February’s Bartender of the Month:
Shaker of Cocktails at: Wherever He Is Needed!
Meet Pedro Barriga:
Our current favorite bartender.
While many bartenders have one home, Pedro calls many bars his home, he is an expert in consulting with bars and brands in the industry. He has created specialty cocktails from DTLA to the Inland Empire and he brings it all together on social media via The Bartenders Portal.
Between being a multi-talented mixologist and a father, Pedro does it all for the love of the craft. We were able to tell this about him from our short interactions with him, his passion stands out, and if you ever have the chance to meet him and experience his cocktails you’ll know what we mean.
The Elote cocktail was one for the ages, but it was the charitable cause that Pedro chose to donate part of the proceeds to that truly wowed us. He chose a charity named CORE that aids the Children Of Restaurant Employees, and that touched our hearts.
Our One On One with Pedro:
We got to chat with Pedro over tequila and gin cocktails about how he got his start, his favorite type of drinks, and all the fun events he has coming up (one of them includes a Bird Box themed dinner). Follow him on social media to see where he pop-ups next!
HHC: Where were you born?
PB: I was born in Huntington Beach California
HHC: Where do you currently reside?
PB: Currently live in Downtown Pomona
HHC: How long have you been a bartender?
PB: On and off for 14yrs
HHC: When did you know you wanted to be a bartender?
PB: Once I opened up a few Eureka Burgers and really began to understand the craft
HHC: What’s your favorite drink to drink? OR what is your favorite drink to make?
PB: My favorite drink is either a Sazerac or Corpse Reviver #2, To make, I love making Sours and a Fizz
HHC: What’s your favorite type of spirit to mix into cocktails?
PB: That’s a hard answer, I feel that everyone’s body is a temple and everyone needs a different spirit – I should say everyone needs a different spirit based on their mood and what's going in life at the moment.
HHC: What is a must have at every bar you go to/work at?
PB: Fernet Branca, Campari, Montenegro, Carpano Antica, Dolin Dry, Aperol, Azunia Tequila, Fords Gin, Mestizo Mezcal, Several Giffards Options, Rittenhouse Rye, I mean I can go on…
HHC: What kind of typical bar regular do you like?
PB: The respectful kind, the kind that is going to treat the whole staff the same way.
HHC: What is your favorite type of bar? Why?
PB: Its hard to say, I love all bars that have their own grasp on reality – But if I had an option, it would be a dive bar with a little bit of class – I don’t like asking for a Hanky Panky or Vieux Carre and the bartender looking at me like I just for a massage, or going to a bar where they refuse to carry staples like Campari or Absinthe. It is important to know what you are and where you are – evolve and create.
HHC: Where is your favorite bar? Why?
PB: Favorite bar is either El Dorado in DTLA or Bar Clacson in DTLA - Why? I opened one and know I can get what I like and Bar Clacson well it’s the coldest drink in town
HHC: Where do you go for Happy Hour when/if you have the time?
PB: In LA I really like La Cita and Mezcalero DTLA -in Pomona O’Donovan’s – Claremont- Union on Yale
HHC: Do you know any bar tricks?
PB: I never was the biggest flair guy, but I can light stuff on fire and work under pressure pretty seamlessly
HHC: How did you end up working where you are now?
PB: Currently I am teaming up with Mr. Gold doing what I love consulting for bars, and evolving and expanding a brand I really care for The Bartenders Portal - I also don’t mind working with the brands I love at pop-ups in LA and the Inland Empire
HHC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
PB: That’s a secret – but spending more time with my son and maybe having another kid.
HHC: What is one way you think you are revolutionizing the industry? Or What is one way you think the industry needs to be revolutionized?
PB: I think our industry is constantly changing and the only people that don’t continue to grow in it are the ones that don’t change – things happen all the time, winds blow harder and harder – but if you have strong roots you will be hard to knock down. In the literal sense, when its time to dive, dive! When its time to craft, craft! When its time to draft cocktail, well…..
HHC: Who was/is your mentor/idol if you had one?
PB: I don’t like to name drop but I have one, she was and still is righteous- as far as idol Dave Arnold and Bill Murray.
HHC: What’s one thing you think it takes to be a good bartender?
PB: Organization, round building, and Mis en place… Good Shake doesn’t hurt
HHC: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the job?
PB: Ha! Wow, I have seen everything in the spectrum from working in bad conditions to people going to jail to naked people… just regular bar stuff… I can’t say much more its part of the code.