Local Business Highlight: A Drink Come True
A Drink Come True
Interviewed by Lindsey Goodrow
Long Beach boasts an exciting nightlife, offering residents endless options for epic bars and restaurants to go out to, each unique in its own right.
The city’s lively and diverse food & beverage scene is one of the many upsides of living in this spectacular city.
But what if instead of going out to the bar, the bar came to you? That’s where A Drink Comes True comes in.
Meet Jesse Rodriguez, the innovative mixologist behind A Drink Come True, a mobile bar service catering to the greater Los Angeles area.
Tell us a bit about your background prior to starting A Drink Come True?
I moved to Long Beach in 2012. I started off in hospitality as a food runner and busser. I knew I wanted to get in behind the bar so I switched gears and got a job at a popular spot with a full bar program and worked my way up to a bar back.
I studied hard, learned the ins and outs of the cocktail world, and really grew to love it.
So when I heard of a new bar opening up Downtown, I felt confident to take a chance and apply for the bartender position.
I was hired! From there, it took off, and I fully immersed myself in the cocktail scene.
What prompted you to start a mobile bar service? Was it something you had seen done before? How did you recognize there was a need for it?
In January 2021, I was working a job I hated. The pandemic had devastated the hospitality industry, so I found work as a car salesman. It paid the bills, but it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.
One day I received a call from a friend who was having a party, and he asked me to bartend and make some fun cocktails. I jumped on the opportunity. I had really missed slinging drinks. I missed the sound of tins cracking back and forth, the banter, the cheer, but most importantly, I was missing the creative outlet.
Soon after, I attended a wedding and was not impressed with the cocktails and the whole bar service. It lacked personality all around. That was my lightbulb moment. Clearly, there was a need for a damn good drink, especially at a special event! So why couldn't I provide that for people? That's when the idea for a mobile bar service really started to unravel into A Drink Come True!
What kind of events do you serve?
All kinds! You name it, I'll do it.
I've served a 250-person wedding down to an intimate 5-person cocktail class.
I've done birthdays, fundraising events, private tastings, retirement parties, and everything in between. It's been a lot of fun.
Is there a memorable moment from one of these events that made you realize the business was a success?
The first wedding I did was at a beautiful venue in Santa Barbara. The guest list was pushing about 130 people, and I knew it was just the beginning of something great. Although a huge learning curve, it was a major success! The feedback was extremely positive, but the one thing that stood out was a man thanking me for having something "surprisingly good" to drink that wasn't the typical Jack n' coke. It was great having people enjoy my cocktails, so that's when I knew this was going to be a success.
What are your favorite bars in Long Beach and Los Angeles?
Ooh tough question... My favorite bars in Long Beach are all bars in Long Beach!
They all have something great to offer!
Just to throw out a few.. you've gotta try "Smoke em if you got em" at Mezcalero, anything Momma Leah makes at The Hawk, The fun and wild drinks at Baby Gee's, the beers and Amaro at Ambitious Ales, the beautiful execution of cocktails at Navy Proof, classic tiki drinks at Bamboo Club and the list goes on!
But honestly, all LB bars have something special and unique to them.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? What are you current favorite flavors to experiment with?
Much of my inspiration comes from the classics and things I've experienced while traveling. But mostly, the inspiration comes from each client. I like to figure out what types of drinks the party enjoys and use that as a guideline. Each menu is personally curated for each client, so no two menus are identical.
When it comes to flavors, lately, I've been experimenting with Kaffir lime leaves and Italian Amaro. The Kaffir Lime leaves have a beautiful floral and citrus note that is great for infusions! Amaro (an herbal, bitter, and sweet digestif) is close to my heart, but it's loved by a very niche group of people because it can be a bit aggressive, so that's always a fun one to play with.
What has been the most challenging aspect of starting a mobile bar service?
The most challenging aspect has been the freelance lifestyle and its inconsistency. Some months are jam-packed, others might be a dry month (looking at you, January!)...( I do have some killer mocktail recipes...just sayin'..).
But in all seriousness, it's a little scary waiting for the phone to ring; it's not the first thing people might think of when planning an event.
Another challenging aspect is keeping up with the trends. Mocktails are huge right now. I recently worked on two events that requested a handful of mocktails. I wasn't going to just slap some fruit juices together and call it a day, I wanted to create a well-balanced, flavorful mocktail, so that was challenging..but extremely rewarding.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting a mobile bar service?
The most rewarding aspect is probably the amount of referrals from happy clients.
It's a reminder that I'm doing something right and someone out there really enjoyed their experience with me and my team.
And that everyone having a good time!
Do you feel supported by the community in your work? What makes you love working out of Long Beach and the surrounding area?
Every day I feel supported by the community, from my friends and regulars that I serve from behind the bar to my friends who promote and refer my services or even hire A Drink Come True for their event.
One big reason I love working and living in Long Beach is 100% the community.
It's a big little city that supports each other in arts, music, food, culture, diversity, and definitely the hospitality industry.
Follow @adrinkcometrue on Instagram to stay updated on all that’s new with ADCT.
For more information or to Book A Drink Come True at your next event, email [email protected] directly.
Let's have some fun!