February 2012 Bartender of the Month: Andrew Wells
Name: Andrew Wells
Establishment Name: Maloney’s Uptown, Atlantic City (also a guest bartender at various establishments around Philadelphia and Atlantic City)
Recent Gigs: Starting as a dish washer at the age of 16, Wells has been a bartender and bar manager for 24 years. Currently the chief executive officer of Responsible Bartenders of America, Wells was listed in gaz regan's "Annual Manual for Bartenders, 2011" as one of the most fabulous bartenders in the world. He also was the 2010 winner and a three-time nominee of the "Top 40 Under 40" awards in Atlantic County, N.J. Additionally, Wells is the founder of the Atlantic City Bartenders' Ball, which he established to raise funds and spread awareness of designed driving and responsible drinking and service; Wells donates the ball's proceeds to the Hero Campaign for designated drivers. Wells takes pride in being a bartender and loves to be on stage behind the bar. He is neither a glass half full nor glass half empty kind of guy; instead, he "figures out how to make that 'glass' different so both sides of the timeless argument will be happy with their experiences." Wells looks out for other bartenders as well as their communities and would love to see the nightlife industry thrive by being positive, profitable and responsible while creating tasty treats for guests.
What’s in the Shaker: "Recently I have been playing around with the classics, putting a new dress on them if you will. My new favorite is a play on the Manhattan called the 'Madhattan.' It’s a spicy, yet smoky version of the classic with infused housemade bitters and a strange garnish of olives stuffed with spicy maraschino cherries soaked in Tabasco. The smokiness comes from the housemade bitters made with rye whiskey and assorted herbs and spices."
What You’re Sipping & Why: "Whiskey, whisky, whiskey and more whisky. I’ve stuck on the small distilleries that are making smaller batches. My favorite of late is the Swedish single malt whisky called 'Mackmyra' — nice oaky flavor with a hint of vanilla and dried cherries."
What You're Dancing to While Mixing: "I've been loving some Foo Fighters of late but I am happy with some good ol’ rock 'n' roll."
Quirks & Quotable: "Quirks? Too many to mention. Quotable? I tell my fellow bartenders to 'pretend that everyone who walks into the door is a dollar bill, and it is our duty to make that dollar bill what to jump into your pocket. Because if that bill wants to jump in there, he will surely tell all of his friends.' Meaning, make your guests feel as if they are family, make them feel like your day would not have been complete unless they came to see you. Needless to say, I am very fortunate to have a very big family."