Meredith Barry began her career in the hospitality industry working with her father at a South Carolina country club, where he instilled in her the value of hard work. She did everything from washing dishes to painting tennis courts before she was finally offered a chance to serve drinks in the club's cigar-lounge bar. Today, Barry is beverage director at Grand Tavern by David Burke, overseeing the restaurant’s creative craft cocktail program as well as the upstairs bar at the Angad Arts Hotel in St. Louis. Here, Barry shares the books that helped shape her mixology career.
Death & Co.
by David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald (2014)
“This book is based on the bar Death & Co. in New York. [The book] teaches you how to build a cocktail around balance, and the elements of a good cocktail, breaking it down from boozy to citrusy. It’s not just telling you about techniques – it has stories of regulars and renderings of them. That’s what’s so special. It validated what I already felt. That, in addition to all of those other things, it’s really about the people and the relationships you build.”
The Flavor Bible
by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (2008)
“This book is awesome from inspiration to execution. You can transform the culinary to the cocktail world. Once I had a salad with pistachios, artichokes and lemon. I thought, ‘Would these [flavors] work in a cocktail?’ I looked them up in The Flavor Bible, [finding] the connections and where they could go. The Flavor Bible helps guide you, and then boom – you put it together. That’s the beautiful thing about this book – flavor connection.”
Meehan’s Bartender Manual
by Jim Meehan (2017)
“This book talks about practicality and efficiency in bartending. It’s a dance [behind the bar], so the space where the bartender moves and where the guest moves makes a difference. [Meehan] really dives into the design of [a good bar], includes recipes of his own fantastic drinks and gets helpful advice from many of the pros in the industry. It’s insightful.”