Five Questions for Dushan Zaric of NYC’s Legendary Employees Only
By David Ransom

And now some words of wisdom from the man behind Employees Only (, winners of “Best Drinks Selection” and “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” at last night’s Tales of the Cocktail ( Spirited Awards presented by Pernod Ricard ( and Beverage Media (…


Q1. How many years have you been coming to Tales of the Cocktail?
A. 3

Q2. Do you wear an armband behind the bar?
A. No.

Q3. As a veteran of this industry, what advice do you have for someone just starting out in the business?
A. Find someone who inspires you both as a person and a bartender. Get to know his students, and if you like what you see, then BEG him to teach you everything he (or she) knows. Because, in the end, your styles will be similar, so you need to love your mentor’s style, as well as his knowledge.

Q4. Sponsorships aside, what’s your go-to spirit these days?
A. Tequila and Campari(… at different times, of course…

Q5. Cubed or Crushed ice?
A. Cubed. Large, very cold cubes. It’s really a matter of habit now, although I’ll use crushed when I need to. NEVER Cracked…

Amen to that! Enjoy Tales…