Giuseppe Gonzalez has bartending in his blood. He’s a third generation barman, with a bottle-slinging family history going back to the 1950s.
Gonzalez moved to the US from Puerto Rico just over a decade ago to attend college at Cornell University. He earned a degree in neurobiology, but he couldn’t resist the urge to get back to the bar. Throwing all of his neuro-energy into a full-blown mixology career, Gonzalez has made a name for himself in the New York cocktail scene in just five short years.
He was the head bartender at Julie Reiner’s well-known Flatiron Lounge and her more recent Brooklyn endeavor, Clover Club. Gonzalez also worked as lead barman at Sasha Petraske’s project in Long Island City, Dutch Kills, where he mixed classically-based cocktails in 19th century saloon-style digs.
Gonzalez is a graduate of the prestigious BAR program, not to mention the champ of several national competitions, including the 2006 Plymouth Gin, 2008 Vinos de Jerez Sherry, Tales of the Cocktail "On the Fly" competitions, and he was the runner-up at the 2008 Cabana Cachaça cocktail competition. He was invited to participate in the Martin Miller's Gin Master's competition representing the winning USA team, and, most recently, Gonzalez represented the USA TIKI team during this year's UK Rumfest/London Cocktail week. Additionally, he was honored by Sauza Tres Generaciones, Plymouth Gin, and Ketel One as one of New York's best bartenders.
When Gonzalez isn’t sweeping at competitions or tinkering with new libation equations, he is running the bar at his recently opened tiki lounge Painkiller in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.