June 2013 Bartender of the Month: Colin Maxwell

Name: Colin Maxwell

Establishment: Catch New York

Recent Gigs: Born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, Maxwell quickly found his way back to the Empire State to attend New York University for acting. Post-graduation however, Maxwell decided to dedicate himself full-time as a bartender. He dove right in, serving up quality-crafted cocktails at luxe seafood eatery, Blue Fin in NYC’s iconic Times Square. His talent was immediately recognized and rewarded by Paula Villela, the first sommelier he worked under. Maxwell spent five years learning and refining his skill as he served the millions that passed through the tourist hot spot each year.

He then continued studying cocktail development with eminent mixologist Eben Klemm. In the meantime, he worked at Cookshop in Chelsea and Landmarc in Tribeca while investing his time under Klemm. His hard work soon paid off as he saw to the successful opening of the city’s then largest rooftop venue at 230 Fifth Avenue in 2006.

Colin Maxwell’s tenure at EMM Group then began in 2009, as the NYC hospitality company drew on his expertise to open its flagship eatery, Abe & Arthur’s, and oversee its cocktail program for two years. Maxwell has continued to grow with the company, helming the bars of EMM Group’s bi-level, 300+ capacity Meatpacking Hotspot, CATCH. Aside from serving as a primary muscle to EMM Group’s spirits program, he simultaneously teaches classes on spirits and cocktail history, as well as tasting and production.

His excellent success in concocting libations for NYC’s thirstiest tastemakers has certainly been recognized. During the 2011-2012 holiday season, Colin could be seen on all NYC taxi TVs explaining his signature cocktail, Clear Skies. He was also recently featured on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” as the segment’s mixologist.

Some of his signature drinks include:

• Irish Cereal Milk, made with Jameson, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Milk
• Kane, made with Deleon Diamonte Tequila, Pineapple, Sage Leaves, Bell Pepper Powder & Elemakule Bitters
• Iris, made with Vodka, Grapefruit Juice, Honey, Mint & Grapefruit Bitters
• Dirty Bastard, made with Jameson, Ginger Beer, Jamaican Rum, and Bastard Bitters
• DBB, made with Apricot-Guajillo Bourbon, Chipotle Tincture, and Lemon

What’s in the mixing glass or shaker:
The same thing as always: Whiskey! Smashes, Juleps and Sours to be exact.  Bourbon, rye and whiskey keep me cool in the summer months. I especially like adding a couple dashes of chocolate bitters to a Woodford Mint Julep.

What are some hot summer trends:
Day drinking! It’s 5 o'clock somewhere; am I right? With the sun up so late in the summer months, you've got to start early. Tecate is my latest brunch beer of choice. 

What are you sipping and why:


What are you dancing to while mixing:

Whenever The National or The Thermals come on I'll nod my head a little. Not much of a dancer. 

What are some quirks or quotes that you are known for:

When the tips are rolling in I like to say, "Everything is coming up Maxwell" 

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