When asked what her favorite cocktail is, bartender Jordyn Gonzalez of Hopscotch Tavern, answers with a simple “gin and soda.” Her simple and straightforward answer immediately adapts and becomes more complex as she’s given a few seconds to think. She smirks and then adds, “actually, anything with tequila,” and that, “drinks like a New York sour or an Aviation are right up [her] alley.” Gonzalez continues slightly out of breath and makes sure to mention that she loves a good scotch too. In short, like a good bartender, she is a friend to all libations tall or small, straight up or on the rocks, shaken or stirred.
Gonzalez began her bartending career at Hopscotch Tavern like many in the industry: as a patron. Hopscotch started as her local cocktail bar where she could splurge and treat herself to a $12 New York sour before she skipped over to the dive down the road for $3 PBRs. The more she patronized the bar, the more she wanted to become a part of it. She snagged a hostess job, moved on to waitressing, and finally made her way behind the bar.
“This bar was my gateway to craft beer too,” remarks Gonzalez, now the beer coordinator for the bar.
Hopscotch, one of Orange County’s top craft beer locations, would still be a fine cocktail bar without the beer, but the craft beer is what makes the place so approachable. And it doesn’t hurt that the beer coordinator is a pint-sized, bright-eyed gal who’s happy to teach you what she knows.
“My favorite experiences are when people have a question and I have an answer,” says Gonzalez with a cheerful smile.
She earned her position and remains a diligent student of her craft. Gonzalez knows her stuff without being condescending and will always pause to explain the terminology of complex bar speak. With only two years of bartending under her belt, Gonzalez has mastered her fair share of concocted creations, but knows there’s plenty she has yet to learn. In this industry, such humility is quite tough to find.
Never without busy hands, Gonzalez makes sure to tend to her bar flies. A woman at the bar in for happy hour requests a second Aviation, a cocktail made with gin, creme de violette, lemon juice, and maraschino liqueur. After learning that this particular customer prefers a milder gin from the first time she made the cocktail Gonzalez tells her that she’ll, “make it with Hendricks [gin] because it is less floral.”
“Whatever you want,” says the woman. “I trust your judgment.”