Join Modern Luxury and Hornitos Tequila as we continue to highlight Houston's most talented & diverse restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders and business owners.
Monica Richards is the Chief Marketing Officer and Beverage Director of Picos Hospitality Group, the restaurant group that owns famed Houston institution Arnaldo Richards’ Picos. And yes, Arnaldo is her father; but she has more than earned her title. “I have worked at Picos all my life,” she shares. “My mom and dad started Picos when they were in college in 1984, and I started hostessing there at 13 years-old, just to spend more time with my parents.” Since her first gig seating guests, Monica went on to work as a corporate restaurant opener for huge restaurants like Cheesecake Factory; a hospitality and beverage consultant; and an event planner. After racking up the experience, she came back home.
A third generation restaurateur, Monica is a native Houstonian, but her family is originally from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon Mexico. “Having the opportunity to be around such a wealth of flavors growing up, gave me an edge and knowledge that I owe to my family and my Mexican roots,” she says. “My father really pioneered an intentional approach to bringing in the most authentic ingredients possible—incorporating unique cocktails made with traditional Mexican ingredients like aguas frescas, spices, peppers, and fresh herbs and juices have made the Picos bar program what it is today.” The rich flavors come through some of Monica’s favorite drinks. Next time you’re at Picos, try the Hay Chabela, inspired by the strawberry horchata grandma used to make, or her take on a bloody mary, based on the tomatillo-based sangrita served on warm spring days in Mexico. “I love this business,” she shares. “It’s been the blessing of my life.”
Hay Chabela: This drink can be either dessert or breakfast, it plays by no rules.
Sauza Hornitos Cristalino, Strawberry, Giffard Fraise des Bois, Vegan Horchata, Strawberry Puree, garnished with fresh strawberry and mint.
Horny Margarita: A long time staple on our margarita menu at Picos, saying the name when customers order it, never fails to bring a smile!
Sauza Hornitos Reposado, Jalisco Orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, specialty rim.
Rancho Verde: This is a brand new look at a bloody mary meets green juice, meets tequila! I really love the wellness component to this cocktail.
Sauza Hornitos Plata and Agua Verde Maria, a juice of tomatillos, English cucumber, green apple, celery, ground chipotle powder, Cholula green pepper hot sauce, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar.