Each month we hand select a prominent barkeep to share their best Moscow Mule recipe and share a home bartending tip or two. Enjoy!
Adam Oliveras doles out craft cocktails in a timelessly famous bar, The Prince, seen in New Girl, Mad Men and countless movies. Besides rubbing elbows with movie-stars some of the most recognizable people in the world, he’s also the Lead Bartender at Skylight Garden in Westwood and has spent the last few years honing his mixology skills. Even with everything he has going on, he graciously carved out a little time to create an original recipe for our February Mule of the Month. We caught up with Adam to hear more about his recipe and learn a few bartending tips.
How did you get started bartending?
I’ve been bartending seriously for the last three and a half years. After lightly dabbling, my first big opportunity was being hired by Black LAB for their craft cocktail program at Los Balcones, a Peruvian Bar in Hollywood. I received extensive hands-on training in both the bar service and Peruvian culture and to this day I still dream of Lomo Saltado and Ceviche, it’s crazy. It was there that I got my hankering and love for Pisco (a peruvian spirit made from grapes) which is still a big enthusiasm for me today. I’m always trying new piscos.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Definitely the people. I am one of those people who feels the bartender is the original therapist. It can be a great thing and not so great some nights but at the end of the day it’s showed me so many sides of human beings. The bar is always a fun way to bring out the best in people. We create a beautiful ambiance and environment that people create memories inside of. We create magic.
What’s one bar tool you couldn’t live without?
Ever since someone showed me a mixing glass and stirring spoon, good gracious! I was shaking my Manhattans before that, now I’m a huge fan of the stirred booze forward cocktails.
Get your own bar spoon here!
Tip for home bartenders?
Find the smallest bottles of the spirits & modifiers you can. Good to get teeny tiny bottles. They (big bottles) are fun to have but before you know how to use them you spend (and waste) a lot of money. It’s easy to make gross cocktails when starting out.
What’s the most unusual ingredient you have used in a cocktail?
Well for a while was playing with morel mushroom syrups trying to get the savory delicious nutty flavor of a good mushroom into a cocktail. That’s still something that’s evaded me to this day. Every bartender has a few flavors in their back pocket and then it finally comes together and they can finally use it. Right now it always comes out too brown and funky and not in the right way.
What was your inspiration for The Travellin’ Mule recipe?
I pulled a lot of different flavors from different places around the globe and I took a love I have right now which is rum and rum blends and split-basing the rum. Split-basing the rum with a smoky mezcal does an amazing thing in and of itself. Two different modifiers from different parts of the globe. When melded together with a big bodied ginger beer, it becomes a little happy world family inside of a mule mug.
What other passions and interests do you have?
Music is always my first love and still to this day I am working on a number of different projects. In the last few years I’ve been geeking out on computer coding which will be my next pet project. It fascinates me. The new technologies and I think most things will involve some form of coding or another.
“I’d like to marry as many of my skills as possible. …. Bartending, music, coding and entrepreneurship.”
The Travellin’ Mule
.5 oz lime juice
.25 St. Elizabeth All-Spice Dram
.5 oz Angostura Amaro
.75 oz aged rum
.75 oz mezcal
1 dash Angostura bitters
Bundaberg ginger beer
.25 oz overproof rum for garnish
1 sprig rosemary for garnish
Add lime juice, St. Elizabeth, amaro, aged rum, mezcal and bitters to shaker tin
Add ice and shake it up
Strain over ice into 100% copper moscow mule mug
Top with ginger beer
Pour .25 oz overproof rum in separate glass
Dip rosemary sprig into glass
Garnish with rosemary then flame with kitchen torch