Going 10 Rounds With Top Bartender Nico de Soto
The consulting bartender at New York’s L’Avenue at Saks and co-owner of Bar Mace tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “Aval Cider.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “To be honest, I’m into more clubby music than dive bar tunes, so I gravitate toward deep house, techno.”
After all these years bartending and creating drinks, do you still enjoy going out to bars? “A lot. I have probably visited more than 100 bars a year around the world. I’ve also visited all 100 bars from the list of the world’s best bars. Take for example, Le Chalet at L’Avenue at Saks, how many places in the world have such an incredible terrace with views of Rock Center and the Empire State Building? Going to a bar is not only about the drinks, it’s the whole experience.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “I think it was a Zombie at Black Pearl in Melbourne in 2007.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “Mango sticky rice with a clarified Milk Punch.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “Kota Ternate, a Pandan Clear Milk Punch that I created in 2010 in London.”
Is there one person (dead or alive) you’d like to make a cocktail for? “Probably Bill Murray for the laugh or Cara Delevingne for both the laugh and the crush.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “I hate beer, but I love Pickle Backs.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “My CrossFit shoes.”
Nico de Soto is the consulting bartender at New York’s L’Avenue at Saks and co-owner of acclaimed bar Mace.
Interview has been condensed and edited.