Bartenders come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Who’s to say who is best equipped to give you what you need when you sit down across the bar? Bartenders. Professional babysitters, part-time psychologists, and a drunk’s best friend in the moment. When you need to know the best spots to get your drink on around campus and who to chat up when you’re there, we’ve got you.
How long have you been bar tending?
Since my 21 birthday. I always tell people I worked at a wine bar from 19 and onwards where I had to learn everything through books and theory so at midnight on my 21st, I went all out. I got instantly hired at that place for a bar tending job and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
So what was the first drink you learned how to make?
My original boss was a 1980s cocktail bartender and he was all about extra dirty Goose martinis. We call them “The Sinatra,” extra dirty with bleu cheese olives.
What’s been your favorite drink to make since then?
Probably an old fashion. Simply because I can put extra love and care into it.
So you put special spins on your old fashions?
Every time. Special touch number one is understanding what bourbon the person likes, but then after that is knowing the profile of that bourbon. If it’s a little sweeter, I’ll spice it up with some extra bitters; if it’s a little darker of a rye, I’ll add a little extra of the cherry muddle. It just kind of depends on where you are going with it.
What’s your least favorite drink to make?
Anything with mint in it, I think that’s a pretty classic complaint. It’s hard to get fresh mint, it’s hard to prepare fresh mint, and it’s even harder to clean fresh mint. It gets in every drain and dump sinks. It’s fine because the drinks are delicious but, it’s just a pain.
So do you prefer to make the more traditional drinks or more modern drinks?
I enjoy all aspects of it. Beer, wines, cocktails. I like the showmanship of the complicated stuff, I like the flavors of the more nuanced stuff, and I like the idea of getting drunk too so I don’t mind pouring straight shots. It’s just something I generally have a lot of fun doing.
What are your hobbies outside of the bar?
Movies and movies with a side of movies. For the most part, I’m doing what I can to try and get into the film industry. Bar tending is a great way to make ends meet and have disposable income so I can indulge in my hobbies.
If you could sit down and have a drink with three directors of your choosing, who would they be?
With Ryan Johnson being amazing, and Edgar Wright being amazing, and Christopher Nolan being amazing with my three favorite movies this year, I might have to say those three.
Follow up question to that, what would you serve those three?
I’d prepare my favorite bourbon my favorite way so I could give back to them what they have given me.
Why should people come to World of Beer?
Atmosphere. This is the most fun job I’ve ever had as well as workplace environment. The quality of the product is shocking—something surprises me everyday—and the variety. You’re never going to get the same thing twice. There’s only seven drinks in the entire building that are mandated and everything else rotates and changes. In just the three months I’ve worked here, I’ve learned about 300 different local brews and that number is only going to keep growing.
If you could create your own bar, what would it be like?
It’d be in the downstairs of my house. If I ever owned a bar, I’d have to live there, but it would be a place where strangers would come in and my best friends would come in. I’d open up everyday at 9 a.m. Very low maintenance; if there was food, it’d be food you don’t have to cook in a kitchen. Other than that for like products, I’d just try to have some of my favorites. Thankfully my favorites are a lot of other people’s favorites.
Any dos and don’ts for patrons?
Do be patient when you’re paying. When your bartender gets your drink order, he is first going to make it then give a shit about how much it costs. There’s nothing worse than someone ordering seven drinks then throwing you their credit card. It’s fairly hard to try and do both. We will always prioritize your product over our business. Also, do communicate … Be willing to be educated, corrected, or talked to.