; Years bartending? My one-year anniversary was on September 25, but I have been
in the food-serving business for 15 years.
; Where else? Before the Barrel House I worked at the Beach Chalet in San Francisco
for three years. When the general manager and my mentor Ginny Brown moved from
the Chalet to Barrel House, she brought me along.
; Like best about Barrel House? The owner, Chris Henry, and Ginny encourage us to
be creative and bold. They continually nurture our inner mixologist.
; Signature cocktail? I created a cocktail before I left called Sweet November (you
know, after the movie with Charlize Theron filmed in San Francisco). It’s a simple take
on our barrel-aged Manhattan with creme de cacao, lemon juice and a pumpkin-spiced cinnamon.
; Secret drink? I love sweet and spicy, so serrano peppers muddled with passion fruit
makes for one upgraded margarita. Don’t forget the cilantro and hibiscus-sugared rim.
; When someone has had too much you say… I have a trick most of us call “
juicing.” It’s when we serve the guest everything but the alcohol in their mocktail. It
makes the situation better for everyone and;the guest leaves a little more sober.
; Favorite bar? The Mix on 18th and Castro [in S. F.]. They have maintained the same
friendly staff for years. There’s no better feeling than walking into a bar where everyone knows your name, and Silvia makes the best handcrafted cocktails.
; Favorite drink and where? I have had the best Corpse Reviver #2 repeatedly at
Tunnel Top [in the city] over by Broadway. Nothing fancy, just solid and refreshing.
; What career would you compare bartending to? I don’t think it’s really comparable
to any other job. We work very flexible hours; people pay me to have a great time, put
on a show and be free to create. What more is there?
; Go-to joke? I don’t have one yet!
COURTNEY CUMMINGS of BARREL HOUSE TAVERN is
fairly new to bartending. She is now spending some time
in New Orleans honing her craft but will be back at Barrel
House come June. Advice to future bartenders: Learn every
day. Ask questions and experiment as often as possible.
Learn your products and how they work together. Oh, and
have fun, because bartending is one of the best jobs out there. S tory As a relatively new bartender, I’d say my favorite story
would be a fun game
I play with a bar-
tender who works
at a neighboring
bar. We love to see
how many guests
shift we can send
to the other one’s
bar. Most guests
typically come in
for one or t wo, but
when they meet us,
they’ll be there for
hours. They take
lots of pictures,
make great memo-
ries and become
THE PIONEER AND BABY-FACED NELSON