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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep!

    Rebecca Noble
    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Rory O’Lerear, a UA alumna with a BFA in Film Production, behind the bar at Wilko on the corner of University and Park on Wednesday, November 20th. O’Lerear has been working at Wilko for 2.5 years.

    What’s your favorite drink to make?

    Angostura fizz. Basically, a variation on a Trinidad sour. It’s a very old cocktail. It was conceived by [culinary author] Charles H. Baker, originally. It’s very bitter-heavy. It’s mostly angostura, a little bit of grenadine, citrus, egg white; it’s very spicy, very bitter. It’s a good winter cocktail, a good fall cocktail.

    Least favorite drink to make?

    Long Island Iced Tea. I’m not a huge fan. Let me put it this way: I think it’s an artless drink.

    What is the most memorable customer you’ve had?

    I think my favorite kind of customer is the kind that comes in and wants to have a sort of whole dining and drink experience. Somebody who comes in and wants to have an aperitif cocktail, a glass of wine, a meal, wants to have those things paired. … I love talking about the spirits. I love talking about the cocktails and trying to find something that’s a good fit for whoever comes in.

    What’s the oddest, strangest event or occurrence you’ve ever witnessed at the bar?

    I usually get people who come in who are really excited about absinthe, and really want to do absinthe shots, but they are not exactly sure what that means, so that’s always interesting because I love absinthe. I think people think that it’s … less than something to sort of sip and enjoy and think about and more of something to check off their list of crazy things they’ve done. So a lot of time we get people who come in and they’re like, “Oh, pour me your craziest absinthe,” and they’re surprised when their brain gets set on fire.

    As a customer, what can I do to piss you off as a bartender?

    I would say one of my biggest pet peeves is power tipping. People tip you way too much to make a statement. People tip you in order to control you. … Doesn’t really work with me. I would rather that people just tip based on the service they get, rather than the service they feel entitled to.

    What can I do to make your job easier?

    Just have an open mind. Be ready to have a dialogue. We carry a lot of spirits that many people aren’t familiar with, so we may not have exactly what you’re used to, but generally we’ll have something similar or better. But yeah, just have an open mind, and be ready to experience new things.

    What is one drinking trend that you’d like to see go away?

    I guess, like, shots.

    Like, just straight shots?

    No, I’m fine with somebody ordering a shot of whiskey. That’s great, that’s classy, a potentially classy, historic tradition, and it’s wonderful. But what I’m not OK with is redheaded sluts, chocolate cake shots, stuff that’s just filled with sugar. … It’s like taking all the worst aspects of the worse cocktails, and distilling them down to something you can drink really fast and not think about.

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