For this month’s spotlight series, we bar crawled across Madison Ave & Broadway (hitting up three iconic destinations, to be exact) and sat down over seasonal craft cocktails in order to to get to know Jeremy Hawn a little better.
As the NYC-based Absolut Elyx Brand Agent, Jeremy’s position is split between establishing which high-end hotels and bars Absolut Elyx is served at (such as the three NoMad locations featured in this article) and securing the hottest brand partnerships and industry events, setting up the framework for an impeccable brand experience.
From placing Elyx copper vessels behind the bars of Michelin star restaurants to getting them into the hands of A-listers and key influencers and even hosting coveted activations like the recent NYFW Copper Cab takeover, Jeremy is the man of the (happy) hour. Be sure to keep an eye on this Elyx superstar as he continues to push industry boundaries, one Copper Pineapple at a time.
DESTINATION #1: ROOF AT PARK SOUTH Hotel
We kicked off our bar crawl with a toast including Port Of Call and Vod Sod On Drought
KP: Born and Raised?
JH: Born and raised in Chicago and I've lived in NYC for 13 years now, essentially my entire adult life.
KP: What are your main duties at Elyx? How are you striving to set the brand a part from the never-ending sea of collaboration that appear in our industry today?
JH: My main duties at Elyx are promoting the brand in every way possible to both industry insiders and to consumers. That means making sure that we're carried in all of the right bars, restaurants, hotels, and clubs and educating the bartenders and bar managers who work there so they know about how it's made and how to use it in a way that's best for them and that creates the best experience for their guests. On the consumer side it means throwing events to gain exposure to the right audiences by partnering with fashion brands, the music industry, artist and galleries, tech companies, media companies, and celebrities. I think what sets us apart is our ability to create a higher level of guest experience with our over-the-top copper drinking vessels and decorations and we're in high demand for events and parties because people who have been to previous events have seen what we do and want us to elevate their party and cocktails as well.
KP: What were the credentials that landed you the Brand Ambassador position at Elyx?
JH: Being a Brand Ambassador requires you to represent the product, and the culture and aesthetic surrounding it, in everything that you do. I got there by being a career bartender up to now, including running cocktail programs at Michelin Star restaurants. That led to my first taste of brand work on a freelance basis. Eventually I switched to focusing purely on cocktails and spirits since that was my passion, so I left fine dining to open up Seamstress under Pam Wiznitzer and at the same time started my first part-time brand ambassadorship. That job led to another, and apparently I did well enough representing smaller brands since I started getting interest from the big brands.
I had served Elyx at Seamstress and loved that they embraced cocktail culture in a way that no other vodka has with their unique copper drinking vessels, and the quality of the spirit itself is unmatched. So I already had a huge amount of respect for the product and the way Elyx was changing the direction of the vodka category. I think what they saw in me and what has made this a success is that I've lived the brand, embodying who Elyx would be if it were a person in the NYC nightlife scene. And it was easy for me to do because this brand is so much fun.
DESTINATION #2: The Heights at ARLO NoMad
We reached new heights with an order of Frosé and Crown Heights
KP: From your past as a bartender in some of the top restaurants and lounges, who were your peers/co-workers and where are they now?
JH: It’s been really fun thinking back on this recently. I remember coming up in the scene and looking up to all of these people who are now friends of mine just in awe of the skill and knowledge that they had. And the reverence was justified. These are the people who grew the cocktail scene from a fringe thing for aficionados only, to now being a part of mainstream culture that's present in every major city in the world.They've all gone on to own their own bars, become bar/beverage consultants, run entire restaurant groups, write books on cocktails and spirits, launch beverage-based web sites, cocktail competitions, cocktail and spirits education companies, syrup companies, bitters companies, bar tool companies, and even their own spirits brands. And then there are those like me who have become Ambassadors to serve as a liaison between the bars and bartenders and the spirits we use and enjoy.
DESTINATION #3: The NoMad Bar at The NoMad Hotel
We ended our spirits journey at the ultimate grand finale - The NoMad Bar. Truffle fries, carrot tartare and gourmet bites were quickly followed by sips of the Elyx Copper COQ-TAIL as pictured below.
KP: Favorite cocktail?
JH: Corpse Reviver #2
KP: Top 3 favorite bars in the city?
JH: I’m not allowed to play favorites. It would be way to hard to narrow it down to just 3 anyway.
KP: what was your biggest accomplishment while being a part of the Elyx fam?
JH: In my first month on the job I set goals for how much I thought I could grow Elyx's presence in New York in my first year. I was told I was being unrealistic, needed to slow down, and to have more modest expectations and realistic goals. Then I went out and accomplished exactly what I said I was going to do and proved both my ability to help grow a brand and that Absolut Elyx is going to be a major part of the nightlife scene here in New York and around the world for years to come.
KP: Where is mixology headed?
JH: I’ll leave that up to my friends who set the trends by making innovative cocktails and opening fun new bars. I'm just here to enjoy their deliciously creative exploits.