Bartending Tips from Park City’s Top Mixologist

You needn’t be an award-winning resort-town mixologist like Tupelo’s Trevor Brown to mix a decent drink. The back-to-back PCARA Cocktail Contest winner took a moment to share a few tips on crafting the kind of elegantly classic cocktails that will keep your next shindig from having the aesthetic of luau night in a frat house basement. Among other pearls of wisdom, Brown said, “It’s very easy to add too much sugar to a cocktail, so err on the side of a touch too bitter or citrusy and add more as preferred,” and, “Practice makes perfect.” There’s your excuse for the extra cocktail next Tuesday night. Tupelo: 508 Main St., 435-615-7700,

Three Classic Drinks It’s Time to Stop Messing Up

To mix like a pro, start by mastering these three standards.

Margarita “The beloved cocktail that’s often brutalized.”

  • 2 parts tequila
  • 1 part orange liqueur
  • 1 part lime juice
  • ½ part agave nectar

“A margarita needs a salted rim, so do that first. Shake the margarita in a tin shaker for 15 seconds, then pour it over rocks in the salted glass and enjoy.”

Manhattan “It’s a straightforward cocktail, but one that’s easily messed up.” 

  • 2 parts rye whiskey
  • 1 part vermouth
  • Dash of angostura bitters

“Put it in a mixing glass with just enough ice that the liquid covers it. Stir it up for a nice dilution to take the alcohol harshness out of it. Serve it up or on the rocks depending on preference with a lemon twist or cherry.”

Negroni “A cocktail drinker’s cocktail that’s boozy and bitter but goes down easy.”

  • • 1 part gin
  • • 1 part Campari
  • • 1 part sweet vermouth

“Stir in a mixing glass with ice for 10 seconds. Serve it in a rocks glass with a single large rock, if possible, and a twist of orange.”

Bar Essentials

Base Spirits

  • Rye Whiskey: “It blends better in cocktails and adds a little more depth with a spicy character.”
  • Vodka: “You’ll need it for light, easy summer drinks.”
  • Tequila: “A margarita never hurts.”
  • Gin: “A good, dry gin makes a big difference.”
  • Rum: “Start with a good Jamaican rum if you want to get a little crazy.”


  • Orange liqueur of any preference
  • Campari
  • Grenadine
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Sugar cubes
  • An orange & a lime
  • Angostura bitters

See all of our bar coverage here.

Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

Similar Articles