Steve Huddleston is part of the Louisville Chilled 100 Market.
He has over 10 years of experience and has dedicated his career to working with brands that have a passion to elevate the dining experience.
Huddleston is constantly pushing himself to understand and learn new trends. He is the author of two beverage books, most recently a book titled “Batch Cocktails.” He focuses on increasing awareness of mixology in the South Eat and consults brands and bartends for VIP private events. Huddleston is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, honorably serving in Operation Iraqui Freedom.
What is your go-to cocktail?
“My go-to cocktail is an old-fashioned. While it is a simple beverage, its simplicity is what makes it so amazing. I like to throw a little curveball and do my old-fashioned a little bit differently. When I do an old-fashioned, I personally reach for a Reposado Tequila. This creates an old fashioned that is not so heavy on those warmer days, has a bit of a different bite, and still gives you those aged-whiskey notes.”
What are your favorite cocktail trends?
“My favorite cocktail trends in the past and present are the applications of shrubs & gastriques especially used in non-alcoholic variations. My current favorite trend is getting into the applications of fermented ingredients and dabbling into my book “The Noma Guide to Fermentation.” Amazing read!”
Do you have any unique skills/ what separates you from other bartenders?
“I have an extremely fast shake that people have told me I should attempt a Guinness Record. I love to compete in national competitions because I am able to create amazing cocktails based on any parameter in very short time constraints and have done very well over the years and hope to land my first national or world title in the near future.”
What cocktail ingredient could you not live without using?
“Sugar. Sugar is one of the first and main ingredients used in defining the first cocktails. Sugar does amazing things for cocktails and bringing flavors out of things like in shrubs and oleo sacrum’s.”
What ingredient is overrated?
“St. Germain or anything elderflower. It has become the cocktail’s new truffle oil.”
What’s one piece of advice you could have given yourself when you first started out as a bartender?
“Read, don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you don’t get the answer you want, find the answer yourself. Never settle for something just because someone says that’s how it is. The greatest cocktail trends happened from the people that constantly thirsted for knowledge and something new. They never just settled for what was the current norm.”