We Love Drinks embarks on a series where we look behind the bar, profiling the many people – from mixologists to bartenders, sommeliers to publicans – who make your drinks experience happen.
“The coolest winter I ever spent was a San Francisco summer,” Josh Volz quips as he mixes up… a San Francisco Summer cocktail. A bartender who can quote Mark Twain is high in my books. He’s a man in total command of his sometimes chaotic bar, flooded by loyal regulars and dandies alike. Always in motion, befitting the vibrant and constantly shifting scene of Marvin, he’s rustling up a hand-crafted cocktail with no pretension and no intimidation.
“What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about your job?” I ask.
“That it’s easy,” he replies.
This I find hard to believe, watching him juggle multiple drink orders from both the bar and the servers at one of the busiest spots in DC. Not to mention, this is a man who came to cocktails relatively late – his first taste of liquor wasn’t even until the age of twenty-five. But it’s a fitting job description for someone who strives to run an inviting, approachable bar. He’s got a wry sense of humor and a balanced, classic cocktail style. I genuinely enjoyed sitting at Marvin’s downstairs marble bar getting to know him and his regulars better. Isn’t that the best part about going to a bar anyway?