Dave Newman

Photo courtesy Dave Newman

Owner/Operator of Pint and Jigger

Where were you born and raised? North Hollywood, Calif. I came to Hawaii about six years ago.

To open Nobu, right? Yeah, I was working for Nobu in Malibu, and when I heard they needed people to come to Hawaii, it wasn’t a tough decision.

You’re really on the cutting edge of food and beverage – first at Nobu and now at Pint and Jigger (on South King Street). Did you grow up in a food-centric house? (laughs) No, my parents didn’t really cook for me at all. There were a lot of TV dinners in my childhood. And I ate everything. So, when we went to restaurants I was drawn to higher-end dishes – and I’d try to eat everything I could. It drove my parents crazy, of course. I was the kid who ate everything.

So now do you cook at home? Yeah, love to cook. Usually we start with champagne and a good cheese plate. I love to cook Italian, but everything, really.

What’s always in your fridge? Whiskey, good cheese, wine, ribeye. Cocktail pairings, kitchen-meets-cocktail and new ways of creating drinks are huge in Hawaii right now, and Pint and Jigger is one example of some of the very cool bars and restaurants that are opening. For a small group of islands, we seem to have more than our fair share of talented bartenders. I don’t think people really realize who we have working here. There are so many bartenders doing phenomenal things. I go to cocktail events around the country, and what we’re doing here in Hawaii is right up there at the top. It’s absolutely crazy .

Speaking of absolutely crazy, you are now serving a cocktail sous vide. Explain, please. (smiles) Yeah, sous vide is basically a really slow way of cooking something under pressure in water, so we’ve been adding toasted whiskey barrel chips and “cooking” them for 24 hours. Basically you mimic barrel aging – the depth and flavor you can get in such a small amount of liquid is incredible. Oh, and we have a carbonated Mai Tai on tap right now.

What would surprise people about you? That I am really shy. I’m comfortable behind the bar, confident in my craft and very comfortable interacting with people there. It’s part of what you learn over 20 years.

With whom would you most like to have a cocktail? I’d love to have one more drink with my grandpa. He taught me to make my first cocktail: a Glenlivet Perfect Rob Roy. It’s an absolutely perfect cocktail and very close to my heart. I still serve it the same way today.

May we have the recipe? Yes, you may. Glenlivet Perfect Rob Roy: 2 ounces Glenlivet 12-year-old; 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth; 1/2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish.