Bartender Hall of Fame: Highlighting Tahoe Top Shelfer, Maxx Grush

When we caught up with Maxx, owner of Mixxology, Inc., and asked him to become our first Tahoe Top Shelfer in our Bartender Hall of Fame he jumped with excitement (it just so happened he was on a trampoline at the time). Thankfully, he agreed to entertain us by giving us a quick behind-the-scenes look at his career as a mixologist.

Maxx was born and raised in So Cal and moved to Tahoe for college about a decade ago. After working through school, he ended up graduating with degrees in entrepreneurship and business management, minoring in marketing and human relations. As luck would have it, he got out right as the market crashed and was lucky enough to turn his work at Northstar into a full-time, year-round management job. Since then, he’s been creating new drinks and experiences every season and really diving into his true passion, mixology.

We asked Maxx to share a funny bartending story with us … and he did!

“During a snowstorm, I was witness to a rather irate guest storm-up to one of the bars, bypassing a line of about 15 people. She then proceeded to grab the attention of the bartender there, and said, “Excuse me! Excuse me! There is SNOW falling on my husband’s head! Is there something we could do about this?!?!” The bartender smiled politely, asked her to wait a moment, and then kneeled, made the sign of the cross, and pretended to pray. He stood, smiled again, and said, “Well, I spoke with the man upstairs, he’s working on it. Can I help the next person in line?” Everyone in line laughed and applauded as the woman stormed off in a huff.”

The Stats:
Maxx has been creating drinks since he started with Italian sodas at age 11.
Maxx is currently the owner of a small private mixology firm called Mixxology Inc.
Maxx lives the Lake Tahoe Spirit by riding as often as he can, hiking the backcountry, running with his dog, paintballing, golfing, fly fishing, free diving, wake boarding and more.
The best part of his job, besides pouring Tahoe Blue Vodka, is being able to see someone smile when they take their first sip of something special he just made for them; that’s a feeling like no other!

Maxx’s Tahoe Blue Vodka MojitoMaxx-mojito-pic-Fixed
Stuff you’ll need:
– 8 mint leaves
– 1 lime wedge
– 2.5 oz Tahoe Blue Vodka
– 1.5 oz Orange liqueur
– .25 oz fresh ginger syrup
– 2 oz fresh lime juice
– 1 oz lemonade
– Goslings ginger beer

What you’ll do:
1. Place the mint leaves and lime wedge into a pint glass
2. Fill with ice
3. Add Tahoe Blue Vodka and orange liqueur
4. Add ginger syrup, lime juice and lemonade
5. Shake vigorously (en lieu of muddling), which opens up the flavor of the mint instead of breaking it into little pieces that can get pulled into the straw.
6. Pour into a 16 oz glass and top with ginger beer. Enjoy!

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