All Natural Mixmasters with Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
Living in Southern California, I love creating tart refreshing drinks for guests and riffing on a classic like the Lemon Drop with Bärenjäger was perfect for this cocktail. Honey, blueberries, and lavender are a match made in heaven. The cocktail is bright, sweet and super refreshing. It’s also easy for everyone to make at home and that’s important now, right?
The Blue Baron
By Antonio Gonzalez
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 oz. Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
- 6 blueberries
- 2 lavender blossoms
Preparation: Muddle blueberries in a tin then add the remaining ingredients. Shake for 5-8 seconds and double strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with 2 blueberries and a lemon twist.
Meet Antonio Gonzales
CHILLED 100 Member, San Diego
I started mixing at a very young age at home in San Jose. Raised by a single mom, I needed to learn to cook dinner regularly and I discovered that I loved putting flavors together. With a little help from my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I became adept at cooking and enjoyed putting my own twist on recipes.
Soon I began cooking for friends and loved seeing their faces light up when they took the first bite. My mom said I should be a chef, but as I got older, I never envisioned making a career of it. When I got to college, I needed some extra cash, so I took on a bartending gig in La Jolla, Ca. Now, years later, I’m still behind the bar mixing flavors and doing what I love most. Despite studying to be a teacher, I just could not bring myself to walk away from the bar scene and I have been hooked by the people and the lifestyle for over 20 years.
I found my calling as a mixologist while working at the Ivy Hotel in San Diego. Management asked if I’d be willing to do a class for guests to show them how to create a cocktail from scratch using fresh ingredients. I jumped at the opportunity instantly. At that time, I admit that I was by no means experienced enough to be a mixologist, but confidence and my ability to connect with guests helped me succeed. To my surprise, my classes quickly gained a following and guests were making reservations just to come and learn more from me!
Next chapter was at the Se Hotel’s full mixology nightclub, where I got my hands on molecular mixology chemicals. I credit this experience for recharging my career, and it boosted me to become a true master of the craft. I improved my mixing ability even more and competed every chance I got, from the Nations World Flair Bartending Championships in Las Vegas, to the annual San Diego Spirits Festival to Lustau’s Solera Standout finals in Spain, even to Puerto Rico where I was a finalist for Bacardi Legacy.
Currently, you can find me stirring up some of San Diego’s most renowned cocktails at the Stake Chophouse & Bar in Coronado.