Story by Becky Speere
Mobile bars catering crafted cocktails, wine and beer have become the go-to for parties. And why not? What host wants to be stuck behind a counter, making drinks instead of socializing with guests?
That logic inspired Nick Saussy, the entrepreneur who founded YourBar in 2017.
Saussy moved to Maui from Tennessee in 1997, intending “to chase the Endless Summer lifestyle: surf and windsurf as much as possible, and work as little as possible.” He landed a job bartending at the former Jacques in Pā‘ia. He later tended bar at Tommy Bahama in Wailea, and then at Flatbread Pizza, before accepting the job of bar manager at The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū (where he met Executive Chef Jeff Scheer, whose wedding is the subject of this issue’s dining feature).
“At Tropical Plantation, I crafted drinks [using fresh local fruit, herbs and vegetables] and began doing more catered, off-premise events. I enjoyed it more than tending bar at a restaurant. I love being outside.
“I spoke to my wife, Sheila, about starting a bar-catering business and she said immediately, ‘I’m in!’ She’d been a nurse for over fifteen years, [but] being a bartender was her dream job. I never knew!”
The Saussys named their business YourBar. “We want our clients to feel like it’s their bar at their event. I built our bar, so I could customize it to have different looks to suit any theme. We invested in the Bottoms Up beer system, which fills cups from the bottom up so there is very little waste.”
Bottoms Up beer system
Maui, it turns out, is a paradise not just for surfers, but for craft-cocktail lovers. “There is always an abundance of fresh ingredients to choose from,” says Nick. “For the Scheer wedding, we batched two different cocktails in barrels. The most popular was the Tequila Manhattan. It’s a recipe from one of my old coworkers, Ka‘ai Fong.”
Tequila Manhattan Recipe
- 3 parts Tequila (cazadores reposado)
- 1 part sweet vermouth (Cocchi di Torino)
- 1 part agave
- edible flowers for garnish, optional
Age in oak barrels for three weeks. To serve, shake with ice cubes. Pour into glass over ice. Garnish with edible flowers.
Yuzu Whiskey Sour Recipe
- 2 ounces whiskey (Saussy prefers Templeton Rye)
- 1/2 ounce yuzu juice (available at TJ’s Warehouse in Wailuku, and Whole Foods Market in Kahului)
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar (or simple syrup from raw sugar)
Shake with ice cubes. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice, or strain into a coupe glass.