In this corner is a talented bartendress with a fitting name—Abby Martinie. Growing up in Mesa, AZ, Abby jumped headfirst into her first bartending gig at a busy college bar while attending NAU. She’s also had a chance to explore other facets of the hospitality industry, starting with her first job hostessing at Cowboy Ciao and later working in event planning and as a banquet administrator. Now we can find her mixing up well-crafted cocktails behind the intimate five-seat bar at noca. I became a fan when a visiting friend asked her for a Fernet Branca Negroni. She enthusiastically rose to the challenge and we spent the night sampling superb variations of Negronis with various gins and amari. It’s always a special pleasure, as my friend expressed, when you find “a bartender you can engage, have a rapport with and enjoy a two-way conversation through drink.” I couldn’t agree more.
What inspires me? I’ve discovered that I’m most passionate about being involved in a chef-driven restaurant where the cocktails are up to par with the food.
On a hot summer day… My drink of choice is a Negroni, or I’ll order a really cold beer.
On a cool day… I drink a lot of Manhattans in the winter.
The best part of working at noca… I love having the freedom to be able to design and play around with cocktails.
At the end of my shift I pour myself… On a busy night, it will be a Jameson neat. For something more mellow, I’ll have a glass of red wine. Working at noca, lately I’ve been leaning towards Italian varietals.
Favorite spirit? Whiskey; I’m a Jameson girl.
A cocktail you wish more people would order? I’m a fan of the classics, so something like an Old-Fashioned, Negroni or Manhattan.
I love when a guest… Is open to trying something different.
It’s important for a bartender to… Not be arrogant or force their tastes on a guest, be a good listener and be flexible.
Favorite thing about working behind a bar?
I take a lot of pride in introducing guests to something new. For instance, if they always order a Lemon Drop, I’ll suggest they try it with Lillet Blanc.
If I wasn’t bartending… I’d love to travel the world eating and drinking for a guide like Lonely Planet.
Favorite spot for a cocktail in Phoenix? Bar Crudo is great and Shady’s is my local watering hole.
Find some of Abby’s favorites mentioned here:
You’ll find Abby at:
3118 E Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Article and Photos by Christina Barrueta
Originally Published in Arizona Vines and Wines Winter 2012 Issue