It’s time for us to take you behind the bar with AZ Mixologist and the Merc Bar’s newest face, Micah Olson. The young pioneer has been mixing drinks around the valley since his college days at ASU and even has a Sommelier’s certification under his belt. So what drives a man to pursue a career in cocktails? Find out in our tell-all Q&A.
Micah Olson got his start working at a sports bar in South Dakota at the tender age of 17, but it was his experience working at some of Arizona’s most famous restaurants during his college years that sparked an interest in high end wines. After bouncing around the restaurant scene and earning his Sommelier’s certificate, Micah made the transition to behind the bar and thus one of the state’s most innovative mixologists was born.
How did you make the transition from Sommelier to Mixologist?
Sommeliers and mixologists are actually a lot closer in nature than most people think. You analyze and taste spirits in almost the same way and also need to do lots of research to keep up with the changing trends.
It started off about four years ago when I started to fill in bar shifts to help out a friend who needed some unexpected time off. During this time the Sanctuary hired a mixologist out of Portland to train and educate the bar staff. The mixologist, Ryan Magarian, opened me up to the endless possibilities that the cocktail world offered.
It wasn’t only this but the fact that I actually got a chance to create. »READ MORE