff which was extremely humbling and amazing) as well as Cicerone Certified.

Where do you work and what you do there?
I currently work at a small craft cocktail bar in St. Augustine, FL called Odd Birds. A place where odd bartenders serve, odd cocktails with odd garnishes. We have a lot of creative freedoms and specialize in classics and bartender’s choice cocktails. I was the first barback when we opened a year-and-a-half ago and worked my way through the ranks to bartender and currently a bar lead doing ordering as well as in charge of entertainment.

What is your favorite cocktail ?
This is way too hard of a question! I am a huge fan of boozy sippers, anything from Vieux Carres to De La Louisiannes, Last Words and the likes but if I’m not sipping on whiskey my go to is a mezcal Negroni, can’t get enough of them.

What cocktail or what kind of cocktail you like to prepare ?
All cocktails are created equal to me, hahah. Honestly I love making all classics or spins on classics but what I really love doing is making crazy syrups and cocktail ingredients.  Anything from grilled curried pineapple syrup to lemon gingergrass syrups to homemade horchatas I just love putting in time in the kitchen to see what I can come up with. I love farmers markets and strange grocery stores especially this tiny Asian market outside of town.

What drink can not miss in your bar? 
The beauty of our bar is we tailor almost every cocktail to our customers.  When you sit down we ask you a spirit that you’re in the mood for and to describe a flavor profile and from there we create something specific for you!

Can you share a recipe of your authorship? 

My winning cocktail for the Woodford Reserve competition I was recently in:

1.5 Woodford Double Oaked
.5 Foro Amaro
.75 Ginger-lemongrass syrup
.75 lemon juice (fresh)
.5 Velvet Falernum
2 dash Orange bitters
2 dash Barrel Aged Bitters

To make ginger-lemongrass syrup:
Boil 4 cups of water with 1 quart of sliced ginger, 4 birds eye chiles, 3 stalks of sliced lemongrass, and 2-2.5 cups of sugar (do this to taste).  Let simmer for 30-45 minutes.  This was all done to my personal taste so use this as a guideline. You can always add more or less of an ingredient.

Is there any drink you do not like ? Why?
Not a huge fan of anything sweet but a cocktail I really just can’t get behind is the Aviation, too perfumy.

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage ? Why?  ...
Whiskey!  Something with character, maybe some rye whiskey.

How are the habits of drinking in the place where you live? How is the cocktail culture there ? Is there things to improve? What can be done?
The cocktail culture in St. Augustine has come a long way.  Fernet has taken over and old fashions are definitely our number one cocktail.  It’s great to see people becoming educated and smarter drinkers.

Which bartenders do you admire
I admire humble and down to earth bartenders.  Someone who can strike up a conversation and put on a smile and own the fundamentals of bartending: hospitality.

When you prepared cocktails or drink something , what music do you listen ?
At work its mostly something non-abrasive like indie rock with a little electronic flair to it. Recently I’ve been playing Spotify Radio stations by Craft Spells, SBTRKT, and Black Marble!  Outside of work I spend a lot of time collecting records and buiding an arsenal of all my favorite artists on wax.

Any bar books you recommend ?
I still think the most useful book I’ve read to date is the Death & Co book.  I also really enjoy the history of spirits and highly recommend Bourbon Empire.

What is the most unusual or exotic cocktail you've made?
One of our signature cocktails at Odd Birds, the Steven Seagull (I take credit in coming up with this punny name) is pretty bizzare. It consists of 1.5 tequila or mezcal, .75 lime, .5 (giffard pamplemousse and creme de violet), .5 bell pepper syrup and squid ink!

What is the most unusual or exotic taste you drink ?
The Yellow Submarine by Chris Faber at The Ice Plant was delicious. I have trouble recalling all the ingredients but it used Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Chinese Five Space with Ginger. Most delicious cocktail I’ve ever had.

Have you ever competed in bartending tournaments? What do you think about the cocktail competitions ?
I have competed in a few cocktail competitions.  My first one I was extremely nervous and it showed but it was a great learning experience.  My second I took 3rd place out of 16 competitors and gained a lot of confidence in myself in front of a large crowd. It’s all about treating it like another day behind the bar.  I just recently won a pretty huge competition for Woodford Reserves’ Manhattan Experience which won me a trip to the distillery later this month.  I took first place as well as People’s Choice (they voted my cocktail as the best tasting).

What do you think about cocktail culture now? How do you see it in 10 years?
I think cocktail culture has come a long way and a lot of people are starting to pay attention to it. I am sure we will see an oversaturation but those that push the envelope will continue to thrive, survival of the fittest!

Do you belong to any  Baartenders Association ? What do you think about them?
Currently a USBG North Florida member.  It is an amazing networking tool and also very informative, they put on some really educational meetings.

A Tip for Bartenders who start Their career! ?
Be humble, remember hospitality. When I started I traveled to tons of different cocktail bars just to watch different bartenders’ technique and see the trends in different cocktail ingredients. I also tried as many classics as I could and remembered their builds. 

A Tip for Bartenders who are in the prime of his career! ?
Keep doing what you love!

What are you doing right now with your profession? Own a project or something you want to share with us, an idea a concept that you think is important to strengthen
Right now I am really working to create a brand for myself through social media and networking. I am pushing myself to work as hard as I can every day and learn something new everyday as well!

Creador Por: ARTE BAR ESCUELA DE COCTELERÍA & AFINES. Con la tecnología de Blogger.