With more than a decade of bartending experience, Jonny Raglin’s dream of opening his own bar has finally come to fruition. His secret to success – only using three ingredients to achieve perfectly balanced cocktails (what he calls the “do-re-mi”) and have The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock in your back pocket.
Born and raised in Harrah, Oklahoma, Raglin didn’t seek formal training in bartending and mixology, but rather polished his skills through a series of apprenticeships. He first entered the industry when his two best friends agreed to show him the bartending ropes at Pearls Oyster Bar, a local Cajun restaurant, while attending the University of Central Oklahoma. Upon graduating in 1999, he traveled throughout Europe, tasting his way city to city, and worked for a while in Irish pubs on the west coast of Ireland.
In early 2001, he moved to San Francisco and got the bartending break of a lifetime at Stars Bar and Dining, the longest bar in the city with one of the most eclectic and well stocked bottle collections. There he met influential mentor Dan McCracken who taught Raglin how to make proper cocktails with fresh juices and seasonal ingredients, and vastly increased his spirits and classic cocktail knowledge. When Stars Bar closed in 2003, Raglin joined Incanto where renowned Chef Chris Cosentino offered guidance to sourcing the best local ingredients from the farmers markets for cocktails.
Raglin joined Absinthe Brasserie & Bar’s bar team in 2004, where he worked with Jeff Hollinger to develop culinary-like cocktails inspired by the classics. From 2005 to 2009, he oversaw Absinthe’s bar program as Bar Manager. During this time, his signature style led to him to design note-worthy cocktail menus for several San Francisco restaurants, including Nopa, Dosa and Maverick, through his own company, Proper Potion Consulting.
In 2009, Raglin partnered with Jeff Hollinger to conceptualize Comstock Saloon. He has played a major part in all aspects of the opening, including refurbishing the historic location, sourcing vintage bar paraphernalia and the creation of the Saloon’s food and beverage menus with Chef Carlos Espinas.
Raglin is a member of the United States Bartender’s Guild association. In 2007, he was selected as a StarChefs “Rising Star Bar Chef.” He resides in San Francisco with his wife Sara Spearin and two boys, Henry and Arlo.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SET UP AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CALL SARAH LOGAN AT WAGSTAFF WORLDWIDE AT 415.274.2510.