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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep!: Blanco Tacos and Tequila’s barkeep gets life advice in exchange for drinks

    Tom Price
    Sierra Caley, bartender at Blanco Tacos and Tequila, poses for a picture on Friday, Feb. 26. Caley has been working as a bartender at Blanco for two years and enjoys working in a restaurant in the Foothills.

    In this week’s edition of “Hey, Barkeep!” Blanco Tacos and Tequila bartender Sierra Caley gave the Daily Wildcat the inside scoop on what it takes to be a bartender, her tricks behind the bar and her favorite drinks to make.

    The Daily Wildcat: How long have you been bartending?

    Sierra Caley: Two years.

    How did you decide that you wanted to bartend here at Blanco?

    I have been working at Blanco for about five years and I started serving here. I wanted to get away from like the whole university area and work in more of the upscale part of Tucson. They have a nice atmosphere. It wasn’t something that was super formal, to be able to be casual with guests and not being proper with people.

    What’s best thing about being a bartender?

    The money definitely is good, obviously, but the casual with the guests and being able to interact with them, really getting to know people when they sit here and get a drink and you get to chit chat with them. And you get to know a lot of people and honestly I have gotten a lot of advice. With the older people that come in, they want to give you all this life advice. I have learned so much.

    What is your favorite drink to make?

    Oaxacan Shandy or Martinis.

    Do you have any memorable customers?

    Yeah, several actually. A lot are my regulars and then there are the few that I don’t really know personally too well but … they will sit at the bar and make out the entire time and just like in your face. Or like rude people, but definitely the regulars that come in during lunch hours. At night it’s not too frequent that we get many regulars.

    How do you handle the stress of being a bartender?

    Drinking. Just kidding. I don’t know, as soon as I am done I just sit for an hour and … not do anything. I go to the gym when I’m not here, that helps. Basically, [I] do anything non-bar related to help me distress, but other than that, it’s not really too crazy back here.

    Is there a certain strategy you use to make your drinks as fast as possible?

    Always making sure you’re using both hands when doing something instead of just pouring with one. You’re always trying to think two steps ahead. You get a little OCD back here because you want everything in its certain space, that way you don’t have to look and you’re just flinging things around, making sure things are right where they need to be.

    What do you think this bar gives that sets it apart from other bars?

    Probably the hospitality that we give. Always trying to go over the top for people. Definitely the use of fresh ingredients, like every day we juice. Every morning we juice cases of limes, grapefruit juice and orange juice. The time we put into making the drinks shows the difference. … If anyone wants something obscure we will, like, run to the store and make it for them if they are really adamant about it. We just go over the top.

    Follow Kelsey Ropte on Twitter.

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