Welcome to Up and Comers, a look at New Orleans hottest up and coming bartenders. Earlier this month, Eater asked some of our city's top bartenders for their suggestions on the best young crop of mixologists in town. All Cocktail Week long, Eater will be spotlighting the best of the bunch. Read on to find out about Twelve Mile Limit's Megan Devine.
Megan Devine is the senior bartender and assistant manager at Twelve Mile Limit, and her boss and mentor Cole Newton recommended her for a profile. She's been bartending at Twelve Mile Limit since 2012, adding that "Cole had to wait till I was 21 to hire me." Her youth and enthusiasm may desguise a cocktail brain that's always spinning, but nothing could disguise her love of what she does.
What ingredients and flavors in cocktails are you obsessed with right now?
One of the things I'm obsessed with right now is Sorel, it's kind of like an agave but with hibiscus. It's got some nice, rich fruity but not necessarily over the top fruit. Also, I've been using a lot of basil in my drinks. But that could also be due to our neighbor being overgrown with basil plants, and getting an ingredient for free. In the summer, I was doing a lot with crushed ice for snoball cocktails, which are a lot fun. One of the ones on the menu is called the Sno Chance and it is tequila and creme de cacao, coffee liqueur, and root beer extract, and it's topped with a branca mint condensed milk. It's like a dessert cocktail, only for the daring.
What cocktail books have influenced you the most?
The first cocktail book that I got was from [a co-worker], it was Punch [by David Wondrich]. He mixes a lot of history with present day, so you're not bored with the history, because he's getting you excited about why you're making it today. And I think punch is the precursor to cocktails, and punch is one of my favorite things to make, because you really can't go wrong. ‘Cause if you do, you just keep adding stuff. (laughs) It's really a win-win.
What do you see as the next trend in cocktails in New Orleans?
I know ice has been more of a bigger deal than I've ever realized. That has definitely come up more than once, and I like that we have three different types of ice. Also, I got this little snow crusher that produces shaved ice, and it's like my favorite thing in the entire world, I love it so much. And everyone was like, "ugh, why do we even have that here?" And now they all love it.
Local beers have been kind of more of like a hot topic lately. With all the new breweries - like, 40 Arpent just came out, and the other day, someone was asking, "what are your local beers?" We always keep Abita Amber on draft. And we have that milk stout from 40 Arpent that's just unbelievably good.
And mules - maybe it's because we have Huhu's on draft in house, so we get more ginger requests, but mules have been hot the last six months.
Best hangover remedy in three words?
Spicy bloody mary