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Bartender Chat: Elizabeth Kessler

Elizabeth Kessler proves that you don't have to be a bartender for years to make a great drink. She's only been bartending for ten months, but she quickly fills drinks, delivers food and chats with the regulars just like an old pro.

Kessler took the job at Community Bar (2703 Smith St) only a few months ago and absolutely loves it. "I was a self-employed photographer before becoming a bartender," she told us. "Bartending fits my personality, and it lets me make my own hours." Kessler tried the eight-to-five job lifestyle for five years - suits and all. "I'm too independent and don't like micro-managed positions," Kessler explained. "I always seemed to cross the line, like when I wore something too crazy."

We asked Kessler to make us her signature drink. "I don't really have one, but one of my favorite shots is tequila and St-Germain," Kessler told us. "My friend told me about it. The St-Germain makes the tequila much smoother." The Community Bar stocks St-Germain? We'd read plenty about it but never tried it. "Not many bars carry St-Germain, but we try to carry some specialty liqueurs, like pomegranate brandy." Our curiosity was piqued. Kessler made us a No Name cocktail - vodka, St-Germain and grapefruit juice. It was fruity, refreshing, and went down like water. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, Kessler probably won't be a bartender forever. (We will miss you, No Name cocktail.) In a few years, she'd like to open up a shop for local vendors and designers. She's a designer herself, making everything from edgy T-shirts to duvet covers.

But for now, she has found her niche at The Community Bar. "This isn't your typical Midtown bar," she said. "We have a little bit older, more down-to-earth crowd. Some have even become my good friends." Had we just stumbled into an updated Cheers? Sam and Woody aren't serving you drinks, but everybody still knows your name.

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