Director of Beverage, Eighteen36
Josh Saphier has been bartending for more than a decade, in major cities across the United States. Getting his start in Boston, he quickly learned the ropes and started his craft cocktail journey. Los Angeles was his next move and he tended bar at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. This high end steak house saw A-list celebrities nightly. His talent was quickly noticed and he took charge of the cocktail program. There, he created a standard craft cocktail menu in addition to a unique sake based cocktail list to pair with sushi offerings. During his five year tenure in Beverly Hills Josh was profiled in The Tasting Panel magazine and then in Jack Daniel’s Little Black Book for a cocktail he created for Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday celebration.
His next move was to Portland, OR, where he worked at the hot spot lounge Departure, on top of The Nines Hotel and with celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet at the helm of the food program. Josh created Asian focused craft cocktails to pair with the Pan-Asian food offerings. That’s where he won a competition for Sage Hospitality with his cocktail “The Layover” a concoction that brought together both local ingredients and foreign elements from Japan.
In January of 2020 Josh relocated to Houston, TX, to help open Eighteen36, a bar that honors its namesake. His craft cocktails that are themed to the history of the city have made this bar one of the most popular in the area. As Director of Beverage he assisted in the bar build out, created the cocktail program and trained all bar staff. Since the bar’s opening Josh has been showcased in several magazines and newspapers including Uproxx, Houston Magazine, and the Jewish Herald Voice. He was also showcased on Houston Life, a television show for the local NBC affiliate. In October of 2020 Josh won the Uncle Nearest Whiskey “Honor Your Legacy” cocktail competition. He was one of 12 nationwide winners creating a cocktail that used ingredients from four major cities where he’s bartended. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, he quickly thought on his feet and created bottled craft cocktails and kits to help generate sales. He is now offering mixology classes in person and virtually.