A Houston bartender is currently basking in the national spotlight — and no, it isn't Bobby Heugel. Food & Wine has named Goode Company beverage director Rob Crabtree as one of America's Best New Mixologists for 2016.
Crabtree is the only Texan on the 10 person list, which includes bartenders from New York, Chicago, and Boston. A group of "cocktail obsessives" selected the honorees, who are "some of the most talented and creative women and men working at bars right now," according to the article.
"From focuses on BBQ to seafood, Goode Company restaurant group’s spots turn out consistently delicious food that tastes like Texas and pairs perfectly with their expertly made drinks, like the Damn Goode Margarita (tequila, orange liqueur and lime), which is 'a better Spanish lesson than Rosetta Stone,'" the magazine writes. In an interview, Crabtree reveals that his favorite guilty pleasure cocktail is a Miami Vice, which he describes as "kind of a 50/50 strawberry daiquiri and piña colada mix . . . just a very trashy, tiki drink that’s delicious when done right."
Goode Company owner Levi Goode hired Crabtree in 2015 to realize Goode's vision of making his restaurants' beverage programs as acclaimed as their food. With national recognition and a strong start for the Orange Blossom Bar at the recently renovated Armadillo Palace, it's safe to say Crabtree is living up to Goode's expectations.
Of course, Crabtree isn't resting on his laurels. On Instagram, he posted a photo of a box of tequila that he and Goode had sourced for Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina, which will open in The Woodlands early next year.