Palm Springs only "Tikieasy" serving tiki-inspired craft cocktails in the original Don the Beachcomber space
Palm Springs only "Tikieasy" serving tiki-inspired craft cocktails in the original Don the Beachcomber space

A Day in the Life of a Bootlegger Tiki Bartender

Chad Austin Tells Us Everything We Need to Know About Drinking in Greater Palm Springs

Written By: Gina Magnuson A Day in the Life of a Bootlegger Tiki Bartender

Who knows Greater Palm Springs nightlife better than a local bartender at one of the area’s most popular bars? We speak with Chad Austin, Bootlegger Tiki bartender, about a typical day (and night) in Greater Palm Springs, what influences his mixology style and where to get a proper drink in the desert.

Question: What do you love about working in Palm Springs?

Chad Austin: The people and their stories. Palm Springs is considered a resort town, so we get people from all over the world sitting at our bar. Diversity is something we don’t lack, which is great.

Q: Where are your favorite places to frequent in the Palm Springs area?

CA: Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Jake’s, Mr. Lyons, Purple Room, El Jefe.

Q: What do you enjoy about mixology?

CA: I enjoy all aspects of bartending. First and foremost is customer service; I want to create a unique experience for each guest who sits at the bar.

Q: Do you have any favorite ingredients you like to incorporate into your drinks?

CA: Ilegal mezcal and Fords Gin are my two favorite base spirits. I like to use amari and sherry in cocktails as well.

Q: How do you come up with drink recipes?

CA: 1. “Mr. Potatohead”—A classic is the base and you manipulate that formula; 2. “The Concept Drink”—You start off with a name, single ingredient or idea for a certain flavor and make it work.

Q: Are you willing to share any recipes with us?

CA: Here is one that is simple and a crowd pleaser. The Northwest: 2 oz Fords Gin, 1 oz fresh lime, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 2 dashes of celery bitters, one sprig of fresh rosemary. Combine all ingredients and shake to proper dilution. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with the rosemary sprig.

Q: What’s your personal favorite cocktail from the Bootlegger menu?

CA: The Bellflower: Ilegal mezcal, lime, bell pepper, agave, housemade Jamaica liqueur, celery bitters and a pinch of salt.

Q: Describe your perfect Saturday night in Palm Springs.

CA: Every table on the patio and booth at the bar is full, the bar top is three deep and some George Clinton is on the radio while we show everyone why we are the best bar in town.

Bootlegger Tiki
1101 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
G E T /// A Leg Up on Greater Palm Springs Living According to Bootlegger Tiki Bartender Chad Austin.

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