What was your first bartending job?
The first place I got behind the bar was a French restaurant here in Nashville. I had worked for the company for two and a half years and opened the restaurant as a server.
After expressing interest in becoming a bartender for a few months, I had a day off and basically told them that I was coming in to train behind the bar. No one protested!
That restaurant has since closed its doors, but I’ll never forget the mentors I had and all of the things I learned from my first bartending opportunity.
What is your favorite spirit to work with at the moment?
Tequila. Always tequila. It can act like gin or, if it’s aged, like bourbon. I love the versatility of the spirit, and it’s just my favorite thing to drink.
Tell us about the Notions cocktails on the menu at Fable.
We tried to make something unique while acknowledging the spectrum of the different spirits that we offer. Our Notions use high-quality ingredients, so we don’t have to do much to make them taste incredible. We use a lot of house-made cordials, syrups and oleos to create flavors that you can’t find anywhere else.
What are you doing to promote sustainability in cocktails?
Citrus is a huge waste in the bar world; we strive to use every part of the fruit. After juicing, we use the hulls of the fruits to make oleos and soda syrups, and then the solids get dehydrated and pulverized into edible powders that we use to rim glassware. It’s a lengthy process, but the amount of citrus that ends up getting thrown away is negligible.
What’s your current go-to cocktail or beverage?
Gin & Tonic! I’ve been using Fords gin at home and Fever Tree tonic water. It’s so refreshing during the warm weather.
Would you share one of your favorite cocktail recipes?
- 2 oz. Blanco tequila
- ¾ oz. Lime juice
- ¼ oz. Demerara
- Sugar syrup
- 3 Blackberries
- 3 Basil leaves
- Muddle basil and blackberries in a shaker tin.
- Add all ingredients with ice and shake until the tin is frosty.
- Using a sieve as well as a strainer, double strain into a coupe or Martini glass.
- Garnish with basil and a blackberry on a pick.
Ellen Talbot is lead bartender at Fable Lounge in Nashville.