Tap 42 Beverage Director Paige Nast Talks About Tricking Customers, Cosmos With Olive Juice

Categories: Rants
Tap 42 beverage director Paige Nast
For whatever reason the culinary industry as a whole tends to be a man's game. Of course there are many amazing female chefs and mixologists, but the ratios tends to lean toward the guys.

One local beverage director has turned that male-dominated stereotype on its head. At twenty-two years old, Paige Nast is leading one of the most intensive cocktail programs in Broward County at Fort Lauderdale's Tap 42.

Clean Plate Charlie: Hometown/high school?
Nast: Fort Lauderdale; St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

See also:
- Skittles Shots? Try Them at Tap 42
- Beer Pairing at Tap 42 to Feature "Super IPA" Mashup Rhizing Bines
- Bartender Q&A: Charles Steadman of Lantana Jacks on Scotch and Milk, Goldfish, and Thomas Keller

How long have you been in South Florida?
My whole life! I actually was born across the street from Tap at Broward General, and have been born and raised in Fort Lauderdale my entire life! I've very much become a product of my environment, and really can't imagine living anywhere other than South Florida.

How long have you been in the industry?
I've been working in restaurants since I was 15 years old. I started off as a bread-girl at 15th Street Fisheries, and worked my way through the ranks at a few different places, from hostess to server, than cocktail to bartender, and finally Beverage Director at Tap 42. I've learned so much from every establishment I've been lucky to be a part of and have met and worked with so many great people throughout the years. I love to be hands-on and be involved in every aspect of each establishment; I'm constantly in the way in the kitchen!

I knew I wanted to be a bartender when _______.
When I was working at Ocean Prime as a cocktail server, the head bartenders and I became close and we needed to replace a bartender that was leaving. I've always been very culinary inclined and loved experimenting with different flavors and the like, and as the cocktail program there was so culinary based, I always found the beverage program very interesting. When they approached me about training me behind the bar I was instantly excited and was fortunate to be mentored by two people who had a passion for mixology, and I instantly knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.

Favorite drink to make?
It's not as much a particular drink that I love to make. For me, and this may sound a little nefarious, I love tricking people, as in, when someone tells me "I hate gin" or whatever the spirit that they dislike may be, I come up with a cocktail that they usually end up loving, and when they ask what it is, I tell them HA, you don't hate ____, you're drinking it! It's just fun exposing people to new things.

Least favorite drink to make?
Any spirit and ______. I get that sometimes people want to enjoy old trusty and just stick to what they know and like, but I really love getting the opportunity to create something awesome and unique for my bar guests. Most bartenders would probably answer "Mojito" but the way I look at that is, it's just as many steps to make any other cocktail!

Strangest drink requested?
There's probably been a lot more that I can't think of at the moment, but a few recent odd-balls: Cosmo with olive juice (????), and a Bloody Mary with a splash of Guinness, which was surprisingly tasty, the Guinness actually balances the acidity and apparently its popular in the Midwest.

Location Info

Tap 42

1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

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