FOOD & MIXOLOGY
By SHANNON HAMES
Earlier this year, mixologist Tony Jackson walked away with Georgia Voice’s Best of Atlanta award in the Bartender category. Tony has been pouring at the Atlanta Eagle for over eight years now, and has been a witness to many shifts and changes in the gay bar scene. We caught up with Tony to talk to him about his career, his passion for people and to snag his favorite cocktail recipe, “Santa’s Milk.”
Georgia Voice: How did you get started in mixology?
I started because it was a lot of fun and I always wanted to open my own bar. I was working on my undergraduate degree and it fit well with my school schedule.
I began at a leather bar in Arizona. After it closed down, I moved to Atlanta. I worked at 3 Legged Cowboy for about three months, and then started working at Atlanta Eagle and have been there ever since. This is my eighth year at the Eagle. But I’m also an adjunct art professor at a technical college, too. I teach art history as well as create my own art painting with acrylics.
You’ve been a mixologist for 13 years. You must love it. What is it that you find the most satisfying about your career?
ic hour, everything cranks up. We have a guy outside who cooks the best burgers in town. At 10, our leather shop opens, the blackjack table opens, the DJ starts spinning. It all starts up and everyone has the best time.
Are women welcome, too?
Oh, we have TONS of women! They come in all the time. We are also fortunate enough to be one of the only bars in town right now that hosts a transgender group that comes in. We have a lot of transgender customers.
Bartenders have the reputation for helping people. Do you feel like that’s part of your job?