Originally from: San Francisco
Profession: Bar owner
At: San Francisco
A San Francisco native and highly regarded expert on tequila, Julio Bermejo is the beverage manager at Tommy's, a Mexican Restaurant his parents, Tomas & Elmy established in 1965.
In the mid-'80s, Julio stopped pouring mixto tequila in favor of 100% agave ultra-premium tequila in Tommy's well, making it the first restaurant in the US to exclusively pour 100% agave on a volume basis. At the forefront of agave fructose usage, he created the Tommy's Margarita, now a global standard that in 2008, became the first venue-specific cocktail to be included in the manual of the IBA.
He created the restaurant's popular tequila tasting club which boasts over 7,000 members, and has assembled one of the largest selections of 100% agave tequila outside of Mexico, prompting the Wall Street Journal to call it "the epicenter of tequila in the United States" and CNN to call it "ground zero of the tequila revolution."
Tommy's also boasts the largest vintage tequila selection in the world.
Constantly visiting the denomination of origin region, Julio was appointed
the Ambassador of Tequila to the United States by the CNIT and the Governor of Jalisco in 2003.
Julio has consulted on numerous projects on three continents and has also been the subject of many news and feature articles in periodicals. He has judged cocktail competitions in four continents as well as the most prestigious tequila competitions including Tahona Soceity, Dons of Tequila and is a judge at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
He distills L & J tequila in Jalisco, one of three tequilas made the way tequilas were produced over 400 years ago. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award at Tales of the Cocktail.