The tender: Mary Melton
The bar: P.F. Chang's China Bistro (multiple locations)
The pedigree: Melton found her first bartending job post-college, at an airport in Kansas City. After working her way around several bars and restaurants in that city, she moved to San Diego, where she ventured into restaurant and night club management. She became the beverage director for P.F. Chang's in 2005, managing all things liquid for the restaurants, including tea, coffee, beer, and cocktails.
How do you approach making cocktails?
I really love the classics, so I'll start with a lot of well-loved, classic drinks -- gin and tonic, dark and stormy. I really look for fresh ingredients too. It's a stock answer, but we squeeze all our own lemons, limes and oranges; we try to make everything as fresh as possible and really go after it quality-wise. I also like to do whatever's trending, and I travel a lot. You guys might know a lot about Phoenix, but I know a lot about the other bars out there. It's great to travel and see what other people are doing.
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