Whether you're a Los Angeles native or stopping by for the weekend, you'll want to have your taste buds blown with an incredible cocktail. And when it comes to amazing drinks, look no further than The House of Machine's Bad Birdy. Birdy is a self-proclaimed global cocktail creative who has been transforming the bar experience for the past five years. Take a peek at our exclusive interview with the tattooed cocktail entertainer and let us know your go-to drink in the comments section.
When did your bartending career begin and what was your first bar like?
My bartending career began in January of 2014. The bar I started at was in my hometown and it was the first craft cocktail bar in our city. The locals were definitely not used to the kind of cocktails we were serving but we quickly became the most popular bar in town— not only for our incredible selection of spirits and cocktails but the amazing team we had built.
How did you establish your brand as a bartender and how would you describe your style as a drink entertainer?
I established my brand by creating content that people would truly love and always taking the time to thank everyone for their support. I want my brand to inspire people around the world and show them that their manifestations and dreams are within reach. As an entertainer, I would say I absolutely love to put on a show when people visit me at my bar. I want people to feel like they just discovered the best bar in town, and they can’t wait to bring their friends back.
What are your top five drinks to make and why?
I have a great time making the following drinks because these are the cocktails where I really get to put on a show. The “Instagram Worthy” Cocktails if you will. They are simple drinks that are executed well and just have the extra bit of flair that people love to see.
-Cryo Mojito, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the mint and creates a huge cloud of smoke.
-Smoked Old Fashioned. I built my own smoker and this is the cocktail that people ALWAYS ask for when they visit.
-Flamed Last Word, it has a flaming waterfall using the Chartreuse.
-Bumble Bird, an original cocktail that comes on a serving tray with a “forest scene” and a fresh cut grass essence.
-Peanut Butter Jelly Time, this is a take on a Manhattan that tastes like peanut butter and jelly. It also comes with a house made strawberry fruit roll up and Churro essence.
What separates a good bartender from a great bartender?
I think a great bartender truly understand the essence of hospitality. They are incredible hosts and are patient. This industry is taxing on the body and mind and it’s important to treat everyone with the same respect and patience from the start of your shift to the end. A great bartender knows how to be a leader, does the hard jobs when no one is watching and understands that they are always a student to their craft.
How would you describe the Los Angeles bar scene?
The amount of creativity that comes out of LA is truly inspirational. Bartenders all over LA are dedicating time to their craft and I feel the position of “Bartender” is something to be sought after. People see that this is career choice and it is a position that is important in the culinary world. I’m sure we will start to see more restaurants and bars that have stronger collaborations and relationship between kitchen and bar—making for the ultimate dining experience.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced in your career as a bartender?
You can imagine being a bartender and the wild experiences that come with it. To say “I’ve seen it all” is an understatement. It’s the nature of the business and I could write a book with the amount of debauchery I’ve seen.
I have to say though the best thing to happen to be while in this industry, is having one of my servers piss of a large party and specifically one woman who would later become my wife. A moment that would change my life forever.
Take us through some of your dos and don’ts for bar patrons.
-TIP YOUR BARTENDER.
-Have a good time.
-Don’t stick your hands in the garnishes, it’s disgusting!
-Don’t snap your fingers at us or make similar gestures, its rude.
-Lastly, Don’t be a Dick!
Do you have any tattoos related to bartending?
I have a bar spoon coming down the side of my wrist that bends similar to how to how the little boy in The Matrix bends the spoon.
Beyond bartending, what defines you?
I’m defined by what I have done to cater to myself and to my spirit. When I’m with myself I know I’m in good company. I’m proud of what I have accomplished in my life this far. I’m proud of the love I have found, and I’m proud of the forgiveness I have found.