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Miguel Govea, Jimmy at the James, New York's Best Bartender 2015
Photograph: Rayon Richards

New York’s Best Bartender 2015: Finalist Miguel Govea

Get to know Miguel Govea, one of the top 10 finalists in this year’s competition

Written by
Nick Leftley
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Bar: Jimmy at the James

Been a bartender for: 10-plus years

Signature drink: Vieux Carre

What’s the best thing about being a bartender? Every night is a fresh opportunity to meet new people or spend time with regular customers—many of whom have become friends. My job is to make sure people have a great night, and that's a real privilege.

What New York bar trend do you love? When the mixology movement came out, a lot of bartenders took themselves way too seriously for my tastes. They were gruff, distant and kind of rude: “I’m a snooty bartender; I know what’s good for you.” Now, it’s loosening up. The drinks are still high quality, everyone knows what they’re doing, but people are starting to get cordial and welcoming again.

What bar do you hang out in when you’re not working? Forgetmenot is the closest thing to an Australian pub: warm and welcoming. It’s really relaxed, and I go in there once a week to have lunch and de-stress.

RECOMMENDED: See New York’s Best Bartender 2015

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