Where are you from?
I grew up in Boone, North Carolina.
How long have you been bartending?
5 years ago, shorty after I turned 21.
How did you become a bartender?
Just by being in the service industry, my first job was at Cook Out. I worked the window and was really good with the fast paced environment. I even began to remember certain customers who came regularly and their orders. I remember thinking, I bet I’d be good at bartending. After I left Cook Out, I started waiting tables. I was the head server at this little pub in Blowing Rock. One of the bartenders was leaving and I was asked to fill her position. I was so excited, I always wanted to bartend, especially after working in restaurants. I remember it being one of the first things I did that I really felt connected to. Bartending is so special to me for so many reasons.
What do you enjoy about bartending?
Creating an environment and vibe that people want to return to. By that I mean being a space where people feel comfortable enough to be themselves, where they can celebrate and mourn, and just enjoy a drink after a long day. I think anybody can learn to make an old fashion or count a drawer or memorize six different drink orders, and make them efficiently. But I think it takes something special to make a person feel at home in your bar, despite hating people a lot of the times. I also feel really lucky to be able to see them in their most genuine state.
What’s your favorite drink to make?
A beer and a shot. But when I have the time and a person whose willing to let me, I like to experiment with whatever I have behind the bar. I used to make banana martinis at my old bar and they were delicious.
What’s your favorite drink to drink?
Averna with lime juice
What would you recommend as an after-dinner drink?
I like a desert drink, maybe a chocolate martini.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while bartending?
I feel like you see so much different stuff when you’re bartending it’s hard to narrow it down to just one specific thing or even remember at times all the wild stuff. One time someone tried to trade me a tube of toothpaste for a beer and a shot. One time I saw this girl hitting on this guy and then throw up all over his shoes. I worked at this one bar where people could get on the roof and jump into our dumpster pad, which is also where we kept our liquor and beer. One time a girl tried to steal a whole case of Hamm’s Beer. I feel like every day is such a different experience and you get to see some pretty funny, wild and just all-around crazy shit. I’m a lover of chaos. What can I say.
What’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten?
All at once I got a $300 tip on $100 tab.