Mixologist Jesse Carr of Balise - Biography

New Orleans, LA

January 2016

Jesse Carr is a Southern boy at heart. He was born in Athens, Georgia, and raised up country between the Virginian Appalachians and Washington, D.C. He also was often in the company of his grandparents, deep-rooted Southerners with an old-school, “five o’clock somewhere” love of socializing.

That sense of conviviality and drink rubbed off on Carr. He would help out, playing bartender and mixing family favorites like the Carr Bloody Mary, a “Transfusion” where Scotch was subbed for vodka. Not quite legal drinking age, Carr was already getting a sense of what would become his passion.

First came a move to California, where Carr attended Santa Monica College and the University of California Los Angeles, while bartending on the side at pubs. Unlike most college bartenders, Carr discovered an affinity for hospitality. After a bit of post-grad travel, he landed in New York City, where he began training in earnest. By 2011, he’d found a home at Maxwell Britten’s Maison Premiere. Three years later, Carr was ready to move back down south. He and his wife had fallen in love with New Orleans some years prior, and turns out, it was an ideal fit. Carr is bar director of Justin Devillier’s La Petite Grocery and Balise, where he keeps the elegant, eye-catching drinks flowing in the life-long cocktail hour his grandparents started so long ago.