The Chilled 100 Ambassador Program includes some of NOLA’s top bartenders and with Tales of the Cocktail kicking off this week, what better time to get to know our New Orleans chapter of the Chilled 100?

These talented bartenders will be mixing it up all week at Tales and we are happy to call such an influential group of bartenders a part of the Chilled 100 family. We asked the NOLA Chilled 100 dream team where they will be tending bar during Tales and which ingredients they are mixing with right now!

Adrienne Miller

Adrienne Miller, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Adrienne Miller

Toup’s Meatery and Bar Tonique

Where do you tend bar?

I bartend at two places Toup’s Meatery and Bar Tonique. Toup’s is a meat focus restaurant that has some of the best food I’ve ever had. Our bar menu is eclectic it ranges from a pisco cocktail with celery bitters and tajin called a Celery Sucka, to a cocktail I’ve had in my pocket for years called Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, which is an Old Fashioned with pork infused whiskey and apple bitters.

It’s fun because the entire staff from front of the house to the back make everything great, we can use things the kitchen has too much of or things from cuts of meat to make cocktails with.

Bar Tonique is my heart. It’s unique because any night of the week something hilarious can happen. Our entire staff looks out for one another and is so amazing I have cried about how rad they all are. It’s the best bar I’ve ever worked at and I’m proud to call it home. It’s an industry bar, it’s a haven, it’s a tourist destination, it’s famous for our tonic, it’s a dive bar that does killer cocktails, did I mention- it’s also my heart! I can’t explain the feeling you get when you step inside there and see something like Ramos Gin Fight Club happen or our G.M. singing awesomely terrible rap songs while he twerks and shakes or when someone tries our Bloody Mary for the first time or when the entire bar is ordering Ramos Gin Fizzes. You just have to come and see why I love this place so much.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

Honestly Batavia Arrack, Suze and Campari are my favorite three things. I’ve been obsessed with Campari since I first started bartending it’s really so versatile, to me at least. Suze has been this funky little light in my life that’s been adding subtle little pops in my cocktails. Batavia Arrack is just wow, if rum and Scotch where to have a baby this it what it would taste like- people freak out when I give it to them. They think it’s mezcal, then they ask if it’s Scotch, then they have to ask, ‘what is this,’ and I tell them, ‘it’s devil magic!’ I love how much dilution changes the flavor of the Batavia because you get this bite when you first start drinking the cocktail then it just gets softer and then the bite turns into the smoky flavor you can’t put your finger on and then it’s this rum finish.


Bazil Zerinzky

Bazil Zerinzky, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Bazil Zerinzky

Catahoula Hotel Bar

Where do you tend bar?

I’m at the newly opened Catahoula hotel bar. It’s a great spot with a little something for everyone. We’ve got a great program of pisco cocktails to go with our chef’s Peruvian small plates. There is also a menu of more experimental drinks where we all get to really show off our creativity with new techniques and fun presentations. On the roof there is also a blender and tiki bar, which is more whimsical and lots of fun.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

So many to choose from! I’m currently having a bit of a love affair with agave-based spirits. I also love to travel and pull inspiration from the cuisines in different countries I’ve been to most recently Greece and India, which have been big inspirations for me.


Konrad Kantor

Konrad Kantor, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Konrad Kantor

El Libre

Where do you tend bar?

I tend bar at El Libre, which is currently the only Floridian / Cuban-themed establishment serving true Cuban cocktails in the Greater New Orleans area. After being a part of opening two seven-figure restaurant renovations, it was really fascinating just getting together with three other partners and opening up a modest, affordable new business. It’s a complete hole-in-the-wall, but it feels like our concept was always meant for the space. Given all of that, I’d still say what makes it the most unique is the crew that works there. Going to work, for all of us, pretty much feels like we’re just letting everyone into our living room and throwing a small party. That’s always how work should feel, but having such a modestly sized space really intensifies that experience.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

Gin will always be number one in my heart, but since I work at a bar that literally only serves rum, I’d have to say my current favorite ingredient is aged white rum. I tend to favor classic drinks with classic proportions, but choosing between such a wide variety of rums really helps one build classic recipes with modern execution. Figuring out which rum tastes best in which cocktail is also a great excuse for me to drink more rum cocktails.


Christine Jeanine Nielson

Christine Jeanine Nielson, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Christine Jeanine Nielson

Angeline Restaurant

Where do you tend bar?

I work at Chef Alex Harrell’s Angeline Restaurant (roll tide) in the French Quarter. We feature Southern food (Alex is from Alabama) through a Mediterranean lens, focusing on local ingredients. The menu changes seasonally. We work with everyone who is growing food locally. We also serve the world’s BEST grits from Coosa Valley. It is a true family business, which makes it very special. His father, Dr. Harrell inherited the family farm and actually raises the cattle that we use in our burger. It is all grass-fed. And not just grass-fed in the traditional sense; the grasses fed to the cattle change over the seasons.

We also feature a lot of great wines from around the world. Sherry is a particular favorite of ours (and bubbles and rosé and all of it). The sherry spectrum is so vast, yet very few people have experienced anything beyond the sweet, cheap, cooking hue. We offer sherry flights and full sized pours of sherry in every category.

It is a casual atmosphere, with music curated by Murf Reeves (who chef worked with at Sylvain). He is a DJ at WWOZ 90.7, a local public radio station AKA the Best Radio Station in the world. He hosts the New Orleans Music Show every Monday. Check all of it out.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

This is an easy one! Sherry! You can do anything with sherry… especially drink it! We have a few cocktails in our repertoire.


Jonathan Shock

Jonathan Shock, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Jonathan Shock

Catahoula Hotel Bar

Where do you tend bar?

I currently work at the Catahoula Hotel in New Orleans, which focuses on pisco and Peruvian fare. I really enjoyed pisco and using it in cocktails even before I started working here, so to be able to focus on such a unique and versatile spirit is really exciting and fun for me. Our owners are really supportive of our cocktail program so whenever we want to do something a bit more crazy or off the wall, they’re totally game. Which is why we can put out drinks that come with goldfish crackers and a note from your mom, or a carbonated clarified Daiquiri that looks like sparkling rosé. The Hotel itself is also a beautifully restored historic building with a gorgeous courtyard and rooftop. Walking through the bar and halls, you definitely feel transported to somewhere in South or Latin America. It’s a special place.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

I would say pisco but I feel like that would be a bit obvious. Outside of that, I love working with sherry. It’s such a versatile and dynamic ingredient, it adds so much depth and layers of flavor to cocktails, let alone how well it pairs with food. In terms of non-alcoholic ingredients, I really enjoy utilizing honey syrup and different teas in my cocktails as well.


Laura McMillian

Laura McMillian, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Laura McMillian

Revel Café & Bar in New Orleans

Where do you tend bar?

I tend bar with my husband, Chris McMillian at Revel Café & Bar in New Orleans. We are a craft cocktail bar in the neighborhood, specializing in the classics. After spending our careers in the hotel industry, it is refreshing to have our own place in a relaxed environment.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

My favorite ingredient is and has always been, people. The making of drinks is only an avenue to serving my guests and giving them a momentous experience. There is nothing more powerful than building relationships with
people and being a part of so many lives. It is very rewarding.


Abigail Gullo

Abigail Gullo, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Abigail Gullo

Compère Lapin

Where do you tend bar?

I tend bar at Compere Lapin, a chef driven creole restaurant with Italian, French and Caribbean roots. We are in an old coffee warehouse in the arts district of New Orleans, surrounded by history and part of our cities revival and renaissance. When I first started bartending, I saw a hole in fine dining; great food and wine but terrible cocktails. I feel like we have really turned this around. Great cocktails and great bartenders with charm have made our bar the place to sit for dinner. It helps to have a window behind our bar looking into our kitchen working their tails off to produce some of the best food in New Orleans.

What is your favorite ingredient right now and why?

I have been real fond of grape-based spirits right now. Everything from pisco to sherry and vermouth to cognac. They offer so much flavor and so much history. Low-alcohol, modifiers and spirits that stand up on their own. My Grandpa had a vineyard, so I think it’s in my blood.


Crystal Pavlas

Crystal Pavlas, Chilled 100 Ambassador – New Orleans

Crystal Pavlas

Compère Lapin

Where do you tend bar?

I work at Compère Lapin (French for “brother rabbit”) in the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery. It is a Caribbean/French style restaurant helmed by Chef Nina Compton (runner-up of Top Chef on Season 11) in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District in New Orleans. As for the bar program, I’ve worked under the direct supervision of Ricky Gomez (Diageo World Class U.S. Ambassador) and, as of now, Abigail Gullo (Heaven Hill Bartender of the Year). At our restaurant/bar, although it’s fine dining, it has a casual feel to it. We always strive to make your experience very personable and memorable.

Tell us about Tales of the Cocktail and your participation/your bars participation in it?

Tales is a special time of the year that I absolutely love! During that week of Tales I have volunteered to work seminars, participated in Spirited Dinners and have let loose at way too many parties. It’s also that time where I get to meet hospitality people from all over and show them what New Orleans is really all about!

This year our restaurant, Compère Lapin, will feature an official Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner presented by world leader in the premium spirits industry, Pernod Ricard. It’s going to be hosted by our Chef/Owner Nina Compton and special guests Chris Patino and Kevin Denton of Pernod Ricard, our guests will enjoy a six-course spread with paired libations.