Amanda Britton is a mixologist at Charlotte, North Carolina’s hit restaurant bardo.
She is passionate about using lesser-known spirits with familiar flavors in her cocktails. Amanda has a knack for opening up skeptical drinkers to new spirits by combining everyday flavors with something a little more unexpected behind the bar.
A New Jersey native, she started slinging drinks at a TGI Friday’s and fell in love with bartending. Amanda has found herself working behind some of the best craft beer bars, which led to becoming a sales representative for Artisan Beverage Group. She also created signature cocktails as manager and lead bartender at 204 North Kitchen and Cocktails, and consulting with Crowntown Collective spreading spirited learning through cocktail development, creative beverage catering, mixology classes, and brand spotlighting.
Amanda helped open bardo as lead mixologist, developing complex, signature cocktails like the Cooling Effect made with lunazul reposado tequila, arbol and guajillo peppers, aloe, agave, lime and No Fig Deal made with Old Forester signature bourbon, balsamic glazed fig, honey, and bitters.
Amanda is also passionate about giving back to her community and participates in various charitable events throughout the year including Generosity in Spirits which brings together the city’s top bartenders to raise money for gifts for children in need.
We asked Amanda some of her best kept secrets to becoming an award-winning bartender (she nabbed NCRLA’s Mixologist of the Year in 2017).
Do you have any unique skills that you’d like to share with other bartenders?
Anticipation. I think a great deal of what makes me a good bartender is anticipation. Whether it’s the guests needs or setting up my bartender with glassware, garnish, etc. I try to think a few steps ahead of anyone around me but execute it in a way that seems effortless.
Is there a tool you use that you can’t live without?
A tea strainer! I use it in so many aspects behind the bar whether it’s to strain a cocktail, citrus, infusions, etc. I could make do without a bunch of tools behind the bar but a tea strainer is a must.
Is there a secret ingredient you like to use?
I like using nuts and seeds. They add a level of savory when added to a cocktail. Toasted sesame is one of my favorite ingredients to use, it lends a nuttiness to a cocktail that is familiar enough for my guest but still unexpected.