NINTH ANNUAL - OCTOBER 5-27, 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
Alba Huertabrings her passion for quality wine, spirits, and a sense of warmth and Southern hospitality behind her bar Julep in Houston, Texas.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, and raised in Houston, Alba’s first bartending job in 1998 challenged her to gain experience as a service professional. The next steps to choosing bartending as a life-long career were the most pivotal. She moved to hospitality-focused Las Vegas to attend UNLV and refine her service skills—speed, efficiency and the ability to coordinate and execute elevated beverage programs.
Upon her return to Houston, Alba became the General Manager of Anvil Bar and Refuge in 2011 and also commenced and presided over the United States Bartender’s Guild in Houston. Before opening Julep, Alba partnered on The Pastry War, a Mezcaleria that mirrors her quality standards for agave production.
Alba was named one of 10 rising star female mixologists by Food & Wine in 2015, as well as Imbibe Magazine’s Bartender of the Year in 2014. She was the featured mixologist at the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Fall Symposium in 2013 and 2015.
She has been inducted into Tales of the Cocktail’s Dames Hall of Fame and was named one of the Houston’s 50 Most Fascinating People in 2014 by the Houston Chronicle. In 2015, Alba joined the Southern Foodways Alliance as a Board Member and she has been featured on the cover of Texas Monthly and Southwest Magazine and various other publications from GQ to The New York Times. She has served on the Tales of the Cocktail Grants Committee since 2018 and judged various cocktail competitions in the United States.
Her book, Julep, Southern Cocktails Refashioned, received the prestigious IACP Award in May 2019 from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, earning top cookbook honors in the Wine, Beer or Spirits category. With her passion and dedication, both the Pastry War (2014) and Julep (2015) were named one of top 5 bars in the United States by Bon Appetit, and in 2017, Esquire named Julep one of the Best Bars in America and has been featured in publications throughout the country from Vogue to The New York Times Magazine.