Barkeep and Healer of Ails, Amber West at Central 214
Is there any ingredient that you've discovered works well in cocktails or something you wish people would try more?
I would have to say fennel. Fennel is my favorite ingredient.
How did you discover that?
When I came in for an interview with Graham, I knew I had to prepare for it, so I infused a vodka with fennel and made a homemade fennel liquor. I served it on the rocks with a little chopped fennel and used fresh fennel as a garnish. Little did I know Graham loves to cook with fennel, so he loved it.
What does it taste like?
Kind of like a licorice, but real nice and sweet. I sweetened it with local honey.
What do you wish people drank more of?
Fresh ingredients, things that digest in your body properly.
So, you're trying to make drinking healthy?
Yes. You're kind of canceling the bad with the good. Balance is key. Every syrup we have, which I'm trying to call "extracts" now because "syrup" has such a negative connotation, uses either stuff we have growing outside, or stevia, or honey. There are lots of ways to add sweetness, even brown sugar, or unrefined sugar that's not been bleached. It's still sugar, but it digests better.
Do you hate the order, "I don't know what I want, just surprise me"?
No, I love it. I get to open their minds.
Do you start with any specific questions?
Yeah, I ask them if they're allergic to anything.