Where else? 
 CIARAN WIESE, Mixologist
You can teach anybody how to make a drink, but to teach
January 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 1                                                           the craft of hospitality is a lot different.


James Beard Best Chef:
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Executive Sous Chef
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See what Mixologist Ciaran Wiese has to say about making bitters on FOODIES WEST's Facebook page.

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Synopsis: Ciaran Wiesse, Mixologist, Agustin Kitchen, Tucson, Arizona

Ciaran Wiese had many career aspirations before he landed on libations—animator, voice acting, art, culinary school. At the time he mulled around the idea of going to culinary school, Wiese waited tables at Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights, New York. That’s when he started thinking about the bar. “The bartender there, Damon Dyer, was basically my mentor,” Wiese explained how he went from food server and prospective chef to lover of libations. “He gave me that spark.” Dyer’s bar wasn’t Wiese’s first brush with libations. When Weise was a busser at Cuvee in Tucson, his very first job, he discovered absinthe. He, as often happens with people heading in the right career direction, landed a plum job at Barrio Food and Drink where he transformed the beverage program. Then he got an offer to open Scott & Company, Tucson’s first actual cocktail lounge. He started getting some high-profile attention with the New York Times, CNN and Food & Wine magazine. “It was my baby,” Wiese said about Scott & Co. “I trained the staff the first two years it was open. That was a place I could do more inventive things.” “I’ve been lucky enough to work beside some of the best mixologists in the world,” Wiese said, and then named Dale de Groff and Tony Abou-Ganim. “I was bar-backing for them, basically. “Rachel Maddow,“ Wiese said. “Just because she loves cocktails. She likes the old style cocktails. She loves Sazerac. I’d probably make her a very classic Sazerac. She’d be a good person where we could sit down and talk shop around the bar. And we could kind of play around with things. She speaks the lingo as well.” The Cormack McCarthy fan, who “was raised on the Lord of the Rings” and named Dune as his favorite book, would opt for a scene from a Tom Robbins novel at his bar. And if Audrey Hepburn—his choice between she, Sissy Hankshaw or J-Law—sat down at the bar, he’d just watch.