Meet a mixologist: The Up & Up’s Ali Martin
World Best Bar
Mar 05, 2019
26 November 2020
Ali Martin, a bartender at New York’s Up & Up, has served and created drinks at the subterranean cocktail spot since June 2017, after working behind the bar at New York’s Little Park and The Rum House. Before you descend the stairs and order a Sailer’s Inn – Martin’s refreshing, low ABV ode to a legal case that brought equality for women bartenders – get to know the person mixing your cocktails.
How did you get started in bartending?
I started as a hostess and worked my way up. I was living in Colorado, so there was lots of draft beer and lots of shots. When I moved to New York, I really fell in love with it. Originally, I was going to do some training, but I loved cocktails.
What’s a typical shift like for you?
My shifts start between 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and I do a lot of bar set up, making batch cocktails and preparing garnishes. People start rolling in at five when the bar opens. I’ll stay here until 2 or 3 in the morning. Fridays and Saturdays are a hustle – you’re constantly moving and time flies, but when you finish your shift you feel like you really earned it – even if your feet are sore.
Who are you typically making drinks for?
That’s the fun part about bartending – you get people from all over the world, all walks of life. We’re a destination and a hidden gem all at the same time. People are excited they found our bar.
Do you have a favourite drink to make?
I like to make them all fun! I like, tiki-focused things, because they’re beautiful, fun and bright. Cocktails that don’t take themselves too seriously. I really just want people to try what they’re in the mood for. My only job is to make something that’s going to make you happy.
What do you look forward to most during a shift?
I like the creativity and that every day is different. You get to meet and talk to a lot of people, keep moving and keep creative.
Where do you go after work?
It depends on the evening. I like Dante and Air’s Champagne Parlor, but it’s also kind of fun to have a $3 beer down the street.