JRDN, an upscale surf 'n' turf spot located inside Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach , is the perfect spot for dining and exploring the numerous options for libations. Watch as the lead bartender Armando Garcia makes this creamy, gin-based cocktail, Slo Mo Fizz.
Did you grow up in San Diego?
I did not grow up in San Diego. I grew up in very small town called, Coalinga, which is located in central California.
How did you get into bartending?
I've been in San Diego for 10 years now, working at JRDN most of that time and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. I got into bartending because I was chasing after a girl. We are now married, with an awesome pup, and a home in Clairemont (insert boy girl holding hands with dog).
When you're not mixing drinks, what are you doing on your spare time?
When I'm not bartending, I'm usually at the local gym tossing the weights around.
Slo Mo Fizz Recipe
- Egg white
- .75 oz. simple syrup
- .75 oz. lemon juice
- dashes of peach bitters
- 1.5 oz. Plymouth Gin
- .5 Sloe gin
- soda water
- Garnish: lemon peel
What's the origin of the Slo Mo Fizz?
The very first cocktail containing egg whites that I ever tried was the classic, Sloe Gin Fizz. I guess you can say it left an impression on me because of the uniqueness of its ingredients. One day as I was working behind the bar, I saw local legend Slomo cruise by on his roller blades. As he approached the bar, he looked over in my direction with his characteristic, yoga like, one leg stance, we locked eyes, and he gave me the thumbs up. It was right there and then that I knew what I had to do. I had to pay my respects to the man that is always in "the zone."
How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn't had this before?
The Slo Mo Fizz is actually a fruit forward cocktail, but also a balanced one. Making a balanced cocktail is essentially what separates a good cocktail from a great one. That is something I learned from great bartenders that I've worked with in the past such as, Juan Sanchez, Ryan Walsh, and Steven Tuttle. Not only are they incredibly talented bartenders, they are also very easy on the eyes. If there were to be some type of bartending beauty pageant we would have a very close 1st, 2nd, and 3rd- and that is one hell of a trifecta!
What would be the key component in this drink?
When I tell people the ingredients of the Slo Mo Fizz, I sometimes get a not so pleasant look, gin and egg whites? Which only adds to my enjoyment of seeing someone have a cocktail with egg mixed in for the first time. They think the cocktail is going to taste like egg, but it really doesn't. The egg just adds body to the drink, and it also gives a beautiful layer of froth. The key component in this cocktail is definitely the Slo Gin. Even though there's only half an ounce, it goes a long way. Slo Gins by nature, don't have much alcohol, usually 15 to 30 percent by volume. Therefore, I also used Plymouth gin, to give the cocktail some backbone, and also to raise the alcohol levels (insert smile emoji).
What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?
I would pair this cocktail with the pork belly. The acidity in the cocktail will cut through some of the richness in the pork belly. Also, the dark berry and plum flavors in the dish will also compliment the juniper, citrus and the herbaceous finish.
Tower23 Hotel, 723 Felspar St., Pacific Beach.
(858) 270-5736 or t23hotel.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