NEW YORK — Growing up in Vermont, Ivy Mix would rise at dawn to spend her Sundays riding horses. But when she became a bartender in New York City, Sundays were all about sleeping in.
These days Mix, 33, is busy as a co-owner of Leyenda (Spanish for “legend”), a “pan-Latin cocktail bar” in Cobble Hill that specializes in drinks like the Spicy Llama (pineapple, tequila, pisco and jalapeño). Leyenda was a James Beard Award semifinalist for outstanding bar program this year.
Mix, who lives in Crown Heights, is also the head of Speed Rack, an international bartending competition that she founded nine years ago. It features top female bartenders in head-to-head timed cocktail challenges, and has raised nearly $1 million for breast cancer charities. The next New York competition is scheduled for Nov. 18.
EASY START: Not that this is a massive surprise but I am not the biggest morning person on the planet. I make my tea, kind of putz around and then I walk my two dogs.
I live really close to Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, which is just a really beautiful place to walk. Usually I will take them and walk to Mount Prospect Park, right next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which has a dog run. My dogs are kind of anti-social; they’re more people-dogs than dog-dogs. I try to make them hang out there.
FORAGING: I usually head back to my house. I have never been a breakfast person; I nosh throughout the day. Especially now, living in Crown Heights, I am really lucky that so many places are opening. My friend Claire opened up a place called Hunky Dory on Franklin Avenue, which I love to visit. Brunch is so bananas on Sunday there, so often I’ll get a quick coffee and say, “Hey, you guys are slammed, see you later.”
JUST STOPPING BY…: I usually make my way to Leyenda because we get very busy and we only have a server and a bartender on. I just have to check in.
RED HOOK: The thing I always try to do is go shopping at Fairway and drinking at Fort Defiance. I love Red Hook; I used to work at Fort Defiance, that was my first real bartending job, and I really love it there. I love the vibe, especially in the summer, which can be kind of busy, but the windows are open and that’s really nice. I eat some oysters, have some rosé, drink some Irish coffee, get my groceries and head home. Then I usually walk the dogs again.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: My identical twin sister just moved a block away from me. She is going to have a baby in September. I’m sure that will be a big part of my life. I usually go hang out with her on her little front lawn. I bought her a kiddie pool since she has to be pregnant in New York in the summer. We end up lounging and I probably end up drinking more wine.
EXPLORING: Sunday evenings are one of the things in New York City that people don’t take advantage of enough and I’m guilty of it too. I’ll try to go to a place I wouldn’t normally want to go to or have the time to go to on a busy weekend. I like to go check places out when it’s a little slower and see what’s up and see if it is still as good as when you went there on a Thursday. I always sit at the bar.
QUICK, SOMETHING HEALTHY: Usually I like to go home and eat something healthy. I try to make a nice fresh something because often I’ve been drinking all day. I don’t want to sound like a complete lush, but it’s been Irish coffees and chicken liver mousse. Sunday is an indulgent day so for dinner I try to do something like a salad.
BOOK THERAPY: I am quasi-obsessed with our current political situation, and it’s really hard to look away. But on Sundays I have a no-politics thing. Usually I pick up a book. We have Books Are Magic right next to the bar, which is a great bookstore.
My family decided one Christmas right when the economy crashed that we weren’t going to give gifts that people were never going to use — let’s give books. We started the family book club where we all buy one book for all of us, we all read it and then when we get together we talk about it.
ANOTHER WORLD: I do yoga early on Monday mornings so I don’t really want to be up late, and hopefully I haven’t had too much to drink. I have a glass of red wine in bed and read my book and focus on something, or some world that is not ours, in a way that makes my mind escape.
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