Mixologist of the Month: Sean Beck

The beverage director of Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, and Trevisio Restaurants.



Sean Beck keeps his eye on the flat Texas horizon when exploring ideas for the wine, spirits and cocktail lists at the three Houston restaurants where he serves as beverage director. And there’s little that escapes his notice.

While every mixologist knows of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a Lone Star product that now has a national profile, Beck favors the smaller Dripping Springs Texas Vodka, made outside Austin. He also utilizes Texas whiskey, made by Balcones Distilling in Waco, in some of his cocktails, including the blue corn-based Baby Blue Whiskey and Rumble, a liqueur made from Mission figs, sugar and wildflower honey. But just being from Texas isn’t necessarily enough for a spirit to meet Beck’s approval.

“I love local, but it can’t be local for local’s sake,” he says. “That’s not good enough and that’s always been the problem with Texas wines. They’ve sold out ferociously, so they haven’t had the pressure to ramp up the quality to where it should be.”

A native of Rochester, New York, Beck has lived in Texas for 22 years. He worked as a waiter at the Backstreet Cafe while in college; by graduation, he’d been promoted to sommelier. Today, he’s responsible for a restaurant group that includes Hugo’s and Trevisio.

Beck thinks Houston’s greatest strength as a cocktail town lies in what it’s not. “It doesn’t follow rules,” he says. “Once someone does something in New York, everyone knows about it. That’s one of the reasons New York goes through beverage trends and wine trends so quickly. Houston is so spread out that people aren’t cognizant of what other people are doing. So people march to their own drummer.”

For Sean Beck's Not Quite Fur Season cocktail, click here.
 

Edit Module
Edit Module

Related Articles

Drink This Now: The Earthy Prietoni

Ditch gin for Tequila's earthy cousin.

10 Fragrant, Must-Try Gins for Classic Cocktails

New gins just keep rolling in.

A Refreshing Take on the Frozen Margarita

This twist on the classic margarita is bound to cool you down this summer.

The Thirst Quenching Tom Collins

Pro-tip: Keep this easy-to-make classic cocktail in your summertime rotation.
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles