Behind the Scenes: Tips and Favorites from Our Bartenders
Our bartenders are a valued part of the team at Standing Stone Brewing Co. They make sure our beer, wine and special libations get from the taps and bottles to you, efficiently and beautifully. Our mix masters take care to make sure every beverage is served with quality (and sometimes even a little entertainment). Their efforts make for happy customers. In the Sneak Preview’s 2010 Best of Ashland, our own Mike DuBois was among the top “Favorite Bartenders” and we received mention for “Friendliest Bar Staff.”
We asked two of our bartenders, Gina Velando and Mike, to share some of their suggestions for crafting and serving great drinks. As always, these experts were happy to pour it on.
What is your favorite specialty drink to make?
Gina– Our SSBC Chai Toddy (Standing Stone Black Chai Tea, Spiced Rum, and Tuaca liqueur), since it awakens the palate, and senses, fully. Research tells us that “70-75% of what we perceive as taste actually comes from our sense of smell.” Any time I’m mixing up a Chai Toddy several noses up and down the bar can be heard echoing… “mmmm, that smells good!”
Do you have a favorite beer to suggest to customers?
Mike– My favorite beer to drink and serve is the Double IPA. This beer offers medium-high hop bitterness with a crisp citrus finish. It’s great to enjoy on its own or paired with the rich flavors in a burger or pizza. It’s everything I love in a beer!
What are some seasonal ingredients people can use when making their own cocktails at home?
Gina- It’s hot toddy season! I’m a fan of the classic winter warmer with whiskey, honey and lemon in hot water. Numerous Oregon distillers are turning out some great whiskeys, like Hood River and Pendleton Canadian Blend Whiskey. Let your closest liquor store know you would like to see these Oregon products made available! Throw in a lemon wedge and add some sweetness, taking advantage of the taste and health benefits of local honey. Then, top with hot water. This drink will soothe an aching throat and warm cold bones!
Do you have a favorite food and beer pairing from our menu?
Mike– Beer pairs so well with food, it can be hard for me to choose a favorite duo. A classic match is a hoppy beer with a hearty burger. The hops have an astringent quality that cleanses the palate of the rich flavors, helping every bite taste like the first. I suggest trying a pint of our Amber with our Black and Blue Burger. The Amber, which won a bronze award at last year’s Brain of Brewer’s competition in Colorado, boasts medium hop bitterness and a medium-light refreshing body. The caramel characteristics from the roasted malt pair well with the Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese that tops our Valley View beef patty. All in all, a local and delicious choice for anyone interested in food and beer pairings.
Thanks Mike and Gina for offering your suggestions! We hope our customers enjoy our favorite beverages as much as we do. Please let us in on your preferred drink or food and beer pairing by sharing with us online or face to face with our bartenders. We always appreciate the input and new ideas!