Alissa was thrown straight in at the deep end when she first stepped behind a bar on New Years Eve in a small Rockhampton pub called Ginger Mule. She was given a cocktail spec list, given the tiny corner cocktail bar and told to get on with it!
After 12 hours of fumbling about and making about 300 of the fruitiest, sweetest drinks imaginable she was hooked!
The ability to influence someone’s night was an eye opener to Alissa and the mystery of mixing ingredients together to piece together a tasty drink got her hooked straight away.
With no FDM to help her, she bought a cocktail book the next day from the local bookstore and memorised as much as possible. She immediately began to experiment and, more importantly, educate herself and her guests to try something different – not an easy task within the drinking culture in Rockhampton! The satisfaction of getting her customers to try Toblerones and Long Island Ice Teas and then graduate onto Martini’s and Negroni’s was infectious and the management loved the rise in takings.
Rockhampton could only take Alissa so far – her enthusiasm for self improvement and curiosity to learn more took her to Brisbane where she began to hone her skills in more craft focused bars including The Press Club, The Manhattan Line and a stint at the famous cocktail establishment, The Bowrey
“A leap of faith is scary but you won’t regret it” – Alissa Gabriel
It was a trip to New Orleans for Tales Of The Cocktail that really cemented her love of the industry. There, the combination of professionalism and the amount of industry legends she met really opened her eyes to the opportunity to make a career out it.
“Her stubborn refusal to accept nothing but the best from herself and her team makes her one to watch … she will go far” – Tom Egerton, Eau De Vie Sydney
Alissa got straight back, packed up, drove down to Sydney and, in between winning the Bacardi Legacy cocktail comp, is now proud to be managing one of Australia’s finest cocktail bars in the multi award winning Eau De Vie Sydney.
The venue is her second home, her team are her family and she has the pleasure of both being at the cutting edge of the hospitality scene and mentoring the next generation of bartenders.