About Columbine Quillen
I was once a really fancy bartender, but now I am a lowly law student.
As a bartender mixologist, I created all of the cocktail lists and decided what delicate spirits would find a home in my home away from home.
I also handcrafted all of my syrups, tinctures, bitters, infusions, and cordials and changed the list seasonally.
I was Hood River Distilleries corporate mixologist and created three cocktails for each of their premium brands (Yazi Ginger Vodka, Pendleton Whiskey, Knickers, ULLR, and Broker’s Gin) for them in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.
I also was Bend Oregon’s most popular bartender winning either best bartender or runner up almost every year I worked in Bend. In 2009, Nightclub and Bar Magazine named me one of the four top bartenders in the country. I also taught cocktail classes in conjunction with Crater Lake Vodka and I did a lot of public speaking about cocktail history. I was also honored as Oregon Bounty Chef in 2010, which involved going on the Oregon Trail in Eastern Oregon and foraging ingredients to make a cocktail (which landed me on the cover of March 2011′s Mix Magazine thanks to Kathleen Bauer’s beautiful article about some of my work). Oregon Bounty produced a gorgeous video of my adventure which one can view on the Travel Oregon website. I also one of a select few in the nation who can call oneself a Certified Spirits Specialist which involves an intense knowledge of all things liquor related (a liquor sommelier).
I also fancy myself a freelance writer who writes about nightlife, bartending, cocktail history, and mixology. My regular gig (before I started writing legal memos) was a witty bi-weekly column for Bend’s independent rag, The Source Weekly. (You can read it on this blog under the category Cheers! A Witty Cocktail Column for the Source Weekly.)
I also am working on the Jerry Thomas Project. The Jerry Thomas Project is based on the blog Julie and Julia. Julie Powel decided to make every dish in Julia Child’s cookbook within one year in a tiny kitchen and blog about it. I thought it would be interesting to remake every cocktail in Jerry Thomas’ Bar-Tenders Guide Receipts for Mixing, which is the first cocktail book published in the U.S. I thought it would be easy, as I work in a very stocked bar and have the liberty to order whatever I might need. However, thanks to over 100 years passing and prohibition, many of the ingredients are impossible to find and I’ve had to recreate bitters and tinctures not seen in over a century. For those of you who don’t know much about Jerry Thomas, he was a dedicated mixologist who traveled the world before there were planes or cars. He was a flashy dresser and traveled with a full set of sterling silver bar tools. His real claim to fame was the Blue Blazer – a flaming cocktail that he would make using two metal cups – allowing the flame to create a fire rainbow between them.
Columbine Quillen C.S.S.