15 May Not Your Typical Bro-zek
Bartender of the Month:
Nick Brozek, Lead Bartender at Crow and the Pitcher.
Everyday you can catch me behind the bar.
In this edition of Stateside’s “Bartender of the Month,” we interviewed Nick Brozek, lead bartender at Crow and the Pitcher, to better examine the man behind the drink. His inception into bartending came when he was just 19, while living in Pittsburgh and pursuing his undergrad. “During college I needed a part-time job. I was drinking underage at a bar when they asked me to bar back. About six months later, one of the staff didn’t show up, so I ended up bartending my first shift,” Brozek said. From this point on Brozek was transfixed by the craft.
After returning home from Pittsburgh, Brozek took a job at a suburban-area hibachi restaurant, where for the first time he tried his hand at creating cocktails, “I venture to say my first job as ‘cocktail head’ or bar manager was at a little suburban place called Ooka, where they pretty much let me have free rein.” This was just the beginning of what would become a prolific career.
His breakthrough came after an opportune run-in with a spirits guru in New York, an experience that reshaped his mindset towards bartending. “I was taught by a gentleman named Toby Maloney in New York, how to actually be a cocktail guy. From that point forward it’s been only fresh ingredients, simple classics are the classics for a reason; it kind of changed my whole mentality on bartending in general,” Brozek said.
When asked about what he thought of Stateside Vodka, Brozek pulled no punches. “Ketel One has been around for a while, Tito’s is a major called out demand. I think this is a million times better than anything I’ve had in a long time, including Grey Goose. It is shocking how balanced and really tasty it is.” Being that Brozek is not an avid vodka drinker, we could not have asked for a better review.
Brozek’s signature Stateside Vodka cocktail, the “Stateside,” can be found on Crow and the Pitcher’s cocktail menu. He clued us in as to how he approached creating the drink, “I basically was taking a play on a Perfect Martini and instead of using Gin I used Stateside.” The “Stateside” is comprised of Stateside Vodka, Dolin Blanc, Carpano Antica and homemade Orange Elderflower Bitters.
Behind the stick at three different Philadelphia establishments, Brozek’s expertise is widely sought after in the bartending scene. Having worked in fifteen different bars in the past 7 years, his litany of cocktail creations can be found all around Philadelphia. Catch him at Crow and the Pitcher on Wednesday and Saturday nights, located at 267 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 to get your hands on a “Stateside.” We promise it does not disappoint.