Nine on the Line: Local Bartender, Andrés Ortiz

January 31, 2024
By Sam Jump
By Sam Jump

“Nine on the Line” is a chef Q&A series asking nine questions to chefs, business owners, and others in the local culinary scene.

As the international Dos Hombres Bar Boss competition heats up, Tucson’s own Andrés Ortiz stands at the forefront, blending his expertise in mixology with a passion for his community. Ortiz brings his own flair to the competition, aiming for the coveted title and the chance to grace the cover of Bartender Magazine, but Ortiz’s journey extends far beyond the bar.

With a history deeply rooted in the Tucson bartending scene, he’s become a familiar face, known not just for his craft cocktails but also for his ability to connect with patrons from all walks of life, holding space as a local travel agent and offerer of guidance as he embodies the spirit of hospitality that defines Tucson’s bar scene.

Old Fashioned (Photo courtesy of Owls Club)

Aside from the competition, Ortiz’s ambitions are clear. He can work magic behind the bar, but his dreams stretch even further. With the $10,000 prize, he envisions opening a bar in Mexico, reconnecting with his roots, and giving back to the country that shaped his heritage. In a testament to his community-minded approach, Ortiz is also rallying support for the Kind Campaign, using his platform to raise awareness and combat the harmful effects of bullying.

As he mixes mezcal and community spirit, Andrés Ortiz proves that being a bartender is about more than just crafting cocktails — it’s about making a difference wherever you pour.

So, without further ado, I present Nine on the Line with Andrés Ortiz. 

Corpse Reviver No. 2.  Those were flavors I’d never experienced in combination before and I have never become tired of it. 

A good stirring spoon and a good cocktail shaker.  Good shaking and stirring techniques get glanced over by a lot of bartenders and it makes a difference. And make sure you’re using good ice; It’s an important ingredient in cocktails. 

It took me a couple of years into bartending before I started making my own.  I became hyper-focused on learning how to make the classics. And I mainly focused on the Martini and the Daiquiri, those were the ones I was told to get good at making. The first one that I made that went on a menu as a special was the Slow Learner – gin, lemon, green Chartreuse, Curacao, basil, and egg white.  

Packaged cocktails/seltzers are what have been really piquing my interest. There are some good ones and there’s the rest. There’s so many people you can reach with unique recipes. But what people are doing with their local herbs/ingredients and sustainability practices is something I’m going to start diving into more.  

If this is someone I’ve never met alive or dead: Leonard Cohen,

I’ve seen so many places on the internet doing what looks to be incredible, but Mexico City for food and drink is a labyrinth I would like to spend more time in. 

Daiquiri. And the many versions of it. When you learn to make it right it’s hard to choose anything else. 

El Crisol at Exo. It’s just such a well-thought-out and focused program and environment. The Royal Room and Saint Charles Tavern are the places I intuitively find myself going to very often — they both have a handful of some of my favorite bartenders in town.

Mom’s food. Crema de Zanahoria soup and arroz con pollo with a comically large glass of Jamaica packed with crushed ice. I’d sip on some Raicilla or Charanda to start. 

For more information about the international Dos Hombres Bar Boss competition, visit and keep up with the latest by following Andrés Ortiz on Instagram.

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Sam Jump is a conduit of empowerment and connection, fueled by her drive to leave a mark on the world that reminds others of the power of compassion, curiosity, and community. Her ability to integrate clear vision and mindful communication...

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