Colin Maxwell of CATCHNovember 21, 2011
Bartender of the Year Entry
Name of Bartender: Colin Maxwell
Name of Bar: CATCH
Location: New York City, N.Y.
Square Footage: 14,000
Open Date: Oct. 1, 2011
Bartending wasn’t the obvious career choice for Colin Maxwell, but it sure runs in his veins now. Born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, Maxwell quickly found his way back to the Empire State to attend New York University for acting. Post-graduation however, Maxwell decided to dedicate himself full-time as bartender. Barely having wet his feet, he dove right in, serving up quality-crafted cocktails at luxe seafood eatery, Blue Fin in NYC’s iconic Times Square. It was here that his talent was immediately recognized and rewarded by Paula Villela, the first sommelier he worked under. Maxwell spent five years learning and refining his skill as he served the millions that passed through the tourist hot-spot each year.
Recognizing that possibilities were endless in the NYC nightlife scene, he decided to further polish his craft by studying cocktail development with eminent mixologist Eben Klemm. And while he began cutting his teeth at venues like Cookshop in Chelsea and Landmarc in Tribeca, Maxwell’s time invested under Klemm soon paid off as he saw to the successful opening of the city’s then largest rooftop venue at 230 Fifth Avenue in 2006.
Colin Maxwell’s tenure at EMM Group began in 2009, as the NYC hospitality company drew on his expertise to open its flagship eatery, Abe & Arthur’s, and oversee its cocktail program for two years. Maxwell has continued to grow with the company and feels right at home helming the bars of EMM Group’s bi-level, 300+ capacity, newly opened restaurant, CATCH. Aside from serving as a primary muscle to EMM Group’s spirits program, he simultaneously teaches classes on spirits and cocktail history, as well as tasting and production.
He may be busy concocting libations for NYC’s thirstiest tastemakers, but you can catch Colin Maxwell this holiday season on all NYC taxi TVs explaining his signature cocktail, Clear Skies.
Some of his signature drinks include:
• Irish Cereal Milk, made with Jameson, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Milk
• Allen Poe, made with Bourbon, Maple Syrup, Bitters, and Lemon
• Clear Skies, made with Gin, Dimmi, Dry Vermouth, and a Grapefruit Twist
• Dirty Bastard, made with Jameson, Ginger Beer, Jamaican Rum, and Bastard Bitters
• DBB, made with Apricot-Guajillo Bourbon, Chipotle Tincture, and Lemon