Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Frank Cisneros
The bar manager at New York’s acclaimed Uchu restaurant tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “Miller High Life and a shot of Powers Irish Whiskey.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “The Replacements: “Unsatisfied” when heard at Sophie’s in New York’s East Village.”
What drink should be banished and why? “There’s a time and place for everything. Even the stupid ones.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “A Daiquiri at Milk & Honey, which was made by Alex Day in 2004 or 2005.”
What book on cocktails or spirits is your go-to resource? “The Flavor Bible, it’s awesome because it has dominant, primary, and secondary pairings for everything. It makes me think about ingredients in a whole new way. It feels pleasantly mathematical, too.”
What’s your favorite bottle of booze that costs less than $25? “Campari.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “Japanese whiskey and chocolate.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The Martini on my current menu at Uchu—salted sakura and grilled pickled onion flower with Ki No Bi Japanese Gin.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “A cobbler shaker. No one ever has them, but they’re really elegant and you can shake drinks really hard with them.”
Frank Cisneros created the omakase cocktail program at New York’s acclaimed Uchu restaurant.
Interview has been condensed and edited.