Cheers to the Top Mixologists in East Village San Diego
Written By: Omar Velasquez Mixologists of East Village
Downtown San Diego is divided into different sectors where each individual town has a distinct flavor every time you visit. From the Marina District to Cortez Hill with a splash of Little Italy, there is always something for everyone.We touched base on East Village where the days stay shining and the nights never stop.
The East Village neighborhood starts on east Seventh Avenue all the way to 18th Street and is surrounded by some of the best dine-in restaurants, luxurious hotels, and amazing art galleries. Most importantly the East Village neighborhood is known to create some of the best drinks served by some incredible mixologist. In one of our recent polls, readers voted for their favorite local mixologist straight out of the East Village community. A mixologist is more than a bartender or a person behind the counter; a true mixologist can greet you with a smile and make you feel at home all mixed and served in a nice glass. Here are your favorite mixologists from the East Village neighborhood in San Diego.
Travis Carter, Mixologist at Harvest by The Patio
Q: How long have you been experimenting with mixology at Harvest by The Patio?
Travis Carter: We opened Harvest Nov. 1 of last year, but the mixology and experimenting behind our bar started about a year ago. Amiko Gubbins, our Executive Chef puts so much heart and passion into our food that I had to do everything I could to make sure the beverage program was every bit as emotional. A very taxing three months went into creating the base for our beverage program here at Harvest, with a month of work going into every seasonal change. Our team prides themselves on experimenting, and continuously growing every shift behind our bar.
Q: What drink is currently trending at the bar restaurant?
TC: There are two drinks that are always trending here: the Nonino Flip and the Frosé All Day. Each cocktail has ties to local San Diego product, but also ties to my home/family. The Nonino Flip, we actually use a whole quail egg in the cocktail, which creates a rich texture that guests can’t seem to get enough of. The Frosé All Day is something very fun that we started doing at the turn of the season, we freeze a brut French Rosé, Lillet Blanc and a locally grown Lavender Rose tea—creating a frozen cocktail that is perfect for a San Diego summer and will take you back to your childhood instantly.
Q: How much do you experiment with fruits and salts to get the right taste?
TC: I treat my bar like a chef treats their kitchen. There is new produce coming into our work area every single day and we study very hard to be able to use seasonings and herbs to pair profiles. Cracked black pepper and smoked salts (which we also do ourselves) are very prominent throughout our program! We couldn’t do what we do without so many amazing producers in our city and companies like specialty produce to connect us to them.
Q: With summer here, what do you think is going to be the “hot” drink of the season?
TC: I mean…. c’mon. Frosé All Day! This trend hit the East Coast last summer but it never reached us over here, rosé has become so popular amongst the urban millennials, that it’s only natural that summer version, frozen with great natural mixers served with rose petals and a paper straw become the next big thing here in SD, right?!
Q: What does it mean to be voted favorite mixologist in the East Village?
TC: A lot of passion and emotion goes into what we do and, for me at least, a lot of pride as well. East Village is my home and the people that come into the restaurant are my neighbors. I put every ounce of effort I have into making Harvest by The Patio a great place for Villagers to eat and drink because I truly want that for the place I live, so to have that recognized means the world to me. Harvest isn’t just a restaurant or bar—it’s something this entire neighborhood can brag about to their friends. We wear #EastVillage on our shirts because we are proud to be here; it’s our home.
Adele Stratton, Mixologist at Noble Experiment
Q: How long have you’ve been bartending and how did you begin the journey?
Adele Stratton: I’ve been bartending for about three and half years. I started as a hostess at Craft & Commerce and worked my way up to a bartender over the years.
Q: How did you get your start at Noble Experiment?
AS: I used to go to Noble Experiment after work or on my nights off from working other CH Projects concepts. I’d study the bartenders and ask questions while they worked, then eventually the manager at the time, Trevor Easter, offered me a part time job.
Q: What is your favorite drink to serve?
AS: I would say that my favorite drink to serve is the drink I know the guest in front of me will like. Every single person that walks into the bar is so different and the challenge of deciding what cocktails are best for them is my favorite part of the job. To say that I have one favorite drink is tough—the act of making the cocktails and learning about people is the best part, the cocktails are just the cherry on top.
Q: What does it mean to be one of the favorite mixologists in the East Village?
AS: It’s really flattering and I feel lucky to be in this line of work. My job isn’t about mixology at the end of the day; it’s about creating an environment and a beverage that the guest will enjoy and remember, and to be recognized for that in this community is humbling and means the world to me.
Q: Can you tell us one thing about yourself that we may not already know?
AS: My personality is naturally shy and introverted. Bartending gives me the ability to interact with people from all walks of life and has really brought me out my shell.
Kerin Sovern, Mixologist at Social Tap Eatery
Q: How long have you been bartending at Social Tap Eatery?
Kerin Sovern: I started with Social Tap Eatery when they first opened their doors. Brant, the owner, took me and developed me into the mixologist I am today.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from when creating drinks?
KS: I try and channel my grandmother. She was always known to have a handle of vodka or two in her house. She didn’t mix it with anything, but she drank a lot of it, so I try to imagine what she would have wanted to mix with her booze, if she had the palate for it.
Q: What drink is currently trending at Social Tap Eatery?
KS: I think the mule is always going to be a popular drink…I’m waiting for someone to come up with a donkey, because that would be funny. Maybe I’ll work on that next!
Q: What does it mean to be voted favorite mixologist in East Village?
KS: It’s pretty neat! I mean, it’s pretty flattering to know that people took time out of their day to vote for me. I have some of the best regulars a girl could ask for (special shout out to Randy and Barry who campaigned for me once they found out I was nominated).
Q: Can you tell us one thing about yourself that we may not already know?
KS: I would say that I am currently training for an Ironman, but if you do know me, you know that because I talk about it non-stop…I annoy myself with it. But I probably know more about sports than most dudes, and I’m probably more of a dude than most dudes … sláinte!
Trevor Bowles, Mixologist/Bar Manager at You & Yours Distilling Co.
Q: How did you turn bartending into a career?
Trevor Bowles: Bartending and hospitality became my career as soon as it became my passion. It was made with the happiest, so I decided to follow my heart when choosing a career.
Q: What is one of you favorite things about working at You & Yours Distilling Co.?
TB: The amazing staff and ownership are truly an incredible group of people and by far my [favorite] part of the job. A close second would be the constant education we get to share with our guest. Whether it is about the distilling process or even just the You & Yours Distilling Co. story.
Q: What is one rule you have behind the bar?
TB: To always keep in mind that we are blessed that anyone walks through the doors at You & Yours and to never take that for granted. Everyone that visits the distillery is equally important and it is an absolute must to make everyone feel welcome and provide them with warm hospitality.
Q: What gin specials are easy to make from home?
TB: Honestly, our Sunday Gin with some good tonic is a slice of heaven and super easy to make at home. Otherwise a Gimlet: 1.5 oz of Sunday Gin, 0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water), 0.75 oz fresh lime juice, shake hard with lots of ice and serve up with a smile.
Q: What does it mean to be one of the favorite mixologists in East Village?
TB: It means a lot. The support from the neighborhood has been amazing for us at You & Yours Distilling Co. Earlier in my career, I managed Neighborhood, which is a staple in East Village. I fell in love with East Village back then and it feels wonderful to be working in the neighborhood.
Raise Your Glass to These Top Mixers and Shakers in East Village