“It’s fun to think about a person as an influence as opposed to a spirit or a style of drink. Helen Gillet, I’ve seen her perform a bunch. She’s one of my favorite people to watch, she’s animated and works up a sweat. I’ve seen her perform a solo show and sound like she’s four or five people—all the different sounds. Not only is she a phenomenal cellist, but she can pull off so much else too, with the looping and her beating on the cello.
For this drink, I wanted something simple that was refreshing and maybe a touch bitter, something she could sip as she was performing. This is in the Bicyclette style, with rosé wine, which I know she drinks. I know that she’s lived in a few different places in the world so I wanted this to be a bit of a gypsy cocktail with European influences.
I came here to Bar Frances from Dante’s Kitchen. Started there as a server, got behind the bar and ran the bar for a minute, then became the GM. When I started here, I didn’t know how much I actually like a spritz—not until I had to make a million of them—and now I love creating these really simple cocktails, that’s my buzz right now. The deeper I got into the 10-ingredient drinks, the more I realized that I’d forget what I was making at the end of it. Overall, I’m just happy to get back to bartending.
I drink wine more than anything. But I drink everything. I’m a lover of all things that I pour. Sometimes tequila; sometimes pisco, neat. The people around me inspire me. I don’t really know much about music, but music can be very inspirational. It can hit you in just the right way. Whenever I get flat, I need something to grab me and that’s what it was like when I first saw Helen Gillet perform in an old church several years ago.
I went to school here [Uptown] and back then, the only place I’d ever go on Freret [Street] was Dunbar’s. Everything else was just a residential neighborhood. It’s crazy how much it’s changed. There’s so much construction. A lot of our customers have recently moved here and walk. It’s so nice to see people walking, going from bar to bar, not having to drive anywhere. Next to us there will soon be a gelateria, and three doors down a juice bar. It’s a great community.”