Meet the Bartenders

Our Trophy Club team is built on a wealth of knowledge and experience. Learn more about our team and what gets them excited about cocktails.

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SACRAMENTO
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Tony H.

I have worked very hard to get to the level where I feel genuine pride in my skills and abilities, but I'd say the skill I utilize the most often is my adaptability.

With a charming smile and an intense passion for the craft, you’ll find him behind the bar at TC slinging cocktails. Pictured: he's holding his "mixology bible" by
Dead Rabbit NYC - this book is near and dear to his heart and mixology journey. 

Q: When did you first start bartending? Walk us through your career.

A: I've been in the industry for about 12 years now, but I first started bartending in an unofficial capacity at my first bar gig, the Alamo Drafthouse in Houston. I was in my senior year of high school, and at first I was hired as a food runner. My best friend was a server, so I'd hang around after my shift and help bus some more theatres in exchange for rides home. Eventually I started to help the bar stock glassware, then stock beer, then finally I would help pour a couple beers. Soon after, I was offered a bartending position and took it, which led to me running a location at 19 and then my first bar management gig at 20. I stuck around the Texas craft beer industry for a bit, eventually landing a job at a downtown dive bar. I started learning cocktails, and shifted into craft style concepts shortly after that. By the time I moved back to Sac, I had already formed a solid foundation for this industry and had long since fallen in love with it. All this amounted to me being where I'm at now, and I couldn't be happier!

Q: What is your bartending superpower? 

A: I have worked very hard to get to the level where I feel genuine pride in my skills and abilities, but I'd say the skill I utilize the most often is my adaptability. That doesn't just mean allowing our concept of dealer's choice cocktails to thrive, but it also translates directly to my knack for giving every guest the level of service they are looking for. With the inherent chaos that this industry perpetuates, it's impossible to stay above water without learning to adjust to whatever the night will throw at you!

Q: How do you approach cocktail creation?

A: Cocktail creation is easily the part I enjoy most, and the one I take the most seriously. For me, there are two ways a new cocktail starts forming in my brain; a random burst of inspiration, typically just my brain working overtime and grabbing a flavor profile that I workshop in my head until I figure out a rough draft, or by writing out all of the base spirits that will exemplify the culture of the next season ,and attaching appropriate ingredients in new, fun, innovative ways. Making drinks on the fly is no different, because I'm literally ALWAYS thinking about cocktails, so making drinks for guests usually boils down to me testing out recipes that I'm working with.

Q: What is your favorite cocktail to make on the Trophy Club menu and why?

A: My favorite drink to make on the menu is probably the Callahan's Highball. It gives me the opportunity to talk about Laird's Applejack (one of my favorite spirits) and how it blends so nicely with Irish Whiskey (another one of my favorites), I get to use Cava to add effervescence, and bruleeing apples is always just such a treat. Plus, highball cocktails are some of my most beloved. Overall, a win-win for everyone!

Q: Pick 3 ingredients to create any drink of your choice. What ingredients would you pick? And why?

A: So this answer is a two parter! My two favorite cocktails of all time are both 3 ingredient drinks, so I'd say it's a toss up between Rum (specifically El Dorado 8yr), lime (fresh key lime), and Burly's Cascara Cola syrup to make an amazing R&C Daq (rum and coke daquiri). or Gin (Bluecoat American Dry), Sweet Vermouth (Antica Carpano), and Campari, to make literally the single best Negroni you could ask for! Either way would make me happy as a clam.

BAR MANAGER, Sacramento

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Josh W.

I approach cocktail creation as a refined work of art. By that I mean I want to create a well-balanced, eye appealing cocktail and also look good to our guests while doing it.

 

This is a guy that knows what he’s doing, a guy that looks good behind the bar and to top it off, he has style and he is refined!

 

Q: How do you approach cocktail creation?

A: I approach cocktail creation as a refined work of art. By that I mean I want to create a well-balanced, eye appealing cocktail and also look good to our guests while doing it. I want my guests to be enamored with my style and precision behind the bar. I want them to not only love the cocktails I create for them, but I also want them to see me and go, “that guy looks like he knows what he’s doing. That guy looks good behind the bar. He has style, he is refined.”

 

Q: What is your bartending superpower?

A: I would say that my bartending superpower is being able to create and balance any style of cocktail on the fly for a guest. I could be making a cocktail that I have never made before, and just recently thought of as I was conversing with the guest, but when I put it out for the guest to enjoy, it's balanced. By balanced I mean there is the right amount of each ingredient in the cocktail, to where each ingredient does not get lost. It’s not too sweet, tart, strong, bitter...etc.

Q: What is your favorite cocktail to make on the Trophy Club menu and why?

A: My favorite cocktail to make on the current Trophy Club menu is our Herby the Lovebug. It incorporates a basil brandy from the St. George Distillery out of Oakland, and the flavor this lends to the cocktail is unmatched. Coupled with the blackberry, citrus flavor profile, the basil really works well. We are also in the middle of creating a new fall cocktail menu, so I am sure soon I will have a new favorite to make!

Q: Pick 3 ingredients to create any drink of your choice. What ingredients would you pick? And why?

A: If I had three ingredients to use to create any cocktail of my choice, I would use a high proof Rye whiskey, at least 100 proof, Amaro Braulio and Jerry Thomas Bitters. These three ingredients create one of my favorite cocktails to enjoy, a spinoff of the original “Black Manhattan.” When creating a stirred, or aromatic style cocktail like this, strong and bitter is better. We don’t want the cocktail to be out of balance, but cocktails of this style are meant to have a stronger, and more bitter flavor profile in order to counteract some of the sweetness, in an effort to achieve balance. So if I had to choose, this would be a go-to of mine, just about every time. It’s pretty damn good.

BARTENDER, Sacramento

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Alanna G.

I joke that Hospitality is in my blood because I grew up in Napa. But working in hospitality has been a family affair.

Just like with a great cocktail, balance is key and within our team, Alanna’s fun loving personality is the perfect ingredient to our Trophy Club bartender trio.

You could say compared to her fellow bartenders Josh and Tony, she is a pint-sized tiny dancer. But don’t get it twisted she can make a mean Old Fashioned that packs a BIG punch. 

 

Photos by: @maxoutthere + @nhanhoproject

 

Q: When did you first start bartending? Walk us through your career.

A: I joke that Hospitality is in my blood because I grew up in Napa. But working in hospitality has been a family affair. Growing up, I would help out at my aunt's Pizza shop and uncle's coffee shop/Deli and then moved into restaurant life in college. My first restaurant was in Napa working as a hostess and learning so much about how to run a restaurant and wine program (of course). My first restaurant in Sacramento was Grange and I was able to learn so much more about running a great restaurant inside a hotel.

Taking a pause on restaurant life; I finished my Dance Degree at Sac State and I was able to fall in love with Stage Management. I ended up not going that direction because I was able to work my way back into restaurant management and I realized how close my love for stage management and managing a restaurant was. I became the Room Service Manager at The Kimpton Sawyer and loved every minute of it. Even the part where we had to close, because life happened.

 

Now working for the great company that welcomed me back to the Hospitality life after a long year, I am back to learning something new. I have been an official bartender for the past month and so lucky to have learned such an integral part of restaurant life.

Q: What is your bartending superpower?

A: Yet to be discovered.

Q: How do you approach cocktail creation?

A: I try to take a bit of the knowledge Josh and Tony have given me and make it my own. Making sure the cocktail has great flavor and that it is completely balanced.

Q: What is your favorite cocktail to make on the Trophy Club menu and why?

A: I love making the “Rye Not?” and the “Chocolat” because I love making Old Fashioneds and both are similar to an Old Fashioned.

Q: Pick 3 ingredients to create any drink of your choice. What ingredients would you pick? And why?

A: Knob Creek Bourbon, Demerara Simple Syrup and Angastora bitters. These make a great Old Fashioned and I’m sure as I grow as a bartender, I will have some other fun cocktails I would love making too!

BARTENDER, Sacramento