Cocktails & Spirits

Bartender Q&A: Sean O'Brien of Pistache French Bistro on the Pope and His Favorite Local Bartenders

There's something about a French Bistro that just makes you feel nostalgic -- like you should be sipping on fancy cocktails in the Jazz Age in Paris.

Hey, it's nice to let your fantasies run wild.

Fortunately, dreamers of days past, there's always Pistache. If the art nouveau-inspired decor isn't enough, beverages created by bartender Sean O'Brien will surely take you back.

So, we decided to do a Q&A with the superhero bartender to find out more about his favorite bartenders, favorite beverages, and least favorite customers.

See Also:

- Bartender Q&A: PB Catch Bartender Nick Scalisi on the Science of Drinking and Sad Synchronized Swimming

- 13 Even: Small Plates, Craft Beer, and Wine in Wilton Manors (Photos)

Clean Plate Charlie: Hometown/ High School?

O'Brien: Boca Raton, Boca Raton High

How long have you been in South Florida?

24 years

How long have you been in the industry?

20 years

I knew I wanted to be a bartender when _______.

I was 22, a line cook at Big City Tavern. The bartenders used to count their money in the kitchen when we closed together. Curious one night, I asked my friend how much money she made. The next day I told the chef I wanted to work behind the bar.

Favorite drink to make?

Too many to name.

Least favorite drink to make?

A gibson -- I don't like touching cocktail onions.

Strangest drink requested?

Equal parts Rumple Minze, Black Haus, Gold Schlager, Jaeger, and 151 -- yuck!

What's your favorite spirit?

Right now, gin is my favorite to mix with; it's making a comeback and becoming very sexy.

What's your favorite thing to drink after work?

I'm happy with a cold shot of Jaeger.

What is your favorite place to drink after work?

Grease: great selection of spirits combined with an awesome staff.

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

"Excuse me, can you feel my shirt and tell me what material this is? It's boyfriend material!"

The worst?

"Do you want to be a kept woman?"

If someone comes in and orders a ______, you instantly think ______ about them.

A hot tea, they're high maintenance

Biggest pet-peeve while working?

Customers asking for free drinks

Who is your favorite local bartender? Any why?

Eric Whitehead, he's currently working at Bobbi Sue's. I was his bar-back for years. He showed me the ropes and how to deal with almost any situation behind the bar.

If I wasn't a bartender, I would be a ______.

A superhero

Favorite kind of bar customer?

Those who pay with a black Amex.

Least favorite kind of bar customer?

The one who comes in during peak hours and wants to have a sample of everything.

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

It would be a shot of Patron for the Pope; he looks like he needs it.

Favorite thing about bartending?

The interaction with the guests and you never know who will sit at your bar.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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Sara Ventiera