12 Bartenders Share Their Favorite Drink after a Hard Shift

12 Bartenders Share Their Favorite Drink after a Hard Shift

In part one of this series, “16 Bartenders Share Their Post Shift Cure to a Hard Shift“, we asked industry veterans to talk about their post work rituals that help them to recover after an exceptionally hard shift behind the bar. Food, exercise and the classic bartenders “handshake” (beer and a shot) featured highly. Not all bartenders are elated by the prospect of having a cocktail after making drinks for guests all night, usually at a frenzied pace. But there are a few exceptions, so for that we asked Bartenders the following question:

Do you have a favorite cocktail to nurse your post shift wounds with? If so, who do you think makes the best iteration of the drink?

Nathan Beasley post shift bartender cocktails

Nathan Beasley (Right) with Orlando Marzo. They’re two bartenders keeping Melbourne on the frontlines of global bar culture.

“Cocktails don’t usually feature after a shift, but if they were, when you are all sweaty, hot, smelly, and a bit dishevelled, a Daiquiri. It’s the bartenders answer to air conditioning. Mango, a bartender at The Beaufort in Carlton will knock you up one of the best air conditioners in a glass you’ll get.” Nathan Beasley (Black Pearl, Melbourne)

The Daiquiri, arguably the official cocktail of bartenders everywhere in 2015.

The Daiquiri, arguably the official cocktail of bartenders everywhere in 2015.

“A good Gin Tonic, Margarita or Manhattan,” relates Shaun Layton (Juniper, Vancouver) “I like my G&T, Tommy’s in SF for a Margarita and Simon Kaulbach‘s (Mamie Taylor’s) Manhattan.”

What's the cocktail you crave after a hard shift?

What’s the cocktail you crave after a hard shift? Join the conversation on Instagram 

“When I want a “Surly Bartender” (Beer and a shot of whiskey), I go see Derek Granton (Bao Bei) or Mickey Valens (The Diamond) – Jose Rafael Borges (L’Abattoir, Vancouver

Luca Picchi holds up a Negroni

Legendary bartender Luca Picchi holds up a Negroni. Image credit Tom Elms.

“My favorite cocktail to nurse my wounds would be a nice chilled Negroni. And if I get to choose who should make it, Luca Picchi (Rivoire, Florence), the king of the Negroni!” Jacopo Falleni (JacopoFalleni.com, Los Angeles)


Negroni at Notturno, Vancouver.

“After my shift if I want a cocktail it is usually something stiff like an Old Fashioned, and I prefer my Old Fashioned to be made with Rum, usually something dark and rich.” – Adam Robinson (Ounce, Taipei)

Absinthe Fountain

“Absinthe. 3:1, no sugar.” Chris Enns tells us his ultimate post shift drink.

“I guess if I’m looking to nurse a wound or just leave the day behind, while not a cocktail, I’d call for some Absinthe and a side of water, 3:1 no sugar. I’m not sure if anyone can make it better, just as long as they’re good company.” – Chris Enns (The Diamond, Vancouver)


Bubbles, or in this case – a Champagne Cocktail at Bambudda, Vancouver.

“Like most of us in the hospitality industry after work I keep it pretty simple. Something cold and preferably with some element of carbonation, or bubbles. But I don’t always want a beer. Could be a french cider or if I am going out for a bite after work I might end up drinking champagne. Champagne always tastes good after a hard shift.” Tommy Klus (La Moule, Portland)

Carolyn Yu Bartender post shift rituals

Carolyn loves “The Athenian”. Image credit Dan Jackson.

“We usually converge at The Diamond (Vancouver) and rant about our night. I’ve got a die-hard love for a cocktail there called, “The Athenian“. I don’t think I even have to order anymore. They see me at the bar and the drink appears in minutes.” Carolyn Yu (Bauhaus, Vancouver)

Happy Hour Honeys The Athenian Cocktail at Diamond Gastown Carolyn Yu

The Athenian Cocktail, a delightful blend of Olive Oil-washed Gin, Rosemary, Roasted Pine-nut and Bianco Vermouth, at Diamond Gastown. Image credit Happy Hour Honeys.

“I like a Rye Manhattan. The best Manhattan in Vancouver, I think, is Grant Sceney, at Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge.Max Borrowman (Torafuku, Vancouver)

Max Borrowman Torafuku Head Bartender

Torafuku Head Bartender Max Borrowman walks by in the background while his smoky creation, A Storm Is A’brewing, waits for someone to sip it.

“I don’t have a cocktail after a hard night. I usually settle for an ice-cold beer and a couple of shots of either tequila, whisky and even rum”  Arthur Wynne (The MacKenzie Room, Vancouver)

David Bain Bartender

Bartender David Bain goes for a perfect Negroni. Image credit Joann Pai

“I like having a perfect Negroni. My recipe is 2 oz Gin, 1 oz Campari, 1 oz Cocchi Vermouth Amaro – on a big rock with an orange twist” David Bain (Pigeonhole, Calgary)

Robyn Gray tends bar at Prohibition

Robyn Gray tends bar at Prohibition, Vancouver.

“Drinking Manhattans at Aeolus (aka My parents beach side cabin).” Robyn Gray (Prohibition, Hotel Georgia)

Freaks of the Industry Matt Grippo Surly Bartender Bartender Handshake Whistle Maker

Freaks of the Industry, at Blackbird Bar, San Francisco. Beer and a shot refined.

Freaks of the Industry, by Matt Grippo (Blackbird Bar, San Francisco)

1oz Fernet Vallet

.5 oz lime

.5 oz agave syrup 

 Shaken and topped with Linden Street Craft 40 Malt Liquor, though something simple like Miller High-life will work fine.
Garnished with cinnamon dusted lime wheel.

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Bartender. Dirt City Bon Vivant. Writer for @CulinaireMag | Contributor to Liquor.com | Partner in @justcocktails |

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