Who | Nathaniel Smith
Where | Minneapolis, USA
Current Bar | Spoon & Stable
Past Bar(s) | Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
Favourite Spirit | Gin
Favourite Juice | Cantaloupe
Favourite Classic Cocktail | The Martini
Favourite Part of the Job | Even more than the camaraderie found in my bartending community, or being able to stretch my imagination by creating new drinks and flavors, my favorite part of the job is service. The simple act of offering my skills to enhance someone’s night, offer them an oasis from their daily stress, or toast important moments, is an incredibly noble one, and it’s something I take very seriously.
Favourite After Work Drink | Daquiri, in one. Then whatever the bartender feels like pouring.
Favourite at Home Drink | Gin and tonic.
Favourite bar in the world | So far? A tie between Billy Sunday in Chicago, and Marvel Bar in Minneapolis.
Best known for | Attention to detail, Imaginative drinks, garnish game on point.
Best story from behind the wood | I once very gently cut off a far too inebriated gentleman at my bar during a holiday work party. He reacted very badly. The host of the party came to apologize, begged to let the offending patron stay in the bar for the party, and offered to buy my coworker and myself a sip of our most expensive spirit. When my bartender and I had a chance to catch our breath, we sampled a bit of $500 a pour cognac, and just then watched the guy I had cutoff punch his coworker in the face and start a massive brawl. I just sat there calmly, sipping 100 year old cognac and swirling it, and looked at the host and just shrugged, that’s why I cut him off.
What do you collect? Gins. I have more than 150 so far.
Favourite thing about your city? It’s a city, but it’s clean. The people are intelligent and hardworking, but not pretentious. I can swim in a clean, healthy lake and still bike around a downtown full of skyscrapers and a few great cocktail bars. What’s not to love?
What was the last photo that you took? Of a garnish in a magazine I wanted to remember.
Where was your last vacation? New Orleans, for Tales. So hot…
Any claims to fame? Two-time Minneapolis representative for Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender, as well as current North American MIB finalist. I also recently won the national Copper & Kings MixTape cocktail competition in Louisville, Kentucky.
Belt or suspenders? Belt.
Fernet or Cynar? Cynar 70.
New Orleans or New York City? Tie.
Glass or Tin? Tin.
Are you available for freelance gigs? Sure
Find him: Instagram
Media: Ive done a few appearances, but hosting GQ, Bombay Sapphire and the guys from Food Beast in Minneapolis was a fun time and great honor:
Cocktail How-to: Cranberry Cordial Punch