Know your Bartender

When we sit down for a drink at a bar, many of us don't realize all that goes into bartending. You're just there for your drink while they are putting on a show! The obvious first requirement is being able to make cocktails and pour beer but there is another level of hospitality that, if achieved, separates the good from the great. Being able to juggle every responsibility while making meaningful connections with their guests requires the right personality and a willingness to go above and beyond! Bartending is as much about the experience as it is about the fancy cocktails!

I sat down to interview our bar manager Sidney, highlighting her talents and to get a feel for what makes a great bartender! This is the first interview in our effort to highlight the employees that make Harvest Moon wonderful and unique!

In your opinion, what qualities make up a great bartender?

"You have to be approachable, with a good sense of humor and be able to hold your own with all types of people. A good bartender isn't just nice and friendly, but develops relationships with their regulars. Of course you have to be able to pour a beer and make a cocktail that not only looks good but tastes good too!"

What brought you to bartending?

"I started out as a barista at two different coffee shops, including Harvest Moon. I really liked making different coffee drinks and hearing opinions on the drinks I would come up with. Bartending is a lot like making lattes. It’s a lot of memorization, multi-tasking and talking to people. So bartending seemed like a natural fit for me. Previous bartenders at Harvest Moon taught me how to do cocktails and the rest is history! With only similar experience and the drive to learn the ropes, I’ve been at Harvest Moon now for 2 years and loving every minute of it!"

What was your inspiration for the seasonal fall cocktails?

"I draw a lot of inspiration from Cris Dehlavi [A renowned mixologist] from whom I learned about infusion and using egg whites in cocktails. I’ve read several books on the art of crafting cocktails including wild cocktails books. I drew inspiration from the flavors of fall to create these seasonal cocktails. We used local Honeyrun Farm honey, cinnamon, pomegranate and cranberry, to name a few. All these flavors in perfect combination is what makes these cocktails not only look but taste amazing!"

What is your favorite of the seasonal cocktails?

It’s so hard to choose! But my favorite would have to be the Spiced Pear Mule! I love it for its simplicity and exceptional taste. The combination of Vodka and Pear along with the spices is just delicious!

 

Follow Sidney on Instagram! @hm.craftbar

 

A Not-So-Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are starting to think about what we're going to cook! Maybe you're doing the same thing you do every year, or maybe you're looking to shake things up a bit! Maybe you don't do the main cooking but want to bring something healthy and different to the Thanksgiving gathering. We've gathered our favorite recipes from around the web so you can get ahead of the game and start planning!

3 Twists on Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Serious Eats

Oh the humble sweet potato. Actually not so humble. In fact, they're pretty amazing! Sweet potato lovers are really in a crowd all their own. Make them feel included and amazed when they taste these! And, I guess you can make regular potatoes for everyone else. Lame!

Image Source: Vicky Wasik

Image Source: Vicky Wasik

Arugula Salad - Bon Appétit

We've grown a lot since the days of croutons and dried bacon bits. Now we top our salads with persimmons! Really anything seasonal and fresh that you can throw together will be a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving meal! And the darker the greens the better, please!

Image Source: Laura Murray

Image Source: Laura Murray

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Truffles - Pop Sugar

So this isn't exactly healthy. But it's easy! And that's really what you're aiming for right? To have all your hair intact at the end! Plus the delicious surprise in the middle is well worth the effort!

Image Source: Pop Sugar

Image Source: Pop Sugar

Mason Jar Salted Caramel Cheesecake - Pop Sugar

Again, not super healthy. But a definite crowd pleaser! Super easy to make and those mason jars are just adorable! And because you get a smaller serving, you can feel less guilty about it ;)

Image source: POPSUGAR / Sarah Lipoff

Image source: POPSUGAR / Sarah Lipoff

Bourbon Walnut Pecan Pie - Hungry Girl por Vida

Don't be that person that brings the fifth pumpkin pie to the party! Try a different take on the more traditional pecan pie. I mean come on, bourbon!? My mouth is already starting to water!! 

Image source: Hungry Girl for Vida

Image source: Hungry Girl for Vida

So there you have it! Of course there are many more ideas out there! What recipes do you have planned for your Thanksgiving dinner? Let us know in the comments!