Jeremy Strawn Head Bartender Merchants Hospitality and Black Hound Bar New York City

Jeremy Strawn has been “at this game” for 12 years, but his first time behind the bar ( at Woo Lae Oak in Soho), he literally had to sink or swim. It was a first time bartender’s nightmare… a frantic Friday and no working knowledge of the biz. Luckily, Strawn worked with an amazing bartender that night and he was hooked. Currently, he is the head bartender and consultant for Merchants Hospitality, which has more than seven properties all over New York City. Recently, he curated the cocktail menus at The Black Hound and Industry Kitchen.

Having been “the new guy,” Strawn has some serious advice for anyone starting out on the business. “Learn the classics and understand what makes them classics, taking the time to perfect the techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than having a hot shot new guy mess up your drink, and you ask ‘Why did you shake my Gin Martini?’ and they have no clue it should have been stirred.”