Maxwell Britten, a bartender at Freemans, who was named a Rising Star in mixology by StarChefs earlier this year, has plans to launch an invite-only pop-up supper club, to be held monthly at secret locations throughout the city. The Tucson native and his brother last year founded Jigger, Beaker & Flask, a mixology consulting firm named for the iconic cocktail tome by Charles H. Baker. The supper club will be an ongoing project for them.
“Bartending was an accident,” says Britten. “A happy accident, I suppose. My father was a restaurateur when I was growing up. Being near food and beverage has always been kind of a natural thing for me.”
What started as way to pay the bills quickly became a passion for Britten, who is now known for his classic, aromatic drinks, which tend toward the dark and complex, boozy and stirred. Oh, and you can keep the term “mixologist” or “bar chef” to yourself: “We are bartenders,” pronounces. Britten. “Someone who gives themself [sic] [the title of mixologist] probably isn’t a very good bartender.”
Being named a Rising Star has been a boost to Britten’s career, but you can still find him at Freemans a couple days out of the week.
“It’s important to me to maintain my presence behind the bar and have people know that even though I am consulting and running a company that I am still a bartender, that I am connected to the customer and do what I love, which is being near great food and drinks.”
So, just how does one score a seat at one of Britten’s private tables?
“There are a limited number of seats available each dinner and we are exclusive about the company we dine with,” he warns. “[It’s] based on people who we want to work with or people we are currently working with. We also invite people who we have a lot of respect for regarding their background and trade.”
He assures, however, that you can always email Jigger, Beaker & Flask to try your luck.