Meet award-winning mixologist Trisha Torpey from Against the Grain in Louisville, Kentucky.
Trisha recently won our NuLuDays Holiday Cocktail Challenge for the second time. Each year during the contest, Trisha created a unique holiday-inspired cocktail using one of our Bourbons, served it at Against the Grain, and received the most community votes for her recipe on social media. She’s taken home top honors two years running, winning in 2018 with her cocktail “Time After Thyme,” and in 2017 with her recipe “Fat Bottomed Gourd.”
We sat down with Trisha to learn more about her background in bartending and tricks of the trade.
How long have you been with Against the Grain?
I’ve been with Against the Grain for three years.
Where or when did you find your passion to work behind a bar?
My parents owned a bar when I was younger, so I guess you can say that bartending is in my blood. When I was 22-years-old, I had a friend ask if I could help out behind the bar one night. I never looked back.
At work, what’s the cocktail you enjoy making the most for your customers?
An Old Fashioned, because of the time and finesse that it requires.
You’re entertaining friends at home. What are you having?
Anything that you can batch, so that you can enjoy the company, instead of making drinks all night.
If you could make a cocktail for anyone, who would it be and what would you make for them?
Bill Murray. I’d make him a Four Roses Small Batch Old Fashioned, with a glass of water on the side. As he would tell you, “if you can drink a glass of water with every drink, you become much more interesting later on in the evening.”
What are your favorite tools of the trade?
I’ve recently discovered Japanese-style jiggers and I love them so much.
What would you say are some of the most important ingredients, or staples, to have on-hand when bartending?
House made sour mix, demerara syrup and fresh herbs.
How do you typically drink Four Roses?
In a rocks glass with one ice cube. It doesn’t really need much more.
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