Shots Shots Shots: Follow These Top Mixologists on Instagram for Better Cocktail Pics

Mixologists of Instagram

Scrolling through your Instagram feed can make you thirsty. That’s because mixologists have flocked to the photo sharing service since it debuted in 2010, using it as a forum to showcase their most striking cocktails, share recipes, and give patrons a virtual peek behind the bar. Here are six top mixologists to follow on Instagram if you’re looking for inspiration on what to drink next.

Melisa Lapido, aka @melis_boozy_cure, of 31 Supper Club, Ormond Beach, Florida

“Garnishing is a passion for me,” says Lapido. “I treat it like adult arts and crafts.”

The results are wow-worthy and usually earn her hundreds of likes. She uses a broad array of techniques to add pop to her potables – from trimming a lemon peel with a ravioli cutter so it becomes lacey to creating unique ice components.

These eye-catching creations have translated into surging bar sales. “It’s amazing how many people come into the bar and tell me they saw something on Instagram that they want me to make,” she says. “Fresh fruit changes daily, so they might not get the exact same thing, but it gives me a sense of their palate.”

Pro Tip: “I like shooting against dark or black backgrounds, because it highlights the colors of the drink.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Rhys Alvarado, aka @rhyseespieces, of Burritt Room + Tavern, San Francisco, California

Rhys Alvarado got on Instagram three years ago to find out what his fellow mixologists were doing and to promote his own work. “If you don’t publicize your stuff, you get lost,” he says. “It’s about keeping the bar relevant in such a dynamic scene with so many openings.”

He has a soft spot for showcasing vintage glassware in his photos, such as antique coupes, Collins glasses with frosted etching, and crystal Old Fashioned tumblers. He’s equally focused on his garnish game, which heavily focuses on fresh fruit. If it’s not perfect, he won’t bother posting the pic. “I saw on a Corona ad the other day featuring a lime with brown edges in it,” he says. “I would be peeved if that was in my Instagram shot.”

Pro Tip: “Don’t post after midnight because no one will see it. I don’t post in the morning either because people aren’t thinking about drinking unless they have a problem. Posting at one or two in the afternoon is great because that’s when people start making plans for the evening.”

Mixologists of Instagram

Jose “Chuck” Rivera, aka @chucktending, of barmini, Washington, D.C.

“Every cocktail is a piece of art,” says Rivera. “People fall in love with a drink visually first.”

To ensure it’s love at first sight, he spends a lot of time working on his garnishes. He aims to use components that are “edible and beautiful,” such as a black olive wrapped in ibérico ham, lavender blossoms, and parsley ice.

Almost every cocktail pic is accompanied by the drink’s recipe because Rivera feels it’s important to share the craft and allow followers to try it at home if they’d like.

Pro Tip: “Playing with colors is really important. I don’t want a red cocktail with a red garnish on a red napkin. That’s too flat. Mix it up.”

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How to Take Delicious Instagram Food Photos: 6 Pro Tips for Shooting Hotter Than Hot Food Porn

As a part of my job as a food writer, I am constantly photographing my meals. In fact, sometimes I feel like I spend more time snapping pictures of my food than I do eating it. The extra effort is worth it. The best shots – the ones that have the power to make viewers literally salivate or exclaim, “I want that in my belly now!” – get posted to my Instagram account @nevinmartell or are sold to a variety of print and online publications.
How to Take Delicious Instagram Photos

I shoot exclusively on my iPhone 6 using the Hipstamatic app because of its versatility and extensive variety of filters. Additionally, using a phone camera allows me to do my work relatively unobtrusively in a restaurant, so I’m not disturbing other guests while I painstakingly document my dishes and drinks.

Though it seems super easy to just whip out your phone and snap a few shots of the steak you’re enjoying, it’s actually quite difficult to make it look good. We’ve all seen the bad shots people keep posting to social media. They’re often poorly lit, out of focus, and have no clear subject. Worst of all, they make the chef’s or mixologist’s hard work look downright unappetizing.

Food photography should inspire a sudden hunger or an unfettered desire. That’s why they call it food porn. So, if you want to shoot wow-worthy pics that rack up the hearts and make your friends envious of your dining regimen, follow along to learn how to take delicious Instagram food photos.


Utilize natural light whenever possible by shooting next to a window or outside. If you can’t shoot during the day, never use a raw flash. Instead, get another diner to cover the front of their iPhone with a white napkin and turn on the flashlight app to create a soft light.

How to Take Delicious Instagram Food Photos


Sometimes you need to do a quick mini-makeover of a dish before you photograph it. Wipe smudges and crumbs off the plate, arrange garnishes attractively, and pull sandwich halves apart so the fillings are visible. Remember to take pictures quickly, because ice cream melts, sauces congeal, and greens wilt.Continue Reading

We Are Family: Foodspotting Joins OpenTable!

OpenTable is about to make you a whole lot hungrier, thanks to the addition of Foodspotting and their delectable photos to our family of products.

We are thrilled to announce that Foodspotting is becoming a part of OpenTable. An app for finding and sharing great dishes at restaurants, Foodspotting is a must-have for foodies who enjoy documenting, sharing, and discovering photos of delicious dishes.

“We’re proud to welcome the talented Foodspotting team to the OpenTable family,” said our own Matt Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable. “The folks behind Foodspotting are as passionate about dining as we are, and we’re looking forward to leveraging their unique expertise in the areas of imagery and social sharing to enrich the OpenTable experience for diners and restaurants in new and exciting ways. By adding more visually compelling content to help people decide where to dine and discover dishes they’ll love, we hope to make it even easier to find the perfect table for any occasion.”

Foodspotting Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Alexa Andrzejewski is equally excited. “We’re so happy to have found a home for Foodspotting where our community can continue to thrive while our entire team continues to focus on creating great dining experiences.”

By becoming part of the OpenTable family of products, Foodspotting will enable us to deliver a richer visual and social experience for diners as well as provide our restaurants with new opportunities to showcase their culinary creations.

While Alexa and her team help us develop more enhancements to OpenTable, we will continue to maintain the Foodspotting site and mobile apps on a standalone basis. And, OpenTable is adding Foodspotting photos to our web and mobile web and will soon be available across our service.

Dining Out Is In on Labor Day; Hay Is for Humans + Horses; Djokovic Can Dine Gluten-Free at The French Laundry; Time Limits on Restaurant Tables, and More

Tennis champ Novak Djokovic reacts to news of The French Laundry's new gluten-free flour.

Restaurant and dining news around the nation and the world…

* Restaurants are the new hotels on Labor Day. And, more than one publication thinks so!  [SF Chronicle]

* Turns out hay isn’t just for horses. Who knew? Chef Rene Redzepi, that’s who! [TIME]

* A tales of two pizzas. What you see isn’t always what you get, as evidenced by this blog post. [AJC Food and More]

* Take it to the limit. The time limit, that is. You may find there’s one on your table. [Daily Mail]

* Novak Djokovic can now dine at The French Laundry. Thomas Keller goes gluten free(ish). [Haute Living]

* Another week, another list. 10 worst restaurant trends. [Fork in the Road]

* Do not enter. Signs you’ve picked the wrong restaurant. [Food and Wine]

* Return to sender. When do you send back food? [AJC Food and More]

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