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Bartenders Behind the Rum's the Word Box

Behind the Hemingway en Nica


Marshall Altier is a 24-year hospitality operations veteran, brand builder, and published author whose contributions have been featured in New York magazine and who has conceived and helmed bar programs as a consultant for the Mandarin Oriental, the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, the Four Seasons, and, most recently, as proprietor, Chicha, his own rum-focused cocktail bar in Brooklyn. He has collaborated with sommeliers, food scientists, and chefs of Michelin-star restaurants, as well as craft distillers, as with his Bar Keep Organic Apple Bitters, which has been featured in Wine & Spirits magazine and on thousands of backbars around the world. Marshall served as vice president of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s New York chapter as part of his service to the industry community.

Behind the Hemingway en Nica


Jonathan Borin has been in the food and beverage industry in both San Francisco and New York City for more than 22 years. His hospitality acumen has been shaped by a full spectrum of experiences, ranging from opening 15+ eateries and cocktail bars for corporate hotels such as Ian Schrager Hotels and W Hotels, and independently owned restaurants—Cafe Altro Paradiso, Ernesto’s NYC, Frenchette, Summit Bar, and Highlands NYC to name a few. In his spare time, Jonathan is an active tennis player who regularly plays with Stan Wawrinka’s U.S. Open hitting partner.

Behind the Sea Fog


Alex Velez got his start in the hospitality industry in Puerto Rico circa ’93, where he won several cocktail competitions before moving to Chicago in 2005. He has had a long, successful career in the industry, further building his reputation by winning or placing in countless cocktail competitions and creating bar concepts for multiple venues over the last 15 years. Alex has been a spirits judge for the American Distillery Institute and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America as well as a moderator at the nation’s leading industry conventions. He is currently leading the bar concept for an exciting new dining experience in Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Behind the Don't Tell Richard


An aging barkeep who is two years away from serving guests who weren’t yet born when he pulled his first draft handle, Dan Watson has visited a dozen Caribbean distilleries and loves hearing himself talk about rum. If you’re sitting at his bar, he hopes you will love hearing him talk about rum as well—but if you don’t, at least humor his opinions on the 1997 World Series and the Great American Bash ’95. Dan and his wife live in Cleveland, and he’d be more than happy to shake up a daiquiri for you at Porco Lounge and Tiki Room.

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