Tell us a little about yourself and the bar(s) you work at…
Born and raised in New York City, I was obsessed with restaurants and food from a very early age. I moved to New Orleans at 18 and as soon as the beverage-side of restaurants became something I could experience, I gravitated towards work in the bar industry as a career. I worked at restaurants around town and eventually landed at Bouligny Tavern, a mid-century modern lounge on Magazine St. I learned a tremendous amount about cocktails, spirits and wine and met Emily Arseneau! After a three-year stint (and lots of Queens Park Swizzle practice), I left early last year to help design a bar program for the second location of a revered fast-casual cheeseburger institution started here in New Orleans in 2011 called The Company Burger. I designed our bar, a full-service 15-seater, to unassumingly offer as much as possible in the way of beer (20 taps, all craft), wine (five by the glass options from five different regions around the world), and cocktails (five on the menu including our signature, a choose-your-spirit buck built with fresh citrus and housemade draft ginger beer). We
managed to keep our limited back bar space to straight spirits by “hiding” 24 cheater bottles of liqueurs, cordials, and amari in a vintage Coca-Cola crate that sits atop the middle of the bar where one would typically see a champagne bucket. We’ve had a great response and move lots of drinks and spirits one wouldn’t expect to find at a burger joint.
Where do you draw your cocktail inspiration from?
I’m a very situational drinker; what I order when I’m out (or make for myself) depends on the environment and the occasion. I think this is evident in the cocktails that I design and offer in that I want people to have a choice that will make them laugh if they need to be transported, a drink that will take the edge off after a long day, a drink that doesn’t taste like a “drink” at all, an accessible drink that will introduce them to a new flavor or ingredient, etc. My favorite bars are the ones that offer all of this and know how to please a diverse crowd, and I’m inspired to strive to provide the same.