By Frank Sabatini Jr. / Photo by Kristina Yamamoto
San Diego native Trevor Easter is a rock star behind the bar. The former professional wakeboarder and drummer of S.D.-based punk revival band Off By One - which toured the nation, played the VANS Warped Tour and opened for Jewel, among other stars - set the tone for an illustrious bartending career that began at Henry's Pub in the Gaslamp. Easter was 21 years old at the time.
"I was making really bad margaritas and totally blowing it," Easter says, "But that's where I learned to make party drinks like Sex on the Beach and Surfers on Acid. Every bartender has to go through those steps. Otherwise they miss a part of drinking culture."
Easter eventually floated over to downtown's original craft cocktail hub, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, where his coworkers included celebrity mix-masters the Stanton Brothers and Anthony Schmidt. (Schmidt would go on to open Noble Experiment as general manager.)
Easter's drink-making path would soon lead him north. While working at The Shady Lady in Sacramento, he discovered what he describes as "the nerdy world of classic cocktails." Next, he managed the acclaimed Rickhouse in San Francisco, which was named Best High Volume Cocktail Bar at the Fifth Annual Spirit awards in 2011.
While these names might mean little to non-cocktail buffs, they mean a lot to the biggies in the beverage game, including Beefeater Gin and Plymouth Gin - companies that, in 2012 hired Easter to travel the world as their brand ambassador.
After "pickling my liver with gin," Easter returned to San Diego and struck an agreement with Consortium Holdings to supply its local ventures (currently nine of them, including Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, Soda & Swine, Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar, Polite Provisions) with bar syrups and cold-pressed juices.
Shortly thereafter, Easter would receive an offer to become GM at Noble Experiment, the still hidden (despite the secret's being out) bar behind a false wall of kegs inside Neighborhood in East Village.
"I'm taking many of the techniques I learned from traveling and integrating them at Noble," Easter says. "The opportunity will allow me to cultivate young, talented bartenders who are all fired up for success."
Marching to the beat of a different drum took Easter around the world and back, which makes it a high time to get amped for a new tippling tempo at Noble Experiment. Cheers!