Borden Ornelaz

Borden Ornelaz | Bartender Atlas

Who | Borden Ornelaz
Where | San Francisco, California, USA
Current Bar | Rye on the Road
Past Bar(s) | Biig, Alchemist Bar & Lounge, Whitechapel, Blacksands, Beretta, Bergerac, Bar Agricole
Favourite Spirit | Tequila or Agricole Rhum. A decent tequila I’ll certainly drink a second or third; an agricole I’ll sit, sip, and ponder awhile.
Favourite Juice | Apple juice has always been a favorite since I’ve a penchant for using lots of herbs and baking spices.
Favourite Classic Cocktail | Improved Whiskey Cocktail, Ti-Punch
Favourite Part of the Job | I enjoy creating an environment people from all backgrounds can enjoy together, and hopefully leave with new friends.
Favourite After Work Drink | If the goal is to relax, an amaro. Some favorites are Dell’etna, Nonino, Braulino.
Favourite at Home Drink | When I’m on my own I’m simple: tequila, neat.
Favourite bar in the world | Any bar you can have a range of experiences in, from proper cocktails to a shot and beer, a fancy night out to a metal night, bar games or a quiet sit in the corner. A place that’s flexible and accepts variety. San Francisco examples are places like Churchill, Elixir, Trick Dog, Black Bird, Ha-Ra, Rye..
Best known for | That’s tough. Likely my generally stoic demeanour that’s spottingly punctured by ridiculously dry dad jokes and silliness, which can catch guests off guard, which I think it’s hilarious. Or are we talking cocktails? Because in that case, it’s either my want to push people’s pallets with spirits they haven’t heard of, usually in the form of a dark, rich, seductive cocktail, or my ability to coerce people into drinking copious amounts of good tequila.
Favourite “at work” memory | Years back someone I wasn’t a fan of who was running for a higher office in San Francisco had their campaign announcement event at one of my bars. I can occasionally be politically outspoken, so it became a little awkward when I silently served them a cocktail and they recognized me as I passed the glass over the bar.

What do you collect? I have a decent collection of bandanas, whether they be from bands, brands, artists… whatever interesting prints I come across. They have function and form, from wiping off sweat or bike grease, to being hung on the wall.
Favourite thing about your city? San Francisco has almost everything you could want; there’s always something new, something weird, or comfortable, tried, and true.
What was the last photo that you took? Beating my father in a pool match for the first time.
Where is one place that you have never been but would like to travel to? Mexico City or Copenhagen. My ancestors came from those general areas, and both have rich cultures in music and drink.

Prosecco or Cava? I prefer Cava for the floral aromatics, and the slight more emphasis on a low-end complexity and opposed to Prosecco’s lean into the more crisp green-fruit profile.
Angostura or Peychaud’s? Both have their highlights, but I enjoy Angostura’s use of richness and baking spices.
Singapore or San Francisco? I’m always for trying new things, which both places have to offer, but my love-hate relationship with San Francisco keeps me in her corner. SF also has the advantage here since I’ve yet to visit Singapore, but that should change!
Grapefruit or Pineapple? Pineapple, certainly. Grapefruit often feels like it’s bullying it’s way past other flavors.

Are you available for freelance gigs? Absolutely. Whenever there’s a good time to be had, interesting and open people to meet and introduce new spirits to, and something to help the wallet while living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, I’m for it. Cheers!
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