Currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina Chilled 100 member Timmie Hoffman has made a home for herself behind the bar at Sovereign Remedies.
Hoffman has bartended all over the country with stints in South Florida and New Mexico before finding her way to North Carolina. We caught up with her to learn more about her career.
What inspired you to become a bartender?
First bartending was just a way to pay the bills. After a few years of diving into the scene headfirst, it was about connecting with people of all different walks of life, as well as the creativite aspect. Experimenting with flavors, spirits, and different ingredients, it became a creative release for me. I started bartending about 8 years ago in a little bar with a beer and wine bar upfront and a cocktail bar in the back, I always ran the front bar because at the time I had no desire to learn or make cocktails at all. One day a worker didn’t show up for their shift at the cocktail bar in the back and I had to cover it for them. I remember not being happy about it at all, but from that shift on I was obsessed and still am.
Who has been most influential in your development as a bartender?
My parents have had a big part in why I have done so many cool things in the industry. They are the hardest working people I know and have shown me hard work pays off. They also push me to achieve all I dreamed of. One of the most influential people in my life has been Kimberlee Young. She was the owner of the first bar I ever worked at. From day one she believed in me and has been a great friend to me and mentor over the years. We still converse about ideas and recipes and life in general.
Do you have any advice for novice/at-home bartenders?
My advice for novices and people who have been in the industry for many years is to keep reading, pushing, learning from others and know you will never ever know it all. That is what is so beautiful about what we do is we’ll always have something to learn from one another and teach.
What is your favorite ingredient right now?
I don’t have one specific favorite ingredient right now, but I have been experimenting a lot with grains like corn and quinoa and it’s been a trip.
Is there a specific process or simply a moment of inspiration?
I come at creating cocktails in all different directions. Sometimes I see an ingredient at the farmers market or grocery store and immediately know I want to pair it with a spirit of some sort or another ingredient. I have literally had dreams about flavors and woke up and created something. However, it comes, I try it out. It is all about the process of trial and error and sharing and getting feedback from others.
Do you have a special technique you use or a tip for making a particular drink?
I have always loved the technique of throwing cocktails but have never really understood it. Now that I am learning more about it and practicing throwing more cocktails, I think it is a technique I would like to try out with other ingredients and drinks for texture, different flavors and such.
Where do you see the bartending/cocktail culture headed?
I see the cocktail culture becoming more widely known and available and I foresee it continuing to become more incredible, unique, creative, and competitive!
Naughty & Spice
- 2 oz. of Red chile and pecan infused vodka
- 3 oz. coconut cream
- 1/2 oz. of chocolate syrup
- 4 drops of xocolatl mole bitters
Preparation: Add ingredients to a shaker tin, shake with ice, strain into glass, garnish with a biscochito cookie.