Sean Kenyon was literally born to be behind a bar. He is a third generation Barman, his Grandfather, Mother and Father have been pub owners and bartenders in New Jersey since the 1930's. He first stepped behind the bar at the young age of sixteen and has never left. Early in his career, Sean developed a passion for classic cocktails and cocktail history. He continues to show great respect for that history and methodology while finding influences for new creations in modern spirits, ingredients and techniques. Over the course of his 28-year bartending career, Sean has managed bars and cocktail programs in New Jersey, Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado. In 2011, he realized a lifelong dream and opened Williams & Graham in Denver, CO. In 2013 & 2014 the bar was nominated for a James Beard award for the nation’s outstanding beverage program. National media such as CNN, Food & Wine Magazine, Imbibe Magazine, Wall Street Journal and Esquire have recently recognized his beverage programs. In 2009 he was awarded Mixologist of the Year by Denver Magazine, Food & Wine magazine and Esquire voted Williams & Graham Top and Best bar in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2014 Sean was named Nightclub and Bar Bartender of the Year by the Spirited Awards.marcu
Taste and Savor Questionnaire - Beverage Experts
Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence:
Beauty in Simplicity.
What is your earliest beverage memory?
I had my first stirred Manhattan in the mid 90’s. Up to that point, I had only ever had shaken Manhattans (because that’s how they did it in the 80’s & 90’s). It was the best that I had ever had. It changed my outlook on cocktails.
Who is or was your biggest influence?
My father. He is a bartender as well. He is the the most hospitable bartender I have ever known. He always takes care of his guests like they were in his home.
What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure?
A classic Vieux Carre. rye, cognac, rosso vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters
After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?
I actually prefer to drink straight spirits neat. Agave Spirits or Whisky depending on my mood.
Money is no option – what is your drink of choice?
Del Maguey Iberico. Neat.
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