Behind the Bar: Travis Garcia of Hearth ’61

Photo: Mountain Shadows
Photo: Mountain Shadows

Name: Travis Garcia

Title: Lead Bartender  

Instagram: @mountainshadowsaz

Find me mixing drinks at… Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows

My favorite drink to make is… a Whiskey Sour

I’d most like to mix a drink for… Aaron Rogers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

If I could have one superpower while working, it’d be… telepathy, so I can bring everyone their drink without even needing to take an order.

If I were a flavor, I’d be… the flavor of mezcal, intense and smoky, either loved or reviled.

My biggest bartending fail… sometimes I get too carried away and end up spending too much time focused on a single guest, wanting to maximize their experience.

My top drink and food recommendation to guests is… the top food item is always the Line Caught Swordfish with green harissa sauce, pickled red onion, roasted mushrooms, and blistered radish—it’s delicious! As far as drinks go, whatever style of cocktail you normally drink. Let us, behind the bar, introduce you to something new that is similar. My favorite part of bartending is making someone a drink made of ingredients that they initially don’t think they will enjoy, and then they end up loving it.

When I’m not working, I enjoy sipping on… barrel strength Bourbon and rye, quality gins, and mezcal and Armagnac while I’m out on the town or nestling in at home.

My favorite place in town for drinks is… I don’t order cocktails often when I go out here in the Valley, but when I do, I usually find myself at Sazerac, Valley Bar, Bitter & Twisted, Undertow, and the unknown dark horse is Glai Baan.

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