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Most mixologists are bartenders. But are all bartenders mixologists? Depends on who you talk to, but to us, true mixologists are the equivalent of top culinary chefs. Think Ferran Adria and his work at El Bulli in Spain, Thomas Keller of The French Laundry in Napa Valley, and Jean Georges in New York. Some of the country’s top mixologists take as much care in crafting their drinks as the above chefs do in making their food . . . if you haven’t heard of any yet, you soon will!

Mixologist Features

Here we feature a mixologist and a few of their trade secrets, along with one of their unique cocktails.

Know of a great mixologist you’d like us to feature? Let us know! To email us, place "info" before @squareoneorganicspirits.com. Be sure to give us their full name, city, and bar or restaurant where they work, along with why you think they're a great mixologist.

H. Joseph Ehrmann

H. Joseph Ehrmann, better known as “H.”, has combined an impressive background of environmental stewardship, mixology and business experience to become one of the nation’s “go to” guys for bringing eco-savvy cocktails to the bar.

H. is Mixologist and Brand Ambassador for Square One Organic Vodka and the owner of Elixir, the first certified green bar in San Francisco, and Cocktail Ambassadors a cocktail catering and consultancy service.  H. is also an active member of the United State’s Bartender’s Guild.  His career started in a restaurant kitchen in New Jersey, under New Orleans’ renowned chef Duke Locicero.  H. went on to cook, serve, manage and bartend in Boston, Orlando, Washington DC, Vail and Phoenix before completing an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird.  His MBA degree lead him to Geneva, Prague and Madrid where he spent several years traveling and studying the flavors, agriculture and traditions (as well as the distilleries, wineries and breweries) of Europe.  With H.’s experience and training as a mixologist and as an entrepreneur formally educated in business, H. instructs bars and restaurants about how easy it can be to “green” their business and offer fresh seasonal cocktails to their customers.

Greener choices are everywhere, and as a business owner, H. knew he could find ways to “green-up” his operations and work with companies that were doing the same.  He revamped his operations to meet San Francisco green requirements and uncovered eco-conscious suppliers, like Square One Organic Vodka. H. explains, “Change will come when there is mass action and dedicated decision making to impact that change.  Bars and restaurants are community gathering places so we have a unique opportunity to set an example by reducing waste, improving operations and buying local organic supplies when available.  When implementing a new program, evaluate its impact on the environment, the community, and on your business. Eco-friendly can also be cost efficient, whether it’s reducing the number of bottles held in refrigeration or analyzing power usage to improve efficiencies.  All are good for business, customers and the environment.”

When its time to mix, H. reaches for lesser-known ingredients and spirits to create cocktails that are savored and remembered.  His “Pretty Pepper” cocktail (you’re not afraid of a little heat, are you?) includes hibiscus-infused Square One Organic Vodka and habañero and red bell pepper-infused Reposado Tequila. Or for a savory sip, try “Celery Cup #1” (a recent favorite at the Slow Food event in San Francisco), which features Square One Cucumber, Pimm’s, celery and cilantro.  Fresh and organic ingredients are key, but H. explains that in his mixology, he takes a spirits focused approach to his cocktails, “When trying a new spirit, I analyze the spirit on all levels (flavor, aroma, texture, and weight) to identify its character and for ideas on how to mix the spirit.  I often get a specific cocktail recipe idea in my head as I taste the spirit and I know the cocktail will work, even before I mix it the first time.”

H.’s cocktails, and his work to promote green business practices in the bar, have captured press and hospitality industry attention.  Cheers Magazine selected H. as winner of their 2008 Cheers Rising Star Award in recognition for his work for the environment in the cocktail space while maintaining the importance of the cocktail experience for the guest.  And GQ Magazine recently named H.’s “The Bloody Elixir” one of the “Top 20 Cocktails in America”.  H. appeared on NPR to discuss his green cocktail program and as a guest panelist, along with nationally recognized mixologists Dale Degroff and Ted Haigh, for a feature titled “The Cocktail Renaissance”.  

As Mixologist and Brand Ambassador to Square One, H. lends his expertise for creating cocktails to many aspiring mixologists across the country and he creates the sophisticated new culinary-style Square One Organic Vodka or Square One Cucumber cocktails that you find on our website and served at many nightspots across the country.   H.’s impression of Square One, “When I discovered Square One, I found that the vodka was exceptional in light of all of its competitors and that it was an expertly crafted distillate, something I’d be proud to put my name behind. In addition, the company’s business purpose to create eco-friendly, innovative organic spirits for hand crafted cocktails was genuine, not a gimmick.  CEO and Founder, Allison Evanow’s background, professionalism and expertise showed me that the company had a solid foundation to survive in a competitive market. Once I knew that the integrity of the spirits and the company were all rock solid, I was ready to represent it.”

Visit the Mixology section of our website for H’s recipes, or click here for a printable version of all of his cocktail recipes.





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