Star Bartender

Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Brian Miller

The head bartender at New York’s new Polynesian bar tackles our speed round of questions.

Courtesy Noah Fecks

What do you like to drink after a shift?Rum & Ting.”

What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? ““One” by Johnny Cash.”

What drink should be banished and why? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I would never stand in the way of someone’s vice.”

Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “The Frisco at Seattle’s Zig Zag Café.”

What book on cocktails, spirits or food is your go-to resource?Sippin Safari by Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry.”

What’s your favorite bottle of booze that costs less than $25? “Worthy Park Rum-Bar White Overproof Rum.”

What’s your favorite bottle of booze that costs more than $100? “I don’t have to spend that kind of money to get an amazing rum.”

What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “An ice cold, cheap beer, and fresh passionfruit. Ideally, in the Caribbean on a beach and enjoyed at sunset.”

What drink are you most proud of creating? “The drink my guest is currently enjoying.”

What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “Beer and rum, beer and aquavit or beer and absinthe.”

What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “My credit card—in case I forget to bring all my bar tools.”

Brian Miller is the head bartender at New York’s Polynesian bar located inside The Pod Hotel 42.

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Interview has been condensed and edited.