When Bartenders Talk - Nico de Soto
The Mace NY owner on why the The Clarified Milk Punch is his favourite cocktail to make and more
Each cocktail on the menu of Nico de Soto's East Village bar Mace derives its name from a spice, jars of which also line the walls, having been collected by partner Greg Boehm on his many international travels. After a drink in the cosy, exposed brick walled space, you can even head around the corner to continue your cocktail crawl on Avenue C, home to the Wayland and many other fine drinking dens - many of which you'll find in our new book Where Bartenders Drink
In it, the best 300 expert drink-makers share their secrets - 750 spots spread across 60 countries - revealing where they go for a drink throughout the world when they're off-duty. Venues range from late-night establishments and legendary hotel bars to cosy neighbourhood 'locals' - often in some very surprising locales.
The 750 expert recommendations come with insightful reviews, key information, specially commissioned maps, and an easy-to-navigate geographical organization.
Written and compiled by native New Yorker Adrienne Stillman, co-founder, editor-in-chief, and event director of Dipsology, a curated digital guide and online community for cocktail enthusiasts, it's pretty much the only guide you need to ensure that you get the best drinks in the most memorable global locations.
Over the past few weeks we've been interviewing some of the bartenders and bar owners in it and today we're chatting to Nico. This is what he told us:
Where are you from and and how did you get into this line of work? I’m from Paris, I started bartending in Australia when I was backpacking, I thought it was a job where you could work and have fun at the same time and I was always a night bird anyway. Working in shitty bars at the beginning was the toughest bit, long hours, bad money, shit drinks. I guess you have to go throw there!
What's the one thing about being a bartender that would surprise people? You can make up $1,000 tips a night if you work in a good, busy bar in America.
What's your favourite cocktail to make and why do you like making it? The Clarified Milk Punch. There is a long process of infusions and filtration, the mouth texture is unique and there are layers of different flavours as well.
Do cocktails go in and out of fashion? Of course. Aquavit is the next shit. I love it!
What do you do when you’re not mixing? I travel a lot. I've been to 73 countries and worked or did guest shifts in 20. I also do a lot of Crossfit and yoga and love tennis.
Check out Where Bartenders Drink in the store and check back in the coming days for another interview with one of its star mixologists.