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Behind the Bar with Rachel Scwindt at Fish N Beer

Char-grilled oysters. Fresh whole fish. Buffalo Blowfish Tails. To be frank, Fish N Beer {3510 Larimer Street, Denver; 303.248.3497} is not your average seafood joint. The latest venture from Tacos Tequila Whiskey restaurateur, Kevin Morrison, Fish N Beer serves as a seafood oasis in the RiNo district. Don’t let the sardine-sized interior fool you, this place packs a punch with charcuterie boards with smoked fish dip and soy-glazed salmon collar to a litany of char-grilled oysters to whole-fish entrées. To whet our whistles, we set sail to the bar and sipped a few cocktails with bartender Rachel Schwindt of Fish N Beer. 

DiningOut: What drew you to bartending as a career?

Rachel Schwindt: I have been in the industry for 15 years and although I’ve worked every position from dishwasher to manager, I have always returned to bartending. It’s an outlet for me—I’m a ceramic artist, and crafting drinks lets my creative side get some play while at work. I’ve been told I have a natural ability to make people feel welcomed and at ease; after 15 years of working in hospitality, I sincerely hope that’s true! It’s important to me that my own level of professionalism and warmth toward our guests matches the quality of the drinks I make.

Fish N Beer

Photo courtesy of Andeck Photography

What does a crafted cocktail mean to you?

A crafted cocktail is a libation that allows me to show my artistic license and creativity. Creating a cocktail from scratch gives me the opportunity to not only showcase my own originality, but to arouse a specific feeling, emotion, or memory for the person drinking it. It is intoxicating—figuratively and literally.

What was the inspiration behind this particular cocktail?

I love utilizing local, seasonal ingredients and fresh herbs in my cocktails. This is a perfect summer cocktail meant to be enjoyed on the patio with friends.

Recipe for Blackberry Basil Smash

Fish N Beer

Photo courtesy of Andeck Photography

In a shaker, muddle 3 blackberries and 3 fresh basil leaves. Add 2 ounces Tito’s vodka, 1/4 ounce lemon juice, 3/4 ounce ginger-pear simple syrup, and ice. Shake and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a blackberry and basil leaf.

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