Alba Huerta, the owner of Julep, started bartending at the age of 19 in Houston, and today she is one of the country’s most celebrated mixologists. Alba was named bartender of the year by Imbibe in 2013, one of the top 10 mixologists around by Food & Wine, and best bartender in Texas by Texas Monthly in 2015. Bon Appétit selected Julep as one of the best new U.S. bars in 2015. Alba serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance, is a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among other publications. She helped establish, and served as president of, the Houston chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild; she collaborated with Anvil owners Bobby Heugel and Kevin Floyd to open the mezcal-focused bar The Pastry War; and in 2014, she opened her ode to Southern drinking culture, the much-lauded Julep Houston. In 2018 she released her first cocktail book, Julep, a tribute to the spirits and drinking traditions of the South.