Like most true crafts, the love for bartending is boundless in both measure and expression. For our fourth installment of Bar None, we tell the story of Jermaine Whitehead at Seattle’s @BarMelusine
1. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, etc.
I was born in Jersey but moved out this way when I was little so I definitely call Washington home. Living in the northwest has opened me up to enjoy the outdoor activities. I love to cycle and if I’m not behind the bar, you will find me on the bike getting out of the city whether on road or hitting the trails somewhere.
2. What’s your bartender story? How did you get into it?
Bartending was something that I fell into. Like most, I was strapped for cash and needed more income to pay for the looming bills of tuition. My friend Casey at that time had been serving me at his bar and was making a decent wage so I started looking for a start anywhere in the city, resume in hand. While visiting a friend at Floyd’s place, the bartender was telling my friend that they were looking for help barbacking. Gave him my resume and started the grueling process at the bottom of the totem pole. I loved it! Fast-paced environment, multitasking, and the surge of adrenaline of a night push became addictive. Twelve years later, eight bars/restaurants, and a degree later still loving my job. I take pride in giving people the drink and experience they need for the night.
3. What’s your favorite cocktail to serve and why? How do you usually match a cocktail to a person or setting?
It’s tough to say my favorite drink to serve. I like to make the drink that the guest is looking for, so I ask few questions: something classic that is boozy or citrus forward or something interesting. My goal is to meet the need of the guest.
4. Why do you use Scrappy’s in your cocktails? Has Scrappy’s improved the drinks you make? Favorite Scrappy’s Flavor?
I love to make an Armagnac sazerac using the scrappy New Orleans bitters. The flavor components from the bitters is a perfect match with the brandy, complimenting while not overtaking the flavors of the star ingredient. That’s why I use scrappy’s in my cocktails, it creates a balance of flavors.
5. What’s your idea of the perfect drink (location, circumstance etc)? (or what’s the best drink you’ve ever had?)
The perfect drink for me is the one at the end of the night. Getting off work and sitting down at my favorite bars, whether at home, out or the shift drink after work.
1.5 Cocchi Americano rouge
.5 Manzanilla Lustau
.5 Brûlée Grapefruit
.25 vanilla honey syrup
1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Shake strain into coupe
Garnish with orange flame
Posted: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 7:20 pm