Eighteen years ago, as a grad student at University of Wisconsin Madison, I worked nights as a bartender at the Tornado Club; one of Wisconsin’s most famous destinations for the iconic cocktail, the (brandy) Old Fashioned. Looking back, this was at the advent of Midwestern cocktail culture elevating itself to where we are today. For starters, my uniform was actually a tuxedo and we were still using the soda gun to top off those Old Fashioned drinks ‘sweet’ with 7-Up. However, the tide was already starting to turn; even back then a copy of Mr. Boston was on the back bar for reference, fresh fruit was juiced nightly, and rare spirits were becoming more readily available from distributors.
Having spent the last fifteen years working in all facets of the wine and spirits industry, my preferences for both have evolved with the times. When it comes to spirits I am most passionate about Mezcal, because it keeps me guessing and compelled to explore further. Someone very clever remarked to me one time that Mezcal is the only spirit that “tastes like time”, which I would agree with and also find very profound for anyone who appreciates what the earth can give us when we are patient. I also love to taste spirits with a bitter profile and from a curiosity perspective, love trying to figure out the complex botanical profiles that are usually kept a secret by most European producers of vermouth and bitter liqueurs. As for wine, my heart will always (unapologetically) remain in France.
In my spare time, you will likely find me at home with my husband Rob and our son, Ray. I love to cook for these guys as much as I can and they are generally eager recipients of my efforts.