For Andrew Nusbaum, it’s all about team spirit at Alexxa’s Bar
It’s all about teamwork making the dream work for Andrew Nusbaum. As the beverage manager for Paris’ Hexx Kitchen + Bar and its lounge, Alexxa’s Bar, Nusbaum says the most important role is supporting his staff. “They’re the face of Alexxa’s and Hexx,” he says. “They’re the ones doing the work. I got to keep them happy.” And one of the ways he does that is to encourage and help cultivate their bartending talents.
“In-house, we do Bar Wars, a competition between two bartenders,” explains the Las Vegas native. “I give them an ingredient and they come up with cocktails. (It) gets everyone involved. I like to keep their creative juices flowing.” That helps translate into a very delicious cocktail menu at Alexxa’s Bar, says Nusbaum—a menu that takes the ideas of classic cocktails and mixes in today’s ingredients.
Nusbaum says learning about and working with spirits is a never-ending process. It’s a process he’s been involved in for years, starting off as a barback at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo nearly a decade ago. From there, he moved from barback to bartender and eventually to management—working for companies such as the Silverton and Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants. Nusbaum joined Hexx last fall and helped build and launch Alexxa’s Bar.
“When I decided that I wanted to go into the industry, I had a goal,” he says. “I wanted to be the guy behind the bar that was helping create something with my bartenders. I’m not done yet, but I’m close. … The best part of my job? When I wake up and I think about what we can do; how are we gonna take those next steps, together.”
It’s not enough to just have a couple of sangrias available—Alexxa’s Bar offers nine recipes. It’s all about the social aspect, says Nusbaum—there are many options, so people can come back on different occasions and get a new taste experience each time. Using red or white wine, each sangria is made with fresh fruit, spices, fruit purées and liqueurs. A popular pick is The Bubbly, made with sparkling wine, fresh peaches and fresh strawberries. If you can’t decide which sangria to try, order the Alexxa Flight, where you can try three 5-ounce selections.