Friends, this year we decided to highlight some of the creative men & women behind the bar. The bartender series will feature our favorite bartenders that serve Tanteo around the country. In this post, I interviewed my childhood friend and talented bartender, Brian Hawthorne.
Where are you from?
I’m from Minneapolis, MN. Not to be confused with Indianapolis or the Mall of America.
What are some untold bar rules that you wish more people knew?
I don’t get stressed by people much when I’m working.
What are your 3 “must do’s in New York
1. Have a beer and a cheese plate at McSorley’s Ale House.
2. Catch a show at the Village Vanguard.
3. Spend a summer’s day at Rockaway beach, get a few beers at Rippers or some fresh watermelon juice and tacos on the boardwalk.
What’s the most important skill a bartender should have?
Be able to engage in a conversation while keeping up the pace making drinks. Lose the flow of either and it’s not a party anymore.
What Ingredients are you obsessing over now?
Tangerines and meyer lemons. Citrus is key to so many cocktails, and I love anything that can bring a twist to that part of the drink. Winter is prime season for a wide variety of citrus, and they can also be preserved in bitters and marmalades for summertime.
Worst customer experience you have seen?
I was once at a famous hotel bar in New Orleans with my fiancée having a classic New Orleans cocktail. I ordered a second drink at last call, and no more than 5 minutes later a security guard tapped me on the shoulder and said “get out.” He was also wearing a gun. It was way too much, and ruined what could’ve been a memorable experience.
What is your favorite way to mix Tanteo?
The Tarragon Trail is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever done, Tanteo or otherwise, but I’ve still gotta say a classic Jalapeño margarita with sea salt is still #1.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Play more music.
What is the spiciest thing you have ever done?
I don’t want to get too personal, so I’ll stick to the literal spice and say challenging the guys at Panna II, my favorite Indian restaurant, to give me the hottest level of curry was my spiciest moment. They definitely enjoyed watching me suffer more than I enjoyed trying to save face by eating all of it.
Para la buena vida,