Our most recent Bar None feature hails from Los Angeles, California 🌴 In a location brimming with talented mixologists, Jason Yu (@jasonfyu) has distinguished himself from a lot of his peers. Whether it’s photography or bartending, his creativity has no limit and it’s clearly reflected in the quality of his work.
Read more about Jason’s story below.
1. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, etc.
“My name is Jason Yu, I’m a Los Angeles native (born and raised), now living in Pasadena.
2. What’s your bartender story? How did you get into it?
I got into bartending kind of by chance. My background is actually in photography and print media, but during the big recession back in late 2007, I lost my job and had to find something quick. I took a position in a restaurant as a busboy with the idea that it would be temporary, but I ended up falling in love with the industry and worked my way through the ranks.”
3. What’s your favorite cocktail to serve and why? How do you usually match a cocktail to a person or setting?
[My favorite drink is] the Old Fashioned. It’s so simple, yet strangely elusive to the unknowing and so easily over-convoluted by the untrained. It’s a straightforward cocktail that really doesn’t give the bartender anything to hide behind, and when it’s off, you know it. The Old Fashioned revels in the beauty of simplicity and is revered when it’s executed correctly.
When people walk into my bar unless they already know what they want, I like to feel them out before I serve them – personality type, mood, likes, dislikes, flavor preferences, things like that. A lot of the time, I like to take dislikes as a challenge and try to turn it into something the guest would enjoy. It doesn’t always work, but so far, my success rate has been pretty good. The presentation of the drink is also based on what I can gather from the guest’s personality, ranging from anything casual and classic to elegant and edgy. It’s one of my favorite games with someone new to my bar and helps establish a lasting first impression.
4. Why do you use Scrappy’s in your cocktails? Has Scrappy’s improved the drinks you make? Favorite Scrappy’s Flavor?
I use Scrappy’s Bitters in my cocktails because there is a consistent level of quality and potency.
There are bitters I’ve used in the past that are weirdly artificial and just don’t have the qualitative flavor profiles as Scrappy’s. In fact, I remember the first time I switched over to Scrappy’s and was like, “whoa.” The drink popped! I was sold immediately. With Scrappy’s, I get exactly what I want when I dash the bitters into my serve. I’m less convinced and less confident with others.
I don’t have a favorite flavor just yet, but the flavor that converted me was the Cardamon Bitters. It holds a deep place in my heart.
5. What’s your idea of the perfect drink (location, circumstance etc.)?
Right now, my perfect drink would be a simple Champagne Cocktail. I see myself hanging out with good friends (like Amanda!), loved ones, and family, in some sort of quiet, scenic place by the water (like in the movies), grilling, having fun, and just sharing a moment and being happy. That’s the perfect drink
60ml Old Tom Gin
15ml Tonic Syrup
2 dashes Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters
2 dashes Scrappy’s Lime Bitters
Top with soda water
Garnish with lime wheel
Combine Old Tom Gin, Tonic syrup, and bitters in a shaker tin, add ice, and shake briefly.
Posted: Thursday, March 21st, 2019 at 11:11 pm