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Mixologist of the Month: Giuseppe Gonzalez

April 21, 2011


Giuseppe Gonzalez

Mixologist Giuseppe Gonzalez



South Bronx by way of Puerto Rico

Becoming A Mixologist

Giuseppe is a 3rd generation bartender but not on purpose. He attended Cornell University where he earned his degree in neurobiology but the family business had a way of luring him back behind the bar. Giuseppe was working in Boston when he entered his first cocktail competition. He won it and, along with it, a free trip to London. There, he got to see bars and bartenders making rum drinks that previously had only existed in his imagination.

Inspired, he returned to New York and dedicated himself to looking at his family business as a craft. One he could help liberate and return to the top by shaking up palates dulled by bland, soulless concoctions. He quickly built his reputation at New York City bars Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge as head bartender. Soon after, he helped put Long Island City on the cocktail map as lead bartender with Dutch Kills.

He is the champion of several national competitions, has represented the USA team internationally and is now frequently honored as one of NYC’s best bartenders.

Home Cocktail Bar

Mixologist Giuseppe Gonzalez of Painkiller

Giuseppe, with partner Richard Boccato, opened Painkiller in May of last year. There, on the Lower East Side, you’ll find him working towards their goal of returning Tiki culture to its fresh, free roots while, at the same time, shaking up old notions of of what a rum cocktail is. So you won’t find him using canned pineapple or bottled lime juice as they try to recreate the old tiki bars where everything was natural and organic.

Giuseppe considers himself to be more of a bartender than a mixologist. While he, and Painkiller, are dedicated to taking the hard work, time and the highest of standards to create fresh, well-crafted, beautiful & delicious cocktails, he believes that the most important thing to being a bartender is, not the drink, but being a good host.


With Painkiller, Giuseppe wants people to remember that Manhattan is the greatest island on Earth: a place where, only four decades ago, people were free & wild on the streets. So we shouldn’t have to ‘escape’ to a tiki bar to be free. In New York we have a proud history of being liberated spirits.

We salute Giuseppe as a master of his craft and a liberated spirit himself.

Do you know a mixologist who should be featured as our mixologist of the month? Leave a suggestion.

One Response to “Mixologist of the Month: Giuseppe Gonzalez”

  1. Hey Giuseppe, how are you? My name is Brandon, we met at the Rum Festival Sunday on Miami Beach. I just wanted to thank you for all of your info on this fabulous product you guys are carrying. Keep up the good work, hopefully I can run into you guys at another event down here. Bring Denizen to Miami!!

    Brandon (

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