March 2015 Bartender of the Month: Nectaly Mendoza
Name: Nectaly Mendoza
Establishment: Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas
Herbs & Rye is a Pre-Prohibition-style cocktail bar and late-night lounge plus a cozy, Old Vegas dining experience. Bartenders including owner Nectaly Mendoza mix up classic cocktails amid the velvet wallpapered dining rooms and bar, black leather booths and twinkling chandeliers.
Upon its opening amid the recession on December 15, 2009, Herbs & Rye would not have survived its first three years without the perseverance and passion of Mendoza and his staff. Things got so challenging in 2011 that Mendoza had to sell his car to make payroll.
Today, Herbs & Rye continues to produce the very best beverage program available under the direction of Mendoza. They lead by example and set the precedence for all others to follow. They seek perfection in every aspect of the beverage industry. Mendoza has a passion and commitment to delivering the finest libations to date with his team.
“Herbs & Rye is where you have a cocktail and say, ‘That’s how it’s supposed to taste,’” Mendoza says. “It doesn’t matter if I like my Hemingway daiquiri with sugar. We have to make it the right way. We have to go by the book and understand how the American palate was drinking at those times. Our education needs to never end.”
Why did you become a bartender?
I always have loved everything about being behind bars so it was natural and what I wanted.
What are some fun flavors you’re working with?
I am working with everything right now from Yuzu juices to Slurpee machines. I am always sure to explore every avenue.
What are you doing different from the norm in your beverages?
You know, we really, more than anything put a lot of pride into what we do. I believe that’s the secret ingredient.
What’s in the mixing glass or shaker for your customers?
Whatever cocktail they wish to experience.
What are you sipping on and why?
I’m a very big Rye drinker but I mostly drink for the moment and time so it depends what I am doing or who I am with. That will dictate what is in the glass!
What are you dancing to while mixing?
I don’t dance...I boogy. LOL
What are some quirks/quotes you are known for?
LIVING THE DREAM!!
What role does beer play in your job as a bartender/server?
It plays a great role within our beverage program. I really feel we are having a huge beer boom right now and people are really starting to enjoy craft beers. It’s really making many bartenders increase their knowledge, including myself.