The Brew Project, located in Hillcrest, is the spot to check out if you’re looking for local brews, spirits, wine and gourmet eats. They have an extensive list of brews and cocktails, but the drink that everyone is talking about now is the smoky, spirit forward cocktail, Outlaw Heart.
Watch as the lead bartender of The Brew Project, Jacob Cumiford, makes the Outlaw Heart.
Did you grow up in San Diego?
I was born and raised in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. I moved to San Diego in 2006 to see what the Mainland had to offer, and I’ve been here ever since.
How did you get into bartending?
My first job in San Diego was a bar back position at Moose McGillicuddy’s. Back in 2006, that was one of the hotspots. After a few months, I got promoted to bartender and fell in love with the craft. Over a 10-year span, I’ve worked with knowledgeable, passionate bartenders learning everything I can and developing my own style.
What’s your favorite cocktail?
The Mai Tai. I grew up in the islands, and it reminds me of home. Don the beachcomber, Trader Vic and Beach Bum Berry are a few of my heroes.
Any bartenders in the community that you look up to?
Jen Queen is my girl. I’ve learned so much from her and she helped push me to expand my creativity. Shout out to Abraham Jimenez and Matt Fallows!
When you’re not mixing drinks, what are you doing on your spare time?
Music is a big part of my life. I’ve been writing, recording and performing since I was a kid. I also enjoy traveling, martial arts and laughing with my wife.
- 1.5 oz. Old Harbor Gin
- .5 oz. Xicura Mezcal
- .5 oz. sweet vermouth
- .5 oz. dry vermouth
- .25 oz. Benedictine
- Garnish with a lemon twist
What’s the origin of the The Outlaw Heart?
“Outlaw Heart” is the title to one of my favorite Tiger Army songs. The first time I heard it, I was sitting at a campfire drinking gin. I wanted to recreate the memory.
How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?
It is a spirit-forward cocktail, balanced with notes of citrus and a smokey finish.
What is the key component in this drink?
I would say the key component of this cocktail is gin. We are pouring Old Harbor, which is a local distillery. This gin has a variety of southwestern botanicals, lime, cucumber, cilantro, sage and more that are all locally grown.
What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?
They are usually shocked! It sounds like straight booze, which it is, but the way the spirits complement each other, it goes down smooth.
How does the sweet and dry vermouth contribute to the taste?
The vermouth rounds out the intensity of the spirit.
What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?
This cocktail can be enjoyed as an aperitif. The complexity of the cocktail excites the palate. If I was to pair it with food, I would do it with “The Havana,” which is our play on a Cubano sandwich.
What kind of experience can someone get at The Brew Project?
“A San Diego brewery tour under one roof.” Our concept is to highlight San Diego’s amazing talent, local breweries and local distilleries. Support local!
The Brew Project
3683 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest.
(619) 795-7890 or thebrewproject.com
Jarnard Sutton is a multimedia producer for DiscoverSD and San Diego Union-Tribune. He loves providing readers with updates on music and events happening in San Diego. You can follow Jarnard on Twitter at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and entertainment. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain or @thenardcast