SideDoor in Corona Del Mar, is pleased to welcome new Lead Barman, Randy Thais and his innovative cocktail creations to the talented team. Randy tended bar in English pubs throughout his education and went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from University of Cambridge in England. After returning to the U.S. he began teaching at the University of California, Irvine while simultaneously honing his craft cocktails skills.

Prior to joining the SideDoor family, Randy worked as Bar Captain at Mesa in Costa Mesa and at The Blind Pig in Rancho Santa Margarita. Now leading the charge at SideDoor, his knowledge of English culture aligns perfectly with the gastropub’s British history and inspiration. His vision is to continue to make SideDoor the ultimate destination for cocktails, and believes that executing an Old Fashioned with precision will lead to a loyal clientele.

He applies his inherent creativity to inventive craft cocktails, and takes pride in using fresh ingredients. He draws inspiration from SideDoor’s nearby Hazel Street Farm, with plans to harvest roots and herbs to create homemade Campari, bitters, and syrups. With an affinity for barrel aging and a love for all things creative, he’s winning over guests with impeccable cocktails and quick-witted conversation.

One of Randy’s newest creations on the SideDoor cocktail menu is the Ugly Gentleman, also known as “Steve.” Steve is a boozy, long and savory rye cocktail poured over hand-cute ice. The glassware covers a spot of burning maple wood while the cocktail is being prepared, and through science or magic, the smoke rests inside the glass even after the whiskey is poured. For more information visit http://sidedoorcdm.com/


Recipe: The Ugly Gentleman aka “Steve”

2oz Rittenhouse Rye
.5oz Amaro Abano
3 Tblsp Turbonado
2 DAB (Dash Angostura Bitters)
2 drops sesame oil

Instructions: Burn maple wood with propane torch and cover with rocks glass so the smoke is trapped. Stir all ingredients into mixing glass. Keep rocks glass upside down while hand-cut ice is placed in the glass. Keep bottom covered while turning it over and pour cocktail into the glass. Smoke should rise out. No garnish. Drink.

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