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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Jess Stewart of Fort Oak

Jess Stewart, bar manager at Fort Oak, returns to Behind the Stick to feature her tasty cocktail called Fairlane.

I'm so happy and proud to see Jess providing her creativity behind the bar at Fort Oak. They are so lucky to have her creating an impressive bar program.


1.5 oz London Dry Gin 1oz grapefruit 0.75 oz lemon 0.50 oz St. Germain 0.50 oz Prosecco syrup Grapefruit Twist, Served up in a coupe

About Jess Stewart

Are you from San Diego?

I moved to San Diego three and a half years ago after falling in love with the city during a vacation here.

How has your journey been leading up to your role at Fort Oak?

Before opening Fort Oak, I worked at our sister restaurant Trust, as a bartender, and was really inspired by the passion put into the food there. Fort Oak has given me the opportunity to work on and develop new techniques and flavor profiles.

What's your favorite cocktail on the menu?

Mercury is currently my favorite menu cocktail. I use our wood fired grill to roast pineapples and make a syrup for this daiquiri variation. There are two rums as the base, a West Indies Blend and a aged Agricole.

Define the perfect cocktail.

The perfect cocktail is balanced. It doesn't taste like an individual ingredient, but the sum of all this parts and transforms into something new.

What are some cocktail trends you are noticing in San Diego? The use of savory ingredients is definitely starting to be apparent and that is inspiring!

What is one thing you wish people understood about bartending?

Bartenders are not only serving you, but is also creating a product. It’s the reason I feel in love with the job.

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

Daiquiris all day, a classic!

What's your favorite spirit?

Rhum, fermented sugar cane juice from the island of Martinique. It has such bright notes, but is also savory and vegetal. It's great in a daiquiri or a 50/50 martini.

What's your favorite liqueur ?

Amaro is my favorite and am excited that we are hand shaving ice to serve it on.

What should everyone stock in their home bar? A julep strainer is my favorite bar tool. I can be used for anything and often comes in handy for uses it wasn't originally designed for. What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?

I own a small candle company, Ms. Wick's Wares. I make soy candles in vintage glassware.

What's next for you?

More educational vacations to learn more about spirits, the places and culture surrounding them.

Click here for more Behind the Stick articles.

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