Raising the Bar With Brogan Kestle

Words By Ambar Ramirez

I bet we’ve all wondered what it takes to make a good drink. Is it about ordering top-shelf? The mixers you choose? Or is it about the person making the drink?

Imagine this: You head out to the beach bars on a busy Friday night to make your way to Lynch’s because the music’s always good and the crowd is always lively. Before getting your groove on, you have to grab a drink (naturally). You head over to the bar and squeeze your way into an open spot. Quickly, you order your go-to-drink. The bartender hands you a copper colored mug and when you look up to pay the bartender, you are met with a smiling freckled face and blue eyes. You pay and respectfully thank the lovely blonde. 

Then you take a sip of the refreshing Moscow mule, and it’s the best one you’ve had, let alone in a crowded dive bar. You start to compare other mules you’ve had in your mind to try and distinguish what sets this one apart. 

Who made this perfectly-crafted cocktail you may be wondering? It should come as no surprise it was Brogan Kestle, who just so happened to be voted Best Bartender in Folio’s 2022 Best of Jax Readers Poll.

Kestle met up with me at Folio HQ on a Thursday afternoon to give us all the secrets of what it takes to be the best bartender and some dos and don’ts for bar guests.

To watch the full interview with Brogan Kestle, click here.

About Ambar Ramirez

Flipping through magazines for as long as she can remember, Ambar Ramirez has always known she wanted to be a journalist. Fast forward, Ambar is now a multimedia journalist and creative for Folio Weekly. As a recent graduate from the University of North Florida, she has written stories for the university’s newspaper as well as for personal blogs. Though mainly a writer, Ambar also designs and dabbles in photography. If not working on the latest story or design project, she is usually cozied up in bed with a good book or at a thrift store buying more clothes she doesn’t need.