Growing up in small-town Minnesota, Bryan Galligos got his start rolling silverware at the same place where his mom waited tables for almost 30 years.

When he landed in Portland in 2012, he discovered what a difference craftsmanship could make. In the spring of 2015, Bryan had the opportunity to bartend at the Kimpton Hotel Vintage’s lobby-level Bacchus Bar. His creative approach to cocktailing is recognized and featured in various drink-focused media outlets.

Bryan Galligos

Bryan Galligos

For Bryan, there are many essential aspects to mixing a great drink. Like always measuring ingredients. “Recipes exist for a reason,” he says. “They are the result of hours of careful tweaking to give you the most balanced version of a cocktail.” He also believes glassware can make or break a cocktail. “Use the appropriate glass for the drink. A killer Daiquiri, for instance, feels a little lackluster when sipping it from a wine glass or a bucket. The glassware for each drink can be just as important as the recipe.”

But for Bryan, the pièce de résistance to crafting cocktails is the way it is shaken. “Wake it up!’ A mentor of mine once said, ‘We want to wake the drink up, not put it to sleep,’ meaning we shake vigorously until properly diluted and aerated, as opposed to lazily moving the shaker tin back and forth.