Bartender of the week- Darrick Bernard Long
Name: Darrick Bernard Long
Bar: Elm Street Lounge
Age: Too old and too Southern to answer that
Where are you from? Chapel Hill, North Carolina
How long have you been bartending? 9 years
How did you become a bartender? I worked as support staff at the Black Bird in Asheville, North Carolina. I used to bake cakes for our employee meetings. I started making them for the bar manager. When I made him a hummingbird cake, I shared a story of a drink my grandmother taught me to make. Recognizing the ingredients, he knew the drink by another name. The next day I came to work as a barback.
What do you enjoy about bartending? The thing I enjoy most about bartending is when the guest has never had a cocktail by me and after having the first sip their face lights up. Seeing a person captured by the flavor and aroma of something I created is priceless.
What’s your favorite drink to make? ’There’s too many to name one. I enjoy making that drink my grandmother had after her hummingbird(the Sazerac), but I also really enjoy making Martinis with their sultry simplicity or any of the classics bound in history and lore.
What’s your favorite drink to drink? I like my drinks the way the strong Southern women who raised me liked theirs: Room temperature and straight from the bottle. Templeton 6-year-rye, or Makers 46 in moderation, of course.
What would you recommend as an after-dinner drink? Lately, Manhattans have been on the brain. In particular the Brooklyn, which adds Luxardo to the classic Manhattan recipe. The rich cherry flavor of the Maraschino liqueur is wildly fantastic to me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while bartending? ’I’ve seen a lot. The first time I saw a Bartender use fresh eggs white in a drink, I thought it was crazy. Then I tasted an egg white amaretto sour in all its velvet splendor. When I think of the older cocktails, I get excited about how difficult it must have been to create such depth of flavor with so few resources immediately tangible. ’It’s crazy; I suppose how blessed we are today to have such access.
What’s the best/biggest tip you’ve ever gotten? Tbh the biggest tips are the ones that will stay with me a lifetime. I was given a book called the “Drunken Botanist,” or another time I was told to follow the Educated Barfly on YouTube. Those tips in the form of knowledge are most valuable.