Pregaming is an art and a science. It sets the tone for the night ahead while physically and mentally preparing you for the festivities. In our “Pregaming With” series, we ask our favorite bartending pros how to do it right.
Jesse Vida knows about drinks. Before becoming the head bartender and manager of BlackTail—a Prohibition era-inspired Cuban drinkery in NYC—he was slinging cocktails at its sister bar, the award-winning Dead Rabbit, and before that he honed his skills at top-notch drinking establishments like Dutch Kills and Momofuku Ssäm Bar. He has guest bartended at bars across the country, blended pisco in Peru and participated in a cocktail competition in Iceland. Again, this guy knows about drinks—and drinking in general. So we asked him about his go-to pregaming rituals before a night out on a town. Give his routine a try and find out what it’s like to pregame like a pro.
A couple of go-to albums are Common’s Be, Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, Maad City and J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
Pre-gaming is a sport meant to be played in the communal living areas of a house or apartment.
Pizza is always a strong option here.
A simple cocktail like a spirit mixed with soda or a straight pour of something nice.
I usually pregame while getting ready, so it starts off in basketball shorts and evolves into the outfit for the evening.
Kings Cup it is!
Jess, Gabe, Harry and Samantha are some of the usual suspects, but it rotates between them and others. I have very few friends these days that don't tend bar. Most of them are back home in California.
Running man into the worm.
Check out @jessejvida to follow Vida’s boozy adventures.