Although, after several years on the culinary side of the spectrum she grew tired of it. In efforts to counteract the boredom, Chandler decided to take on the challenge of tending bar.
Bartending had common ground with her prior gig, but most importantly it offered new lessons to learn, as it is a “front-facing” position after all. Following the mixology path has led to her current position bartending at Dahlia on Ross in Dallas, Texas. Not to mention, she also works on the side for private events and clients. Chilled spoke with Chandler to learn more about her journey and hear what advice she has for her fellow bartenders.
Where do you tend bar now? What makes it unique?
I currently bartend brunches at Dahlia on Ross in Dallas. The charm of the venue is definitely in the staff. You are sure to have some interesting conversations to pair with our beverage menu. My main aim within that particular position is to help people set the tone for their day.
Who has been most influential in your development as a bartender?
It is hard for me to pinpoint a singular influence. I can mention several standouts though. Allysa Findley, my work wife, really came to my aid in moments when I needed to learn, without treating me differently. She also led by example on how to handle conflict on both sides of the bar. Lauren Myerscough, in the time I have known her has truly moved me with how she has reinvented herself unapologetically to create the spaces she wants to operate in. Agostino Perrone and Simone Caporale are colleagues I have had the great pleasure of learning from and drinking with. Watching them create trends and make changes in the lives of the people they work with sets the bar high.
Do you have any advice for novice or at home bartenders?
Ask every question. Don’t worry if you don’t know the names of any big shots. The best drink is one that comes with a story. Try every ingredient you can get your hand on. Always pick a chef’s brain if you have the chance. Start small, even if you have high hopes, we all start somewhere.
How do you go about creating a cocktail? Is there a specific process or simply a moment of inspiration?
I love this question. There is no one answer. Sometimes the store will have something in stock, and I think to myself: “I have to do something with that.” On occasion, I reminisce about old trips or people I used to break bread with, and I try to create something that will embody that memory. Often creation comes out of sheer boredom. I create cocktails based on the things going on in my day-to-day life.
Do you have a special technique you use or a tip for making a particular drink?
I get really hung up on brewing methods for coffee, particularly if it is being used for cocktails. A French press pour isn’t going to have the same qualities as a Vietnamese Phin. Other than that, I will die on the hills of salted butter, dry shake (not reverse), and equal parts.
Clouds Over Kyoto
- 1 1/2 oz shochu *manzanilla sherry
- 1/2 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
- 1 oz oolong tea
- 1/2 oz pear liqueur
- 1/4 oz osmanthus flower infusion
Preparation: Combine all the ingredients except the sherry in a shaker tin. Fill the shaker half full of ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain the contents of the shaker into a coupe. Garnish with a spritz of sherry.