A few months back, DOTW was lucky enough to sit down with Jacques Bezuidenhout, the brand ambassador for Partida Tequila. Jacques is an interesting fellow who is a master mixologist and tequila junkie. Not something that I would expect from a guy hailing from South Africa. Also, Jacques won the 2011 Brand Ambassador of the Year Award at Tales of the Cocktail. I imagine it being a little like being the Miss America of the cocktail world but I have to admit that I forgot to ask Jacques about. Here is our interview with Jacques Bezuidenhout.
How long have you been the brand ambassador for Partida?
I have been with Partida for five years. Before that, I worked with other companies in San Francisco. I helped open Tres Agaves, a Mexican tequila bar, and was there for a year as a bar manager when Partida approached me to become their brand ambassador.
How did it feel to win the Brand Ambassador of the Year Award at Tales of the Cocktail?
It felt amazing. The judges are my peers and great people in the industry, and it felt great to be recognized by them.
Where is your hometown?
Johannesburg South Africa.
What was your first drink?
Local beer and wine in South Africa. My first cocktails were Gin & Tonic and Campari & Soda.
What was your first bartending job?
I worked at a pub in London called the Irish Bank.
Favorite Place to drink Partida?
Tommy’s in San Francisco.
How did you end up in San Francisco?
I traveled around the United States on Greyhound buses. I loved San Francisco and ended up there.
Any tips for someone who wants to become a bartender?
Figure out whether you like people or not. When you work as a bartender, you don’t just stand there behind the bar and mix drinks. One of the most important things in being a bartender is to make your guests comfortable and feel welcome. Being miserable while making great drinks defeats the purpose of being a bartender.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com