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.
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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.