Behind the Stick with Travis Enos of Bay Hill Tavern
I had the opportunity to swing by the new cocktail bar, Bay Hill Tavern, in Bay Park to feature their bartender, Travis Enos, and his signature cocktail called Self Care. I love what he's doing with the cocktail creations. If you haven't been yet, you have to check this spot out and grab a cocktail and some grub.
● 1.5 oz Silver Tequila ● 1 oz Pressed Lemon ● .75 oz House Ginger Syrup ● .75 oz Pressed Beet+Orgeat, 4:1 ● Garnish w/ Mint Bouquet + Lemon Peel
What's the story behind this cocktail?
Besides sharing its name with my favorite Mac Miller song, this cocktail is loaded with ingredients you might see on the label of that fresh-pressed detox juice that's been sitting in your fridge since you gave up on your New Year’s resolution. The idea is that we can be mindful in our choice of ingredients while still having a good time and without sacrificing intriguing flavor profiles. Rest In Peace, Mac!! If you had to pair this cocktail with a dish, what would you pair it with? Ideally, I would start my experience enjoying a Self Care and an order of our House Cut Chips & Guac. The saltiness of the dish would cut the rich mouth-feel that the beet & orgeat offer. Meanwhile, ginger acts as an apertif and prepares your taste buds and digestive system for the rest of your meal.
Watch as Travis Enos craves up his tasty libation called Self Care.
What kind of experience can diners expect with Bay Hill Tavern?
First and foremost, we are a community tavern and it is our mission to make our neighborhood feel comfortable and welcome. We were so fortunate to score the staff we currently have, day-in day-out they serve our community with what seem to be authentic smiles (it’s almost like they actually like their jobs...weirdos). Both our bar and kitchen strive to execute quality offerings that are well-built, functional, and fun. Our best sellers, whether from the bar or the kitchen, simply and humbly take classic recipes and add innovative and craveable twists.
About Travis Enos
Are you from San Diego? I was born and raised in Fresno, CA... look guys we made it on to the internets!! I woke up first-thing on my eighteenth birthday and drove straight here. How has your journey been leading up to your role at Bay Hill Tavern? I’ve been so blessed to be a part of some outstanding organizations. Shortly after college I decided that I may never pursue the Finance career that my degree was supposed to prepare me for. I was promoted to my first bartending position when I was with the beast that is barleymash and quickly fell in love. I began to consume as much knowledge as I could sink my teeth into via books, blogs, and unnecessary certifications.
How do you feel about the bar scene here in San Diego? I love the density and diversity of bars we have in a number of areas. There are very few cities in the U.S. that offer such great walkability from bar to bar and concept to concept and in countless neighborhoods. And I can’t say enough about all the world-class talent that our local bar women and men possess and the rate at which the community continues to progress. What's unique about the cocktail program at Bay Hill?
In my mind, its that we offer an elevated cocktail experience in a casual enviornment. No unnecessary frills, no pretentious egos, just well balanced and fundamentally sound cocktails that catch your eye and stimulate your palate. What's your favorite cocktail on the menu? If I had to choose just one of my sweet wittle babies to drink, it would be Man Of His Word. Its our take on an Old Fashioned that features a blend of two bourbons, Amaro Averna, Vanilla, Toasted pecan bitters, and Angostura bitters. Boozy, bittersweet and simple.
Define the perfect cocktail. There are many “perfect cocktails”, it really just depends on the context of the moment. However, each perfect cocktail is built fundamentally sound, with a flavor profile that awakens the palate, and is diluted enough, but not a drop more. What's your favorite drink to make behind the bar? Beer and a shot. Always and forever, any experienced (err, bitter??) bartender who says otherwise is a damn liar.
What's your favorite spirit? Oh man, I love all the spirits...You could say I’m spiritual. I think that answer will continue to grow and stay in flux as long as I keep learning and exploring. Presently, I’m sipping on any Amari I come across that I have yet to taste.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails? I stay growing hair like all the time, honestly I don’t think I ever stop, I just do it without even thinking about it these days. What's next for you? I am really appreciate the ownership group I’m currently working for and learning from. They’ve given me a lot of trust and creative control, all while taking the time and effort to show me the ropes of the business side of the industry that I continue to grow in. So, I’d really like to grow alongside this group of partners and become a key factor in the success of future concepts.
In the immediate future, I’m really excited to be invited to shake some tins at Polite Provision or a weekly guest spot through the end of the year during their Miracle pop-up.
Be sure to check out my 'Behind the Stick' page for more articles about bartenders and cocktail receipes.