Interview: bartender Tim Stevens (Prohibition)

Bartenders San Diego

Tim Stevens toasts to tequila, and fellow bartender Ian Ward, at Cantina Mayahuel.


What do you look for when you’re hiring somebody to work behind your bar?

We have a very unique way of operation down in Prohibition that is not found in the corporate wheel house. We understand our establishment is not for everybody, employees and patrons alike. A prospective employee is someone well trained yet trainable. Someone who understands they run the bar, not the customer. Fellas should be able to grow a proper mustache and bring a knife to work. That being said, we have only ever had 5 bartenders including myself under my tenure.

Would you say that you have any mentors? If so, who, and what did they teach you?

My mentors in this business are actually bar owners rather than tenders. I learned just as much of what not to do from bad bar owners as I have ticks of the trade from the best. If I had to name one person, it would have to be my father. I watched him build a business from nothing to early retirement. Short notice, best advice, he’s your man.

Who are some other bartenders you really respect who you haven’t worked with, and why?

One bartender that comes to mind is Daniel Hyatt from Alambic in San Francisco. He seems like a mad scientist and I like his style, plus he potentially could drink me under the table, but that has yet to be seen.

What’s a cocktail that you recommend people make at home, and what’s the recipe?

This is a house speciality I created that with a little prep is quite easy to make.

The Nameless

2 oz Rosemary Infused Gin
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon
1/2 oz egg white

Shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with a splash of soda water. Infuse gin by stuffing fresh rosemary into your favorite London Dry. Let sit until golden in color then take the sprigs out. Simple as that.

Where and what do you like to drink when you’re not working?

I like to drink where there are no crowds, great drinks and beer, and morally challenged people. The physical establishment may vary.

If you could only fill your glass with one final cocktail, what would be in the glass?

Seems obvious, but I would have to choose a Last Word as my final cocktail.

Who would make your final cocktail? And it can’t be you.

Hopefully, it is not administered by the State of California, but barring that I would have to pick my wife Morgan because I’ve seen her bartend and I know she will over pour.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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