With all the manners of a man raised in Austin combined with the worldliness of a bartender with a decade-plus of experience in Miami hotels, Gui Jaroschy is a rare hybrid in the Magic City. In Texas, his father was the artistic director of a theater and performing arts center, so he grew up surrounded by culture. (“I was the janitor there every summer,” he says.) He also grew up earning $10 extra in allowance money if he cooked several meals for his family each week. So he’s always been ahead of the curve when it comes to thinking creatively.
“I thought I’d start a career in marketing,” he says of moving to Miami 12 years ago, after studying anthropology at the University of Texas. Instead, he ended up at The Delano, then the go-to cocktail bar on the Beach for locals and tourists, with a brisk business in Mojitos and passionfruit Martinis. There, he got promoted to bar manager, studied up on classic cocktail books, made a “pretty shitty” menu and eventually departed to manage the bar at The W—where he met Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi. The pair were on the cusp of opening Broken Shaker, the good-vibes backyard bar at the Freehand Hotel. There was nothing like it at the time. Jaroschy describes it as a moment when Miamians were “creating concepts for ourselves, rather than playing pretend for an imaginary customer.”
In the laid-back atmosphere of Broken Shaker, Jaroschy quickly fell into stride with Orta and Zvi’s philosophy of off-the-beaten-path exploration. He started experimenting with South Florida produce, picking mameys from the trees in the hotel’s back yard and gathering Mexican tarragon. “Here, we throw away The Flavor Bible,” he says. In proper Shaker fashion, his gin and St-Germain-fueled Roman Charity unexpectedly marries turmeric, passionfruit and orgeat.
Locals came to trust the bar’s freewheeling spirit, and hotel guests recognized that Miami was upping its game. (Broken Shaker was named Best American Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in 2015 and is among the World’s 50 Best.) Today, Jaroschy directs the beverage programs across The Freehand Hotels (including Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago), a balancing act that he says is about immediate connection. “If you’re building a cocktail based on novelty, you’ve got to connect to memory or nostalgia. If you’re riffing on a Boulevardier, the ingredients need to be really good, so the customer recognizes it.”
Current occupation: Bars Director for the Freehand and Bar Lab (Broken Shaker, Rudolph’s Bar and Tea, The Anderson).
What do you want to be when you grow up? Serial Entrepreneur Dad Person.
What does “drinking French fluently” mean to you? Enjoying many styles of cocktails in various phases of living.
Tell us about your drink & why it’s a good aperitif. This drink is less of an aperitif and more of an entrée cocktail—like the appetizer/second course. The St-Germain plays as the floral component to the orgeat and gives the cocktail nice length and texture.
How do you define the aperitif? A light, low-alcohol cocktail to stimulate the appetite or kick off the late afternoon.
How do you approach creating an aperitif-style drink? I imagine the activity and start thinking of ingredients, places…The aperitif is an experience-driven cocktail.
What do you most like about French culture? The fact that the French see life as an action, and not a passive state.
What is your favorite destination in France, and why? [I] went to Picardie as part of a trip with Grey Goose. I loved the rural/agrarian side of France even more than I liked the cities. It reminded me of my home state of Texas, just with totally different food.
Best thing you ever drank: Thrown Manhattan at Boadas Bar in Barcelona.
Worst thing you ever drank: We had a period where everyone was trying to make cocktails with Sazón Goya (Caribbean MSG-heavy spice blend). Those were the worst days of my life.
Weirdest cocktail experiment you’ve ever attempted: See above. Also pizza cocktails, which thankfully never saw the light of day.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not eating, drinking or drink-making? Family time with the wife and new baby. Fishing. Gambling. Day trips. Trying to find a way to squeeze all four into the perfect day.
If you had to listen to one album on loop for the rest of your life, what would it be? I grew up listening to The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls on loop in my house, and every song on the album is tied to a memory of a room, an activity, etc.
What’s the weirdest hobby you currently have or have had? The problem with Amazon Prime is that it allows you to begin and abandon hobbies on a weekly basis. I am a recently retired kombucha maker, vinegar maker, competitive backgammon player—the list goes on.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago? Being accountable for something is different from being responsible for something. Engage the people around you and everything works better. You’re never responsible for doing it all yourself.
Weirdest drink request you’ve ever gotten: Of all the weird stuff, people who order Bloody Marys at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night are still the weirdest.
Your favorite bar, and why: G&S Lounge in Austin, Texas. It’s my ideal everyday bar.
Best meal you’ve ever had: Every time I order the baby back ribs at Soot Bull Jeep Korean BBQ in LA it’s the best meal I’ve ever had.
What’s your go-to drink in a cocktail bar? Manhattan.
Dive bar? Michelob Amber Bock.
The one thing you wish would disappear from drink lists forever: Please retire the mini-clothes pin garnish. Please.
The last text message you sent: “Headed your way now”
Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.