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Mixologist Of The Month: Labby’s Grill & Bar

PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

An Old Fashioned is one of the most-called-for classic drinks. Sweet and strong, an Old Fashioned never really gets old — especially with bartenders adding their own twist. Bartender Lucas Buerkley from Labby’s Grill & Bar shares his Old Fashioned creation.

Q&A

How long have you been bartending?
I’ve been bartending for about three and a half years and with Labby’s the whole time.

What’s your favorite part about working here?
Interacting with the people. Every day is different and you get to meet new customers all of the time — people from different cities, different countries. I love getting to know their stories and communicating with them. It’s not your typical desk job where you’re sitting in a cubicle and have an agenda to go by. Every day is a different challenge or opportunity. I’m also really close with the regulars. They come in to interact with us because they know us, not because it’s just another place to drink.

Are there any bartending or mixologist trends you’ve been seeing recently?
For this area, I’m starting to see more of the craft cocktails. The Fargo-Moorhead area is usually in a big bubble for national trends, in a sense, and it’s nothing like being out in New York or somewhere like that. I’ve had friends who have worked and lived out there and hearing their stories and what they like to drink has gotten me more into learning about craft cocktails. I keep my eye out for it a little more and think it’s something we’ll start to see get just as big as craft beers have blown up.

Tell us a little bit about the drink you made today.
With how I’ve been paying more attention to the craft cocktail world, I combined a couple recipes together — ones I’ve stumbled across in bartending books or things I’ve heard from my friends in bigger cities. With this specific Old Fashioned, I was mixing stuff together, seeing what worked and one day it just came out so smooth. I had all of the other bartenders try it and they loved it so we incorporated that to be Labby’s Old Fashioned recipe. We’ve always had an Old Fashioned here but the recipe is new.

“Labby’s Old Fashioned”

1/3 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes of Old Fashioned bitters
2 dashes of Cherry bitters

Pour ingredients into a shaker, add some ice and stir for about 12 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Labby’s Grill & Bar

1100 19th Ave N, Fargo

Written by Kara Jeffers

Fargo Monthly Editor Kara Jeffers is from Garrison, North Dakota, a small town north of Bismarck, North Dakota, on Lake Sakakawea. She graduated from North Dakota State University in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in theatre arts. In addition to working at Spotlight Media, Jeffers also works at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor’s Center, where she’s one of the first people (and, at times, the only person) visitors meet when they arrive in North Dakota—talk about pressure.

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