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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Juan Sanchez of Hundred Proof

Photo Courtesy / Jarnard Sutton

Juan Sanchez, bar manager at Hundred Proof, is some what of a bar legend. The vet has been in the industry for over 14 years and has been creating some delicious cocktails for Hundred Proof once they opened its doors in Spring '17. We caught up with Juan to chat about his journey and his refreshing gin-based called Purple Drink.

Purple Drink


Photo Courtesy / Jarnard Sutton

1.5 oz Gin

.25 oz Creme de Violette

.25 oz Velvet Falernum

.5 oz Cocchi Rossa

.5 oz Simple Syrup

.75 oz Lemon Juice

Garnish: Lemon Peel

What's the story behind the Purple Drink?

It’s an extension of one of our current cocktails at Hundred Proof, the Pink Drink. We figured the Pink Drink was so popular that we had to give it a best friend.

Describe the taste.

The Purple Drink is a light refreshing “Collins” style cocktail that gets its flavor from the FEW Breakfast Gin, a domestic gin that has bright juniper notes with hints of citrus and Earl Grey tea. It's matched with the Creme De Violette, the cocktail is a great introduction to gin.

If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with?

Hundred Proof's fish tacos.

Watch as Juan Sanchez shows us how to make this gin-based, refreshing cocktail called the Purple Drink.

Video Courtesy / Nardcast Media

What kind of experience can guests get at Hundred Proof?

Unpretentious, friendly and welcoming.

About Juan Sanchez

Photo Courtesy / Jarnard Sutton

Are you from San Diego?

Born and raised in San Diego. How did you get into bartending?

I first started bartending in 2003 as a second job and quickly knew that bartending was what I wanted to do.

What's your thought process when creating a new cocktail?

I usually start by selecting a spirit of choice and figuring out how I can make a cocktail that will highlight the hard work and dedication it has taken someone to get that spirit behind my bar.

Define the perfect cocktail.

The one that makes the guest feel like they've picked the perfect cocktail for that particular moment.

What are some cocktail trends you are noticing in San Diego?

I see mezcal and tiki cocktails on more and more menus.

What is one thing you wish people understood about bartending?

That it makes for a great career.

What's your favorite drink to make behind the bar?

A classic Old Fashioned.

What's your favorite spirit?


What should everyone stock in their home bar?

Campari, sweet vermouth and gin. Lots of gin! What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?

Spending time with my daughter and my new baby, having dinner with my girlfriend and playing fetch with my puppies. What's next for you?

Hopefully a long vacation!

Hundred Proof

4130 Park Blvd., University Heights. (619) 501-6404 or

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