Meet Chilled 100 member, Karla Green!
Karla is a bartender in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been in the industry for 22 years. Let’s see what some of her favorite trends and unique skills are.
What is your go-to cocktail?
My favorite go-to cocktail would be the Papa Doble or Hemingway daiquiri or any of its interpretations. They are easy to make on-the-fly and so refreshing during the summer. I love rum and whiskey equally, and depending on what is on hand, I will often split the base of rum with a half-ounce or so of rye.
What are your favorite cocktail trends?
My most admired cocktail trend, and one I hope never goes out of style, is collaborating with local farms and growers. There are so many perks to buying and supporting local: regionally fresh ingredients, reduced carbon footprints, and fosters lifelong relationships with families and the land.
Do you have any unique skills/ what separates you from other bartenders?
I am not the most graceful bartender so you won’t see me in any flair competitions any time soon. My saving grace, though, has been my approach to life in general: “treat every person that walks in like you’ve known them a lifetime.” I try to be fully present with each guest. Cultivating mindfulness is a lifelong endeavor, but this skill (which requires daily practice) has certainly given me the edge throughout my 22-year career in the service industry.
What cocktail ingredient could you not live without using?
The one ingredient for cocktails I simply cannot live without is ice, preferably made from a purified source that does not contain any trace minerals. There are too many benefits of ice to list here but suffice it to say that good ice is non-negotiable.
What ingredient is overrated?
My least favorite ingredient is the lighter-flamed citrus peel. I end up smelling more butane than essential oil, and if the peel was burned, I can taste the butane, too. A little bit more dexterity is involved, but matchsticks would be my preferred method for this hat trick.
What’s one piece of advice you could have given yourself when you first started out as a bartender?
One piece of advice I could have used as a novice bartender: “Use the jigger!”