Spirited Away

Is Alba Huerta the Best Bartender in America?

The woman behind Julep makes the cover of Southwest Airlines' in-flight magazine.

By Katharine Shilcutt December 1, 2014

Houston's own Alba Huerta made the cover of Southwest: the Magazine, the in-flight publication that rests at the knees of all who fly with the Texas-based airline in December. "Alba Huerta is the best bartender in America," proclaims the bold font next to a photo of a beaming Huerta. We here at Houstonia know the value of good cover lines, as well as the value of Huerta herself. Though you may or may not agree with Southwest, there's no denying that she's had a huge hand in shaping Houston's cocktail scene over the last few years.

In the December issue of Houstonia, we're shining a spotlight on that same scene with our list of The Best Bars in Houston. And wouldn't you know it—Huerta's bars are on that list. The Pastry War—her mezcaleria with Bobby Heugel—is listed in the Spirits section for its contribution to a small but growing scene of bars focused on one or two types of booze. At The Pastry War, it's tequila and mezcal. At other spots around town—notably Poison Girl and Reserve 101—it's whiskey. And at Julep, the busy new bar on Washington Ave. that we named as one of the Top 10 bars in Houston, it's bourbon.

In her brief interview with Southwest, Huerta also gives a shout-out to doing yoga and the Menil Collection, saying "its design and natural light makes it feel like a home."

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