Meet the Bartender: Bubba Buxton

Bubba Buxton sees a move away from overly sweet drinks toward good-flavored red wines among his customers at East.

Photo by Michael Donahue, Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Bubba Buxton sees a move away from overly sweet drinks toward good-flavored red wines among his customers at East.

Age: 26.

Title: Bartender at East Tapas & Drinks.

Hometown: Memphis.

How did you get into bartending? My sister married Lisa's (Ansley, East manager) brother, so she kind of married into the restaurant business. This was the first place I worked.

What makes a good bartender? Knowledge of drinks. Creativity with the drinks as well. ... Definitely, you need to be a somewhat people person. You've got to associate with the customers, but also know that when they want to have their own conversations, you let them be.

What's the best part of being a bartender? It gets quick at times, and I'm a little better at being fast. When the pressure gets put on and my adrenaline is going and everything ... I'm a fast-paced kind of person.

What's popular at your bar right now? A lot of the red blends and the Malbecs are coming up. I've seen a move away from the sweeter stuff. A lot of people are trying to get more into the traditional good-flavored wines.

What's out of style now at bars? A move away from the super-sweet drinks -- just a lot of typical "go out Downtown and drink" things like the Walk Me Downs and things like that where you have a lot of sugar and stuff in them.

Have you ever created a drink? There's two I like a lot. There's a mango mint with gin and juice ...(and) a cucumber wasabi gin drink.

What's your favorite drink (mixed drink, wine or beer)? I'm a Southerner. I love my Jack Daniels. Give me a Jack and Sprite. Switch it up every now and then with a Jack and Coke.

Does your bar serve a signature drink? Lisa introduced a lychee martini ... It's Asian fruit, lychee juice, vodka and a splash of Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur).

What are some of your other interests? I work Downtown screen printing (at Sachë Clothing and Design). I love doing shirts and clothing. I'm an art kid. I love all things art. ... A year ago last July, for the first time I went on a mission trip to Belize. It was a vacation Bible school. We had about 230 kids. ... Different activities with kids and then construction in the evenings. ... This coming July, I'll be going back for the next vacation Bible school.

East Tapas and Drinks is at 6069 Park; (901) 767-6002.

-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797;

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