Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week Kelsey Whipple profiles Absolutli Goosed's Robin Schubert. Below is a Q&A with Schubert, followed by the recipe for the Banana Hammock, a drink that tastes like liquid Bananas Foster.
Absolutli Goosed (3196 South Grand Boulevard; 314-771-9300 or www.absolutligoosed.com) was robbed Wednesday night, but other than a temporary plywood door, you wouldn't know it. Robin Schubert and Staci Stift, bartenders, co-owners and life partners, are smiling even as they talk about the damage, some of which their insurance won't cover. As Stift concludes the unsettling story, she moves on to show both regulars and newcomers a cell phone photo of their four-year-old son. It's a cute photo.
This is both typical and a sign of the attitude behind Absolutli Goosed, a South City martini bar that would be almost quaint if not for its progressive leanings. The interior is decorated with both abstract art and retro martini ads, complete with scantily clad ladies posing in glasses, and its owners have spent the past seven years together there and the past three years making it their own. After seven years in retail management at Target, Schubert began her eight-year span at Absolutli Goosed in a part-time position checking IDs at the door. The move was the polar opposite of her former position, one she describes as mundane and calculated as she laughs about her life at Absolutli. "We have the craziest, most amazing customer base," she says. "We would never have made the decision to buy the bar without that following. I've worked at other places, but I just keep coming back here."
Describe your bartending style in three words. Only three? This is tough. I'd have to say knowledgeable, friendly and fun.
My bar is the only bar in St. Louis where...You can order a drink like the Banana Hammock and talk to a bunch of regulars with that same personality. The inspiration came from a cruise Staci and I went on to St. Martin. We were at a café on the beach, and they served a piña colada with cinnamon on top. I had never thought about using cinnamon in a drink before. There was a nude beach in the area, and there were a lot of undeserving male banana hammocks going around, so that became the name of our drink. I'm not sure which came first, the drink or the name.
Girl walks into a bar and orders a ____. She just earned my undying admiration. Frangelico in a brandy snifter with a cup of coffee on the side. That's what I would order at brunch if I could. Normally people would look at me like, "Really?" That would definitely win me over.
What is the most dumbass -- or strange -- drink anyone has ever asked for? Someone once requested a Citron martini dirty in a pint glass with lemons and olives. I called it the White Trash Martini. It sounded and looked terrible. She doesn't come in here anymore, but she had a lot of them.
Other than your own bar, where do you go to get a good drink? And what do you have? I normally just like a good dive bar, anywhere with dust on the bottles. I appreciate a good selection of beer, and if I'm ready to get the night started right, I order a vodka gimlet. I like to try whatever beer on the menu I've never had before. My favorite beer depends on my mood, but Blue Moon is my go-to. I also like La Fin du Monde because you can never find it anywhere. It makes it that much better when you do.
If my friends and I simply must have a round of shots, what should they be? What do you order, or what do I give you? Just kidding. We don't do a lot of shots here, but we do have this shot book, The Big, Bad-Ass Book of Shots. We have people roll three dice and turn to whatever page the dice suggest. Then they drink the shot that's on that page. It's kind of the worst book in the world, but it works.
What's the most exciting or memorable event you've witnessed while tending bar? I once put an engagement ring inside a martini glass about three or four years ago. She said yes.
Tell me one thing most people don't know about bartending. It's a lot harder than it looks. It's definitely fun, but you see people slinging drinks and think it's a party every day and you can drink while you work. But you can't, and you need to focus. You have to have a clear head to count money and focus on your customers and creating the best atmosphere for everyone. That being said, I love my job.
The Banana Hammock 3/4 ounces vanilla vodka 1 ounce banana rum 1/2 ounce hazelnut liqueur a splash of cream a splash of honey simple syrup a dust of cinnamon on top