From a blue-collar baby to a Certified Master Mezcalier, Jen Queen has come a long way since her childhood upbringing in Columbus, Ohio where fine foods were not heard of and ‘craft’ anything wasn’t on any radar. A triumphant move to San Francisco when Queen was in her twenties set her on the fortuitous path that has brought her to where she is today. It was in San Francisco that she got her first official training in tequila, where she studied under the famous Julio Bermejo after getting a position on the opening team at Tres Agave Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge. Countless treks down to Jalisco, Mexico to tour, harvest, and distill over the years have inspired her to learn and share everything she knows and spirits and crafts. The most important lesson she has learned is to not over complicate things. Her explanation: "An amazing margarita, for example, needs only three ingredients: Tequila, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice. My philosophy was born in that simplicity. Good things taste good... just leave it at that."
Queen’s drive to excel, educate and expand the philosophies of the booming craft cocktail industry led her to settle in San Diego, which she currently calls home, and what a mark she has made since landing here. Surrounded by a cast of colorful and like-minded characters that encompass this industry, Queen feels continuously inspired by her peers to raise the bar and push the limits of what defines the conventional cocktail. These peers, she says, are the ones who constantly remind her that there is always more to learn and the opportunities are limitless, so we probably have them to thank, at least in part, for some of the incredible creations, concepts, and projects that have come out with Jen’s name attached to them--an impressively long list of popular and noteworthy successes in San Diego. Among them are La Puerta, Confidential, Barra Barra Saloon, Casa de Reyes, Proper Gastropub, Syrah, Searsucker, Burlap, Herringbone, Gingham, Gabardine, URBN, and Monello. Her undeniable influence over the local craft cocktail scene has reached far and wide and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the media; The Huffington Post, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine Magazine, Star Chefs, 944 Magazine, and Riviera Magazine are just a few of the places she has been published.
Despite her status as cocktail royalty--did we mention that she is the San Diego Chapter President of the United States Bartenders Guild?--Queen maintains a very humble and appreciative demeanor towards all that she has accomplished and those who have helped her along the way. "I will never forget where I come from, and the lessons that brought me here. I am happy to share my findings, and I realize how lucky I am to love what I do." And share her findings she does, as she explains here in her own words her favorite places to grab a drink around town...Read More