October 2015 Bartender of the Month: Noon Inthasuwan-Summers
Name: Noon Inthasuwan-Summers
Establishment: Bartender, Panama 66 - San Diego, CA
Recent Gigs: Noon Inthasuwan-Summers was voted Boston’s Best Mixologist 2012 by Improper Bostonian Magazine. She has had international recognition, ranking at #7 by Lonely Planet’s Guide 2011 to Top 100 Bars around the world for Umami Asian Bistro, where she was also a partner. She was the winner of The Woodford Reserve Boston’s Best Manhattan Competition 2014, winner of both Drambuie “Nail or Fail” competitions, the People’s Choice Award 2012, and BOIRON Boston Top 3 Mixologist, 2012.
Noon has been highlighted in multiple publications along with being the featured bartender at the Hawthorne, Brick & Mortar, Boston Wine Expo and Whisky Live. She was a cast member of the Wine Inside Out TV show, which has been syndicated in fifteen states nationally.
Her professional certifications range from a Certified Sake Professional with the Sake Education Council to a Certified Sommelier with the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommeliers to a BarSmarts certified Mixologist.
Why did you become a bartender?
Technically, I started bartending when I was in school to make extra cash. But growing up, I was always on "cocktail duty" for my Dad and at family gathering. We had a beverage cart in the dining room and it was nothing complicated - some spirits such as Whiskey, Bourbon and Rum with Sodas. My father's favorite drink was two fingers of Hennessy with two ice cubes and a splash of water. The first drink I made for my father was probably when I was eight. My first "tip" was at a family gathering on New Year's Eve when my father handed me a hundred bucks for performing my duty well.
What are some fun flavors you’re working with?
Pumpkin bitters, plums and cranberry shrub for the fall and winter season.
What are you doing different from the norm in your beverages?
I try to utilize ingredients that are being used in the kitchen. This helps to enhance the whole menu, provide the ease of beverage pairings and it’s also very cost effective.
What’s the next hot trend in mixology?
In my humble opinion, simpler cocktails but with more craft that goes into creating the ingredients as well as selection of local and handcrafted spirits. For example, house brining locally picked onions for a gibson that is made with a small batched gin.
What fall beer flavors brew up a great conversation with guests?
I am very fortunate to be working at Panama66 where we have some other great venues within the umbrella. Besides Panama 66, the owners also own some of the best beer bars in the country. One of the owners, Lee Chase, is a great Brewmaster. There was a great brew, Automatic Four Seasons, that he made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park and it featured fruits that could be found within the park, such as loquats and prickly pear.
What’s in the mixing glass or shaker for your customers?
Anything they ask for.
What are you sipping on and why?
Anything lower in alcohol. Like a Berliner Weisse or Riesling. I am still reveling in the joy of motherhood with a seven month old.
What are you dancing to while mixing?
Taylor Swift "Shake it Off"
What are some quirks/quotes you are known for?
"Take your drinking seriously"
To find out more about Noon by attending her session on Japanese Whisky and Sake at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show in March.