While preparing for her upcoming master sommelier exam, beverage director at McGuire Moorman Hospitality June Rodil takes a break to spill on her favorite Austin places to enjoy a drink—from hot teas to cocktails.
June Rodil has overseen the drink programs at the finest local establishments, including Uchi, Qui, and Congress. Now as beverage director for McGuire Moorman Hospitality—a multimillion-dollar enterprise with upscale restaurants such as Jeffrey’s, Perla’s, and Clark’s—she frequently travels to keep abreast of beverage world trends. Rodil has racked up accolades—including Food & Wine magazine naming her one of its best sommeliers of the year in 2014—and she is studying for her master sommelier exam in May. (If she passes, she’ll join an elite group of 140 in North America, of which only 21 are women.) But her expertise reaches beyond the vine; she has mastered beverages of all types: liquor, beer, and also tea, juice, and even water (such as Topo Chico: “the Mexican sparkling wine,” she jokes).
“I love the green juice at Josephine House (1601 Waterston Ave., 512-477- 5584), made with kale, apples, and jalapeños. But every so often I will go to JuiceLand (12 locations in Austin)—especially because there’s one near my house, which makes it very convenient.”
“I drink hot teas—they are terroir-driven, just like wine. They’re delicious. We have a lovely milk oolong tea at Jeffrey’s (1204 W. Lynn St., 512-477-5584). It has a wonderful texture, with a candy aroma, but it still has good structure—it’s not flat.”
“My friend Scranton [Twohey] owns Whisler’s (1816 E. Sixth St., 512-480- 0781). I like what he’s done, because they can do great craft cocktails, but they serve Pearl, too. If you order a vodka soda, nobody will bat an eye. And then there’s an awesome Mezcalería Tobalá [on the floor above].”
“King Bee Lounge (1906 E. 12th St., 512-600-6956) is a great dive bar, but again, they do great craft cocktails. They have Château Musar by the glass if you want, but at the same time you can just get a beer and a shot. It’s unassuming, awesome, and friendly. They also have frozen Bee’s Knees in a margarita machine, which is pretty rad.”
“I am at The Austin Wine Merchant (512 W. Sixth St., 512-499-0512) at least twice a week. It’s almost like [when other people] go to Office Max to pick up more staples—it’s my office supply store. I send all of our guests there because they are all about customer service.”
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