By Gina V. Ramsey
Kristian Pedroza got into bartending only intending it to be a summer hustle, while school was on break. At the time, he was enrolled at Cal State Long Beach, and studying to be a 3rd grade teacher. However, once he realized how quickly the bartending tips enabled him to pay down student loans and save up for his own place in the coveted Belmont Shore neighborhood, he restructured his path and went full-time into bartending.
It was during the pandemic that Kristian, 31, stumbled upon a business opportunity created in his own kitchen. When Covid first hit, shutting the bars down, Kristian, like many others, found himself without a source of income. At any tentative gathering, he usually found himself experimenting with drinks to share with friends and family.
Heavily influenced in childhood by his Mexican grandmother’s cooking, as a bartender he enjoyed experimenting with cocktail flavors. Instead of thinking only about what flavors would pair well with a dish, Kristian started shaking it up his way. “If I’m cooking pork chops with rosemary, I’m thinking ‘How do I get these flavors in a cocktail?’”
Soon, word about his unique cocktails spread and friendly requests came in from close friends to make drinks ‘to-go.’ After all, the pandemic turned everything into ‘to-go,’ so why not? “The pandemic was like the wild, wild west for business delivery [opportunities],” Kristian said.
Worlds Apart, Coming Together
Eventually, Kristian approached a friend whose pastime is beer brewing. Together they’ve teamed up to create the delivery service, Worlds.Apart.Blends, bringing together the worlds of microbrew beers and craft cocktails.
Kristian cooks up theme menus, like his Alice in Wonderland-inspired ‘Down the Rabbit Hole,’ which includes Mad w/Tea-quila, made with Earl Grey tea and guava nectar. He uses 100% organic products and blanches the pistachios that become the orgeat in his Ayy Mai Tai from the Star Wars menu. However, it was those fundamental early dishes and tastes of herbs and spices he grew up enjoying, which inspire the unique flavors and magic that create Worlds.Apart.Blends.
Cost for a cocktail bottle ranges from $20-30 and is about 4 drinks. He can also make the mix sans alcohol for those who’d like to bartend their own at home.