Photos by Hillary Ehlen
With over 16 years of experience in the bar industry, bartender Karl Krueger knows just how to satisfy your flavor palette whether it’s with punchy shots or one of his tasty Cognac creations. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Bison fan or not, because this champion of a drink is sure to hit the spot and start your night out right.
What do you like about working here?
“I get paid to hang out in a bar and bullsh*t with everybody. It’s like I get to basically be everybody’s drinking buddy. A lot of great contacts and relationships have been built here for me.”
Can you tell us about what you like to work with most when it comes to spirits?
“Personally, I drink cheap beer and good whiskey. But this is a cognac drink, and I think there is a resurgence of cognac drinkers. When I started, I would maybe do one a month. Now I’m going through two or three bottles a week and I think that’s really changed in the last year and a half.”
Are there any trends in bartending or mixology that you’ve noticed recently?
“Microbrews are still huge and I don’t see that ever changing anytime soon. There has been more of a turn toward craft cocktails for sure, but that’s not totally my world. I’m more of a volume bartender. But if you tell me what you want, I can make it for you. I come across a lot of different ingredients and recipes that way.”
What’s a piece of advice you’d give to someone getting started in the bartending industry?
“Practice. Get an empty bottle and pour shots. It doesn’t matter if there is liquid in it or not. Get your pour count to where it needs to be. In craft cocktails, I know they say that consistency is key and I think that’s true in a lot of forms of life. Be consistent. In craft cocktails they measure carefully, but in the style of bartending that I do, it’s mostly free-pour so you’re count has to be on. And talk to people. You can always find out what people like just by talking to them a little bit.”
1 ½ oz. Courvoisier Cognac
1 ½ oz. Disaronno Liqueur
Splash of Finest Call Lime Juice
Splash of Cranberry Juice
Simply use a rocks glass and build the liquids over ice. Garnish with lemon and lime.
The Bomb Shelter
325 10th St. N, Fargo