John has really elevated the cocktail program at Forbidden Island over the past five years, not just with standard menu items but especially with specials or riffs or just when you ask them make something their way. I loved their Planters Punch implementation and also the bitters-forward Peynkiller.
I really appreciate how John has put themself out there in contests. We saw them at the 2019 World’s Best Mai Tai contest in Hawai’i and just recently at Mai Tai Day at Trader Vic’s. Always coming up with something interesting, but importantly to me while still keeping the cocktails true to their origins.
Like everyone in the industry, the last 2½ years haven’t been a constant party, but they always greeted me with a friendly smile and words of welcome. I’m in awe of hospitality staff like John who can remember a customer’s tastes and preferences.
Wishing John the best on the next path, where I’m sure their engaging spirit will be met with success and fulfillment.