Adam doesn’t fit the typical mold of a bartender– he’s more of a laid-back family guy, and these days you’re more likely to find him on the golf course with his 5-year-old son, Samuel, than throwing back tequila shots. That’s what his regulars at Teton Pines love about him, though– he’s down to earth, and he keeps it simple. You won’t catch Adam swigging trendy IPA’s or craft ales; he’s a fan of Pacifico on draft with a burger and fries. The Pines’ cocktail menu reflects his no frills, tried-and-true sensibility– sometimes all you need is a couple classic ingredients when 5 o’clock rolls around.
Adam’s Quick Six
Years Behind the Bar: 15
Spirit Animal: vodka
Quittin’ Time Cocktail: raspberry green tea, vodka and lemonade
Hangover Cure: Colorado bulldog (white Russian with coke)
Best Tip Ever Received: the hundred dollar handshake
Mixologist Mantra: don’t be afraid to make a bad drink!
So, are you saying you’ve made some bad drinks?
(laughs) I’ve made plenty of bad drinks… there’s error in trial and error. That’s how you learn. If you want to bartend or just make better drinks at home, don’t be afraid to mess up. And buy “The Bartender’s Bible.” It has everything you could ever want to know in it.
How did you get your start behind the bar, and what are your future plans?
I started bussing tables at the Million Dollar Cowboy when I first moved to Jackson 22 years ago, and worked my way up to server and then to bartender. Let’s see… no plans, that’s how I fell into bartending! I’m gonna keep doing it for the foreseeable future, I’ve been at the Pines for 13 years now and I’m content. I like the people I work with, and working at a country club you serve a lot of the same people, and you know what they want.
What keeps you in Jackson?
I grew up in a small town, so I’ve always had that small town feel. My question is, why would you leave? …I want my son to grow up here.
When you’re not behind the bar, what do you do to blow off steam?
I got a job at the Pines to golf, so I enjoy doing that, and I bring my son with me a lot. I play softball in the summertime for the Cutty’s team, it gets pretty fun. I’ve got battle scars. It’s just a bunch of 10 year friends playing softball. We show up before the game, have a few beers and it’s a great chance to hang out with the fellas.
What do you love so much about vodka?
It’s just a clean spirit. You can infuse it easily, and you can mix flavors, like citron and mandarin, to create a whole new taste. We make our own huckleberry vodka at the Pines, which goes great with lemonade and soda water. It’s really simple: we just take a bunch of huckleberries and a little bit of vanilla and let it sit in the vodka for a few days. Muddling the berries first will give it a nice, deep color.