Bartender finds her happy place at Chica
When Chica bartender Joymar Herrin thinks about the future of her career, she really doesn’t see herself moving up the corporate ladder. “I am one of the few bartenders that just loves bartending,” she said. “I don’t want to be in management; I’ve done it. When I look at the future, I’m a really old lady behind the bar. I really want to be that person after years and years, people say, ‘Hey, let’s go see the funny old lady at the bar.’ That’s what I want.”
Herrin’s 20-plus-year career has taken her from her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico and Miami to a cruise ship docking out of Hawaii, then back to Puerto Rico and eventually to Las Vegas, where’s she been bartending for the past eight years. She worked her way up from room service and bartending at suite parties at The Cosmopolitan to eventually running the bar at Buddy V’s restaurant at The Venetian. But it wasn’t until earlier this year, with the opening of celebrity chef Lorena Garcia’s restaurant Chica, also at The Venetian, that Herrin finally felt that she had found home.
“I mean, seriously, it’s called Chica,” Herrin said with a smile. “It was something that I was more identified with and I immediately wanted to be involved, to be a part of its authenticity. This is my new living space—the bar is my entertainment space and I welcome you inside my home. And this is definitely home. This is the best of both worlds: my love of bartending and my Latin identity.”
Oaxacan Daiquiri Refined
The cocktails at Chica are meant to match the heat and spice of the cuisine. “There’s a lot of rum, tequila and mezcal,” Herrin said. “We have different variations in heat, spice and floral notes, and we mix daiquiris, different levels of heat for margaritas, we do pisco sours. A popular cocktail is the Oaxacan Daiquiri Refined.” The distinctive cocktail, served in a clay pot, is a blend of Bacardi rum, lime juice, simple syrup and Dolin Blanc vermouth. It’s topped off with Spanish cava and a spritz of mezcal.