Grace: Crystal Pomerleau’s Vieux Carre

Crystal Pomerleau began her bartending career in an unconventional location, while working at a private country club in New Hampshire. She recalls a woman, who was the “best kind of crazy,” who worked the bar on the eighteenth hole.

“She had this amazing banter and rapport with the members,” Pomerleau says. “I knew I wanted in.”

Pomerleau convinced the bartender to take her under her wing, and by the end of the season she knew almost every single member by his or her regular drink requests. She never looked back.

In the autumn months, she favors the combination of rye whiskey and bitters, opting to serve a sophisticated version in the form of the Vieux Carre. Served on the rocks, the cocktail consists of cognac, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, and two kinds of bitters. The recipe is adapted from the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and Pomerleau describes the drink as having the feel of something made in an apothecary. “This is a strong drink with a lot of character,” she says. “It will pretty much cure whatever ails you.”

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