Bartender Q&A: Jason Katsoulis of 3030 Ocean on Tequila and Milk and Mojitos

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For a little while there many restaurants served up great food and fantastic wine, but lacked in the mixology department.

Fortunately, we've moved on.

Beautifully prepared food deserves mind-blowing cocktails to start off the night. You'll find both at 3030 Ocean in the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. While newly returned Paula DaSilva cooks up a storm in the kitchen, head bartender Jason Katsoulis churns out a damned good drink out front.

We caught up with the amicable tender of bar to discuss tequila and milk (apparently, it's a thing), his strong aversion to mojitos (it's not for the reason that you think), and his favorite thing to drink after work (hint: he's got something in common with Ron Burgundy).

See Also: Ten Best Chefs in Broward County

Clean Plate Charlie: Where are you from?

Katsoulis: Haverhill, Massachusetts; been in South Florida since 2000, in the industry since 1998.

I knew I wanted to be a bartender when I realized I had a gift and a passion for creating new cocktails and that the money was really good! I used to love trying to figure out how a bartender mixed different flavors that worked so well together, so I decided to try my hand at it. It worked!

Favorite drink to make?

I love to make my Strawberry Basil Martini. It was the first drink that I made that actually got press coverage. I guess it is sentimental to me.

Least favorite drink to make?

Mojitos! It's not the muddling that most bartenders complain about, it is that there are so many new and interesting drinks to try. Try something new!

Strangest drink requested?

Tequila and milk. I made the server go back to the table to verify the order. Yup, that's what the guest had ordered!

What's your favorite spirit?

I love my single malt scotches, especially Glenlivet. I love how the flavors of each brand vary, unlike vodka or other spirits.

What's your favorite thing to drink after work?


What is your favorite place to drink after work?

My partner and I call it BrownKat House. That's where we live and I know we always have what we want in stock!

What's the best pick-up line you've heard at the bar?

I don't know if you know this, but you look a lot like my next girlfriend.

The worst?

Can I buy you a drink or do you just want the money?

If someone comes in and orders a Screw Driver, you instantly think they're underage.

Biggest pet-peeve while working?

Guests snapping their fingers

Who is your favorite local bartender?

Randy Brown. He's a bartender and we have shared our lives together for the past eleven years.

If I wasn't a bartender, I would be homeless; bartending is what I love to do.

Favorite kind of bar customer?

Funny and courteous

Least favorite kind of bar customer?

The ones that bang their bottles and scream my name. Why? I promise I see them; sometimes fast enough just isn't fast enough.

If you could make a drink for anyone, who would it be? And which drink do you think would suit them?

Marilyn Monroe. Champagne; such a bubbly person- she deserves it.

Favorite thing about bartending?

Every day is different. The guests change; the personalities change. You never know what you are walking into. Bartending never gets boring. All bartenders are performers; you just need to know what the crowd is that you are performing to.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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