Nikki Simches: Bar Director and Mixologist at Cure

Nikki Simches: Bar Director and Mixologist at Cure

Are you someone who loves to entertain? Do your friends talk about how they love coming to your home for dinner parties because the food and company can't be beat? Do your parties end up 3 times the size you planned them to be because you told all of your friends to invite their friends because you don't want anyone to feel left out (the more the merrier!!)? Is there simply something inside of you that loves nothing more than to make people FEEL GOOD? Well, we totally get it, we feel exactly the same way. (And you should come fill out an application to come work with us... just sayin'.. ;)

If you have ever been in the service industry, you are a unique kind of person. It's definitely not for everyone. It can be extremely challenging with crazy hours, not always the highest salaries, working holidays and weekends, constant overturning of staff. Yet it's an industry that if you ARE that person who enjoys it and excels at it, you will always come back to it. You do it because you love offering people an experience, because you want nothing more than to make people feel good. Whether it's with a new cut or color, or a relaxing massage or spa service, an incredibly refreshing cocktail after a long day at work, or a special birthday meal among friends and family, you feel best when offering an unforgettable experience to people.

At Cure, we do everything we can to create a unique and personal experience for each and every guest that walks through the door. We want to know about you, and for you to know about us too! So we've decided, what better way to make that happen than to start sharing some Q+A's and recipes from our Mixologists and Chefs with you all on a regular basis!!

We had our fall menu photo shoot last week with Jennifer Marcuson (we can't wait for that menu to launch October 9th.. yesss to Fall food!!!). She grabbed a few pics of Nikki and asked her some questions about her background in the business and why she loves doing what she does at Cure! AND she gave us a crazy delicious cocktail recipe that we're SURE will be a huge hit for your next Autumn dinner party! Check it out;

 making it's way back to the fall menu October 9th; the Pumpkin Kale Salad

making it's way back to the fall menu October 9th; the Pumpkin Kale Salad


why/how are you in the restaurant industry?

I started working in this industry almost 14 years ago. At first this was a job to put me through college, then it became my passion. I love being able to create cocktails that people enjoy, to train others to be able to do a job that helps them provide for their families, to give complete strangers an awesome experience that makes their day just a little better. This industry has created a pretty good life for me.

it can be a really tough business, what keeps you here?

It's challenging - but I enjoy a good challenge. This industry is constantly evolving - so I'm constantly learning. If you get bored, you're not capitalizing on all of the amazing knowledge out there. Beer is evolving, wines are endless, cocktails have absolutely no limits anymore. It's honestly incredible.

do you feel a drive to take care of people?

100% - My job is literally to make people have a good time. It's simply a perk that I get to create a menu with my bar team and put it in front of people and hear their positive feedback and see they're having a good night and knowing we're helping do that for them.

from where do you source your inspiration to create?

My peers ! I happen to be friends with A LOT of outrageously talented mixologists, bar managers and bar owners. Their successes are inspirational. This industry is all about support from your fellow bartenders ... We are our biggest advocates !

do you consider yourself an artist?

Absolutely. When you can put 5 random ingredients in front of a mixologist and they create something delicious - that's art work, baby.

how has cure helped you grow as a service professional?

I was given 100% creative freedom. I was given 100% trust into training my bar staff. I was given 100% support in whatever I needed to make the bar successful. Having support like that, makes such a difference. I became stronger creatively with no boundaries, I became a stronger teacher to train and educate the staff on things I know and am still learning, and I became a stronger person in general.


Howl At The Moon


1.5 oz Wolf Pecan Bourbon
1.5 oz Vermont Maple Cream Liqueur
2 dashes of cherry walnut bitters (we use house made bitters, but Fee Brothers makes black walnut bitters that could make a good replacement for at home!)
grated nutmeg
dark chocolate liqueur soaked Amerena Cherry(house made)


mix bourbon, maple cream liqueur, and the bitters in a shaker over ice, shake vigeourously, pour into a martini glass or a glass of your choice, and top with grated nutmeg,  spear the cherry on a toothpick or wooden skewer, place along the rim of the glass, serve and enjoy!!


We would LOVE to see pics of your home made versions of Howl At The Moon!! Please post your photos to facebook and instagram, tag us in it, and hashtag #curehowlatthemoon to share with us! We will repost our favorites!

written and photographed by Jennifer Marcuson