Behind the Stick with Andrew Goularte of Progressive Pours
Andrew Goularte is taking craft cocktails to a new level with his mobile bar concept called Progressive Pours. We talked about how he partnered up with his Uncle, Joe Goularte, to create Progressive Pours.
About Progressive Pours
How did the concept come about?
The craft cocktail bar has become a major force in the bar industry in America, if not the world, and it is only a matter of time until the craft cocktail experience is extended to the mobile bar industry. People naturally have asked me to bartend their parties throughout my bartending career; and after my experience with said events and attending events myself, I realized there’s a huge potential to increase the level of service and to create better tasting drinks more efficiently while still being on-the-go. So my business partner and I decided to build a mobile bar equipped with all the necessary tools to make our dream a reality.
What's the mission for Progressive Pours?
Our mission is to become the forefront company in the mobile bar industry and to be recognized for our innovative approach to serving cocktails with elegance and efficiency.
How complex are you willing to go with the libations?
As long as the ingredients called for can be attained by me, then the level of complexity has no boundaries. With that being said, in my experience, having very complex drinks only confuses guests. The menu becomes more like a novel and ultimately bar efficiency slows down immensely. I prefer menus to be streamlined with easily recognizable drinks that are done well.
This concept is clever, what type of clientele have you been catering to?
We cater to folks who are looking for more than just hiring a bartender. Our clients want to create a memorable experience for their guests and we want to give them something they haven’t experienced outside the reach of an actual bar. Whether it be a tiki party, wedding, or corporate Christmas party, we can cater to just about anyone.
How has San Diego been responding to this concept?
People have been amazed by the capabilities of our bar and mobile concept. San Diego already has a great cocktail scene, and people who attend those bars also want those style drinks at their events.
About Andrew Goularte
Are you from San Diego?
Yes sir, born and raised.
How did you get into bartending?
Was working as a barista at Mad Dogs Cafe and the opportunity came up to be a barback at Gaslamp's barleymash. I applied and landed the position. From there, I excelled rapidly among the ranks. I was promoted to bartender within a year and I haven't looked back since.
How has your journey been leading up to your role at Polite Provisions?
Couldn't have been any better. Learning how to barback in a high volume environment has taught me how to prioritize and be aware of what's happening in five different wells at once. Bartending in night clubs and beach bars has taught me how to move across the bar from left to right and execute multiple drink orders simultaneously. Now that I've been working in the craft cocktail scene for the last three years, I've had the chance to hone in on perfecting technique, being exposed to numerous different cocktails, and expanding my knowledge in the spirit world greatly.
Define the perfect cocktail.
Simple, yet unique and complex. I don't believe a great drink needs 7-10 ingredients, or rare and unusual ingredients. Rather, the perfect cocktail should give you immediate bliss and satisfaction with the first sip.
What's your favorite cocktail to make behind the bar?
My favorite cocktail to make behind the bar is an Old Fashioned. It only has three ingredients, allowing the whiskey to truly shine through and I love the satisfaction in a guest's face when they receive a properly made Old Fashioned. There is a beautiful yet fragile balance of bitter, sugar, and booze, and I enjoy the challenge of not messing that up.
What's your favorite spirit?
Whisk(e)y in all of its forms, it's a tie between bourbon, rye, scotch and Japanese whisky.
What is one thing you wish people understood about bartending?
I wish people understood that bartending can be viewed as a career, and is much more than just a side job to get you through your current situation. If you play your cards right, show love to those you work with and to whom you work among, then the industry can be very rewarding and will open doors to so many opportunities not found in other work places.
What should everyone stock in their home bar?
Cocktail books! I recommend people to have a respected cocktail book or two full of recipes and drink making information. Pick a drink at random and see if it's something you can recreate. Soon enough, your bar will be stocked with a full selection of bottles for you to experiment with at your leisure and maybe impress your friends when they're over.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?
What's next for you?
To build a bigger and better bar, capable of housing two bartenders for larger events.