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Bartender Exit Interview: Mark Broadfoot

He's off to Miami, but leaving behind his Mexican Chocolate Milk Punch
Mark Broadfoot behind the bar at Tamarindo. | Photo: Kelly Davis

By Kelly Davis

When I wrote last week’s Bartender Exit Interview—a Q&A with Michele Willard who left San Diego to take a gig in Miami—I told my editor it would hopefully be an infrequent feature. Then I found out Mark Broadfoot was leaving. I met Mark three years ago at a friend’s house where he wowed everyone with a mezcal milk punch, a “dirty” horchata, and then gave us all shots of chorizo-infused mezcal paired with a blood-orange sangrita. He told me he worked at George’s. “So you’re a photographer?” I asked, thinking he meant George’s Camera in North Park. He was, of course, referring to George’s at the Cove.

Over the last three years, Mark’s put up with my silly questions, schooled me on agave spirits (and bat-friendly tequila), and made me some damn-fine drinks (his Mexican Chocolate Milk Punch, which is currently on the menu at Tamarindo, is a must-try). His spirits knowledge and hospitality always impress me. But he’s taking off for Miami, too—for a change of scenery and to boost his already expansive knowledge of rum. It’s definitely San Diego’s loss and Miami’s gain. He’ll be in town until June 6, so stop by Tamarindo to wish him well, get his opinion on mezcals, and try that milk punch.

You’ve been involved in the San Diego cocktail scene for a while. How has it changed?

It’s amazing how much the scene has changed. Now you can get a pretty well-made cocktail at any bar or restaurant (excluding dive bars). Before, you had to go a a specific bar for a good cocktail; now it’s everywhere. So overall awareness and appreciation from bartender to consumer is drastically higher.

What will you miss most about it?  

Friends and family. Working in the restaurant industry, your co-workers become your best friends and family. We work such odd hours, it makes the maintenance and development of non-industry relationships difficult. Consequently we all become really close. There are way too many people for me to list, but they will definitely be what I miss the most.

Where do you plan to go for your last cocktail in San Diego?

The Lion’s Share. It’s my favorite cocktail bar in San Diego by a long shot.

I know it’s tough to pick, but is there a particular bar or bartender who’s always impressed you?

Christian Siglin (insert man-crush adjectives). I can’t wait for Fernside to be open when I come and visit San Diego next!

Any bar or bartender who you think more people should know about?

At the risk of sounding too much like a homer, Jordan Brownwood and Royale in OB are doing really quality work. Jordan is literally growing the passion fruit and guava he makes the mezcal and tequila drinks with on his farm in Valley Center. The drink menu is simple, clever, and made with quality ingredients and technique. It’s a new spot and though it’s not in North Park or Little Italy, people should really go check it out.

Of the menus that have your cocktails on them, what would you recommend?

At Tamarindo, the Mexican Chocolate Milk Punch. It’s a clarified milk punch based in rum and agave spirits. It’s definitely one of the most unique and complex drinks I’ve ever made. Oddly enough, it’s extremely approachable as well. And the Oaxacan Sloe (Ilegal mezcal, sloe gin, Campari, and lemon). It’s smoky, fruity, bitter, and refreshing. I could drink it all day.

At Galaxy Taco, the Death Star (mango-chili-pineapple infused tequila, Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur, and a house fruit juice blend). It’s spicy, fruity, refreshing. Definitely a banger.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share with the folks at home?

A drink on the menu at Tamarindo called the Coco Bird (named after my girlfriend’s dog) is really simple, and though one ingredient (Kalani coconut rum liqueur) is moderately difficult to acquire, once you do, it’s delicious and easy. It’s a mezcal Old Fashioned variation using coconut rum as the sweetener—it’s smoky, tropical, and direct.

Coco Bird
1.75 oz mezcal
Just short of a 1/2 oz Kalani coconut rum liqueur
2 shakes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, then strain into a rocks glass with a single large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

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Bartender Exit Interview: Mark Broadfoot

Mark Broadfoot at Tamarindo. | Photo: Kelly Davis

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