FINO // Austin, TX
Bar manager Josh Loving of Fino is a spirited whiskey advocate with an eye for creativity and flexibility. Josh is looking forward to expanding his use of rum and tequila and is no stranger to working packed bars, just don’t ask him to “whisper vermouth” over your dry martini. He expects to see people become increasingly adventurous with lower proof spirits such as vermouth, sherry and port. We can’t wait to pay a visit next time we’re in Austin; we just hope he’s wrong about the fate of the world in 2012.
I walk into FINO for the first time, what signature drink do you recommend?
Oldest Fashioned–you get a choice of four spirits: rye, rum, apple brandy, or old tom gin. It’s a great jumping off point to get the feel for the cocktail program at FINO.
In the upcoming months, which ingredients are you looking forward to using?
Rum, Tequila & crushed ice.
Name the most recent drinking trend that’s caught your eye…
Low-proof cocktails and cocktail programs. People being creative with vermouths, sherries, ports & other lower-proof beverages to create cocktails when they can’t use spirits.
What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to drink orders?
It’s a tie:
1) Customers with excruciatingly specific instructions on how to prepare his/her martini that typically include some painfully tired cliché involving the use of vermouth.
2) Conspicuous consumption and fervent brand loyalty.
What’s the one spirit you can’t tend without and why?
Whiskey. It’s versatile and has the ability to mix with very few ingredients to make great cocktails.
Any predictions for what’s to come in 2012?
The world will come to an abrupt, but ecstatic end on Dec. 21.
Your most memorable night behind the bar was when…
My last night tending bar at a cocktail/dive bar on east 6th St. in Austin. It was a Saturday night and I was training a friend (who was a professional bartender, but this was just his 2nd shift at this bar). We got so ridiculously busy by 9pm, we had 45 minute ticket times for drinks. Customers had literally come in, waited, placed their orders for drinks and food, and walked out (frustrated I would wager) without getting anything. I’ve never worked in such a chaotic service environment before. My friend and I got to a point where we just laughed and joked about how utterly screwed we were.