Dmirtri Bartlett, Beverage Director, River Styx, Roebling Tea Room
Bartending cred: Twenty years; two in NYC. His first unofficial bartending job was a bit unusual - he mixed drinks at age nine at the women's shelter where his mom lived in Tuscon, AZ. "One day my aunt got me a bartender book; a cocktail book. It was always sort of a ladies' night thing but during the daytime. Three months after that, my most played with toy was a blender and some tiki umbrellas."
Favorite drink to make: "I made up a signature drink back in the day that I do now at River Styx. It's a play on this drink at this bar Contiki in Tucson, which was my grandmother’s favorite bar. Now we call it the Beast Mode. You'd never guess what's in it - and I can't tell you."
Bar customer pet peeve: "It’s not too bar-related, really: when a customer comes in really late and sits down, knowing that the kitchen is closed. And the inevitable question always is, 'So there’s nothing I could eat?' Followed by, 'Well, what about a mac 'n' cheese?' The chefs are gone. There’s nobody in there. When I see someone like that walk in, before they can even get to that, I’ll just find some nuts in the back to satisfy them."
Best behind-the-bar experience: "Once, while visiting my favorite chain bar, an employee didn't show up, but I really needed that 151 strawberry daiquiri as did others, so I hopped behind the bar and it took about an hour for them to be certain I didn't actually work there. I just said I was from another location and filling in for a minute. I was able to pull off a couple rounds of cocktails before it came to a head. They weren't upset about it at all. It was Fridays."
Post-shift guilty pleasure: "I’m not really a big drinker. Surprisingly enough I hate drunks. I love creating them, but I don’t like drunks. Anyone that’s worked with me knows I have a soft spot for big, fruity, overly garnished drinks or grandma drinks. My favorite place to go get a drink is TGI Fridays and my favorite drink is a 151 with strawberry margarita mix."