Behind the Bar: Cocktails and Questions with Hans

Affable is the word that comes to mind when I think of Hans. He’s easy going, all smiles, well-spoken and well-intentioned and for such a tall man, he moves with a liquid grace that my t-rex arms and short legs envy. I met him through my co-worker, fellow bartender, and all around bad-ass friend Jane. She was telling me about her awesome boyfriend whom she was currently tracking on a sailing trip to the Bahamas. When we met, he stopped in to say hi, he was tanned and celebrating a second place finish if I recall correctly, and he was joyous in both his description of his adventures and his excitement of his next endeavor. And there are many!


Sailing is just one of the skills in Hans’ arsenal. In addition to being adept on the water, he’s also: an avid rock climber, a sheep farmer, a hands-on builder of both bars and barns, and a talented bartender. I’m sure he does more and the list continues, but that’s all I’ve garnered so far and that’s an intimidating enough list to being with.

If you follow him on Instagram right now you can see him traipsing fields at all hours of the night on Ewe watch, garnering laughs and giving updates on their property in Goochland. Soon to have an airbnb and an open house on all the exciting developments and work he has done. Plus- baby lambs and goats, who couldn’t be more excited about that?!

I stopped in to see him at The Tobacco Company the other night, to get a fresh cocktail of the week, bother him at work, and of course get his answers to our ten questions for our “Behind the Bar” series. Which he has delightfully shared below:

  1. What is your favorite word?


  2. What is your least favorite word?


  3. If you had a super power what would it be?

     Supernatural stamina. Or talking to animals. I’m getting pretty close...

  4. What is your favorite cocktail?


  5. What is your favorite beer?

    St. Bernardus Abt. 12

  6. What is your favorite curse word?

    Petrificus Totalus

  7. What sound or noise do you love?

    The wind. Rushing through the treetops, in and out of car windows, or whipping across the ocean waves..

  8. What sound or noise do you hate?


  9. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

    Farmer. (Side Note: Also, if i could hang out with any celebrity for a day, it would be Chris Pratt, since he is also a sheep farmer.)

  10. What is your favorite quote?

    “Make as many friends as you can, make as few enemies as possible, know what the fuck you’re talking about, and if you promise something, deliver.” (some ex CIA dude I met in D.C.)

Hans created our cocktail of the week for us, with much joy as he expected several friends to stop in while he worked the deco bar, so without much ado- here it is:

“Life’s a Peach”

  • 1 1/4 oz Belle Isle Honey Habañero

  • 1/4 oz Lime

  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 dash Peach Bitters


Stop in to see Hans at The Tobacco Company Restaurant where he exclusively works. Check out his Instagram for both farm posts and bar updates. Stop in to support him, try the cocktails at home and tag us on Instagram with your #tandcocktail #balancedandbadass hashtags.

Behind the Bar: Cocktails and Questions with Courtney Talley

Courtney Talley is a longstanding member of the Richmond bar scene, from the days when Blackfinn was still the local watering hole. She’s seen it all. Seriously. And she’s not impressed. Bartending with her is a mix of hilarious stories, personal conversation, and the inevitable “OKKKKK,” that can be heard across the bar which indicates to both her coworkers and friends that she does not have time for this shit.

She’s got stories for days. And very little time for nonsense. Watching her work is intimidating- she’s a quick flash of smile and then ruthless efficiency at her measures and pours. We’ve known of each other for years, similar and small circles kept bumping into each other, but we didn’t work together until last December when she was at Tazza Kitchen in Scott’s Addition. We became friends fairly quickly, both of us having a love for work and dogs. She and I now work together every Saturday, slinging drinks at City Beach, and mostly I just try to stay out of her way. She’s a machine, that runs on candy and donuts, and she doesn’t stop until we are out the door . While I dream of sleep, she prepares herself for her 10 a.m. brunch shift. She doesn’t know how to slow down. But when she does it’s to hit a workout at Orange Theory, Play with her defacto dog son - Jamo, or purchase new household items and joke about how she’s old now.

As is custom, we asked her a few questions, adapted from James Lipton’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” to share a little insight into her personality:

  1. What is your favorite word?


  2. What is your least favorite word?


  3. If you had a super power what would it be?


  4. What is your favorite cocktail?

    A really good Negroni.

  5. What is your favorite beer?

    Ommegang Rosetta.

  6. What is your favorite curse word?

    I can only choose one?! Shit, Fuck, Hooker, Bullshit is my favorite combo.

  7. What sound or noise do you love?


  8. What sound or noise do you hate?

    The noise someones credit card makes when they tap it on the bar while they are waiting for service.

  9. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

    Stay at home dog mom.

  10. What is your favorite quote?

    “This Too Shall Pass,” I love it so much I got it tattooed on my arm.

Courtney was kind enough to create a cocktail of the week for us, a quick shooter that packs a flavor punch. It’s named after a bar guest we all know REALLLLYY well and figure a good shooter and a laugh go hand in hand.


“The Chad”

You can find her behind the bar most days of the week. She’s at En Su Boca on Tuesday’s, Friday’s and Sunday Brunch and at City Beach on Thursday and Saturday nights. Just don’t tap your card to get her attention … or address her as “Hey asshole!” as one misguided bar guest did, before she promptly had him escorted out with a wave.

Stop in to support her at these local businesses, try the cocktails at home and tag us on Instagram with your #tandcocktail #balancedandbadass hashtags.

And keep your eyes peeled for our next installment. Contact us if you want to be a featured bartender, we’d love to share your story and skills.

Behind the Bar: Cocktails and Questions with Aubrey

We’ve had a fun week at Tequila & Deadlifts. We picked up a sissy squat to make gym workouts even that much more fun! Well, I think it’s fun. My clients and I have very different perspectives on the word. In fact, one of them told me my level of excitement to have them try out that particular machine was unnatural.

Which brings us to the next segment of “Behind the Bar”- with one of our very own coworkers and the client who thinks my idea of fun is awful- Aubrey.


I met Aubrey long before we started working at Pizza and Beer of Richmond, or PBR, as we lovingly call it. We met in high school, he was a year above me. Aubrey is one of five, with a solid mix of sisters and brothers, and has always had a flair for language, which explained how he was in IB English.

Aubrey has has a varied career in service industry, from management and training at Cinébistro to the beloved Can Can Brasserie, he’s definitely a talented bartender and we respect the hell out of him as our fearless bar manager. He’s been kind enough to let me train him over the last few months and I’ve gotten to know the man behind the scenes, and he’s quite surprising. Besides being a dapper dresser, he’s an avid Star Wars nerd, wordsmith, proud dog dad of Finn, and woodworker.


Check out his work on Instagram or find his store on Etsy.

I know a lot about Aubrey, but I asked him a few questions, adapted from James Lipton’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” to showcase a little more of his personality for you:

What is your favorite word?

“Who has a favorite word? What am I? 10?!”

What is your least favorite word?

“Awake, because I like sleep… I don’t know.”

If you had a super power what would it be?

“Super strength. That would be cool, throw buses and stuff. That would be fun.”

What is your favorite cocktail?

“A margarita. On the rocks. I’d never ask a bartender to put something in a blender for me.”

What is your favorite beer?

“PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon). Honestly I drink a shit-ton and it’s dirt cheap. It’s my de-facto favorite.”

What is your favorite curse word?

“All words are curse words. Utilize the full extent of the English Language.”

What sound or noise do you love?

“Those spring stoppers that you used to play with on a baseboard. Those were cool.”

What sound or noise do you hate?

“Cardboard rubbing together. It’s that dry sound, you can feel it.”

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

“Realistically? Astronaut.”

What is your favorite quote?

“Tell people whatever they want to hear and then do whatever the hell you want.”- Paris Hilton

Aubrey was also kind enough to craft our cocktail of the week. As always, imbibe responsibly. Feel free to tag us in your attempts at home or stop in and see him to request one of your very own.


“A long walk off a short pier.”

Shake and strain over large cube.

Top with Maine Root Ginger Beer

Garnish with Cucumber (“It’s Important! It alters the flavor profile of the drink as it sits.”

Stop in to support him at PBR every Monday, Friday and Saturday, ask for the cocktail of the week or try any of his menu creations. If you try our Tequila & Deadlifts cocktails at home, make sure to tag us on Instagram with your #tandcocktail #balancedandbadass hashtags.

Behind the Bar: Cocktails and Questions with Annabelle

We like Tequila, a fact not lost on anyone as it sits within our name. Why? Not only do we participate in the industry that we work so hard to support, but also because we love a well crafted cocktail and a seat at the bar.

We are based in Richmond, VA- a city rich in food and cocktails and career bartenders and we want to share the part of our community and culture with our followers And so this week we will begin our series “Behind the Bar” and share a cocktail recipe of the week and quick questionnaire with a local bartender.

Stop in to support them at their place of business, try the cocktails at home and tag us on Instagram with your #tandcocktail #balancedandbadass hashtags. Learn a little bit more about our local watering holes and the people who make them thrive.

Today, we start our series with the lovely Annabelle. She’s not just stunning, she is a talented bartender and a wonderful friend.


We asked her a few questions, adapted from James Lipton’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” to share a little insight into what makes her tick:

  1. What is your favorite word?

    My favorite word would most likely have to be ravel, I know it’s an odd one but whenever I read a book and the author uses raveled it really brings to life what the character was feeling. Or at least to me.

  2. What is your least favorite word?

    Least favorite word would have to be moist and panties. You just sound like a creepy man behind a computer. Gross.

  3. If you had a super power what would it be?

    If I could have a super power it would have to be to fly, as cliché as it is I want nothing more than to be able to get up one morning and go to an island for a day. Escape whenever I need to.

  4. What is your favorite cocktail?

    I love anything with Mezcal or gin! So a Mezcal old fashioned, or an aviation.

  5. What is your favorite beer?

    If I’m going to drink beer for a while then a lager, or maybe a sour. The Anderson Valley Blood Orange is definitely high on my list.

  6. What is your favorite curse word?

    Fuck…. and damnit.

  7. What sound or noise do you love?

    I don’t think I have a favorite sound. I like listening to rain and the waves crash, I’ll pass right out!

  8. What sound or noise do you hate?

    Least favorite, anything too loud honestly.

  9. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

    Most likely open up my own restaurant.

  10. What is your favorite quote?

    My favorite quote was my second tattoo, “if only our tongues were made out of glass, how much more careful would we be when we spoke?” think before you speak and treat others the way you want to be treated.


Mezcal Old Fashioned with a Kick

  • 1.25 oz count Mezcal Banhez Joven

  • .25 oz count agave

  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

  • Muddle jalapeño and add the zest of an orange peel

  • Stir and pour over fresh Ice 

You can find Annabelle slinging drinks 5 days a week at local spots, Monday, Thursday and Friday at En Su Boca (ask her to tell you why they’re called Porn tacos) and Saturday and Sunday at Bingo Beer Co.

Thanks for joining us for our first bartender feature and definitely support your local eateries and bar staff.

P.S. For those who want to know:


  • to disentangle or unravel the threads or fibers of (a woven or knitted fabric, rope, etc.).

  • to tangle or entangle.

  • to involve; confuse; perplex.

Pompeii- Bastille

Welcome! Happy New Year! We are finally open and it’s super exciting. Sessions are being scheduled, work is being adjusted, game plans are being improved upon, studying has started for the Fitness Nutrition certification.

But today we are going to take a step back and talk about setbacks, pauses, and this time of year. As everyone knows- this time of year in the state of Virginia is where you can experience all four seasons in two days, fluctuations from 60 to 30 degrees in a blink of an eye coupled with rain and snow and then the budding of spring leaves on the trees.

It’s also when everyone and their uncle gets sick. Including me. I thought I was struggling with a virus, because I’d feel fine for days at a time and then go down like a ton of bricks. Turns out I have a severe sinus and chest infection and if it wasn’t treated it would turn into pneumonia. Yikes. So I had some setbacks this week in business, I had to cancel several sessions because I need to get better, quickly, and I’ve learned that overworking and already compromised immune system is how one gets deathly ill pretty quickly.

However, I also work in the restaurant industry. A place where health insurance is hard to come by in shift work, so people are paying out of pocket for health care, and they have to choose between going in or getting written up for not making a shift. Let me make it really clear- not one bartender or server or host who is paid by shift work, not one of them wants to give up a money making shift to get better.

Self care in an industry where you get paid only when you work and only get paid well if work is busy is extremely hard. But it has to be done, especially for those with two gigs.

Rescheduling sessions was necessary for me to get better. Am I going to be a little more broke this week? Yes. That’s the nature of owning your own business and making those decisions. Am I actually going to get better? Yes. Thanks to a lot of antibiotics. Soup. Ginger lemon tea. And more sleep than I’ve had in 6 months.

Am I a little behind schedule? Yes. But progress is not linear. Repeat after me: PROGRESS. IS. NOT. LINEAR. I’ll be back up to snuff next week, I’ll get back on schedule with my clients and I’ll get back on track with my workouts.

So I’ve got some tips for you from Precision Nutrition on how to heal up quicker when you are getting sick and how to actively fight getting sick ahead of time.



And lastly- for all my fellow shift workers, here is a list of options for healthcare and their costs so you can find help when you need it:

  1. CVS MinuteClinic: $99-129 for minor illnesses

  2. BetterMed Urgent Care: $119 for minor care

  3. Patient First: $119, total visit cap at $299

  4. Center for Healthy Hearts: Can help if you don’t have insurance or employer provided insurance

  5. Health Brigade: Cannot make more than 200% of federal poverty line

  6. Crossover Healthcare Ministry They don’t list their requirements but they are listed on charitable websites and free clinics.

I hope this helps anyone in need. Here’s to setbacks and getting back on track.