Director of Sales & Marketing
The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai,
No. 1376 Nanjing Xi Road, Shanghai
P.R. China 200040
Telephone: +86 21 6279 8888
Facsimile: (86 21) 6279 8800
Shanghai, China – 19-23 September, 2017 – BlackTail, the sister bar of New York’s world-renowned Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog (currently the best bar in the world as per Drinks International’s World’s 50 Best Bars list for 2016), will arrive in Shanghai this September for a week-long residency in The Library at The Ritz Bar & Lounge in The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai. Recently voted Best New American Cocktail Bar 2017 at this year’s Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, BlackTail’s head bartender and bar manager Jesse Vida will oversee the pop-up bar, the first time that they have recreated the New York drinking experience in China.
Opened at the tail end of 2016, Dead Rabbit duo Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon’s follow-up bar is an ode to Cuban cocktail culture designed to pay tribute to the great American bars that decamped to Cuba from 1920 onwards after the US enacted Prohibition, taking inspiration from the island’s drinking scene from that point through to the ’50s, all the way from Hemingway through to JFK and Sinatra. The fit-out was designed by Belfast agency Drinksology – the producers of the infamous Dead Rabbit menus – and features include a giant reproduction of John Vanderlyn’s “Columbus landing in the West Indies” and a bust of Cuba’s liberator Jose Marti alongside 300 original photos of the island commissioned especially for the bar.
In addition to the facsimile of the bar, the BlackTail pop-up will also recreate the sense of stepping through the doors the New York original through a specially-produced menu inspired by the 88-page, almost 50 drink menu Drinksology fashioned for the Manhattan venue. Vida was integral to the creation of those drinks and he will be serving a selection eight of them while in Shanghai. The pop-up cocktails are exactly the same as those served in NYC and cover the menu’s five different drinks categories: Highball, Sour, Punch, Old Fashioned and Cocktail.
The BlackTail takeover of The Library will be open to the public from Thursday, 19 September to Saturday 23 September, 2017, from 7pm to midnight daily.
About Jesse Vida
Jesse Vida is Head Bartender/Bar Manager of BlackTail, where he was instrumental in developing the bar’s cocktail menu, together with BlackTail’s Managing Partner Jack McGarry and Beverage Director Jillian Vose.
Previously, Jesse had a distinguished two-year stint as Bartender at BlackTail’s sister bar, The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, which has won seven Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, including World’s Best Bar, the industry’s highest accolade, and being named No1 on World’s 50 Best Bars 2016.
The bar’s balance of professionalism, teamwork, dedication and commitment to excellence were transformative for Jesse. Working closely with Jack, Jesse structured his approach to creating cocktails and expanded his knowledge of flavors. Prior to The Dead Rabbit, Jesse honed his bartending skills at some of New York’s leading destinations, including Dutch Kills, Booker & Dax and Momofuku Ssäm Bar.
Prior to relocating from his native San Francisco, Jesse was behind the stick at Locanda, from the James Beard Award-winning Delfina Restaurant Group, Delarosa and Beretta. His decision to pursue a career in craft bartending began with a sip of his first Sazerac, an epiphany that opened his eyes to the possibilities of classic drinks. He began working in the hospitality industry at age 14 in Berkeley, California.
Jesse has guest-bartended in more than a dozen US cities, as well as London, and has traveled internationally to Peru to blend Pisco, Iceland for a cocktail competition and Colombia for a consulting gig. He also appears at bar conferences such as Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Bar Institute, San Antonio Cocktail Conference and San Francisco Cocktail Week.
Before his career in bartending, Jesse was a hip-hop recording artist who performed in the Bay Area. He learned crowd control, feeding off a room’s specific energy, reading guests’ body language and hosting a fun time, which he has since applied to his bartending.