As another evening came to life at The Exchange pub + kitchen in downtown New Albany, bartender Tiffany Crowley went down the usual checklist of her daily routine. Fresh herbs. Check. Fruits, delicately sliced for garnishing. Check. An assortment of freshly squeezed juices, sweet syrups, and house made bitters, all fully stocked and ready to pour. Check.
It’s a routine that some might find tedious, or, quite frankly, intimidating. To Tiffany, now a senior team member at the Exchange with 2 years under her belt, it’s a fulfilling part of a career path that is at once social and creative.
"The relationships you build with other people is what’s important."
“It’s a people job,” she says, tossing in a few ingredients into a mixing cup. She lifts, shakes- the sound of ice clanking against against the stainless steel shaker echoes around the bar. “The relationships you build with other people is what’s important. Out of towners, people from other countries, and of course, the locals. They all love to talk about their work and family...in a way, they invite you into their lives. It’s a special thing.”
For Tiffany, now in her final year at Ivy Tech for graphic design, there’s the artistic side of cocktails that interest her, too. “I love putting all these flavors into a shaker and seeing what comes next,” she said. “There’s the colors, the garnishes, and of course, the taste. It’s a creative act.”
“I love putting all these flavors into a shaker and seeing what comes next.”
Featuring over 10 hand crafted cocktails, The Exchange pub + kitchen prides itself on taking flavors and execution seriously. Like their food menu, the bar team keeps things new by constantly updating their cocktail list. It’s a move Tiffany says keeps the staff sharp and always learning. For the guests, it means seasonal ingredients that are always fresh, always modern, and always tasty.
“I’ve had a local bring fresh basil from her garden that we worked into a cocktail for her,” Tiffany said. “We have that kind of relationship with people. I’m not sure you can find that at most places, but it’s something we take pride in.”
The Exchange pub+kitchen plans to announce their new, seasonal cocktail menu this month. For more updates, follow them at @exchangeforfood on Instagram and Facebook.
Words + Images by Matt Simpson