“I’ve worked in the service industry for over a decade now. I started in my hometown of Baton Rouge, and worked in a French bistro and fondue restaurant for a while. I got into the service industry because I’m a performer as well, and that’s the natural step when you need to make money and also need time for other things.
I’ve been a server for a lot longer than I’ve been a bartender, but fell into bartending from a desire to hone a skill. Bartending is something you’ll never be perfect at. There’s always something to learn.
When I’m coming up with new cocktails I use what people call the Mr. Potato Head technique. You find a good, classic cocktail, and you look at the base ingredients and what they’re doing to that cocktail, whether they’re adding acidity or sweetness. The Last Word is a great cocktail that has just four ingredients. You’ve got your base spirit, your floral, your sour, and your funk. That’s my favorite. You can keep the basic structure the same but replace ingredients, like give it a brighter or bolder nose. I didn’t know this whole interview was going to be based on Mr. Potato Head!
I’ve been in choirs since I was eight years old and my degree at LSU was in theater. That’s what drew me to New Orleans—loving my home state, but wanting to move to a city that offers the opportunity to perform. Like Bunkie, Louisiana [laughs].
I’m trying to create my own material for film or theater, and I’m currently enrolled in improv [theater] classes, trying to be open and vulnerable to things happening quickly in the moment.
I chose to dedicate this drink to Boyfriend, who’s a local, female rapper. She’s definitely not the first or the most important female rapper to come out of New Orleans by any means, but I appreciate her work because she produces all of her own material and she’s a strong woman. The cocktail I came up with is called Unladylike. I chose mezcal as the base spirit—funky, smoky and strong.
I lived in Germany last year, as a bartender in a hotel and restaurant in the Black Forest. The best part was being able to travel to France or Italy over the weekend and try delicious food and wine before going back to my tiny gingerbread forest. Honestly, the extent of bartending there was Aperol with champagne poured on top. Because of that, when I came back to Louisiana, I was ready to drink anything that had flavor. I overwhelmed myself with mezcal and hoppy IPAs and grapefruit juice and anything with a strong punch.
Unladylike comes from this looking all sweet and purple, but packing a punch.”