Spotlight on Rhode Island Women Bartenders

women barteners

We’ve teamed up with Eat Drink RI to bring you the best food & beverage information in Rhode Island!

Bartending is a trade with a history dating back over two thousand years, and the scene has certainly seen its ups and downs. Providence’s beverage renaissance began about five years ago – and these fiercely talented women have been at the forefront since the very beginning.

Join us for Dinner by Dames on Thursday, April 30th for the opening event of the Eat Drink RI Festival, to experience a 5 course tasting dinner paired with cocktails created by this all-female team of bartenders. Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails is providing the bar for the closing event of the Festival, The Grand Brunch.

 

MIA ANDREOLI | EVENTS BY MIA ROSE

MiaHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I got started in the hospitality industry 20 years ago as an ice cream scooper in Pittsburgh. I have worked in so many different types of establishments; golf clubs, pizza shops, tequila bars, upscale steak houses, high volume cocktail bars and private members clubs. My time in LA was very focused on the art of bartending, opening establishments and large scale events. I’m most excited about the enthusiasm around the resurgence of cocktails and how you can walk into a lot of bars now and order a proper daiquiri or sazerac. So many people have embraced the foundation of cocktails and are excited to have them on their menus. There is a reason they are called “classics”, they will stand the test of time.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
This is such a loaded question because I love so many categories of spirits! I would have to say mezcal to me is the most artisanal and intriguing spirit out there right now. The amount of love, sweat, craft, and history that goes into a 750 milliliter bottle is astounding and humbling. This spirit is a true celebration of life, family, friends, tradition and being in the now.

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
The Dorrance hands down. Vito Lantz was the first bartender my husband and I met when we rolled into Lil Rhody and he truly defines a great barman. He is down to earth, has a ridiculous sense of humor, makes fantastic and well thought out cocktails and always makes me feel welcome to his bar.

 

MARY HENTZ | MAGDALENAE ROOM

MaryHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I started doing the wine list and some cocktails at Julian’s a long long time ago. It’s exciting to see so many ingredients being used in such different ways- multiple techniques to extract flavor that will all lead to a slightly different end result, i.e. an herb torn in, a syrup made with or an infusion. I like the expansiveness of ideas growing out of such rich history.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
I like the exchange of gin and whiskey in drinks.

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
North for cocktails, Flan for wine & Julian’s for beer.

 

JEN FERREIRA | EAST COAST BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR LUCAS BOLS

JenHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I’ve been in the restaurant industry since I was 15, and started behind the bar at 18 so I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry over the years, especially in Providence. The coolest thing that is happening now is the cocktail movement is starting to grow in Providence. More and more bars are starting to use fresh juices and focusing on a small selection of classic cocktails.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
Genever, of course!

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
I have a quite a few, it depends what I’m in the mood for. I love The Dorrance, The Eddy, Hot Club,lili’s, and Trinity Brewhouse. You can usually find me at those bars pretty often.

 

ELIZABETH SAWTELLE | NICKS ON BROADWAY & USBGRI

ElizabethHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I have been at Nicks on Broadway since 2005, working in numerous roles as a server, bartender, and now Beverage/Front of House Manager. I had always been interested in food and dining and had great exposure to the beverage aspect of the industry while at Nicks, leading to an interest and passion for all things spirits and wine related. I am excited to experience the momentum of the food and beverage community in Rhode Island and continually excited to see how things progress. I am currently privileged to sit on the board of the Rhode Island chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild which continues to foster a community of professionals in the beverage industry, promote and support our colleagues’ work, and provide educational and networking opportunities.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
By far, my favorite spirit to work with is gin. There are so many styles and expressions of gin which allow for unparalleled versatility in cocktails. It’s also nice to take a spirit that has been historically challenging for consumers and create interesting but approachable flavor combinations.

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
There isn’t one. The nice thing about the RI scene is there is a bar to fit every mood and occasion.The Avery is great for a cozy dark winter evening, the Eddy is great for an after dinner night out, Ivy Tavern is my go-to after work unwind, and the Hot Club can’t be beat on a sunny summer afternoon.

 

KAYLEIGH SPECK | THE GRANGE

KayleighHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I started bartending at the age of 19, (before i could even drink!) at a local dive bar/music venue. I put myself through college slinging beers to overzealous concert goers. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of debauchery I saw while working at that place. But it was an amazing experience – I wouldn’t change any of it. I didn’t start doing the “nerdy” cocktail stuff until moving to Nebraska in 2007 for graduate school. I was part of a really cool project and was lucky to be working in the city’s first craft bar. I learned a lot there; from technique and classics, to modern designs in drinking.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
Currently, my favorite spirit to work with is rum. Rum is a very diverse spirit.

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
My favorite bar… Nickanees on Mondays!

 

WILLA VAN NOSTRAND | LITTLE BITTE ARTISANAL COCKTAILS

WillaHow did you get started in the industry, and what are you most excited about in the cocktail scene right now?
I grew up tending bar. My brothers and dad own our family bar, The E&O Tap on Knight Street and before that, The Decatur Lounge. I grew up on an herb farm in Rehoboth, MA. My mom is an herbalist so I learned about natural remedies, edible flowers and tinctures as a wee babe. I am excited about urban gardening and the emergence of so many small batch cordials and bitters over the last few years.

What is your favorite ingredient or spirit to work with?
I love the new spirits by Greenhook Ginsmiths. Their Beach Plum Gin Liqueur is especially complex and jammy, perfect to spruce up a fizz or a sour.

What is your favorite bar in Rhode Island right now?
I am really loving the rooftop bar at the Vanderbilt Grace Hotel in Newport. Just wait until you see the sunset view.

EAT DRINK RI FESTIVAL | APRIL 30 – MAY 3

edrif_logoShowcasing the best of the ever-expanding Rhode Island culinary scene, the fourth annual, all-local Eat Drink RI Festival returns Thursday, April 30th through Sunday, May 3rd.

For more information about the Eat Drink RI Festival or to purchase tickets, please visit eatdrinkri.com/festival, on Facebook atfacebook.com/eatdrinkri.

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