Alba later went on to partner with another local Houston bar, The Pastry War, which is a Mezcaleria that reflects her high-quality standards for agave production. In late 2014, Alba opened her own bar Julep in Houston. Julep opened to a warm reception from locals and media alike and was named one of the four finalists for Best American Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail’s 2015 Spirited Awards.
Julep has been featured in many national publications since opening, from Garden & Gun to The New York Times. Julep was also named one of the top five bars in the United States by bon appétit in 2015 and one of the twenty-four best bars in America by Esquire in 2017.
Alba was inducted in the Tales of the Cocktail Dame Hall of Fame in 2012, named Bartender of the Year in 2014 by Imbibe magazine and one of Houston’s 50 Most Fascinating People by the Houston Chronicle. In 2015, Food & Wine selected her as one of ten rising-star female mixologists and Thrillist named her one of the Best Bartenders in America. She was also the featured mixologist at the Southern Foodways Alliance’s 2013 Symposium and again in 2015, after which she was elected to serve as a board member. Alba has also been named one of the incomparable The Cherry Bombe 100 and released her first cocktail book named after her flagship bar ‘Julep’ in 2018.
Above all, Alba is known for bringing her passion for quality wine, spirits and cocktails and her Southern hospitality to her bars and her profession.