Mixologist Paul Calvert of Pura Vida - Biography

Atlanta, GA

February 2012

Paul Calvert has a Master's degree in English literature from Georgia State University, where he specialized in Shakespeare and literacy studies. But he left a life teaching English in Boston to work behind a bar. Calvert was trained by Max Toste at the craft beer and cocktail bar Deep Ellum in Allston before moving back to his native Atlanta, where he designed and ran the bar program at the Sound Table. While there, Calvert and Sound Table were twice mentioned in Imbibe magazine, the second time listed as one of "The 100 Best Places to Drink in the South."

Calvert might have left the plaudits of academia behind, but over the course of his career, he has won many awards. He was Creative Loafing’s “Atlanta’s Best Bartender, 2011”; the Bulliet Rye Launch Cocktail Contest winner (Georgia, 2011); the Georgia Organics “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” award for People’s Choice for Best Cocktail, 2011; Taste of Atlanta BarCraft’s 2010 Competition winner; and Georgia Organics “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” winner for Best Cocktail in 2010.

Calvert’s also had recipes and reviews in several publications, including Imbibe, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, Knife and Fork, and Garden and Gun. He is also an active member of the USBG, Atlanta Chapter, where he serves as co-chair of the Research and Development Committee. The committee's biggest coup yet has been to finally secure distribution for Del Maguey mezcals in Georgia, a project Calvert worked on for two years. Calvert now pours plenty of mezcal and rum (and rhum) behind the bar at Pura Vida, a much-loved and lauded Latin and Caribbean restaurant in Atlanta.