#balancedandbadass

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?

    Candid.

  2. What is your least favorite word?

    Moist.

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

    Flying.

  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?

    Silence.

  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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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:

Ravel

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

  • to tangle or entangle.

  • to involve; confuse; perplex.