Cheers to Two Pasadena Bartenders

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | 4:47 am

Zulma from Kings Row Gastropub

Today is World Bartender Day. It’s more than just another reason to belly up to the bar, it’s a chance to get to know the people behind your craft cocktails.

“It’s cool being behind the bar – growing up you always want to be the bartender,” said Zulma, the bartender and manager at Kings Row Gastropub.

Zulma from Kings Row Gastropub

When Zulma first returned to Los Angeles from she didn’t know what cocktail to order. Now, she’s recommending them to patrons at Kings Row Gastropub.

After she had her first “real” cocktail at age 22, Zulma says “it was love at first sight.” She worked her way up through the bartending ranks and “asked a million questions along the way” until landing at Kings Row three years ago.

From there, she immersed herself in cocktails and the world of craft beer. Zulma constantly writes down a list of new recipes and is currently perfecting the spring menu. When creating cocktails, she tends to favor drinks with fewer ingredients but uses flavors that pack a punch like homemade green apple syrup.

Her favorite part of the job is giving people that “perfect” cocktail and encouraging them to try something new. “It’s exciting to try different flavors,” she said. “I tell people if they don’t like [the new drink I suggest], then I’ll make them a new one but honestly, that’s never happened.”

When she goes out, Zulma likes to look for adventurous drinks and recreate old drinks using mezcal and rum – two liquors she feels are underused in the bartending world. In fact, her current favorite drink is a Mai Tai with fresh mint.


For more seasonal cocktails visit Kings Row Gastropub is located at 20 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena. Call (626) 793-3010 or visit for more details.


Peter from The Raymond 1886

Peter from The Raymond 1886

Peter started bartending in Sydney, Australia and had to re-learn all his cocktail recipes when he started working at The Raymond. He trained with Marcos Tello twice – once using is dominant hand and a second time with his non-dominant hand – and has over 1,000 recipe sin his mental cocktail book.


“It’s about the experience as much as the drink” said Peter.

He focuses on intense flavored but is sensitive to other people’s preferences. As The Raymond’s Bar Manager, his claim to fame is crafting the cocktail of your dreams based on just a few questions. Cocktail skeptics beware – he may just make a whiskey (or tequila or rum) convert out of you.

“We build these custom cocktails from one piece of information – it’s great working with people that way – they really trust you to make their drink. The best part is when you just make something that blows them away,” he said.

Peter and the bar team work diligently to craft seasonal menus and make each drink a work of art. From the delicate disks of lime to meticulously measured bar spoons, each ingredient matters.

“We draw inspiration from Japanese culinary arts, especially the attention to detail that sushi chefs have,” he said. “Even one bar spoon of an ingredient can make a cocktail a difference to make a great cocktail.”

Although he’s willing to whip up anything that may strike your fancy, his drink of choice is Ti Punch. Peter says he loves the cocktail for its simplicity and robust flavor.

He uses two ounces of Clement Rhum JM, a disk of fresh lime and two bar spoons cane syrup to make this drink. It’s a built cocktail rather which means it’s neither shaken nor stirred.

“When you squeeze the like disk the lime juice and oil from the peel really bring out the rum’s flavored,” he said.

Get schooled in cocktails and treat yourself to a custom cocktail or two. The Raymond 1886 is located at 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena. Call (626) 441-3136 or visit



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