Beverage Director Chevy Farrell Transforms Cocktail Culture in Fort Lauderdale

A seasoned beverage manager and spirits specialist with more than a decade of experience in high-volume, upscale restaurant and lounge operations, Chevy Farrell serves as the Director of Beverage for Garrett Hospitality Group.


In this role he coordinates, supervises, and directs all aspects of beverage operations for the company’s food and beverage outlets including No Man’s Land, Point Break Poke House, Blue Wave Sushi, Ya Mas! Greek Taverna and Lady May.  


Farrell’s hospitality experience spans the state of Florida and has earned the talented cocktail aficionado rave reviews and accolades. We asked Farrell what it takes to create a successful beverage program. Here’s what he had to say.  



Tell us about your background in the industry. 

When I relocated to South Florida to join SBE and that is where I first started working with Memphis Garrett and his team. I took a Beverage Director position with Terrazas at the Hyde Resort in Hallandale Beach before moving on to work with Madroom Hospitality at the world-famous Ball & Chain. While managing the bar at Ball & Chain, Memphis reached out about an opportunity to work on a project which included the team behind Death & Co. which I jumped at without a thought. Sparrow, at The Dalmar Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, was an opportunity for me to learn from some of the most brilliant bar operators. It grew my understanding in a creative process, organization, and elevated guest experience that I was looking for. I also got a taste of the supplier side of the industry representing Barr Hill Gin starting as a Brand Ambassador. I eventually grew into the Key Account Manager for the state of Florida and covered all major markets. Unfortunately, the company downsized during the pandemic and we parted ways. This opened the door for me to shift back to operations and gave me the chance to reunite with Memphis join the executive team with Garrett Hospitality.  


Talk to us about No Man’s Land. What inspires the drinks menu there? 

Memphis and I knew that we wanted a change with the space occupied by his fast-casual restaurant, Poke House. We wanted to keep Poke House running but also potentially have a cocktail bar. After considering a Tiki concept at one point, Memphis shifted towards a New American Cocktail Bar. The great thing about No Man’s Land is no cocktail is off the table. We draw inspiration from several different cultures and want to celebrate unique flavors.  


What kind of drinks do well at the space? 

I’ve been surprised with the reception of our cocktail program given Fort Lauderdale’s slowly emerging cocktail culture. I think once guests step into our space, they recognize us as a cocktail lounge and trust us to deliver a true experience. On any given night, 90% of our guests have one of our signature cocktails in front of them. While they are not the typical drinks people are used to, they are well-received, and guests become more adventurous with each drink they try. Our cocktails utilize fresh herbs, fine sprits, house made ingredients, and a lot of creativity. I think our cocktail list does well overall, but of course you’re going to have “bangers.” Our goal is to guide people to a cocktail to fit their mood. Fort Lauderdale is still in its infancy stage when it comes to cocktail culture. We want to shepherd guests to experience things out of their comfort zone and help build that culture.  


Tell us what it takes to create a popular cocktail program. 

Teamwork is one of the most important things in my eyes. Everyone has a different palate, and you want to appeal to a wide range of guests. I like having each team member bring a few ideas and start Research and Development together. Balance is key as well. You want to make sure the list has offerings for as many guests as possible. It’s important to have a variety of spirits showcased, some straightforward classics, and then of course, creative cocktails. 


Give us 4-5 tips to running a successful and efficient bar program. 

I think having a unique list is one of the driving factors of a successful program. Developing a prep program will help you run more efficiently as well. As the beverage director, costing is a big factor as well. You can use supplier relationships to help in this area. Training is a big part as well. Consistency and standards are very important to the success of any bar program. 


Any advice to bartenders looking to upgrade their bar menu/program? 

Staying up to date with industry standards is something that’s very important to my program. I’m constantly keeping tabs on what other industry leaders are doing. It helps to draw inspiration as well as keep you ahead of the curve. I always recommend developing local relationships, whether it’s other with bartenders or local suppliers. This builds a sense of community and can help drive the culture. 


Give us 4-5 tips to upgrading your cocktail program. 

New products are hitting the market every day. Keeping track of what’s available is important. This is part of developing those relationships with suppliers to have new fun tools for your bartenders to be creative. Sourcing local ingredients can also give you the opportunity to show the level of care that you’re taking in creating your program. As I mentioned, creating an organized prep program is integral to the success of a drink list. This will help you maintain consistency and show your team the process that goes into the creation of your cocktails. This also allows your bartenders to become authorities on their cocktails which will make them comfortable talking about the process with the guest. There’s nothing I like more than sitting with a bartender and allowing them to be a storyteller. 







  • 1 1/2 oz Espolon Reposado 
  • 1/2 oz. Campari 
  • 1 oz Tamarind Syrup* 
  • 3/4 oz. Lime Juice 
  • Tajin spice  

Preparation: Shake all ingredients. Pour in Tajin rimmed Old Fashioned glass and top with fresh ice. Garnish with Tamarind/Chili Straw (Mexican Candy).


*Tamarind Syrup Recipe 


  • 15 oz  Tamarind puree 
  • 2 ¼ cups White Sugar 
  • 1½ Tbsp Ginger Juice 
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon   

Preparation: Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring up to temperature until all ingredients are dissolved then let cool. Store in fridge for about a week.  






  • 2 oz. Plantation Dark Rum 
  • 1/2 oz. Carpano Antica 
  • 3/4 oz. Black Rice Syrup* 
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice 
  • 1/8 oz. Cockspur Overproof rum (a splash) 
  • Dehydrated lime cup (wheel can be substituted) 
  • Mint

Preparation: Shake all ingredients together and strain into Double Old Fashioned Glass. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with Dehydrated Lime cup and mint sprig. Pour overproof rum in lime cup and torch. Served with flaming lime cup. 


*Black Rice Syrup Recipe 


  • 2 2/3 cups   Black Rice 
  • 2 cups  Water  (might need to add a couple of Tbsps more  if too thick) 
  • 2 cups White Sugar  
  • 4 oz  Light Rum 
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon 

Preparation: Put all ingredients in blender and blitz; cover and put in fridge overnight. Place slurry in saucepan and heat until fully dissolved; then fine strain.  Store unused portion in a container in the fridge for about a week.





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