WASHINGTON -- With carefully groomed mustache, dapper suspenders and an invariably cool hat, J. P. Caceres is no ordinary bartender. Instead, this Bolivian law-student-turned-expert-mixologist strives to evoke a bygone, classier era, and remind revelers that they're living in what he calls the "Modern Golden Age of Cocktails."
Owner of D.C.-based Let's Imbibe Consulting, Caceres took a a break from mixing up mojitos for D.C.'s cool kids -- himself included -- to chat with The Huffington Post about the irrelevance of money, the charms of drinking solo and why a man should always smell of tobacco and whiskey.
Read the interview below ...
HuffPost: Where are you from?
J.P. Caceres: I was born in the heart of Bolivia, in a small city named after a Quechua word that means a prairie made out of nothing. I've been living in D.C. for the past 12 years.
HuffPost: You have a very unique style that goes beyond your outfits -- tell me about it.
Caceres: Thank you! I often get asked in the street if I'm working a party -- maybe people think I'm a clown. I play cards and smoke tobacco pipes and don't worry about money at all, unless I can’t pay for my tab. I traveled over 6,000 miles by train back in April just to try to understand the meaning of transportation back in the 1900s. We are living in the modern Golden Age of cocktails.
HuffPost: What's your favorite cocktail?
Caceres: I sip whiskey because a man is supposed to taste like whiskey and smell like tobacco (grandpa's words), but when it come to cocktails, it all depends in the time of the year. Right now I can go for a Plymouth Southside (a mojito with gin).
HuffPost: What inspires you?
Caceres: People and places. I'm a Gonzo-style bartender. I like to drink solo in the afternoon, bring my notepad and write about cocktails while I imbibe.
HuffPost: What's your favorite local place to eat?
Caceres: Oyamel. I worked with Chef Jose Andres for over five years and I'm still a big fan of his restaurants. Now, when it comes to grasshoppers and tequila, Oyamel is the best place in the city.
HuffPost: What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you on the job?
Caceres: I’ve seen lot of crazy things happening, and I’ve done some crazy stuff too, but I will do it the gentleman way: I will kiss but I won't tell.