As Beverage Director for LT Hospitality (The Vine, L’Amico), Percy Rodriguez is responsible for making sure that lots of thirsty guests are happy. Working alongside Chef Laurent Tourondel to ensure that the cocktails and wine selections complement the food, Rodriguez helps craft the menus featuring creative drinks like the L’Amico Negroni at L’Amico and the New York Appletini at The Vine, both pretty damn good.
We catch up with Rodriguez about his go-to drink order, hangover remedies, and burgers at Corner Bistro.
Drinking With Percy Rodriguez from The Vine and L’Amico
Favorite NYC place to hang out for a drink?
I don’t do much hanging out as my wife Hollis and I just had our first (a boy named Huck), but I’ll never say no to a well-poured Guinness and a bar that’s just loud enough to ignore everything.
Go-to drink order?
Gin and tonic if I’m starting the night; beer and a whiskey back if I’m ending it.
First job in the industry?
Bar back for the much loved Dennis Mullally at Otto.
First time getting drunk?
Honestly, I don’t remember, but I’m sure it had something to do with drinking in a cow pasture in Missouri.
What ingredients or techniques are you most excited about right now?
I’m a big amaro fan, and domestically you’re starting to see some cool homegrown stuff.
Coffee or tea?
What’s your hangover remedy?
If I’m working, ginger ale and bitters; If I’m off, a quart container of ice water, banana, iced coffee, and a nap… in that order.
Do you have a guilty “drink” pleasure?
White Russian. Seriously.
Best eats when you are drinking or – dare we say – drunk?
Either a burger at Corner Bistro or lamb gyro with white sauce extra spicy.
Where is your fave spot for a super chill night out or date night recommendation?
There’s this great spot for cheese and wine called Casellula in Hell’s Kitchen. The focus is on the pairings for the cheese which are mind-bogglingly creative. It’s intimate and small and playful.
Favorite NYC gems that might not be on everyone’s radar?
Boulud Epicerie lincoln center. I love a standing bar where you can get rosé on tap, bahn mis, and freshly shucked oysters.
Favorite wine pairing menu in NYC and why?
Hard to find someone making better pairing choices than Dean Fuerth at Betony.
What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
The opening of Babbo Boston was pretty special, but what I’m doing now is hard to beat.
Do you have mentors or someone you look up to in the industry?
Dennis Mullally at Otto; Michael and Johnny from 8th Street Wine Cellar
What are some interesting things that people may not know about you?
I use to play drums in the band Future in Plastics when I first moved to the city. A fun two years playing all the grungy dirty punk venues on the LES and Brooklyn
Straight update + shameless plug time: what are you working on these days? Let’s hear it!
New cocktails all over the place, in L’Amico and the Vine. Also adding a lot of depth to our Italian white wines and some heavy hitters in the Italian reds. Keep checking in on twitter @percyjrodriguez as we’ll announce new weekly magnum glass pours in L’Amico.