Woodford Reserve Goes Beyond the Bar With NYC Bartenders Part II

 In Features, Sponsored, Spotlight

Bartending is a profession that many people initially entered with the intention of it being a “part-time” or temporary gig. Although career bartending is finally regaining the respect that it once held during the golden era, there are still a lot of people that are attracted to the work because of the flexibility it affords to pursue other interests outside of the bar world.

Woodford Reserve takes a look at individuals that are deeply passionate both behind and BEYOND the bar and asks them to share what drives their spirit. In this “Beyond the Bar” series, we will speak to several New York City bartenders to explore what fuels each of these highly dedicated individuals that are certainly ones to watch.

Woodford Reserve Goes Beyond the Bar Part II

 Julio Xoxocotla: Bartender at The Wayland & The Wild Son

What is your passion Beyond the Bar?

My inspiration and passion is my family. I know it may sound like a cliché, but they fill up my life with joy. Like any bartender I work long shifts, but it allows me time during the day to spend time with my kids. I enjoy every moment I get to spend with them. They teach me something new every day.

Tell us about how you got into it and where you are now in that passion.

I always wanted to be a father before my 30s, so I could still have the energy to play around with them. And things came at the right time and at the right place and here I am. I’m a happy bartender and happy father!

How does your work & experience as a Bartender help fuel that passion?

It was very challenging at the beginning. Keeping a balance between family and bartending wasn’t easy, but after some time I managed to make time to keep exploring, learning and growing in the industry. I’ve explored other opportunities within this industry like events and curating cocktails for brands. It has allowed time to share moments with my kids.

What is your favorite Woodford Reserve cocktail? (your own or a classic)

A cocktail inspired in the second stallion to ever win the U. S. Triple Crown.

The Gallant Fox

  • 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
  • .50 oz Amaro Ramazzotti
  • .50 oz Punt e Mes
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Ancho Reyes rinse
    Garnish: Orange twist

Garnish with an Orange Twist and serve over a large ice cube.

Joanna Carpenter: Bar Director at Town Stages

What is your passion Beyond the Bar?

The arts;  theatre, tv, and film.

Tell us about how you got into it and where you are now in that passion.

I’ve been singing since I was 4 years old; theatre is the reason I moved to New York. I guess you can say it is part of my DNA as my entire family is made up of artists. The actor hustle in New York is a serious grind, and more often than not you’re operating at a loss (financially AND emotionally). I’m really thrilled to have an agent and coaches that wholeheartedly support me as I work my way towards “the Broadway”. I’m also very lucky to be able to collaborate with amazingly talented writers and composers like Yan Li (Made In China, Age of Innocence), Michael Cooper (It Shoulda Been You), and so many others on new works that no one else has really had their hands on yet – that’s a serious win for me.

How does your work & experience as a Bartender help fuel that passion?

Both businesses are creativity-driven, and both businesses are relationship-driven. When I bartend, I get to use my humor and personality to make people feel good; I get to entertain them. There is a reason performers can thrive in hospitality – we specialize in making people feel and laugh and be entertained.

What is your favorite Woodford Reserve cocktail?

A Double Oak Old Fashioned with honey instead of simple, and a bit of hickory smoke. (insert drool emoji)

Braxton Overgaauw: Bar Supervisor & Bartender at Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar

What is your passion Beyond the Bar?

My passion is acting in television and film.

Tell us about how you got into it and where you are now in that passion.

When I was younger I was always excited about being in school plays. My mom took notice and signed me up for a kids acting class. Once I had my first taste of being in front of the camera, I was hooked and never looked back.

How does your work & experience as a Bartender help fuel that passion?

Bartending has definitely fueled my passion for acting. Being behind the bar is like being on stage. I’m providing a show and an experience for the clientele.

What is your favorite Woodford Reserve cocktail?

I love Woodford Reserve as is. Either neat or on the rocks. But, if I had to choose I, I would put it in the The Polo Bar’s Brown Derby.

Brown Derby

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • .5 oz of Giffard Pampelmouse
  • .5 oz honey syrup
  • .25 oz of fresh lemon juice

Shaken and strained into a coupe and topped with Angostura bitters.

Widelmy Rivas: Bartender at The Distillery

What is your passion Beyond the Bar?

My passion outside of bartender is Drawing & Painting.

Tell us about how you got into it and where you are now in that passion.

Growing up, my family was very much into music and production. From that background, I was inspired to learn to create my own beats and beat box. After a while I wanted to do something more of my own for expression, I started making doodles which then fueled me further into acrylic paintings as I got older.

How does your work & experience as a Bartender help fuel that passion?

Bartending has created a venue of creativity for me. When it comes to looking at cocktails for me it’s become like looking at art. Bartending and art go hand in hand.

What is your favorite Woodford Reserve cocktail?

My favorite Woodford Reserve Cocktail to make is my twist on the New York Sour.

New York Sour

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • .75 oz spiced Demerara syrup
  • .5 oz egg whites
  • Malbec wine float

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