Photo by Sarah Walor
T. Leggett, bar manager at The Roosevelt
Roughly eight years ago, Leggett began honing his passion for beverages and sought to bring the craft cocktail renaissance to Richmond with smoky, charred and creative drinks that are now the hallmark of The Roosevelt’s cocktail menu.
The Cardamaro Flip at Metzger Bar & Butchery, by Kjell Anderson
“It’s a wine-based cocktail that’s super-simple, and it’s based off a classic combination of Cardamaro, which is a lime-based amaro, and an orange slice, but adding an egg,” Leggett shares. “[Anderson is] varying the texture but not the flavor, which is orange; it’s not over-thought. It’s just a neat way to approach a classic combination of flavors.”
Sean Rapoza, beverage program director at Balliceaux
Sean Rapoza has helmed the bar at Balliceaux since its 2009 opening, where he concocts elaborate drinks that appeal to sense memory. His salted pecan Sazerac, for instance, reminds him of his stepdad’s pecan pie. When he takes a seat on the other side of the bar, however, he tends to stick with the standards.
A classic Sazerac at Comfort, by Derek Salerno
“[The Sazerac], along with the old fashioned, is the platonic ideal of the cocktail: You’ve got a little sweet, you’ve got a little bitter, and you’ve got a little abstract with the absinthe,” Rapoza says. “Derek always makes a really good Sazerac, sometimes even in Jello shooter form."
Michelle Shriver, co-owner and beverage director at Dutch & Co.
Shriver first stood behind a bar at the early age of 17 but fell in love with cocktails in Chicago nearly 10 years later. Now, in Richmond, she manages the beverage program at Dutch & Co. with a simpler-is-better ethos and cocktails with highly defined flavor profiles.
A Sam Ward At Lucy’s Restaurant, by Arthur Grant
“It’s like a half of a lime wheel that’s turned inside-out, so the cup is the skin,” Shriver says of the Green Chartreuse cocktail. Once, Grant opened up his bar after-hours for her and her husband — Dutch & Co.’s Caleb Shriver — and served them a Sam Ward, remembering her preference for the drink. “It’s kind of a cocktail that [Arthur and I] share a little bit of history with.”