Behind the Bar: Jamil Hyatt at AZ 88
|Jamil Hyatt strikes a pose behind the bar at AZ/88.|
As a former MC for mostly-defunct Valley hip-hop ensemble Antedote, the gifted lyricist (who went by the moniker Many Pieces) was renowned for his silver-tongued flows and fly rapping ability. These days, however, the 33-year-old has been impressing patrons aplenty at the Old Town eatery and martini bar with his drink-mixing skills and magnetic personality.
|Jamil Hyatt mixes it up.|
And no matter who steps through AZ 88's glass doors, they're typically jazzed by its upbeat vibe and ever-changing neo-bohemian art and décor (there's currently a taxi-like theme going on, featuring wrecked cab parts hanging from the ceiling a countless names of NYC hacks lining one wall), not to mention a swanky drink selection and some upscale food choices.
"People have said, 'Make me that drink that other guy made me the other day,' and sometimes I'll try remembering it and making the wrong thing but it will still end up being good," he says.
Some these "happy accidents" in his alcoholic arsenal include the Crooked Cucumber (which we'll provide the recipe for tomorrow) and the particularly tasty mix of rye whiskey, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer.
"It was refreshing and didn't even taste like whiskey, which I love drinking, but is too heavy and is something I can't drink during the day," he says."
But whether patrons are downing one of his improvisations or the requisite Stolis and mojitos, Jamil makes sure any drink he's serving is worth the chedda getting plunked down. It's demonstrative of one of the few mantras he's developed during his yearlong stint at AZ 88, which is surprisingly succinct coming from someone so gifted with words.
"Just make quality stuff," he says. "In anything you do."