I LOVE PIÑA COLADAS: Drinking With Nacho Jimenez

If you live in New York City then you have probably had a drink with Nacho Jimenez, the head bartender at the recently opened Ghost Donkey. You can find Nacho most nights behind the bar at Ghost Donkey serving up cocktails off of their agave-centric cocktail menu.

Jimenez worked at The Daily in SoHo before moving over to the Donkey, where he runs the bar program.

Ghost Donkey has become a go-to spot to drink in the city, not only because the quality cocktails that Jimenez makes but also because he is always a fun time behind the bar, entertaining customers.

Drinking With Nacho Jimenez

State your name and title and where you work and where you live for the record.

Nacho Jimenez, head bartender at Ghost Donkey, and I live in Williamsburg.

How did you get started in the biz?

I started at a cheesy Mexican restaurant on the Upper West Side and, after a few missteps, I ended up at AvroKO Hospitality Group where I worked every front-of-house position you can think of. Eventually, I took to bartending where I worked under Naren Young and then ran The Daily for 5 years until we opened Ghost Donkey in late 2016 where I head the whole bar program.

What is your current go-to drink order?

Mezcal and beer

Do you drink coffee or tea?


What is your hangover remedy?

A joint and ton of Advil!

What is your favorite spot in NYC for late night tipsy eats?

Noodle Town – amazing scallion noodles and legendary baby pig over rice all of this along the company of Masa Urushido!

Nacho Jimenez and Masa Urishido

Guilty pleasure, no apologies necessary drink?

As the popular saying goes “no shame in the game:” I LOVE PINA COLADAS!

What was your first boozy drink?

A Michelada

What is your very last sip death row drink?

Yamazaki 18 whisky or El Jolgorio Arroqueño mezcal

Favorite hospitality venue suggestions for:

  • Taking out-of-towners for cocktails for an “Only in NYC” experience?

PDT, Attaboy, Maison Premiere, Angel’s Share

  • A Classic Dive night?

Mothers Ruin

  • Serious R&D to get inspired?

Right now, a great source of R&D has been a book by a Mexican writer named Ricardo Munoz Zurita the book is called Diccionario Enciclopedico de la Gastronomia Mexicana. Normally, I start there. But for me, any eating experience is a source of inspiration.

What is your favorite quintessential warm weather drink?

Margarita or Piña Coladas

You do a good amount of traveling. What is your favorite city to imbibe?

Chicago – love the diversity of the food and drink culture.

If you could have drinks with anyone dead, alive or fictional, who would it be and what would you both be drinking?

Just watched an amazing old film called “Marriage Italian Style” that featured Sophia Loren. I would love to sit with her for a drink.

Who is the best drinking buddy for a wild night out?

Masa Urushido!

Special shout to any bars across the U.S. (know there are way too many) but some that you think are blowing minds with their cocktail menus?

Love what Will Elliott from Sauvage is doing with their focus on French liqueurs. Also, Black Tail and Bar Goto.

Any advice for aspiring young guns wanting to break into the industry?

Remember the word hospitality throughout your career

Spill it …. shameless what are you working on right now?

Nacho Jimenez Pouring Mezcal at The Daily

Expanding the mezcal list and continuing to explore Mexican ingredients – can’t reveal any secrets

Social Call – where can Thirsty readers keep up with you and your bar adventures on social media?

On Instagram! @hopignacio for me personally, and @ghostdonkeynyc for Ghost Donkey shenanigans.

Photos Courtesy of Nacho Jimenez Facebook and Ghost Donkey Instagram.

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