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Mixology 101: Bartending Basics with Jaret Peña

After a nearly two-year tenure at The Esquire Tavern with a James Beard Foundation nod for Outstanding Bar Program under his belt, San Antonio native Jeret Peña was named a Rising Star Mixologist by StarChefs.com and ended 2012 stepping out on his own – opening his first watering hole to critical acclaim with an all-star staff handpicked from the best bartenders at Le Midi, The Esquire Tavern, and the Culinary Institute of America’s Nao restaurant.

Located at 516 Brooklyn Avenue between downtown and the Pearl Brewery, The Brooklynite’s moniker comes from a classic variation of the daiquiri cocktail made with Angostura bitters, honey, Jamaican rum, and lime.

We had the opportunity to belly up to the bar at the blue collar chic hotspot, and with elbows atop the zinc countertop, sipped house-made ginger beer between craft cocktails while talking shop with Peña.

Although he says the Negroni is his drink of choice, he credits touting tequila for paving the way to his present-day success. Turning the page back about a half-dozen years, it all began when his budding bartending career led him to a brand ambassador post with Partida Tequila.

Next, talking tequila...

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