Topics

Arts & Entertainment

Bachelor & Bachelorette

Bridal

Fashion

Finance

Food & Drink

Health & Wellness

Home

Pets

Mayoral Thoughts

Travel

Videos

Women in Business

<   Swipe left or right   > 

Aug 24, 2022

9 Bartenders We LOVE

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

2 Lights, 1 Stand
Bartending isn’t just about pouring drinks. If it were the extent of their craft, anyone could do it. Right now, there are robots out there mixing mudslides and piña coladas. But that’s not bartending; that’s just mixing drinks. And that’s the easy part. What makes a good bartender isn’t how they masterfully blend ingredients into a toast-worthy cocktail; it’s how they blend personalities. It’s how they can be your closest confidante on a day when you just need to vent over a stiff one. It’s how they can tame a whole bar full of unruly tourists with just a few words. It’s how they will toast your best days with your favorite drink, prepared before you’ve even asked for it. A robot can mix you a drink. But a bartender will be your therapist, your cheerleader, and if necessary, your babysitter. And that’s why we’re thankful they’ll always be there.

Continue Reading

Jackson Haulsee
Bartending Since: 2018

Where are you currently tending the bar?
I’m currently the bar manager at Burnt Church Distillery.

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
I want to make a drink and chat with Idris Elba. I think he is a phenomenal actor, and he actually created a couple of incredible cocktail bars in London. Would love to talk to him about cocktails and other stories he has to share.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
Do you like Star Wars? Cause Yoda only one for me!

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
I love the people I work with, also having the freedom to create any cocktail I wish and being able to share it with the clientele. If you have a drink at my bar, please ask me to make you a special creation that involves your favorite spirit. I love surprising others with my drinks. Also, try the sin eater monkey bread when you come in; it’s to die for!

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Always serve a drink with a smile; it makes customers feel welcome. 2. Have a desire to learn more; all great bartenders have learned from other bartenders. 3. When making a special cocktail, put every bit of your heart and soul into that cocktail. Make the customer feel like they already have a connection with you.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
I had this gentleman come up to the bar and offer me a job to be a bar manager for him at a private bar in Iceland; the only thing is that it was so private it was just for him at his home bar!

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there? My favorite bar so far is Peacock Lounge in downtown Savannah. I always get a Plantation Pineapple Rum Old Fashioned. I ask everyone to try one if you haven’t already.

Jessica Smith
Bartending Since: I was 21 years of age (18 years)

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Corks

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
There are no good pick-up lines. They are entertaining, though, and always give a bartender and patrons a good laugh, e.g. “Can I get a shot at loving you?” Unfortunately, no one has had any success.

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you? Corks is one of the hottest night spots and I enjoy working there. That’s why I have stuck around for so long. I have met and developed some amazing relationships with people, especially the bands that have come through. My most popular drinks are the espresso-tini and my skinny margarita.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Must know how to mix cocktails/drinks. 2. Must know your liquor. 3. Must be able to multi-task (talk and mix drinks at the same time).

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
“I’ll buy you a puppy if you marry me! Anything you want!”

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there? I actually don’t have a favorite yet. I’m still traveling the world. But so far, you can sit anywhere on the Amalfi Coast of Italy and order house wine, and it will be the best you ever tasted.

Lexy Shaw
Bartending Since: 2021

Where are you currently tending the bar?
The Smokehouse

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
Billy Strings, but unfortunately, he’s sober so we’ll do with a Shirley Temple.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
Hello, my name is *blank*; how many drinks can I buy you until you take my number?

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
My favorite thing about working here is how family-oriented the staff is! If you were to come in, I’d recommend the smokehouse old fashioned and some burnt end sliders to go with it!

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Good communication, 2. Able to multitask, 3. Be easy going and laid back!

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
Tourists asking where they can get drugs while on vacation.

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there? A nice cold sour from Lincoln and South.

Conor Bickmann
Bartending Since: 2012

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Hush at Montage Palmetto Bluff

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
Gable Erenzo. I’m originally from Hudson Valley, NY. I started in the industry 10 years ago as a bar back, working for the son of a distiller at a small farm-to-table restaurant called Gardiner Liquid Mercantile. The owner, Gable, who helped me learn so much about the craft cocktail world, passed away unexpectedly in 2021, which utterly devastated the local community. I’d love nothing more than to show him Hush and all the things I’ve learned over the past decade. I know he’d be proud.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
I used to tend bar in Beaufort. I once saw a guy take a piece of ice out of his drink and crush it on the bar. He turned to a woman beside him and said, “Now that I’ve broken the ice, can I buy you a drink?” That’s probably the cleverest one I’ve heard in a while.

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
It’s really the sense of unity among the employees. Everyone here is proud to work together for a common goal—to create something larger than ourselves. The attention to detail, small acts of kindness, and unwavering communal support have differentiated this place from literally anywhere else I’ve worked in the industry.Before you come to visit me in Hush, make sure you have dinner in the River House to get the full experience. Hush is a toy box of cocktails. We do a lot of well-executed contemporary cocktails, sure, but it’s the hand-curated stuff that will really blow your mind.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Always be aware of the energy and actions in your surroundings. 2. Be prepared for the unexpected. 3. Don’t forget to have a good time.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
Someone asked for a ping pong ball once; we all know what they were going to do with it, but why on earth would I have one?

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there? Hands down, that’s Alley Cat Lounge in Savannah Ga. My first drink is always a Hemingway Daquiri; it’s funky and smoky, subtly sweet and tart—one of my favorite traditional cocktails to date.

Tony Chism-Cheetah
Bartending Since: I can remember. My grandmother owned a bar; I was behind the stick at an early age.

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Been at WiseGuys since 2008.

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
I’d most like to pour a drink for my dad; lost him way too early in life.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
After being turned down because she had a boyfriend, he asked her what she had for dinner last night. “Chicken,” she replied. He followed with, “How about the night before?” Pasta was her answer. He replied, “Why didn’t you have chicken?”
“Why would I have chicken two nights in a row?” was her response.
He said, “Exactly” and left her his card and said, “Give me a call when you’re tired of chicken.” I saw them out together about a week later.

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
The talented and dedicated team members I’ve been able to work side-by-side with over the years. Our newly remodeled restaurant and expanded spacious bar is fantastic too! I’d order the Martinez if you want to come sit with me.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Surround yourself with a good team
2. Remember what people drink even if you can’t remember their name… I know a lot of “Jack & Cokes.”
3. Learn to listen. You’ll hear everything from behind a bar. From anticipating your guests’ needs, to knowing how to work seamlessly with your other bartenders.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
I’ve worked in quite a few different style venues over the years, from dive bars, to large clubs & live-music venues. I’ve been asked for all sorts of goods and services, none of which are legal. Nothing really surprises me at this point!

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there?
The Green Parrot, Key West Fla. I’ll take a bottle of Presidente.

Aimee Maher
Bartending Since: Way too long!

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Sea Pines Beach Club

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
I always said that if I had one chance to serve a cocktail to a celebrity it would be Barbara Walters. She’s an incredible woman who met and interviewed so many different people. Through that one conversation, you could learn about world leaders, celebrities, and everyday heroes.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
I’ve never seen a successful pick-up line. And these days, everyone sits at the bar and texts other people. They certainly aren’t talking to one another!

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
My favorite thing about working at the Sea Pines Beach Club is my view. What other office has an ocean view?! If you come sit at my bar, I’ll recommend you try the Pirate’s Mai Tai (a special recipe from a bartender in Maui) or the Mojito (because it’s the BEST on the island!). For food, try the Tuna Poke Wontons or the Blackened Shrimp Nachos. I think they are delicious!

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Know how to mix and balance a great drink. 2. Know where everything is behind your bar so you can be fast and efficient. 3. The best bartending advice I was ever given was this: Anyone can go to the bar and get a beer and it will taste the same. Figure out what you have to offer that will make people say, “Let’s go see Aimee and have a beer.” Connect with your customer!

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there?
The Beach Bar in Atlantis, with a Goombay Smash in my hand!

Jeff Mix
Bartending Since: 1984

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Charlie’s Coastal Bistro

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
Dan Marino. I’m a big Dolphins fan.

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
The staff and my regular customers—some of the best I’ve worked with. To drink, I recommend the chocolate martini; for dinner, the Sea Scallops, Seared With Prosciutto Rosemary Cream; from the bar menu, the burger or the barfish salad.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Never ignore a customer.
2. Be knowledgeable of menus and drinks.
3. BE NICE!

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
Back in Remy’s days, people would ask for party favors.

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there?
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.

Anthony Notte
Bartending Since: 2013

Where are you currently tending the bar?
Charlie’s Coastal Bistro

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
Teddy Roosevelt.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
“Want to see my dog?”

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
I’d have to the best part about my job is the coworkers and our customers. They make it fun to come to work—feels like family. The “porkduckin’” with bearnaise we do on occasion is second to none. And, of course, finish it off with a chocolate martini.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
A successful bartender should be very personable, hard-working and knowledgeable.

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there?
I love Hudson’s. You can catch me there ordering a Neptune platter and drinking a white Russian.

Gioia Di Bartolomeo
Bartending Since: 2013—on and off.

Where are you currently tending the bar?
I am currently working Friday and Saturday at the Public Kitchen and Wine Bar.

Person you would most like to pour a drink for and have a chat with.
Joe Rogan. I would make him sip Don Julio 1942.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve ever heard be successful?
“Your right brain is beautiful.” And now we are dating.

What is your favorite thing about where you work, and what should we order when we come to sit with you?
I love the speakeasy dark date night aesthetic at Public; the art rotates each month, so you will always see new pieces. I love the cocktail menu! That’s what drew me to the locale in the first place. Most of my favorite cocktails have prohibition era origins, and Public kitchen features everything from a Sazerac to a Pimm’s cup. We also have a gorgeous charcuterie board and fabulous tiramisu.

As advice to a future barkeep, what are three skills every bartender must have to be successful?
1. Develop relationships, 2. Fulfill and surpass the guest’s expectations, 3. Create an experience.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have ever been asked for over the bar that wasn’t a drink?
“I don’t think I can make that drink, but what’s your number?”

Where is your favorite bar in all the land, and what drink do you order every time you find yourself there?
I’ve been to bars all over the world, however, one of my favorite bars is the Gin Joint in Charleston, S.C. They don’t serve vodka. While they have an extensive cocktail menu, they also have a flavor profile section from which you can choose, and the bartender makes you something customized. All their cocktails are extremely complex and a work of art. I always love the experience.

Related Articles

The Power of Music

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” crescendos and you find yourself getting lost. Simultaneously, fingers and head start to snap in keeping with the beat. You feel compelled to rap and, out of nowhere, you start singing lyrics you did not even know you knew. Next up, Ramin...

read more

The Surreal World of the Horan Brothers

Sonny and Cher solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo Gang. The Beatles saving Pepperland in Yellow Submarine. Green Day rocking Springfield (before tragically dying in a barge accident) in The Simpsons Movie. Rock and animation have gone hand-in-hand for years....

read more
X