Chilled 100 Spotlight on Jess Weinstein
The Chilled 100 member worked her way up to a corporate beverage director position where she learned about operations, team building, systems management, and collaborating with spirits brands. She mostly learned about herself and her passion for connecting with people, food, places, and beverages.
With 2020 bringing many challenges and opportunities, it’s done the same for Jess. She recently took over the role for Development & Drinks at Maydan & Compass Rose. She collaborates with the team in telling the story of their world travels and celebrating regions less highlighted through their food and drink. Jess develops cocktail menus using art, poetry, and history.
Jess said, “I wasn’t sure what the next step in my journey should be. So I stepped back from the corporate role and focused on bartending again. Ironically, that is where I really started to find myself and to accomplish some of the personal and professional things I had been working towards.”
What’s your go-to cocktail?
Gin & Soda, no straw, no lime.
What are your favorite cocktail trends?
I think cocktails highlighting spirits, which are less traditionally highlighted in the American cocktail scene, is awesome. I love getting to see stories of unique producers and flavor profiles being brought forward and be given the attention and respect they deserve.
Do you have any unique skills / what separates you from other bartenders?
I’m here for the people. I can get down with the fun stuff but at the end of the day my core tells me that the bar space is about our guests so whatever is in the glass will always be about them.
What cocktail ingredient could you not live without? What ingredient is overrated?
Life would not be the same without mezcal. I’ve been over those mini clothespins since the first one I saw.
What’s one piece of advice you could have given yourself when you first started out as a bartender?
Take your time, keep it simple, it’s about the person in front of you. You drink what you want and give them what they want. Some guests want to go on a journey, and some want to be right where they are with what they have always loved, help them do that.