13 Nov The Mindful Bartender
by Rhiannon Csordas
The mindful bartender is a term that speaks a sort of interesting personal meaning to me. It’s a term that embodies what I believe bartending is becoming. In the last couple of years, we have experienced a massive industry shift. The idea that one must heavily consume alcohol to know it and work with it is fading away.
I’ve been working in hospitality for nearly 15 years. Over this time, I have changed and grown in countless ways and watched this industry change and grow as well.
There is a rising trend of zero-proof spirits used as cocktail bases and entire programs developed around alcohol-free libations. The purpose is that you can have a thoughtfully crafted spirit free cocktail with elevated ingredients that is balanced but doesn’t disrupt your personal lifestyle choices. Brands like Seedlip, Aecorn, Everleaf, and the Vancouver Island produced Lumette are changing the way we drink.
I practice a keto diet. In this way of eating, I limit sugar, keep my net carbohydrate consumption to around 50 grams a day, and eat many healthy fats. This lifestyle limits the alcoholic beverages I can consume.
“The shoemaker’s child walks barefoot” is an old proverb I find applies to my bartending style. Knowing my ingredients, understanding their balance and where they come from is important when deciding which ones to pair together to craft cocktails that are creative, balanced and flavoursome without having to taste frequently. Bartenders are artisans and storytellers celebrating agriculture, history, geography and education with every creation.
It also encompasses all our actions professionally in our industry. Knowing where our ingredients are sourced. How they impact our environment, and our responsibilities are to minimize waste and give back to our local communities. It recognizes our social commitment in what we do in the hospitality world, and we see more innovative ideas on how to be mindful within our industry.
We see a new wave in how we practice our craft for our guests and how hospitality teams mindfully interact with one another.
There is a broader focus on healthier group activities amongst staff. Here in Whistler, this usually looks like team skiing and snowboarding days provided by management to bring everyone together. It warms my heart to see local cocktail bars organizing staff yoga sessions or morning boot camp classes. There is a trending focus on hospitality workers’ mental health in a way that has not existed in years past.
However, being mindful in our practice doesn’t just embody focusing on our personal health. Mind the Bar is a non-profit mental health resource, information and support system for the hospitality industry struggling with depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, addiction, or workplace harassment. It makes me proud to be a part of a community that is innovative, creative and caring. A world that will continue to adapt and shape what we do while maintaining that sense of mindfulness has already brought such positive change.
“Fueled on Fat”
A full fat, low sugar, zero proof Keto-friendly beverage inspired by the classic Ramos Gin Fiz.
2oz / 30mL Seedlip Grove 42
.75oz / 22mL Freshly Squeezed Lemon juice
.75oz / 22mL Monk-fruit sugar syrup
1oz / 15mL Full fat cream
2 dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakech bitters
Orange Bubbly ( can sub out another low carb soda water)
Add all the ingredients except for the bubbles into a cocktail shaker packed with large ice cubes and shake for several minutes.
Strain into a Collins glass and top with the orange bubbly.