Meet Alyssa Champion

Bitters, need more Bitters.

Current Amateur Bar Chef, Future Master Mixologist.

Alyssa Champion Behind the Bar

Ally is a certified South Florida bartender and barista. She completed the essentials of bartending through the European Bartending School. She expanded her knowledge with certificates in cocktail training and menu creation, hospitality management and tourism, food and beverage management and is currently studying for her master accreditation from the USBG (United States Bartending Guild). I met up with her one hot summer afternoon to talk (and sip) cocktails.

A Rose Gin cocktail served in a Bathtub vessel with edible flowers.
A delicious Bathtub Gin Cocktail with Glendalough Rose Gin

What are some of the highlights working in the bar industry?

The highlights of my career (thus far) are the people I’ve met, the legends I’ve been able to work alongside, the knowledge that I have gained and the reputation that I have obtained. Now the people who I look up to come to me for knowledge of a product and ask me to help create cocktails to showcase its spirit.

What’s the best cocktail you’ve tasted this year?

Not to be biased, but my Orso Bruno, a Bearface Whisky draft cocktail created for the former restaurant Talento. It’s a booze forward delectable treat, a chocolate covered banana.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Every day is a risk for me… I make up new excuses to light drinks on fire.

Tequila & Brandy Cocktail

Who are your role models/mentors?

David Ortiz for encouraging my creativity, of nurturing the thirst for knowledge, creating beside me, being the all around amazing human being that he is, pushing me and challenging me to be the  best version of myself  no matter what side of the bar I’m on. Garret Shippley for being that wickedly chill booze nerd that saw potential in me and put me behind the first bar that ever truly captivated my heart…. before I met the vision bar. And last but not least, Tamara Jovanovic, who was the first piece of the puzzle, who knocked me on my a$$ and threw me down the rabbit hole. She introduced me to the world. I could never live without these three people. I would not be who or where I am today.  

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

 The Field Guide to Bitters and Amari by Mark Bitterman.

What does success look like for you?

Working alongside the people who made me. Owning my own line of bitters.

What is your essential bar accessory?

I bring bitters with me to every bar I visit, even when I’m drinking on the other side. Also, my Flavour Blaster as well.

Flavour Blaster

What’s in your home bar?

Bitters, Glassware, and Amaros.

What music complements your drinking style?

If you were to take the most forgotten songs from the 50’s- 80’s, put them on a mixed CD and played them backwards, that would be the “music” that best complements my cocktails.

What’s the cocktail trend that’s going to move us forward?

Molecular cocktails (I have  a few things in the works).

Dessert Cocktail with Old Forester and Coffee

What would readers be surprised to know about you?

That I’ve never seen Cocktail with Tom Cruise.

This time next year you’ll be drinking …

Whatever new and unique spirit has caught my attention with more than a dash of two of bitters.

Interviewer: Renée Korbel Quinn, Spirited South Florida

Strategist | Writer | Supporter @cocktailr @SpiritedSFL #getspiritedsouthflorida #cocktailrs #downtownftlgirl

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