Tends Bar AtI consult for a loooong list of bars & restaurants around the country
THL: What are your other gigs and interests?
I am REDBOOK's "Mommy Mixologist" — writing a monthly drinks column geared towards moms who love and appreciate a great cocktail. Love movies, cooking and sailing & skiing. But, primarily, I am a beverage consultant for hundreds of bars and restaurants across the country, both one-offs as well as chains and for liquor & beverage companies.
AND I'm a mom for my 2-1/2 and 4-year-old kids.
THL: What is something that best represents your personality?
Well, if I had to describe my personality in terms of a drink, it would be a Margarita with a touch of mezcal. A classic, but with an edge.
But, also, here's a great YouTube video I'm usually not into animal videos, but I can totally relate to "Denver."
THL: What is your bartending style?
Interactive. I really like engaging with a guest — discovering what they like (or don't like) and being able to create a great memory for them. Maybe I can share some of my knowledge with them and maybe they can teach me something.
THL: How do you find inspiration for new cocktails and recipes?
I eat out a lot, read a lot of foodie magazines. I get so much inspiration from chefs and even taking trips to my local farmer's markets as well as some unique shops in the asian parts of town — Chinatown, Koreatown, Thai Town, etc. Always learning about new techniques, new ingredients. Love sharing and hearing about new ideas.
THL: Besides bartending, what things do you do well?
Games — I'm a master at Pictionary, Scattergories, Monopoly, Gin Rummy and am a killer Sudoku player! Can't wait till my kids are old enough to play with me!
THL: Ever had any strange customer requests while bartending?
Well, I've had some really good pick-up lines. This one guy came in wearing a cowboy hat with a $10 bill sticking out of it. I asked him, "What's the $10 for?" And he said, right on cue, "That's the cab fare from your place to mine tomorrow morning." Nice ...
THL: What is your favorite after-shift drink?
Shot of tequila and an ice cold beer or a Black & Tan.
THL: What is the one thing you can’t live without from your home liquor cabinet?
Vodka because of it's versatility. When having friends and family over, I can easily put together a great fresh drink using ingredients from my fridge or garden or easily mix it with ginger beer, tonic water or whatever fun thing I'm playing with at the moment.
THL: What is the most underrated cocktail?
A Gimlet. When made with real lime juice (not the preserved stuff), you can really showcase what a great gin is all about and incorporate lots of seasonal ingredients. It's also a great cocktail to convert people who think they don't like gin into really enjoying a gin cocktail.
THL: What is the test of a great bartender?
A bartender that engages, makes eye contact and makes a connection with a guest, all the while making a great, balanced drink in a timely fashion.