A Holiday Toast with Christmas Cocktail Queen Lexi Paterno, Julep’s New GM

A Holiday Toast with Christmas Cocktail Queen Lexi Paterno, Julep’s New GM

Lexi Paterno (photo by Claudia Casbarian)

THE HOLIDAYS ARE in full swing at Wash Ave hotspot Julep. The bar, which won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program this year, is decked out in festive décor, a holiday drink menu — think spiked hot chocolate served in Santa mugs — and a new general manager, SoCal native Lexi Paterno.


Paterno, a bartending alum of One Fifth and Georgia James, was inspired by Julep owner Alba Huerta to join the team. “Alba is why I chose to work at Julep, and why this bar is special to me. Alba is an inspiration to me because she is a female Latina successful business owner,” says the 30-year-old who is also trained in mixed martial arts, “She is such a great role model and mentor. It has truly been such a pleasure to work with her and absorb as much as I can from her.”

Julep is hosting a Christmas market on Sunday from 4-7pm with boozy giftables and accessories to liven up your home bar for the holidays.

You spend lots of time making drinks for other people — but what’s your favorite holiday cocktail? That would be the Coquito, which we have right now at Julep! It has rum, coconut milk, coconut cream and almond milk, with lots of vanilla and cinnamon. It's super tasty. I would love to drink it all the time.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Christmas 2008: my puppy Sparkles. She was my little baby and my best friend for 15 years. She recently passed away this year and will always hold a special place in my heart.

And what’s the best gift you’ve ever given? The best gift I have ever given to someone would be when someone asks me to mentor them. It means a lot to me that I can inspire my fellow peers. It's such an awesome feeling!

Favorite holiday tradition? My favorite holiday tradition is making tamales with family and friends! It is such a long process, and everyone has a job to do. It's fun to see everyone drinking and having a good time working together. Making tamales is more about family bonding than actual work being done.

What are you most excited about in 2023?I am excited about growing in my career to really learn what it takes to run a successful business. Being at Julep has really put me in a great position to learn new avenues of the business.

Sasha Grumman and Lexi Paterno at CityBook's fifth anniversary bash in 2021. (photo by Jhane Hoang)

People + Places
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)

FORGET MARCH MADNESS — mudbug madness has arrived. Fans think the little critters taste like baby lobsters, so they can’t gobble up enough. Here’s where to hit for the most badass boils in town.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Lobster royale at Tonight & Tomorrow

WHETHER YOU’RE IN the mood for intimate dining, a destination to impress, or a sexy spot that electrifies, Houston has you covered. For Valentine’s Day, here’s your perfect 10 — with specials to boot!
Keep ReadingShow less
Food