Behind the Stick with Adele Stratton of Noble Experiment
Adele Stratton, lead bartender of Noble Experiment, is creating some amazing cocktails and continues to impress us with her new additions to the menu such as this tropical, bubbly libation called West Indies which was inspired by her trip to Martinique. We hung out with Adele and talked about her journey as a bartender and how to make her West Indies cocktail.
Cracks of salt 1 oz Clement White Rhum Agricole .75 oz fresh lime juice .75 oz house Falernum .50 oz coconut milk .25 oz alovera liqueur Topped with 1.50 oz champagne Garnished with pineapple fronds and grated nutmeg
What's the story behind the West Indies Cocktail?
After going to Martinique a few months ago I was really inspired to conceptualize a modern interpretation of a french 75 using influences from Martinique culture,a French Caribbean 75.
Describe the taste.
The taste is dry, tropical and bubbly. I wanted to showcase the Grassy Agricole Rhum but do it in a way that would be approachable to all pallets.
What's the key component of this drink?
The key component of this drink is the Rhum. The best cocktails are the ones that showcase the spirit rather than covering it up.
Watch as Adele shares the recipe to her West Indies libation.
What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?
The drink has been really well received by our clientele. We’re fortunate enough to get some really adventurous drinkers at Noble and a lot of them come in expecting to taste something unexpected.
If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with?
I could totally imagine drinking this cocktail on a beach while Barbecuing local sea food.
About Adele Stratton
Are you from San Diego?
Yes, I was born and raised in San Diego, specifically Ocean Beach.
How did you get into bartending?
I started working at the Pearl Hotel in 2008 right around the time that Noble Experiment Was opening up. It seemed like there was a huge surge in craft cocktails that year. I was fortunate enough to have friends who worked for Arsalun Tafazoli and Nate Stanton (The the founders of consortium holdings) and after going to Noble for the first time shortly after my 21st birthday and meeting Nate Staton, he helped get me a host position at Craft & Commerce when it first opened up. Over the years, I was able to work my way up from a host to eventually a bartender. I had some amazing teachers who I owe all of my success to.
What's your favorite thing about bartending?
Drinking. Just kidding. Working with my hands and making things. I love learning from my coworkers and learning drinks and techniques from them. Every day is different, every guest, every shift. It’s Impossible to get bored in such a creative stimulating environment. I love the interactions I get to have with the guests I serve. I love creating that experience. I take a tremendous amount of pride in that.
What's your favorite cocktail on the menu?
That's like asking who your favorite child is!! I like them all or else they wouldn’t be on the menu! We have a new one coming out on our next menu called a “Land Shark” that is dedicated to my father who passed away in August. It's a savory, relaxed and refreshing margarita variation. If I had to pick one, I’d say that's the one I’m the most proud and have a soft spot for. It tastes like Ocean Beach in a glass.
What's your favorite spirit?
Mezcal forever and always. I really enjoy Pisco and Agricole, but my heart will always belong to Mezcal.
Define the perfect cocktail.
The one that is in front of me.
Any local bartenders you look up to?
Eric “Shrimp Toast” Long is the best bartender in the city in my humble (but biased) opinion. I’ve watched him grow from a snotty little barback to a Tiki power house. I’ve seen him be put through the ringer in his career and he’s gotten to where he’s at now because of his tenacity and talent. I love people like that and they inspire me to be better at my own job. He’s also one of my dearest friends who I was lucky enough to bartend beside for several years at Noble.
What's the craziest thing you've seen while working behind the stick?
A woman getting naked during service. People get really excited when they realize our bar has no windows and a hidden door. They take the whole speak easy mentality a little too far sometimes.
If you're going out for a cocktail, what are some spots you like to go in San Diego?
I don’t go out that much anymore but I’ve been known to sit in the corner of Noble Experiment drinking margaritas. You can also usually catch me at Turf Club grilling myself a steak once in a while.
What do you love about the cocktail scene in San Diego?
I love watching these people I used to work with grow and develop their own styles. Our market is still so fresh and there is so much room for us all to learn from each other.
What advice would you give people who are seeking employment in the industry?
Get good teachers, be humble and learn your classics!
What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?
I'm usually hanging out with my kid, hiking or both.
What's next for you?
We’re working on some top secret projects next door to Noble. Aside from that, we’re coming out with a new menu soon which I’m extremely proud of.
777 G St., downtown San Diego. (619) 888-4713 or nobleexperimentsd.com
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