As a Moroccan and Indigenous Amazigh woman working as a bartender in Salt Lake City, Arianna Hone understands the importance of representation. “There’s such a small number of us, especially in Utah; it’s a very white market—mostly white men,” she explains of North African and Muslim bartenders. But that’s only spurred her on to use her platform to elevate and inspire other marginalized groups in the industry. “I would like women in these communities to see that if this is a passion of yours, you can pursue it.”
With Hone’s Muslim background, most of her family does not know she bartends. But she hopes to lead by example. “I’d like to bring more knowledge to the Muslim community to show that there’s more than one way to be Muslim,” she says. As she makes strides in her career, working her way through notable Salt Lake City bars, including Post Office Palace and the now-closed Tinwell Bar, she makes a point to lift others up alongside her. Before the pandemic began, Hone—who currently works as the lead bartender at High West Saloon—organized a monthly fundraising event called Womxn Crush Wednesday. The series gave BIPOC women and nonbinary bartenders, who “might not be getting the good shifts because it’s such a close-knit circle of white men,” according to Hone, an opportunity to showcase their talent. “I just wanted it to be about the spotlight shining on them.”
Hone’s cocktails, which she admits draw mostly on flavors she simply likes at any given moment, don’t fail to support a larger mission, too. Her Iosepa, for example, takes its name from a settlement of Native Hawaiians in Utah. “Brigham Young, the Mormon prophet, invited Hawaiians over and promised them that they would live side by side with the white man and have prosperity and wealth, but when they got here, they were actually exiled to the West Desert,” explains Hone. The Iosepa draws on flavors central to Pacific Islander cooking—which she picked up during a stint bartending in Kauai—like passion fruit and Hawaiian chile pepper. “Being an Indigenous person myself, I think it’s important these stories get passed down.”
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
Boundaries are not only important, they are essential to a healthy work-life balance. And life outside of work is more important than anything I will ever do inside of work—still learning this.
Weirdest drink request you’ve ever gotten:
I get a lot of people asking if I can add pickle juice to house or classic cocktails.
Best drink you’ve ever had:
Anything on the menu at Double Chicken Please in New York City, or the Martini at Katana Kitten.
Weirdest cocktail experiment you’ve ever attempted:
I have been trying for years to work tomatoes into drinks in a surprising way that has not been done before. I have a feeling [on] this next menu, I will nail it down.
The one thing you wish would disappear from drink lists forever: