Devour Phoenix is looking for the number one bartender with the Third Annual Bartending Competition hosted at the Vig Uptown, Wednesday March 7 at 6:00 p.m. Twelve of the Valley’s best will be going head to head to claim the title of Top Bartender. Using locally distilled Arroyo Vodka to create signature cocktails, who will be triumphant? One strong contender is Joshua James of Parlor Pizzeria. For this 120 Seconds we had to opportunity to talk to James and learn what’s he’s drinking, 3 rules every patron should adhere to, and more.
DLT: What makes you AZ’s greatest bartender
Joshua James: A healthy dose of humility.
Your favorite drink to make?
My favorite drink to make is a rye old fashioned.
Least favorite to make or serve?
My absolute least favorite to drink to make is a Bloody Mary. The smell of tomato juice makes me cringe.
List three dont’s that every bar patron should adhere to
1: Please stop yelling at your friends, they are right next to you.
2: A Bloody Mary is not a drink to be consumed at 8pm. This has to be an unwritten social law somewhere.
3. Please don’t ask the bartender to “surprise” you with a drink and then inform them you don’t like gin after the fact!
What’s the most difficult drink you can make?
There aren’t too many cocktails that really hard to make, just those that are time consuming.
Are you a fan of the movie Cocktail?
Who doesn’t enjoy a retro Tom Cruise movie?
What’s the proper tip per drink?
Every bartender loves a 20% tip, but I don’t get offended when I receive less.
What’s your favorite drink to enjoy?
I love to drink bourbon in any form.
Favorite bar around town besides the one you work at?
I thoroughly enjoy a multitude of dive bars, my favorite being the Shelter in Tucson. Any bar that mimics a bomb shelter and has rows of pickled snacks is the place for me.
Why did you get into tending bar?
I got into bar tending at the tender age of 21. I guess it was the intimacy with the patron that intrigued me the most.